The Lick Infrared Camera (LIRC-II) is undergoing major optical and electronic upgrades. We will send out an announcement when the instrument is returned to service.

Also note that some portions of this manual are out of date as a result of changes to the instrument. We'll be bringing the manual up-to-date when the camera is returned to operation. In the meantime, please direct LIRC-II questions to


The Lick Infrared Camera [LIRC-II] was developed at Lick Observatory for use at the cassegrain foci of the Shane 3- and Nickel 1-meter telescopes on Mt. Hamilton. At its heart is a 256 x 256 pixel, NICMOS-3 array, from Rockwell International. The mercury-cadmium-telluride (HgCdTe) device is sensitive from 0.9 to 2.5 m. The camera includes optics which may be remotely selected to provide narrow, intermediate, and wide fields of view. Observers may chose from a variety of cold filters, permanently mounted in two remotely controlled filter wheels.

Operation of the camera is, in large part, the same at the 3- and 1-meter telescopes, though plate scales and count rates will, of course, differ. An observer at the 1-meter is required to operate systems such as the TV camera and autoguider, which, at the 3-meter, are generally handled by the telescope operator. This manual is for use at both telescopes. Instructions that pertain exclusively to one or the other are so noted.

This online manual supercedes the now largely out-of-date Lick Infrared Camera User's Manual, LOTR 77.

LIRC-II is a Lick facility instrument, available to the University of California astronomical community by subscription. Follow these links to:

  • Time allocation policy
  • Observing Time Request Forms

    All first-time users of LIRC-II and/or the 1-meter telescope must be checked out by a resident astronomer on their first night.
    Please ask for this on your time request.

    Please direct questions to Tony Misch(, Rem Stone(, or Elinor Gates(

    Tony Misch
    January, 1998