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 people to recent instrument users for practical tips.

TELESCOPES

  • 6.5m MMT telescope, located on Mt Hopkins in Arizona. Approximately 20 dark + 10 grey + 20 bright nights are available per 4 month trimester, except during summer shutdown (B trimester) when availability is 25% 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 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 one exception, are not queue-scheduled. Starting in 2019A, a service observer will be available to observe most CfA nights. PI's are expected to coordinate with the service observer, or else obtain their own observations. Details are still being worked out.

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
MAESTRO - high dispersion single-slit echelle spectrograph 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 sometime 2019.

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 no
PISCO - parallel imager Contact PI no
Near-IR MagAO - adaptive optics imager(s) Contact PI no

[Updated August 30, 2018 by WRB.]