Applying for Time
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ING Newsletter No. 7, December 2003

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Applying for Time

Danny Lennon (Head of Astronomy, ING)

It is important that applicants for telescope time familiarise themselves with the latest news on instrumentation and detector combinations on offer, as well as with our scheduling restrictions. For the very latest news always refer to the ING web pages, homepage The ING’s general scheduling constraints were summarised in the first issue of the Newsletter and will not be repeated here, please refer to that issue, which is also available on our public information web pages. Due to the increasing interest shown by the community in applying to bring new visitor instruments to the WHT we have introduced a technical appraisal form to try to smooth the transition of these instruments from the laboratory to the telescope. This form is linked to the New Visitor Instruments web page at and it must be completed and submitted along with any national application form which proposes bringing a new visitor instrument to the WHT.

What’s New

The year 2003 saw many changes at the ING. On the positive side, and from a visiting astronomer’s point-of-view, we saw the commissioning of the integral field spectrograph OASIS at the AO focus of the WHT (page 21), plus the first very successful commissioning run of the IR imaging spectrograph LIRIS on the WHT (see the cover page and page 15 of this issue). OASIS is currently available to visiting observers, prospective applicants should contact Chris Benn ( for help and information. We hope to accept proposals for LIRIS in semester 2004B, pending the success of its commissioning runs in 2004A. Users should note that for imaging, LIRIS should provide very similar capabilities compared to INGRID, and therefore it is envisaged that LIRIS will replace INGRID as the default Cassegrain IR imaging device in the future (INGRID remaining at the AO focus).

As mentioned in the preceding section, visitor instruments continue to be very successful in acquiring observing time at ING. Sometimes an opportunity arises to offer these instruments for service mode observing, with the collaboration of their development teams of course. ULTRACAM, an ultra-fast, triple-beam CCD camera provided such an opportunity in 2003, we thank Vik Dhillon for his cooperation in this venture. The available ULTRACAM service time was hugely oversubscribed and we apologise to the many applicants who did not receive any observations. However we hope to offer the instrument again in 2004, the announcement of opportunity will be sent via the usual [INGNEWS] bulletin.

Other major changes have been the discontinuation of the JKT as a common user telescope, and the decommissioning of IDS on the INT. We have also withdrawn Telescope Operator support from the INT, which is now a single-instrument telescope having just the WFC. Night-time support on the INT will be provided by the ING student support group for the first night of each observing run only, although an ING astronomer will continue to act as the scientific contact for each observing run. While the INT/WFC is a rather easy telescope/instrument combination for a single user to manage, applicants are reminded that it is inadvisable to send unaccompanied inexperienced observers (student or otherwise) to this telescope. Furthermore if the observing programme is demanding, perhaps requiring a lot of real-time interaction, it is suggested that more than one observer should be present.

The International Scientific Committee (CCI) of the Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) and Teide (OT) observatories invites applications for International Time Programmes (ITP) on telescopes installed at these Observatories. The ITP offers up to 5% of the observing time, evenly spread throughout the year and the lunar cycle. An ITP proposal can request observing time over a period of up to two subsequent years. Full details of the scheme for night-time telescopes can be found at Proposals are considered on an annual cycle and the closing date for submission of proposals to the 2004 ITP is Friday 6th February, for projects which may start during the fall of the same year.

During 2004 it is expected that limited access to ING telescopes will be granted to all EU astronomers under the auspices of Opticon, funded by EU’s Sixth Framework Programme. Details are expected to be announced soon, interested parties should refer to ¤

Email contact: Danny Lennon (

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Last modified: 13 December 2010