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 2010 a new southern Declination limit has been instituted for the Shane 3-m. The southern declination limit is now -34 degrees 30 minutes. If you need to observe at more southerly declinations, it will require prior approval from the Director.
Support Astronomers Last modified: Fri Apr 16 17:12:10 PDT 2010