Instrument Availability

Before applying for CfA Telescope time, please check telescope and instrument availability. Before applying for a PI instrument, contact the Principal Investigator and obtain a letter of approval to be submitted with your proposal. First time users are expected to read the documentation and speak with the instrument PI if they have questions; the TAC chair can point to recent users for practical tips.

TELESCOPES

  • 6.5m MMT telescope, located on Mt Hopkins in Arizona. Approximately 19 dark + 10 grey + 19 bright nights are available per 4 month trimester, except during summer shutdown (B trimester) when availability is 33% smaller.
  • 6.5m Magellan telescopes, located on Las Campanas in Chile. Approximately 22 dark + 11 grey + 22 bright nights, evenly split between the two telescopes, are available per 6 month semester. Instruments are linked to a specific telescope.
  • Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO), located on Mt Hopkins in Arizona. The 1.2m telescope is dedicated to imaging; the 1.5m telescope is dedicated to spectroscopy. Approximately 48 dark + 24 grey + 48 bright nights are available on each telescope per 4 month trimester, except during summer shutdown (B trimester) when availability is 25% smaller.

SCHEDULING

  • MMT and FLWO instruments are mostly run in queue mode, as indicated below. For instruments run in a queue, PI's submit their targets before the trimester begins; observations are scheduled and obtained by observers at the telescope.
  • Magellan instruments, with two exceptions, are not queue-scheduled. Starting in 2019A, a service observer will be available to observe most CfA nights. PI's can choose to use the service observer, or obtain their own observations.

INSTRUMENTS

1.2m FLWO Available? Queue?
Optical KeplerCam - CCD imager YES YES
1.5m FLWO Available?Queue?
Optical FAST - moderate dispersion single-slit spectrograph YES YES
TRES - high dispersion single-fiber echelle spectrograph YES YES

6.5m MMT Available? Queue?
Optical Binospec - moderate dispersion multi-slit spectrograph and imager YES YES
Hectospec - moderate dispersion 300-fiber spectrograph YES* YES
Hectochelle - high dispersion 240-fiber echelle spectrograph YES* YES
Blue Channel - moderate dispersion single-slit spectrograph YES no
Red Channel - moderate dispersion single-slit spectrograph use Binospec
MMT Cam - small field-of-view imager YES YES
SPOL - imaging spectropolarimeter Contact PI no
Near-IR MMIRS - multi-slit spectrograph and imager YES YES
ARIES - adaptive optics imager and spectrograph no** no
MMT-Pol - imaging polarimeter no** no
* Hectospec/chelle are not scheduled in Dec-Jan because of a low-temperature limit.

** MMT Adaptive Optics System is offline for upgrades; it should return in 2020C, however it may not be available for proposals until after 2022.

6.5m Magellan I = Baade Available? Queue?
Optical IMACS - moderate dispersion multi-slit spectrograph and imager YES no
MagE - moderate dispersion single-slit echellette spectrograph YES no
Near-IR FourStar - wide-field imager YES no
FIRE - high dispersion single-slit echelle spectrograph YES no
6.5m Magellan II = Clay
Optical Megacam - wide-field imager YES no
LDSS-3 - moderate dispersion multi-slit spectrograph YES no
MIKE - high dispersion single-slit echelle spectrograph YES no
M2FS - fiber fed multi-object spectrograph Contact PI YES
PFS - high dispersion single-slit echelle spectrograph Contact PI YES
PISCO - parallel imager Contact PI no
Near-IR MagAO - adaptive optics imager(s) Contact PI no

[Updated April 25, 2019 by WRB.]