Observing at WMKO

Daily Observing Routine


Meet your Support Astronomer

Each night's Support Astronomer (SA) is listed on the master observing schedule. On the afternoon of your first night of observing, meet with your assigned SA at 2 PM (on weekdays) or 4 PM (on weekends or holidays) in the Keck I or Keck II remote observing room.

The first afternoon is usually spent in receiving an instrument tutorial from the SA, setting up the instrument, and taking any calibration exposures required. Because of the myriad daily activities on the summit, many of which involve the instruments or telescopes (many development and maintenance projects are ongoing), the instrument is not always available for the observer's use during the day. These daily summit activities are choreographed in minute detail at the weekly schedule meeting that takes place every Monday morning at WMKO HQ in Waimea.

People to contact if you need help.

Check if the Instrument is Ready to Use

The daily instrumentation activities are listed on the Summit Instrument Activities Schedule, which includes a notification when the control of the instrument can be relinquished to the night's observer. Every effort is made to release the instrument to the observer by 2 PM on weekdays and 4 PM on weekends and holidays, and to make the telescope available by 4:30 PM. Please see the Availability Policies Statement for more details. Observers requiring access to either the instrument or the telescope at other than the default times must notify Randy Campbell, the Observing Support Manager, at least two weeks in advance of their run so their request can be judge against the many other demands for daytime access to the instruments and telescopes.


If You Have Problems During the Night

In case of problems with the instrument during the night, alert your Observing Assistant (OA). If you are not able to solve the problem quickly with the on-line documentation or with the help of your OA, contact your Support Astronomer (SA). Do not hesitate to contact your SA for help. Telescope time is precious and we are here to help you! If your SA is still in the HQ building, page the SA using the phone system. Pick up the receiver on any telephone extension, press the "Page HQ" button, wait for the beep, state your message and hang up. If your SA is not in the building, please call their cell phone number. All the contact phone numbers for the SAs are posted on the wall directly over the observer's workstation in the Remote Operations rooms. For best results, try your SA's office number first. If there is no answer, next try the cellular phone number or home number.


This page last updated 10-Aug-2015, sed