Obtaining and reducing MIRAC data
Observing proposal forms, writing proposals
Contact the MIRAC team before preparing proposals. Below are links to
relevant telescope proposal forms:
- View the instructions on the UKIRT page on obtaining the FORMLOAD program, or get a LaTeX
template. You can also look at the
blank proposal form in postscript format.
that can be filled in and prints out on 8.5 x 11 paper
Bok (2.3m) and
- NASA Keck observing forms
MIRAC Sensitivity Estimator will assist in calculating the required total
time to obtain a certain signal/noise for objects of a given flux.
Preparing for observing:
The following are c programs that have been compiled to run on Sun workstations:
- obslist -
program to enter and edit list of objects to observe. This prepares a
file that can be read in directly by the MIRAC PC program for storing the proper
coordinates in the header and calculating the airmass during observations.
- airmass -
program to calculate and display the airmass of a list of sources for a range of
times throughout the night. This facilitates observing planning since one can
quickly see when objects are rising and setting.
These programs are the latest versions of software to be run on the MIRAC observing
PC at the telescope.
- mirac3.exe -
The latest release of the MIRAC3 observing program for the PC. There are
several additional files necessary to run the program. If you need them, they are
available as a PKZIP'ed file called
To extract the files, you will need the
program, version 2.04g or above.
- mirac.dsp -
the observing program for the DSP.
Observing Log pages
These are the blank "manual" or handwritten log
pages extracted from the observer's manual, stored as
postscript files. Available are the following:
MIRAC Setup A series of
are available showing MIRAC setup on the IRTF and UKIRT.
Taking and Reducing MIRAC data:
Post-observing data processing programs:
These are c programs and other scripts for unix machines to process the MIRAC data.
- mrc2fts - the source code for Sun unix or linux.
This program converts the data from MIRAC format to FITS format files. Sky
frames can be subtracted and gain, mask, and flat-field images applied.
Also available is an executable
version compiled for MS-DOS, courtesy of R. Howell.
- badcol -
a program to help correct images that suffer from bad transmission of a channel
xcor - xcor is a cross-corrrelation program that will determine the offsets between
a reference image and another image. Works on FITS-format files.
will correct data for
atmospheric extinction at different airmasses.
Works on FITS-format files.
- color and tau programs for
calculating color temperature and optical depth
- iraf scripts -
a collection of simple iraf scripts for manipulating images taken at different offset
positions and combining them into a final image. Also included is a file
has a sample reduction session, with the commands and explanation of the
Sample Gain and Mask images
Here are some sample files to compare to when doing data reduction. The
following were taken previous to 1995 when there was still significant
vignetting. Note that these are in the non-rotated or transposed orientation,
which is necessary for use in the mrc2fts program. See the
fielding document for instructions on how to make these images.
gain1122.fts - 11.22 micron gain image taken at UKIRT on 11/22/94.
gain_1300.fts - 13.0 micron gain image taken at the IRTF in August 1994.
gain20.fts - 20.6 micron gain image taken at the IRTF on 12/09/94.
mask1122.fts - mask image derived from 11.22 micron observations on UKIRT.
The next set are not vignetted:
1171008g.fts - gain obtained at the IRTF at 11.7 microns on 10/08/95.
- gain88117.fts -
8.8 - 11.7 micron gain obtained at the IRTF in November 1995.
- gain206.fts -
20.6 micron gain obtained at the IRTF in November 1995.
bad1126r.fts - mask file created on 11/26/95.
The following gains were taken during the May-June 1999 IRTF run.
September 1999 IRTF Run (vignetting present): Gains for 1999/09/23
- June 8, 1999
- June 9, 1999
- June 10, 1999
The following mask was developed for the Sept. 1999 IRTF run. It
masks the hot and cold vignetted pixels and 18 high dark current
pixels in the remainder of the array. It has the orientation of
the sky (North up, East left) for which the raw data is flipped
vertically and transposed.
Links to other sites:
CfA Home Page
MIRAC Home Page
Questions about this page to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: 1999 October 21