Support Astronomer On-Call Schedule

Effective from 1 August 2012, please note the new policy (below) regarding Support Astronomer availability.

If you are experiencing problems, have operations questions, or are requesting permission to open during remote observing, please try to contact the Telescope Technician (TT) first at

  • (408) 238-0652 (120" Readout Room)
  • (408) 238-4267 (electronics lab)

If you have a technical question, need a refresher course on an instrument/telescope, or you can't reach a TT, contact the support astronomer on duty.

Support astronomers (SA) are generally available from early afternoon until sunrise. Due to short staffing, TTs and SAs may not always be available. Please try all the numbers listed for the SA on duty and ALWAYS leave messages at each number you call. If you can't reach the on-duty SA, please try again in a few minutes. If that fails, try contacting an off-duty SA. If you can't reach an SA by phone, send an email to all of them and that will likely get a response from whomever is available.

The calendar is marked with the first initial of the SA who is on duty. If there is more than one, then several SAs are required that date. If there is a number beside the initial, that person is only on for that portion of the night (typically split at midnight). SVP and MOS are public nights at the 36" telescope.

Contact Information:

All Support Astronomers email:

All Technical Staff (on and off mountain):

Elinor Gates (
(408) 238-9610 (office)
(408) 202-1691 (work cell)

Paul Lynam (
(408) 238-9617 (office)
(408) 238-0647 (alternate office)
(408) 398-7526 (OFFMOC/work cell)

1-meter Nickel(408) 238-4274
3-meter Shane(408) 238-0652
(408) 238-0651
CAT(408) 238-0653
36 inch Refractor(408) 238-0656
APF/Astrograph (408) 238-4270
Crossley (408) 238-4269

Other Numbers
Dome Mechanic - (and for morning dewar fills)
(408) 238-9613
Telescope/Dome Supervisor - Kostas Chloros (
(408) 238-9613


Starting August 2012 the following changes will be made to the support astronomer's on-call availability.


  1. On-Mountain On-Call (ONMOC): Refers to the SA being physically on the mountain to support any observational needs on any of the active telescopes. Nominal time period is 2pm - Sunrise.
  2. Off-Mountain On-Call (OFFMOC): Refers to the SA being anywhere, including off the mountain. He/she will have a cell phone and will be as respondent to calls as he/she is able.


  • SAs will be ONMOC for an average of 10 nights each per month.
  • An SA will provide ONMOC support for every night of a PI change on the Shane 3m, unless the PI declines such support in writing.
  • The remainder of nights (if any) for ONMOC support will be designated to optimally balance staffing, science, and operations.
  • Scheduling of the Nickel Telescope and CAT will be done to minimize ONMOC without compromising scientific requests.
  • SAs will make themselves available for OFFMOC for as many nights as they can accommodate per month.
Important Notes
  • Frequently, Support Astronomers may be physically present at the summit even when designated as OFFMOC. Support Astronomers OFFMOC availability may be limited by cell coverage. Please note that cell coverage around the summit of Mount Hamilton and on Mount Hamilton Road is limited which may compromise or disable communications.