Pointing LimitsNote that these limits are only guidelines.
Positioning of the telescope is entirely at the discretion of the telescope operator based on safety and limits imposed by the mounted instrument or other hardware. Find the declination of your target (green lines) and read the zenith distance (Y-axis) for a given hour angle (X-axis). Note that several obstructions (horizontal red lines) are encountered before reaching the software limits (80 degrees zenith distance or 5h 40m hour angle). Each of these obstructions - lower shutter, windscreen, and elevator - requires about 5 minutes to be moved out of the way.
The inoperative windscreen was completely removed in early 2010, so it no longer can cause any obstruction of the telescope aperture.
As of April 2017 a new southern Declination limit has been instituted for the Shane 3-m. The southern declination limit is now -30 degrees 0 minutes.
The current (as of April 2015) northern Declination pointing limit of the Shane telescope is 70 degrees. Director's approval is required to observe north of this (but the absolute pointing limit due to cable length restrictions is 78 degrees, but going that far north requires extreme caution and care to make sure no cables are damaged).
Support Astronomers Last modified: Thu Apr 13 08:25:38 PDT 2017