OCTOCAM has been proposed to the Gemini Observatory as a workhorse imager and spectrograph that will fulfill the needs of a large number of research areas in the 2020s. It is based on the use of high-efficiency dichroics to divide the incoming light in eight different channels, four optical and four infrared, each optimized for its wavelength range. In its imaging mode, it will observe a field of 3'x3' simultaneously in g, r, i, z, Y, J, H, and KS bands. It will obtain long-slit spectroscopy covering the range from 3700 to 23500 Å with a resolution of 4000 and a slit length of 3 arcminutes. To avoid slit losses, the instrument it will be equipped with an atmospheric dispersion corrector for the complete spectral range. Thanks to the use of state of the art detectors, OCTOCAM will allow high time-resolution observations and will have negligible overheads in classical observing modes. It will be equipped with a unique integral field unit that will observe in the complete spectral range with an on-sky coverage of 9.7"x6.8", composed of 17 slitlets, 0.4" wide each. Finally, a state-of-the-art polarimetric unit will allow us to obtain simultaneous full Stokes spectropolarimetry of the range between 3700 and 22000 Å.
OCTOCAM is an 8-channel VIS-IR (g to K-band) simultaneous imager and medium-resolution spectrograph proposed as new workhorse instrument for the 8m Gemini telescopes. It also offers additional observing modes of high time resolution, integral-field spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry, making it a very versatile instrument for many science cases in the 2020ies. A special focus of OCTOCAM will be the detection and follow-up of transient sources such as gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, magnetars, active galactic nuclei and yet to be discovered new objects, delivered by large-scale surveys like LSST available in the 2020ies. The diverse nature of transients will require the full range of OCTOCAM capabilities allowing more information in very short time about the source than with any other current instrument and adaptable almost in real time. Another main science topic will be to probe the high redshift Universe and the first stars for which OCTOCAM will be highly suited due to its wide wavelength coverage and high sensitivity. However, OCTOCAM is also suited for a large range of other science cases including transneptunian objects, exoplanets, stellar evolution and supermassive black holes. Our science team comprises more than 50 researchers reflecting the large interest of the Gemini community in the capabilities of OCTOCAM. We will highlight a few important science cases demonstrating the different capabilities of OCTOCAM and their need for the scientific community.
Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most luminous explosions in the Universe. They are produced during the collapse of massive stellar-sized objects, which create a black hole and eject material at ultra-relativistic speeds. They are unique tools to study the evolution of our Universe, as they are the only objects that, thanks to their extraordinary luminosity, can be observed during the complete history of star formation, from the era of reionisation to our days.
One of the main tools to obtain information from GRBs and their environment is optical and near-infrared spectroscopy. After 17 years of studies spectroscopic data for around 300 events that have been collected. However, spectra were obtained by many groups, at different observatories, and using instruments of very different types, making data difficult to access, process and compare.
Here we present GRBspec: A collaborative database that includes processed GRB spectra from multiple observatories and makes them available to the community. The website provides access to the datasets, allowing queries based not only on the observation characteristics but also on the properties of the GRB that was observed. Furthermore, the website provides visualisation and analysis tools, that allow the user to asses the quality of the data before downloading and even make data analysis online.