The W. M. Keck Observatory is a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and NASA that operates two of the world's largest telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Each Keck telescope has a mirror 10 metres in diameter, made up from 36 hexagonal segments, and is equipped with a variety of state-of-the-art instrumentation
In 2015 Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) announced that a total of fifteen nights per year on the Keck telescopes will be available to Australian-based astronomers during 2016 and 2017 via a national program. This time has been made available by the W. M. Keck Observatory to AAL via the Australian National University. The collaboration is made possible through the support of the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, via the Department of Education and Training, and an Australian Government astronomy research infrastructure grant, via the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. AAL has engaged the Australian Astronomical Observatory's International Telescope Support Office to manage and support this programme within Australia.
In addition, the Australian National University (ANU), Swinburne University of Technology (SUT) and AAL, who each have access to fifteen nights per year on Keck, have agreed to form the Keck Time Allocation Committee (KTAC). KTAC will provide a single interface for Australian-based astronomers who wish to request access to the total of forty-five Keck-nights available per year in 2016 and 2017. This model is designed to facilitate larger programmes and broader collaborations to maximise the scientific return from Australia's engagement with the Keck telescopes. All Australian-based astronomers are eligible for AAL time on Keck, including those at SUT and ANU.
Publications making use of AAL allocations of time should include in the Acknowledgements section of their paper:
Australian community access to the Keck Observatory was supported through the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, via the Department of Education and Training, and an Australian Government astronomy research infrastructure grant, via the Department of Industry and Science.
as well as the standard WMKO acknowledgement text.
All requests for assistance and information regarding new proposals, available instruments, etc. should be handled through telescope help desks where possible. If you wish to contact ITSO staff use the Contact area or email general queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.