User's Guide to the Shane 3-m Telescope

Table of Contents

Diagonal Mirror
TUB Rotation
Arc & Flat-field Lamps
trouble report
Target Of Opportunity (TOO)
Remote Operations
Data Archive
Mt. Hamilton Homepage

Target of Opportunity (ToO)


ToO Introduction/Background
ToO Activation
ToO Management
ToO Execution

ToO Introduction/Background

As of 2012Q3, Lick Target of Opportunity policy mirrors that of UC at the Keck Observatory. The full (2013-07-19) policy can be found at the following URL:

Key elements:

Additionally, and particularly for Mount Hamilton:

ToO Activation

For those activating a Target of Opportunity for an approved program, the requisite materials should be transmitted to the following electronic mail address:

The following materials mandatory requirements:

  1. Finding Chart:
    • Format: pdf / jpg / png.
    • Adopt astronomical convention (North = up, East = Left).
    • Field-of-view no greater than 4 arcminutes on-a-side.
    • A scale bar should be embedded in the finder, or scale should be indicated in observing instructions.
  2. Approved program identifier from which the time shall be debited (e.g. of the form 201X_SXXX).
  3. Target name/identifier.
  4. Target Right Ascension (R.A.), 2000.0 equinox.
  5. Target Declination (Dec.), 2000.0 equinox.
  6. Observing Instructions: For the benefit of the observer delegated to take observations. Include:
    • Instrument configuration (e.g. Red: Grating=600/7500; Grating Tilt=10200. Blue: Grism=452/3306).
    • Special acquisition instructions (e.g. description of source, magnitude estimate).
    • Requested exposure time(s).
    • Calibration and standard source requirements (e.g. specify identity, R.A. (2000.0), Dec (2000.0), exposure time(s) of standard sources; preferred number of flat field, bias and arc frames, etc.).
  7. Name of person activating: this should correspond to a member of the collaboration listed in the original proposal.
  8. Electronic mail address of person activating: this should be valid throughout the validity period of the activation.
  9. Contact telephone number of person activating: this should be valid throughout the validity period of the activation.
Depending on the nature of the target, the following are additional requirements: Invariably, an intervention by observatory staff shall be required (e.g. to verify feasibility, (re-)configure instrumentation, liaise with scheduled observers, schedule ToO observations, ensure adequate calibration, disseminate data). Hence, it is important that receipt of ToO activation requests are acknowledged by observatory staff. In the event that a ToO activation request is not acknowledged by observatory staff within a reasonable time, then it is justifiable for those activating a ToO request to follow-up (e.g. via telephone) to clarify the status of the request: Call the Shane Telescope control room (408-238-0652) or the Support Astronomer On-Call.

ToO Management

Observatory staff (Support Astronomers/Telescope Technicians) shall endeavour to: Following data collection, Observatory staff (Support Astronomers, Telescope Technicians) shall copy the resultant science and appropriate calibration files to a dedicated directory and prepare a compressed tar file for distribution.

ToO Execution

It is presumed that ToO observations shall be executed on behalf of the ToO program by the scheduled/interrupted observers as delegates or co-opted members of the ToO team, hence the co-authorship policy. Delegated observers should keep a faithful (ASCII text) file (example below) recording and summarizing the observations.
UCO/Lick Observations: YYYY-MM-DD; Inst=Shane+Kast; PI=Name; Prog=YYYYB_SXXX  

Program ..... YYYYB_SXXX
Observers ... 
Date ........ YYYY-MM-DD
Weather ..... Transparency=THN/CLR; RH=XX per cent 
Seeing ...... (e.g. Circa 1.00 arcsec) 
Comment ..... 
Data ........ 

=============  ===================    ==================  =========  =======   =======  ====================
CALIBRATIONS (Bias, Arc, Flat)...
b0900--b0909   600/7500;Tilt-10200    He+Hg+Cd+Ar Arc     17:15         20.0   1.00     Aperture 1.0 arcsec
b0910--b0919   600/7500;Tilt-10200    Dome Flat           17:25         30.0   1.00     Sup_Blue 80 percent
b0920--b0929   N/A                    Bias                17:35          0.0   1.00     Conf: Shutter close
-------------  -------------------    ------------------  ---------  -------   -------  --------------------
SCIENCE (Target, Standard)...
b1022--b1023   600/7500;Tilt=10200    TOO=SN2020os        22:38        600.0   1.50     Mislabelled Sn2019os             
-------------  -------------------    ------------------  ---------  -------   -------  --------------------

=== END OF FILE ===
This record of observations, standards and relevant calibrations should be transmitted to the following electronic mail address:

Under no circumstances should observers manipulate files or archive directories (e.g. creating subdirectories, moving data files) on data-taking machines or archiving systems. Doing so may render files invisible to automated archiving scripts and result in data loss.

Contact a support astronomer if you need more information that is not included in this manual.

Support Astronomers
Last modified: 2018-09-28