Because the Keck Telescopes have many unique features, we have found that adequate planning and preparation in advance of observing runs pays great dividends in helping observers be most efficient and productive during their run. We urge all observers to follow the Planning Your Observing Program checklist below.
- The Keck Telescopes and Observatory document gives an overview (slightly dated) of the telescopes and observatory.
- Instrument Manuals give the latest instrument news and details of using the instruments.
- Telescope Limits Chart shows when you can observe your objects. The telescope limits are different for Keck I and Keck II by approximately one hour.
- The Ephemeris lists beginning, mid, and end of night sidereal times as well as when the moon is up.
- The Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics page gives special information relating to AO observing and preparation.
- An Object Coordinate list (starlist) should be made before your run starts.
- LGS-AO starlists, with tip-tilt reference stars, have additional requirements.
- The AO Guidestar Tool will help in locating tip-tilt reference stars for AO target lists.
- The Finding Chart Tool overlays the AO/guider fields on a DSS image, shows airmass, and can read starlists from your local machine.
- The on-line planning tool allows observers to check object availability for each telescope on a given night.
- Split Observing Night Considerations tells how observers can help make the night more efficient when split between two observing groups.
- People to contact if you need help
At Least 8 weeks Before Your Run:
- DEIMOS "megamask" slitmask designs with greater than 200 slits are required EIGHT weeks prior to the observing run.
Beginning with semester 2005B (1 August 2005) we will charge for late submittal of mask designs unless sufficient scientific justification is provided. Please read the slitmask incentives policy for further information.
- The DEIMOS/LRIS slitmask observer page gives instructions for designing and submitting your slitmasks.
At Least 4 weeks Before Your Run:
- LRIS or DEIMOS Slit Mask Files for those using multislit masks with with less than 200 slits are required FOUR weeks prior to the observing run.
- DEIMOS/LRIS Configuration Forms for those using either of these instruments are due four weeks prior to the run.
- The Mainland Observing Policy page gives information for those participating in observing from a mainland site.
"Mainland Only" remote observing requests are due four weeks prior to your run.
- Request Mainland Observing from the Observer Login Page.
- LGS-AO pre-observing coordination meeting between the observing team and their support astronomer happens four week prior to your run.
At Least 2 weeks Before Your Run:
- VSQ Lodging Reservation form - room reservation requests are due two weeks prior to your run.
- Lodging At WMKO for usage of VSQ and check in and out procedure.
- "Mainland Eavesdropping" remote observing requests are due two weeks prior to your run.
- Summit Visit It is possible to arrange a daytime visit to the summit for observers working from Waimea. Visitors must supply their own four-wheel drive vehicle to transport themselves to the summit. Send your request through the VSQ Lodging Reservation form.
At Least 4 Working Days Before Your Run:
- LGS-AO starlists, with tip-tilt reference stars, must be provided at least 4 working days prior to laser propagation.
This page last updated 12-Aug-12, pk