In addition, the value of the proposed research to the educational and career development of the investigators may be considered in exceptional circumstances.
For CTIO proposals, preference may be given to proposals which can only be carried out in the southern hemisphere.
The NSF OIR Lab is committed to maximizing the accessibility of astronomy to all qualified proposers. Many of the telescopes available through NSF OIR Lab support remote observing, and we are happy to discuss ways in which this mode can be employed to address specific issues of accessibility. To enquire about remote observing and other forms of access, and to request specific accommodation, please contact any of the following individuals:
The 2020B Call for Proposals covers proposals for observing programs at all ground-based facilities on which the NSF OIR Lab manages open-access observing time. Observing proposals for all telescopes, other than Gemini, must be submitted using the NSF OIR Lab Proposal Form, which is found at
An NSF OIR Lab proposal can either be prepared and submitted completely online or a LaTeX template can be completed locally and submitted via a web upload.
AAT Proposals: The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) and NSF OIR Lab/CTIO are continuing a time exchange arrangement, to allow our respective communities to maximize the scientific facilities and opportunities to which we have access. In 2020B, five classically-scheduled nights on the Anglo-Australian Telescope will be available to the NSF OIR Lab community. All AAT facility instruments are available.
Proposals for this time should be submitted through the NSF OIR Lab proposal form. The proposals will be reviewed by the NSF OIR Lab TAC, and the successful proposals submitted to the AAO for scheduling. Note also that proposals for AAT time through the regular AAT open call, submitted by the AAO deadline of 15 March 2020 at 17:00 (AEDT) using the AAO form, are also encouraged by the AAO. These will be assessed only by the Australian Time Assignment Committee.
3. News and Updates for Semester 2020B
The following updatess to instrumentation at all facilities available through NSF OIR Lab are noted here to alert investigators preparing proposals.
3.1 NN-EXPLORE in 2020B: NEID on WIYN, the CTIO 1.5m with CHIRON, and MINERVA-Australis
The NASA/NSF Exoplanet Exploration Program (NN-EXPLORE) is seeking proposals to use NEID, a new cutting edge high-precision spectrograph at WIYN designed for radial velocity measurements of exoplanet host stars. NEID is designed with a goal of achieving 27 cm/s precision per data point, providing the US exoplanet community with high-precision radial velocity measurements appropriate for studying Earth and super-Earth mass planets orbiting bright host stars over a wide range of spectral type. Other investigations that hinge on extreme RV precision can also make good use of NEID. NEID is currently undergoing commissioning at WIYN during 2020A. Proposers can request NEID in "shared-risk" mode for programs that can be executed in 2020B. For more information on NEID, see http://ast.noao.edu/observing/wiyn-neid
As part of the NN-EXPLORE program, NASA has entered in a partnership with the MINERVA-Australis consortium starting in 2020B in shared risk mode to make 300 hours of observing on the facility on MINERVA-Australis available to the US community. MINERVA-Australis is a dedicated exoplanet observatory operated by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Queensland, Australia. The facility is located at USQ's Mt. Kent Observatory, and saw first light in quarter two 2018; commissioning of the facility was completed in mid-2019. MINERVA-Australis currently consists of 5 (0.7m) PlaneWave CDK700 telescopes; these telescopes have two ports, allowing each to be used for either spectroscopic or photometric observations. A summary of the facility and its capabilities can be found in the commissioning paper by Addison et al. 2019 (https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2019PASP..131k5003A
). The photometric channel is capable of milli-magnitude precision and currently, the light from four telescopes can be combined onto one R=75,000 echelle spectrograph for radial velocity precisions of 1 -10 m/s depending on the target brightness and how many telescopes are combined. For more details about this opportunity with MINERA-Australis, see the NN-EXPLORE document for 2020B
The other opportunities for NN-EXPLORE continue: WIYN with its full instrument complement, along with 280 hours (the equivalent of 28 nights) on the CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m with the precision radial-velocity spectrometer CHIRON.
3.2 Gemini North and South
The Gemini Observatory has released a Call for Proposals for 2020B at:
The Gemini Call contains all of the information necessary to submit a Gemini proposal. It is suggested that you read the Gemini CfP if youare requesting Gemini time.
Proposers requesting Gemini time must use the Gemini Phase-I Tool (PIT):
The Gemini Phase I Tool (PIT) will automatically add the time for the baseline partner calibrations to the total time requested for each target in the proposal.
Gemini and Subaru are continuing their time-exchange program. A desired minimum of five nights will be available to the Gemini community, providing that there is sufficient demand from both sides of the exchange. Please see the Gemini call for proposals for more information. Proposers requesting Subaru time must use the Gemini Phase-I Tool (PIT).
3.3 Zwicky Transient Facility and shared-risk ANTARES event brokering
The NSF MSIP-funded Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) is currently issuing public transient alerts. The two ZTF public surveys (https://www.ptf.caltech.edu/page/ztf_msip
) are (1) an all-sky survey with a three-night cadence and (2) a Galactic-plane survey with a nightly cadence. Both these surveys are expected to reach approximate point-source depths of r = 20.4 and g = 21.0. Further information can be found through the ZTF project website (https://www.ptf.caltech.edu/ztf
For 2020B, the NSF OIR Lab encourages submission of proposals for “target-of-opportunity” (ToO) follow-up observing triggered by ZTF alerts. Proposals should plan to use the current ToO policies and mechanisms for the facilities allocated through the NSF OIR Lab TAC. More information about current ToO policies and procedures at available open-access facilities can be found here:
Gemini Target of Opportunity observing:
CTIO Target of Opportunity observing:
SOAR Target of Opportunity observing
Las Cumbres Observatory scheduling (including ToO)
The NSF OIR Lab is currently filtering ZTF alerts through the ANTARES event
capabilities include positional and/or catalog-based filters with
associated delta-magnitude thresholds, as well as more complex
filters. Proposers interested in employing these ANTARES
capabilities within their programs during 2020B are encouraged to
proposal deadline. Support for ANTARES science verification programs
will be subject to availability of resources; depending on demand
during this initial call, it is possible that only a subset of
programs will be chosen for use with ANTARES.
The Mayall 4-m telescope is currently in the midst of commissioning the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). No time will be available through the NSF OIR Lab TAC.
As in previous semesters, priority at the WIYN-3.5m in 2020B will be given to qualifying proposals under the NN-EXPLORE program. More information on the NASA Guest Observer program can be found at http://ast.noao.edu/observing/wiyn-exoplanets-2020b. Commissioning of the new high-precision spectrometer, NEID, is currently underway in 2020B. Proposers can request NEID in "shared risk" mode for programs that can be executed late in 2020B. For detailed information about how to propose for NEID please see http://ast.noao.edu/observing/wiyn-neid .
Other instruments offered at WIYN include the upgraded ODI, with a 48'x40' focal plane. Other facility instruments on offer are HYDRA, the IFUs (SparsePak, HexPak, and GradPak), WHIRC (with or without WTTM), and the queue-operated speckle imager NESSI. Observers wishing to use Hexpak or Gradpak in 2019B should contact the PI (Matthew Bershady) at email@example.com before submitting a proposal to use these IFUs.
Note to ODI proposers: the smaller Mosaic filters are no longer be available with ODI due to the full complement of permanently mounted, large ODI filters. These include u’,g’,r’,i’,z’ and four narrowband filters (NB422, NB695, NB746 and H-alpha).
All WIYN proposers, please review the Proposal Information page (http://www.wiyn.org/Observe/wiynproposalinfo.html) to ensure all the required information is submitted on your proposal.
Remote Observing: KPNO offers remote observing for selected programs on WIYN in 2020B. If you are interested in this opportunity, please see the requirements for observing remotely at http://www.wiyn.org/Observe/wiynremote.html. If you are requesting remote observing, please make a note of this in the "Scheduling constraints and non-usable dates" section that appears at the bottom of the first page of the NOAO proposal form and include any additional details in the "Technical Description" text of your observing run.
Instruments avasilable: In 2020B, CTIO will be offering the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) and the Cerro Tololo Ohio State Multi-Object Spectrograph (COSMOS).
Nights available in 2020B for new regular programs: Approximately 90.
The SOAR website is located at:
Instruments: All instruments that were available in the previous semester, including TripleSpec 4.1, are currently available. See the Facilities Table in Sections 4.1 and 4.2 below for a list with links.
Queue scheduling: For semester 2020B, SOAR will continue to offer queue time through the AEON network (http://www.ctio.noao.edu/soar/content/soar-aeon-home-page). Because we have a stable operation, we can now confidently support proposals that require the flexibility the AEON queue offers, in particular programs requiring small amounts of time spread over the semester, or where targets are not entirely predictable. AEON remains the recommended choice for programs with a large number of targets distributed over the sky, as well as those where monthly or bi-weekly cadences are required. We cannot generally support higher cadences (e.g., weekly) unless demand increases sufficiently; exceptions may be possible where the higher cadence is only required for a portion of the semester. Note that we can and do support observations of solar system objects using non-sidereal tracking.
At present, we can only commit to supporting the Goodman spectrograph in 2020B, however will be able to support both red and blue cameras and additional configurations where demand warrants. Specifically, we would add the blue camera if demand warrants, along with additional blue or high-resolution configurations for either or both cameras.
Time is allocated based on TAC priority and the AEON queue is currently filled at 100%, so the expected fraction of clear time is the same as for classical observing. Investigators receiving time through all SOAR partners are eligible to participate; time continues to be allocated by the individual partners.
Please consult the AEON pages for further details and for contact information if you have questions the website doesn't answer.
Time on the small telescopes at CTIO will be available to NSF OIR Lab users in 2020B via the usual proposal process. The telescopes are operated by the SMARTS consortium with up to 15% of time available to the NSF OIR Lab community.
Note that time on the 1.3m is not avaialble in 2020A.
The 0.9m + CFCCD is available in user mode only. It is being operated on a part time basis (operating on up to 60% of nights), during the 2020B semester. As a result up to 24 nights will be available for allocation by the NSF OIR Lab TAC For more information on the 0.9m, please contact Dr. Todd Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-sidereal tracking is no longer supported as service or queue observing. The only option for non-sidereal is user time on the 0.9m.
The 1.5m + CHIRON (fiber-fed cross-dispersed echelle). 280 hours is available for the NN-EXPLORE program, and 180 hours will be available for scheduling by the NOAO TAC for non-NN-EXPLORE programs. For more information on the 1.5m, please contact Dr. Todd Henry at email@example.com.
4. General Information about Facilities Available through NOAO
4.1 Facilities List
4.2 Telescope and Instrument Lists (with Instrument Proposal Code and Web-link)
GMOS-N: Gemini Optical Imager, Multi-Object Spectrograph and IFU
GNIRS: Gemini Near Infra-Red Spectrograph
GNIRS + Altair: Gemini Near Infra-Red Spectrograph with NGS, LGS, or LGS+PWFS1 AO systems (Altair)
NIFS: Near-IR IFU Spectrograph
NIFS + Altair: Near-IR IFU Spectrograph with NGS, LGS, or LGS+PWFS1 AO systems (Altair)
NIRI: Near-Infrared Imager
NIRI + Altair: Near-IR Imager with NGS, LGS, LGS+PWFS1 AO systems
'Alopeke: Speckle Camera (visiting instrument)
GRACES: Gemini Remote Access to CFHT ESPaDOnS Spectrograph (visiting instrument)
POLISH-2: High-precision optical polarimeter (visiting instrument)
MAROON-X: Precision Radial-Velocity High-Reolution Spectrograph
FLAMINGOS-2: Near-Infrared Wide Field Imager and Spectrometer (imaging and longslit modes only)
GMOS-S: Gemini Optical Imager, Multi-Object Spectrograph and IFU
GPI: Gemini Planet Imager
GSAOI/GeMS: Gemini Adaptive Optics Imager with Multi-Conjugate AO System
Zorro: Speckle Camera (visiting Instrument)
IGRINS: High-Resolution Near-IR Cross-Dispersed Echelle Spectrometer (visiting instrument)
Subaru (Gemini Exchange time)
COMICS: Cooled Mid-IR Camera and Spectrometer
FOCAS: Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph
HDS: High Dispersion Spectrograph
HSC: Hyper Suprime-Cam Wide-Field Optical Imager
IRCS: IR Camera and Spectrograph
IRCS+AO188: IRCS + Natural and Laser Guide Star AO
MOIRCS: Multi-Object IR Camera and Spectrograph
Visiting Instruments on Subaru (Observing proposals using the visiting instruments must include the relevant instrument PIs as a Co-investigators)
CHARIS: Coronagraphic High Angular Resolution Imaging Spectrograph - provides high contrast images of exoplanets, disks, brown dwarfs with SCExAO+AO188. https://scholar.princeton.edu/charis
SCExAO: Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics - delivers high contrast images of the innermost surrounding of bright sources to CHARIS. The VAMPIRES module in SCExAO is also available for science observations in 2019B. https://www.naoj.org/Projects/SCEXAO/scexaoWEB/000home.web/indexm.html
IRD: Infrared high-dispersion, high resolution (up to 70,000) fiber-fed spectrometer. IRD provides high spectral resolution echelle spectroscopy and radial velocity measurements from 0.97 to 1.75 um simultaneously combined with AO188. IRD is available with NGS-AO only in shared-risk. IRD SSP started in 2019A – any IRD proposal must clarify how its scientific aim is different from SSP. http://ird.mtk.nao.ac.jp/IRDpub/index_tmp.html
CTIO 4m Blanco
DECam: Wide-Field Optical Imager
COSMOS: CTIO Ohio State Multi-Object Spectrograph
Goodman: Goodman Spectrograph
SOI: SOAR Optical Imager
TripleSpec4.1 (ex-ARCOIRIS): Cross-dispersed, single-object, longslit, IR imaging spectrograph
Spartan: Spartan IR Imager
SAM: SOAR Adaptive Module
HRCAM: High-Resolution Camera
SAMHR: SAM + HRCAM
SIFS: SOAR Integral Field Spectrograph
NEID: NN-EXPLORE Exoplanet Investigations with Doppler spectroscopy, precision RV spectrograph
ODI: One Degree Imager (40' x 48' focal plane)
HYDRB: Hydra + Bench Spectrograph + STA1 CCD, Blue camera
HYDRR: Hydra + Bench Spectrograph + STA1 CCD, Red camera
SPSPKB: SparsePak Fiber Array + Bench Spectrograph + STA1 CCD, Blue camera
SPSPKR: SparsePak Fiber Array + Bench Spectrograph + STA1 CCD, Red camera
WHIRC: WIYN High Resolution IR Camera
GRDPK: GradPak IFU
HEXPK: HexPak IFU
NESSI: NASA Exoplanet Star (and) Speckle Imager
CLASSIC: IR (H or K) Imaging
CLIMB: IR (H or K) Imaging
MIRC: Low-resolution H-band Spectroscopy
PAVO: Low-resolution Optical Spectroscopy
VEGA: Medium-resolution and High-resolution Optical Spectroscopy
LCO-2m Global Network
Spectral: Optical Imager
FLOYDS: Cross-dispersed Low-resolution Spectrograph
LCO-1m Global Network
Sinistro: Optical Imager
NRES: High-resolution Fiber-fed Echelle Spectrograph
CHIRON: High-resolution Fiber-fed Cross-dispersed Echelle Spectrograph for Precision RV
CFIM+T2K: Cass Direct + SITe 2K CCD
HDI: Half-Degree Imager
5. How to Acknowledge Use of NOAO Facilities
There are a variety of credit lines which are appropriate for citing the use of data from one or more of the NOAO facilities. Please acknowledge the proper observatories by using the appropriate credit line as discussed below.
NOAO generic press release
The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) consists of Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory near La Serena, Chile, and the NOAO System Science Center. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.
Observers should also note their NOAO proposal ID and observing dates in their publications either in a footnote, or in the observations section or acknowledgments sections of their papers.
Visitors are asked to add a Kitt Peak byline on the title page, as a footnote to the author, that reads:
Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.
NOAO staff members are asked to add a footnote after their names on the title page that reads: Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.
In addition to the Kitt Peak credit line, Case Western Reserve University has requested that a special acknowledgement be included on papers resulting from observations obtained with the Burrell Schmidt telescope:
Observations made with the Burrell Schmidt of the Warner and Swasey Observatory, Case Western Reserve University.
In addition to the Kitt Peak Credit line, the WIYN Observatory Corporation has requested that the following acknowledgement be included in any paper using WIYN data. The acknowledgement should be included as a footnote on the title page. The WIYN Board also encourages the mention of WIYN in the title or abstract of the paper:
The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, the NSF Optical Infrared Research Lab, the University of Missouri, Purdue University, Penn State University, and the University of California at Irvine.
For publications resulting from NN-EXPLORE telescope time, please include this text: "Data presented herein were obtained at the WIYN Observatory from telescope time allocated to NN-EXPLORE through the scientific partnership of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory."
It is expected that visiting observers making use of CTIO facilities will utilize the observations they obtain for the preparation of a publication describing their research activity. Publications by visiting observers should carry the following credit lines:
Visiting astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation.
Visiting observers who use CTIO facilities for only a small part of a larger program should include suitable acknowledgement to the Observatory in their publication or dissertation.
To properly acknowledge the use of data obtained with the SOAR telescope in publications, whether partially or entirely based on SOAR data, please include an asterisk by the paper title referring to a footnote stating:
"Based on observations obtained at the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope, which is a joint project of the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, e Inovação (MCTI) da República Federativa do Brasil, the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and Michigan State University (MSU)."
Papers containing data from the Gemini telescopes (e.g., an ApJ paper) should include the following general acknowledgment as a footnote on the first page or in the last section before the references:
Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina).
If appropriate, please also acknowledge the provision of visiting instrument(s) as described in the relevant "documents" web pages for that instrument.
Authors are also asked to give the identification number ("Program ID") of the program(s) under which their data were obtained, e.g. GN-2004A-Q-10, or GS-2003B-C- 1, or GN-2002B-SV-78 or GS-2005A-DD-96. We recommend that this reference to the Program ID be made in the acknowledgement section at the end of the paper or in the Observations section of the paper.
Please acknowledge NSF-TSIP support by including the following in all publications relating to TSIP observing time (preferably as a footnote on the title page): “[Keck, MMT, or Magellan] telescope time was granted by NOAO, through the Telescope System Instrumentation Program (TSIP). TSIP is funded by NSF.” Observers should also note their NOAO proposal ID and observing dates in their publications either in the same footnote, or in the observations section or acknowledgments sections of their papers.
In addition for Keck time, please include the standard Keck acknowledgements at http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/observing/keck_authors.html