Quick Reference

  1. Design and submit slitmask for milling 5 weeks before your run.
  2. Submit your instrument configuration request
  3. Submit your VSQ Reservations
  4. Create starlists
  5. Create finding charts
  6. Contact SA if you will be using remote observing
  7. Acquire DVD/CD cases

Pre-Run Checklist

  1. Design and submit slitmasks. Slitmask must be submitted 5 weeks in advance of your run. Please see our Slitmask Incentive Protocol for the policies regarding late slitmask submissions. For extensions to the deadline, please contact the Observing Support Manager using the contact information at the bottom of the Preparing Observations page.

    Two software options are currently available to the observer designing slitmasks. Most slitmaks are designed using the Autoslit software package. Please see the links that are found on the Preparing Observations page to download software and manuals.

    First-time slitmask designers are encouraged to review the Slitmask Design Tips page.

  2. Submit instrument configuration forms. Please see the Instrument Configuration form to request an instrument setup for your observing session.
  3. Submit your VSQ reservation form. Please see the Lodging Reservation Request form for your run. This should be completed two weeks before your run. If you will be using a mainland osberving site for remote observations, please read see the policies for remote observing.
  4. Create a starlist. Please see the starlists documentation for the format of the star lists.

    Don't forget about the Nasmyth deck limits which prohibit observing at certain airmasses. The Nasmyth deck limits are different on Keck I and Keck II. Please review the Telescope info web page to determine the limits.

    A planning tool is available at: TBD that can tell you when targets are available during the night.

  5. Prepare finding charts. We recommend that you create finding charts for all of your intended target fields. For longslit targets, finding charts should cover an area of the sky slightly larger than the LRIS guider field-of-view, and for slitmask targets the chart should show an area at least as large as the LRIS imaging field-of-view. Please refer to the specifications on the FOV for LRIS and the guiders.

    In the charts, be sure to identify the stars to be used for alignment and the star to be placed on the pickoff mirror (if appropriate).

  6. Acquire DVD/CD cases. Keck provides DVD/CD backups for your convinience. Please do not bring DVD or CD media with you. DO BRING a case, jewel boxes, or other means of transporting your DVDs and CDs back to your home institution.

    please see the Autobackup documentation for more information on our DVD/CD data backup process.