Observing at WMKO

Instruments Available for Semester 2019B

For detailed information about the instruments, please check the Instruments Home Page
For information about which instruments can be used on the same night, please check Instrument Sharing
a Resolving Power vs. Wavelength comparison of Keck instruments, please check this Instrument Comparison graph.

Keck 1 Instruments are:

        HIRESb (blue x-disperser)
        HIRESr (red x-disperser)
        LRIS-ADC (red and blue, with ADC)
        LRISp-ADC (polarimeter, with ADC)
        OSIRIS-NGS limited availability, see below
        OSIRIS-LGS limited availability, see below

Keck 2 Instruments are:

        ESIi (ESI with the Integral Field Unit)
        NIRSPEC (without AO) limited availability, see below
        NIRSPAO-NGS (NIRSPEC with Natural Guide Star AO, see restrictions below) limited availability, see below
        NIRSPAO-LGS (NIRSPEC with Laser Guide Star AO; see restrictions below) limited availability, see below
        NIRC2-LGS (note NIRC2-NGS/LGS is available with use of the vector vortex coronagraph)


Subaru Time Exchange Instruments are:

COMICS, FOCAS, HDS, Hyper Suprime-Cam, IRCS, MOIRCS, CHARIS, SCExAO, VAMPIRES, and IRD. See below for limitations.

Telescope Limits

Please note that Keck I and Keck II have different eastern and western telescope limits. This affects the times objects will be available for observing. Objects can be acquired earlier on Keck II and followed later on Keck I.

Special Notes for Semester 2019B:

NIRSPEC: Nirspec (Nirspao) will be out of service for a one month time period, which will be scheduled to meet the needs of the observing community. Some proposals may be moved into acceptable time frames to accommodate this service.

OSIRIS: OSIRIS-NGS will be unavailable during the month of November as it undergoes a service mission for the imager detector, and will return to service in December. OSIRIS-LGS will be unavailable from November –January.

Keck 1 LGS: Keck 1 LGS will be unavailable from November through January for installation and commissioning of a new laser.

Time Domain Astronomy: Observers will continue to have the ability to propose both cadence and ToO programs using the cover sheet. Updated policies for 2019 related to Target of Opportunity or Cadence proposals can be found at Too Policies and Cadence Policies. These policies are not applicable to Subaru Exchange time. For Semester 2019B, ALL Keck partners have agreed that TAC-approved cross-institutional ToO (TDA) projects will be able to interrupt observers at any Institution, to increase the utility of the ToO process.

COMICS, FOCAS, HDS, Hyper Suprime-Cam, IRCS, MOIRCS, CHARIS, SCExAO, VAMPIRES, and IRD will be available. Please check the Subaru web site http://www.subarutelescope.org/Observing/index.html for detailed descriptions of these instruments, and the web site http://www.naoj.org/Observing/Proposals/Submit/call.html for instrument restrictions, particularly for visiting (PI-type) instruments SCExAO/CHARIS/IRD/VAMPIRES, and for filter availability of HSC. The SUBARU-KECK exchange will continue to have flexibility with regard to the number of nights available for exchange. The number of nights exchanged will be determined based on the demand from each community. In 19B, Subaru ToO observers will be able to interrupt Keck observers on the Subaru Telescope, and Keck ToO observers will be able to interrupt Subaru observers on the Keck Telescope. Compensation will be done according to the policy of each observatory.

Subaru observations will be executed in "classical" observing mode. Subaru may support half night allocations, but whole night allocations are preferred. For HSC programs, Subaru may support "queue" observing mode, if specified in the proposal. Although this mode is in shared-risk for Keck users in 19B (Subaru will try their best but cannot guarantee the completion or provide any compensation), queue-mode may allow more flexible allocation such as e.g. very short 0.25 night request. Please check the HSC queue mode website https://www.naoj.org/Observing/queue/index.html for more details.

Subaru has a significant number of facility/instrument related restrictions for the 2019B semester:

  1. Telescope Downtime: Since maintenance work of main shutters is planned in the beginning of S19B, actual start of the semester will be late September or early October. Downtime schedule will be fixed in March.
  2. Re-coating of the IR secondary mirror (IRM2) is planned in 2019 November, and observations using IRM2 (relevant for COMICS, IRCS, IRD, SCExAO, CHARIS, and VAMPIRES) will not be possible during this month. (updated March 1, 2019)
    IR Secondary Mirror Re-coating: Re-coating of the IR secondary mirror (IRM2) is planned in 2020 January, and observations using IRM2 (COMICS, IRCS, IRD, SCExAO, CHARIS, VAMPIRES) will not be possible for two weeks.
  3. LGS-AO Unavailable: Because of the upgrade of the laser system, AO188 can be used only with natural guide stars in S19B.
  4. Status of FOCAS: Although the current performance of FOCAS is considerably degraded due to the damage caused by hurricane-induced water leak incident in last August, its repair is expected to be completed by the beginning of S19B. Integral Field Unit (IFU) will be available in a shared-risk mode.
  5. Status of Visiting Instrument: In S19B, IRD (InfraRed Doppler) will be available for open use in NGS mode, but still in a shared-risk mode. CHARIS (with SCExAO+AO188) as well as VAMPIRES module in SCExAO are offered for open use observations.
  6. Notice for IRD Observation: IRD SSP has been started from S19A. Any proposal using IRD should clarify how its scientific aim is different from that of SSP, because doing similar science with the same targets as aimed in SSP is not allowed.
  7. Decommissioning of COMICS: Since COMICS will be decommissioned as of S20B, it is available only in S19B and S20A.
  8. Operation of HSC: There will be 3-6 observing runs of HSC in S19B allocated to dark or dark-gray nights (the number of runs in August through October depends on the downtime schedule).

LGS-AO: A detailed set of guidelines for LGS-AO nights and information on the capabilities of the systems may be found on the LGS-AO page. Backup programs for LGS proposals are essential. Backup programs for LGS on Keck II may be either NGS programs or NIRES. On Keck I, either NGS-OSIRIS and non-AO HIRES may serve as a backup.

NIRSPAO is scheduled in campaign mode given limited demand for this configuration. If there are insufficient requests for its use, NIRSPAO may not be scheduled in a given semester.

KOA (Keck Observatory Archive): Data from all instruments will be archived in the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA). The default proprietary period for all data is 18 months. If observers desire a different proprietary period they may request this through the Keck coversheet. Please see the KOA homepage for information on the archive. Please also see the KOA proprietary period policy.

For detailed information about the instruments, please check the Instruments Home Page

  (further observing information)

This page last updated 01 Mar 2019 ccj.