Caltech Optical Observatories
Call for Proposals - Semester 2011B
Proposals Due by 6:00p PDT Wednesday 30 March 2011
This call is closed and provided for reference only
- Keck I & Keck II, with possible trades with GEMINI and SUBARU.
- Palomar 200-inch.
- Palomar 60-inch (service observing only).
- Palomar Oschin Telescope (service observing only).
Caltech Faculty, Senior Research Associates, Senior Research Fellows,
Post-Doctoral Scholars, Senior Research Staff (approved by the COO Director) and Graduate Students may
apply for COO-administered observing time at Keck and Palomar, subject to the following:
- Applicants must be in residence at Caltech at the time proposals are submitted.
- Caltech Faculty and Senior Research Associates may submit no more than three Keck proposals
and/or any number of Palomar proposals.
- Caltech Senior Research Fellows, Post-Doctoral Scholars and Senior Research Staff may submit any number
of Palomar proposals but are limited to one Keck proposal per semester.
- Caltech Graduate Students may apply for Palomar time only.
- Each proposal should cover a single, coherent, well-defined scientific topic.
- The system of assigning priorities to proposals has been changed. If two or more Keck proposals
are submitted, the one representing your highest-priority should be designated as Priority 1 or
Principal; all others are Priority 2 or Secondary. The same applies to proposals for the
Palomar telescopes. Only one proposal for Keck time and only one proposal for 200-inch time may be designated
- Proposals consist of four parts: Cover Sheet, Discussion, Figures, Observing List.
- Cover Sheets -
- Keck - Follow the procedures at
Applying for Keck Telescope Time. Keck uses an on-line system with password protection to
allow observers to retrieve and modify their cover sheets. If you are a returning observer, use the
same account information as in previous semesters. If you are a new observer, request an account by
following the instructions on the log-in page.
- Palomar - Fill in and save (pdf) the on-line cover sheet at
Palomar Cover Sheet.
- Discussion - Provide a short (see page limits, below) description of the project, explaining
the scientific goals and methodology, and justifying the time and equipment requested. Also include citations
to publicaions referred to in the discussion. For new projects, provide an estimate of the total time
required to complete the work; for continuing projects, give the status of previously obtained data and an
estimate of the time needed to finish. For projects in support of an approved thesis, include an estimate
of the total observing time required, the time already allocated and the status of the data already in hand. Explain any constraints
that may affect scheduling.
- Figures - Collect all images, graphs, tables, etc. into a single section. N.B. Copies of the
proposals sent to the TAC members will be printed in black-and-white format but the committee members will
be able to access color versions in an on-line directory.
- Observing List - Provide a list of targets to be observed, including names, coordinates and
- Page Limits - 1 page = One side of a sheet 8½ x 11 inches, with suitable margins.
Type size = 11- or 12-point.
|Description ||Discussion ||Figures
||Observing List |
|Principal Proposal ||3 pages ||4 pages
||As needed |
|Secondary Proposals ||2 pages ||4 pages
||As needed |
|Palomar - Large Project ||8 pages
||4 pages ||As needed |
- When finished, combine your cover sheet with the Discussion, Figures and Observing List into a single pdf document
(see note below) and attach it to an e-mail to email@example.com not later than 5:00 pm PDT
Wednesday 30 March 2011. The subject line of the message should be in the following form:
[your last name]-[Telescope]-[A sequence number to distinquish it from others others submitted for
the same telescope]. Examples: Jones-Keck-1 or Jones-P200-2
- Special Notes:
- For Keck instrument availability in 2011B (including those availble by trade at GEMINI and SUBARU), go to
Keck Instrument Availability.
- For Hale Telescope instruments, see the table below.
- LGS observing at Keck is critically dependent on conditions and your are advised to have a
contingency plan should LGS be unavailable. See
Policy on Backup Instruments
During LGS-AO Runs.
- The adaptive optics system at the Palomar 200-inch will not be available for science
observing until 1 October 2011. After that date, science observing with adaptive optics will be on a
shared-risk basis and the total number of nights available will be limited.
- Requests for half nights will be accommodated within the constraints set by the scheduling.
When requesting half nights, specify in the proposal discussion whether first half or second half time is
- Only a single proposal (cover sheet, discussion, figures and observing list) is needed for a project involving
both Keck I and Keck II.
- For projects involving both Keck and Palomar, submit the Keck and Palomar cover sheets
separately. The discussion, figures and observing list need only be attached to the Keck
- For projects involving more than one Palomar telescope, submit cover sheets for each separately.
The discussion, figures and observing list need only be attached to the cover sheet for the
- For projects requiring date-specific scheduling, include in the Figures section of the
proposal a table of the events to be observed. Include the name of the object, its coordinates, and the date
and time (Pacific Standard Time for Palomar, Hawaii Time for Keck) of the event. [Remember: Telescope time to
observe an event occurring - for example - at 02h PST on 6 August has to be scheduled for the night of 5 August.]
- Observers using the 200-inch telescope may request instruments to be installed simultaneously at the prime
focus, Cassegrain focus and/or the east-arm focus (East Arm Echelle only).
Note: The use of a secondary instrument must be identified on the cover sheet and
justified in the proposal discussion. On the Cover Sheet, select the principal instrument to be used from the
drop-down lists on the Observing Time Preferences table and specify the secondary instrument in the
space provided under Additional Information. Secondary instruments should be requested only if they
are integral to the program and if there is a very high probability that they will be used
during the observing run.
Observing History & Bibliography
Submit a single, two-part document consisting of:
- Observing History: List the observing time allocated to you for all projects in the last four semesters and
summarize the status of each.
- Bibliography - Provide a bibliography of your refereed papers based on Keck (or from observing time awarded
through Keck trades) and/or Palomar data, published or submitted for publication during the last two years.
Attach the report (as a pdf document) to an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (not later than 5:00 pm PDT
Wednesday 30 March 2011) with the subject line in the following form: [your last name]-History. (For example:
Jones-History) Submit this report as a completely separate document. Do not include it in your proposal(s).
- Target of Opportunity Observing - See
- Large Projects - See
Large Project Proposals.
N.B. Key provisions of this program have been revised, effective 2011B.
- Palomar 60-inch Telescope - Up to 20% of the time at the 60-inch may be allocated to
Caltech observers for general research. Service observing only.
- Oschin Telescope - Up to 20% of the time at the Oschin Telescope (with the MOSAIC camera) may
be allocated to Caltech observers for general research. Service observing only.
200-inch Telescope Instruments
Private and Semi-private instruments may be requested only with the prior approval of the
Please note: items cited in red have changed for the 2011B solicitation.
Note on Merging PDF Documents
To combine the cover sheet and discussion section of a proposal, use the full version of Acrobat
(Acrobat Reader will not work) or the joinpdf program on the AY Unix computers.
Also see www.astro.caltech.edu/palomar/mergepdf.html.
Semester 2011B COO Proposal Solicitation Page v 2011B 1.0
Last updated: 23 February 2011 RJB/AFB