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Applying for Telescope Time
If you are preparing an application to observe on the ING telescopes, please consult the instrumentation available and the ING instrumentation update, and the web pages and contacts linked therein. The astronomy web pages provide additional relevant information, e.g. about: planning observations; observer support at the telescope; calculating exposure times and total observing time; data ownership; and subscription to [INGNEWS] mailing list.
Time on the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope (WHT) and the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) is awarded primarily by the Dutch, Spanish and UK time-allocation committees (TACs), who meet once per semester. The A-semesters run from 1st February to 31st July, and the B-semesters from 1st August to 31st January. Telescope proposals should be submitted following the instructions linked under 'Submission information' in the table below, and by the deadlines given on the same pages.
For both the WHT and INT applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for large time allocations. This applies particularly to the INT, where ING can only support a small number of instrument changes.
Principal Investigators (PIs) requesting urgent observations should first read about the different options available for target-of-opportunity observations.
|Programme||PIs1 from||Telescopes||Submission information||Mode||Deadlines||Latest call|
|Dutch time||The Netherlands1||WHT||NL Programme Committee (NL PC)||Queue7||Every semester3||
|Dutch time||The Netherlands1||INT2||
NL Programme Committee (NL PC)
|Spanish time||Spain1||WHT||Comité para la Asignación de Tiempo (ES CAT)||Queue7||Every semester3||2023B|
|Spanish time||Spain1||INT2||Comité para la Asignación de Tiempo (ES CAT)||Visitor8||Every semester3||2023B|
|UK time||UK1||WHT||ING Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time (ING PATT)||Queue7||Every
|UK time||UK1||INT2||ING Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time (ING PATT)||Visitor8||Every
|ING Override Programme5||The Netherlands, Spain, UK1||INT||Override programmes||Service||Every semester3||2023B|
|International Time Programme (ITP)6||International||Multiple
(incl. WHT, INT2)
|Spanish Service Time4||Spain1||INT||CAT Service||Service||No deadline||–|
| (IAC) Director's Discretionary4 |
|Spain1||INT||CAT DDT-IAC||Visitor8||~3 weeks before
 Principal Investigators (PIs) employed or studying in a Dutch, Spanish or UK institution at the time of submission should submit their proposal(s) to the Dutch, Spanish or UK TAC respectively.
ING PATT and ES CAT can accept proposals submitted by PIs employed or studying in a country other than UK or Spain respectively, as long as the majority of the collaborators on the proposal are employed of studying in UK or Spain. NL PC cannot accept proposals submitted by PIs employed or studying in a country other than the Netherlands.
 Observing programmes of less than one night are not accepted on the INT unless agreed in advance by the Director of ING or the Head of Astronomy.
 Typically ~ 4 - 5 months before the start of the semester.
 Specific nights are allocated each semester, flagged in the ING schedules as 'CAT S' (service) or 'CAT DDT' (DDT-IAC). CAT S observations are done by IAC support astronomers.
 Applications for override observations should be submitted to the TACs in the same way as proposals for scheduled time. This definition of a target of opportunity can be useful when planning your submission. Observations are made by the overridden observer.
 Up to 5% of ING science telescope time is available for large-scale international projects through the International Time Programme (ITP). This time is allocated on an annual basis by the International Scientific Committee (CCI). The proposal deadlines are usually in February, and the time is usually allocated over the following B and A semesters.
 In queue mode the observations are carried out by an ING astronomer. Programmes are selected from a queue of previously approved programmes on the basis of various criteria, such as the scientific rank of the programme, visibility of the targets, observing conditions (seeing, sky transparency, sky brightness), airmass limit, etc.
 On the INT it is possible that a regular proposal scheduled in visitor mode can be eventually observed in service mode. See the description of the INT service-mode observations of regular proposals.
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