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 users for practical tips.

COVID-19 update: When the telescopes re-open, instrument changes at FLWO and MMT may be reduced due to staffing limits and furloughs, and PI instrument runs at Magellan may be postponed or cancelled due to international travel restrictions. The TAC encourages proposals for instruments that can be operated in service-observing, queue, or remote-observing modes, which is essentially all of the instruments except the Magellan PI instruments.

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. That said, a service observer is now available to CfA PIs; travel to Magellan is no longer required. The expectation is that the service observer will do the observing unless PIs choose otherwise.

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 operational limit.

** MMT Adaptive Optics System is offline for upgrades; it is not expected to be available for proposals until 2021.

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 (planning) (reductions) 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 May 14, 2020 by WRB.]