Caltech Optical Observatories
Call for Proposals - 2012B
This Call is CLOSED
Proposals Due by 5:00 pm PDT Monday 26 March 2012
- Keck I & Keck II, with possible trades for SUBARU time.
- 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.
When finished, combine your cover sheet with the Discussion, Figures and Observing List into a single pdf document
(see note below). Check that the file is smaller that 1M and attach it to an e-mail
not later than 5:00 pm PDT
Monday 26 March 2012. 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
- 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 Time for Palomar, Hawaii Time for Keck) of the event. [Remember: Telescope time
to observe an event occurring - for example - at 02h PDT on 6 August has to be scheduled for the night of 5
- 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
- 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
- For Keck instrument availability in 2012B (including those availble by trade with SUBARU), go to
Keck Instrument Availability.
- Only a single proposal (cover sheet, discussion, figures and observing list) is needed for a project involving
both Keck I and Keck II.
- 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.
- Time trades with GEMINI will not be available in 2012B.
- Up to six nights of Keck time (all partners) may be traded with SUBARU in 2012B. Instruments:
Suprime-Cam; FOCUS (after mid-semester); HDS; MOIRCS; IRCW (with NGS/LGSAO188 elements); FMOS; COMICS.
- OSIRIS will be available (NGS or LGS) at Keck I on shared-risk basis in 2012B.
- MOSFIRE will be available on shared-risk basis, with some restrictions, in 2012B.
- Associated with all 2012B MOSFIRE allocations, WMKO is requiring backup programs
should MOSFIRE be unavailable during the scheduled period. CIT will operate backup observing
queues with LRIS and HIRES. J. Cohen will be cognizant for these backup queues; further details
will be available after primary 2012B allocations are announced.
- The Keck Interferometer is no longer available.
- For projects involving more than one Palomar telescope, submit the appropriate cover sheet for each
separately. The discussion, figures and observing list need only be attached to the
cover sheet for the larger telescope.
- For Hale Telescope instruments, see the table below.
- Adaptive optics at the 200-inch: Based on the recommendation of the P3K Operations Planning Review
Board, the PALM-3000 (P3K) Adaptive Optics
facility will remain available on a shared-risk basis in 2012B.
We expect P3K to transition to full operational status for semester 2013A.
- 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).
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
The Director and the Time Allocation Committee place a high premium on the effective use
of telescope time and the prompt publication of results derived from the observations. Accordingly, your report
accounting for your previous observing time and your publications constitutes an important adjunct to your
proposals. Submit this report as 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
Monday 26 March 2012) 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).
Special Observing Notes
- Target of Opportunity Observing - See
- Large Projects - See
Large Project Proposals.
N.B. Key provisions of this program were revised, beginning with semester 2011B.
- Palomar 60-inch Telescope - Up to 20% of the time at the 60-inch may be allocated to
Caltech observers for general research. Further, in addition to the facility visible camera
high-resolution imaging system will be offered on a shared-risk & semi-private
basis (interested proposers must contact the Robo-AO PI
Both the P60 facility camera and Robo-AO operate only in service observing mode.
- 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.
Instrumentation for the Keck Telescopes is summarized on the
WMKO Keck Instrument Page.
200-inch Telescope Instruments
|Wide-Field IR Camera
|Large Format Camera
|COSMIC - Direct Imaging
|COSMIC - Re-imaging
|Own Equipment - Prime Focus
||Describe in Discussion|
Shared-risk observing. See Note 1.|
Shared-risk observing. See Note 1.|
||Private Instrument (Hillenbrand or Oppenheimer) Shared-risk observing. See Notes 1 & 3.|
See Note 2|
|Cosmic Web Imager
Semi-private Instrument (Martin). See Note 3.|
|f/9 Camera Base
|Own Equipment - Cassegrain
||Describe in Discussion|
|East Arm Echelle
- P3K will be available in 2012B for science observing on a shared-risk basis. See comment in
Special Notes above.
- WIRC, DBSP and TripleSpec may be operated remotely from Cahill on a shared-risk basis (Caltech
observers only). For additional information, see
- Private and Semi-private instruments may be requested only with the prior
approval of the instrument builder.
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.
Proposal pdf documents are typically 500K to 1M in size. Files larger than 1M are cumbersome
to handle, so, if your proposal is larger than 1M, try reducing the resolution of your images.
Semester 2012B COO Proposal Solicitation v09 Mar 2012
09 March 2012 - RJB/AFB