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Semester 2003A Schedule

Please note that these postscript files were created using Microsoft Excel & Word - they may therefore not view properly with Unix-based viewers like Ghostscript or Ghostview , depending on the version you have. For example, Ghostview 1.5 does not work. Ghostscript 4.03 does. Note also that the pages are formatted for A4 paper. Users of outdated imperial paper formats should note they may miss a bit of the schedule. 

Dear AAT User,

This letter accompanies the release of Version 1.0 (the first issued version) of the AAT observing schedule for Semester 03A. The schedule can also be found on the WWW at http://www.aao.gov.au/aat_schedule.html This schedule can now be considered official, and you can make travel arrangements based on it, modulo the indicated programs on the schedule which require the confirmation of co-scheduled programs at other observatories, and IRIS2 spectroscopic programs (which are discussed below). Any other observers will be consulted about any change, which may affect them.

IRIS2 Spectroscopy : both of the IRIS2 sapphire grisms have been found to produce "ghost" spectra around 50 pixels bluewards of their primary spectra at ~30-60% of the primary intensity. It has been established that the source of this problem is the birefringence from the sapphire grisms, and two spectra simply correspond to the different polarisation states. The IRIS2 team was fully aware of this problem when specifying the crystal orientation of the sapphire grisms, and went to some lengths to ensure that the manufacturer was informed of the correct orientation to eliminate this problem.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer got the orientation precisely 90 degrees wrong, and this was not picked up during commissioning. The manufacturer (Achro Optics) has since gone out of business and we are currently in the process of sourcing an alternate supplier. The IRIS2 team offers its most sincere apologies for not tracking down the problem earlier (we would also like to offer our thanks to Malcolm Coe and Michael Bellamy for bringing this problem our attention).

The team are working very hard to source new gratings (with the correct crystal orientation) and bring IRIS2 spectroscopy back on-line during 2003A. However, this cannot be guaranteed as optical suppliers are notoriously unreliable. Several IRIS2 spectroscopy proposals have been scheduled in 2003A, however, they have all been backed up with suitable imaging programs which will be awarded the time if spectroscopy is not available. The relevant PIs will be contacted at least a month before the runs to clarify the status of their time.

Semester 2002B : A few minor changes have been made to the last nights of Semester 2002B, to mesh better with the programs at the start of 2003A.

Support Astronomer Guidelines : We also draw your attention to the Guidelines for AAO Support Astronomers released on the AAO WWW pages at www.aao.gov.au/astro/supguide.html These set out the services that AAO staff aim to provide visiting astronomers, and against which we can be graded in your Observer's Report Form at the end of your run (www.aao.gov.au/cgi-bin/make_obs_form).

Finally, all observers must read through the attached "Guidelines for AAT Observers" - they contain important information on how to get the most from your AAT observing time. Note that it is the responsibility of the principal contact named on your proposal to inform collaborators of their allocation and these guidelines.

Good Observing

Scott Croom
AAT Scheduler

Guidelines for AAT Observers

A "Must-do" Checklist

  1. Use only the WWW travel form (see below) to make bookings and keep us informed of your plans.
  2. All observers must read the Safety Guidelines (see below for a summary).
  3. Make contact with your support astronomer well in advance of your run.
  4. Fill out your Observer's Report Form (see below) at the end of your last night.


A night assistant and technical support are always provided at the telescope. A support astronomer (noted on the schedule) is available to advise on your observations, and will assist at the telescope if required. He or she will usually contact you a month or so before your observing run.

Travel, Accommodation & Arriving at the AAT

Accommodation in Sydney, travel to and from the telescope, and accommodation at the telescope should be booked using WWW forms available at http://www.aao.gov.au/admin/travelform.html. General travel information can be obtained at http://www.aao.gov.au/admin/travel.html. Changes to your travel should be arranged with our Travel Officer (rec@aaoepp.aao.gov.au). We particularly ask observers to use only this form to make accommodation bookings at the telescope. Observers can make their own arrangements elsewhere, but again we ask that you use the form to let us know what those arrangements are.

A study desk, torch/flashlight, and AAT keycard will be allocated for your use at the telescope. If you arrive at night, the AAT building will be locked (though the ANU Lodge will not). You may phone the night assistant from the entrance to request admission to pick up your keycard.

The visitor accounts system for the computers at the AAT has been changed within the last year. Observers will now find guidelines on their study desks on obtaining a visitor account and password from Rhonda Martin at Reception, when they arrive at the AAT. Observers arriving after hours will have the relevant information left on their study desks for them.

Observing Guidelines

Override Programs

The Time Allocation Committees can award time to over-ride programs. The guidelines under which these programs operate can be found at http://www.aao.gov.au/local/www/sll/applications/override.html. No one scheduled program can be over-ridden for more than 3 hours without pay back.

Safety at the AAT

The following is excerpted from the Safety Guidelines which every observer will find on their desk when the arrive at the AAT. Observers must follow these guidelines at all times.
Admission to areas of the AAT building above Floor 2 is allowed only with the permission of an observatory staff member. Only the current observers should be at the control room level. No-one (observers included!) may enter the dome at night without the knowledge and approval of the night assistant, whether to check the instrument or the weather etc. Everyone entering the dome at night must collect a torch/flashlight and carry it with them at all times. Anyone unfamiliar with the telescope or dome should ask for a 5 minute orientation tour. Please ensure that your colleagues appreciate these requirements.

Visits and Talks at Epping

We encourage observers to visit the AAO Laboratory in Epping, Sydney. In particular, we encourage visitors to present colloquia -- please contact Elizabeth Corbett (ecorbett@aoepp.aao.gov.au) if you would like to give us a talk. Facilities available include a library, PCs and UNIX workstations running STARLINK, FIGARO, IDL, and IRAF software. Let us know your plans.

Preprints and Reprints

It is important that we maintain complete records of publications based on AAT and UKST observations. Please send two copies of preprints and reprints of published and conference papers to the Epping librarian (lib@aaoepp.aao.gov.au ). We also request an acknowledgement to the AAO in any publications which result from use of the facilities.

Visiting Instruments

Observer's awarded time with a Visitor Instrument are encouraged to examine the Guidelines for Visitor Instruments (http://www.aao.gov.au/visitor_inst/wwwvisitor.html) to ensure their instrument arrives in time for their run to go smoothly.

©Anglo-Australian Observatory 1998, PO Box 296, Epping NSW 1710 Australia

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Scott Croom,  AAT Scheduler sched@aaoepp.aao.gov.au

5 December 2002