Phase 1 help page

Some hints are provided to fill in the New Proposal (Phase 1) form. The main goal of the Phase 1 form is to provide an explanation so that, either CAT or Head of Astronomy, can evaluate the scientific interest of the proposal. In addition, some details are also requested so that the technical feasibility of the proposal can be evaluated by the OAdM staff. Four steps are provided to fill in the Phase 1 form:

  • Step 1. A brief description of the proposal with the people involved in the project.
  • Step 2. Observing constraints and instrumentation required.
  • Step 3. Scientific and technical details of the proposal.
  • Step 4.. Targets and time requested to fulfill the scientific goals.

The final proposal submitted will be a PDF file. Observers can view and modify the proposal until they click on the "Save and submit" button at the end of the page. Upon acceptance, a submitted proposal will be active for one semester.


The registered observer filling the form will be considered the PI of the proposal. All the information related with the proposal (additional information requests, new observations obtained, etc.) will be submitted to the PI. Data access can also be granted to any of the collaborators by sending a request through the Contact Form.


Those fields marked with an asterisk (*) are compulsory.


Title

The title of the proposal with a maximum length of 100 characters.


Abstract

A brief description of the proposal with a maximum length of 250 words. It is strongly recommended that the abstract includes a brief description of the scientific context, the goals to be fulfilled with the proposed observations, the method of data reduction and how the proposed observations will be used to fulfill the scientific goals.


Collaborators

List of collaborators in the proposal. The collaborators must be selected from the list. Only registered (and activated) users are displayed. Once the proposal is submitted, a notification will be sent to all the collaborators with the contents of the proposal.


Telescope

Currently, only the TJO telescope can be selected. For additional information on the telescope capabilities, please visit the TJO description page.


Observing constraints

Four Observing Constraints determine the sky conditions: the Sky brightness, the Seeing, the Cloud cover and the Solar elevation. No observations will be allowed in Phase 2 requiring more demanding conditions than the ones specified here. Therefore, PI should be careful when requesting loose constraints.


Sky brightness

Specifies the largest sky illumination for the most restrictive observation to be executed. Two constraints can be selected:

  • Bright. When the Moon is above the horizon with a fractional illumination larger than 30%. Observations with this constraint can also be executed during Dark time specified below.
  • Dark. When the Moon is below the horizon or the fractional illumination is lower than 30%.

Seeing

Specifies the worst seeing value for an observation to be executed. Final seeing values on the astronomical images are used and, therefore, take into account dome turbulence and telescope optics. However, they do not consider airmass effects and it is defined in V band filter. To better understand this value, it can be considered that an exposure is taken pointing at zenith in V band filter. The resulting FWHM is the seeing value. Three seeing constraints are possible:

  • Good. When seeing is below 1.5 arcsec.
  • Medium. When seeing is below 2.5 arcsec.
  • Poor. When seeing is above 2.5 arcsec. This option cannot be selected. Any observations obtained during poor seeing will never be accounted to the proposal time.

Please, note that the good seeing conditions will limit the number of nights to less than 50% of the possible nights. In case that you require different seeing constraints (e.g.: seeing below three arcsec), please send a request using the Contact Form.


Cloud cover

For some scientific projects, excellent sky conditions are not always required and thin veils or clouds are also valid for observation. Therefore, two constraints can be selected:

  • Photometric. The sky must be completely clear.
  • Spectroscopic. Thin veils or cloud can also be present. Observations requesting Spectroscopic time could also be executed during Photometric time.

Solar elevation

The most usual Solar Elevation constraint will be to observe only when the Sun is well below horizon (at Night Time). However, in some cases, observations with some solar illumination might also be allowed. Please, note that this constraint refers only to science images and not to calibration exposures (i.e.: flats). Five constraints can be selected:

  • Night Time. Sun is more than 18 degrees below horizon.
  • Nautical twilight. Sun is more than 12 degrees below horizon.
  • Civil twilight. Sun is more than 6 degrees below horizon.
  • Sunset to sunrise. Sun is below the horizon.
  • Day Time. Sun is above horizon. Special justification is required to observe during this period.

Instruments

Two instruments can be selected: MEIA3 and ARES. For technical reasons, LAIA is called MEIA3 in MUR. The Telescope must be selected first to see the list of instruments. For technical details about each instrument, please visit the instrumentation web page. An exposure time calculator is also available.


Science Cases

The scientific topic of the proposal. The subjects described correspond to the main categories used in several astronomy journals. At least one topic must be selected.


For a detailed description on each one of the topics, any of the following links can be used:

Scientific Justification

Three pages PDF file (any format is valid) containing the scientific justification, with figures and references. This part should contain and explanation of the astrophyiscal context, the detailed science case and the goals to be fulfilled with the proposed observations. Take into account that CAT members will be specialists in the Science Cases specified above, but not in the specific topic of the proposal.


Technical Justification

One page PDF file (any format is valid) explaining why the TJO is required and describing the proposal feasibility (including the expected magnitudes for the targets, the requested exposure times, etc.). The Technical Justification should also prove that the observers know how to reduce and analyze the data provided by the telescope. Proposals that are not technically feasible will be rejected.


Targets

Even it is not required, it is strongly recommended that all the targets to be observed in the proposal are specified. This way, the CAT will have a better idea on the scientific details and the OAdM staff will be able to better evaluate the technical feasibility of the proposal. In addition, all the targets introduced will be automatically available at Phase 2.


The observer can introduce any number of desired targets to observe. Since the number of desired targets can be extremely large, two procedures have been introduced to introduce new targets: Add target and Add several targets.


Add target

New targets can be introduced one by one by clicking on Add target. Three fields must be filled for each target:

  • Source Name. The name of the target. Any name (either cataloged or not) is valid. This name will be inserted in the FITS header and, therefore, should be shorter than 70 characters.
  • Coordinate type. The type of coordinates to be introduced. Currently, three coordinate types can be selected:
    • Equatorial. To introduce equatorial coordinates with proper motion.
    • Minor planet. To introduce targets having a heliocentric orbit using mean orbital elements.
    • Comet. To introduce targets having a heliocentric orbit using orbital elements at perihelion.
  • Coordinate value. Depending on the coordinate type chosen, a specific format must be introduced. Please, visit the Coordinate formats page page for further information. Some examples for each coordinate type are also provided in the Examples page.

Add several targets

WWhen observing a large number of targets is desired, introducing all the targets one by one may become extremely tedious. Therefore, targets can be introduced as properly formatted text by clicking at Add several targets.

Those observers wanting to observe a large field using several exposures (a mosaic), introducing all the subfields is not required, since dithered pointings will be allowed to be introduced at Phase 2. Therefore, only one of the pointings is required at this stage.

The Add several targets window basically requests a series of lines (one per target), containing three fields separated by comas. The three fields correspond to the same fields required to introduce targets one by one. However, the coordinate types use acronyms to facilitate their specification. The details of the three fields that must be filled for each target are:

  • Source Name. The name of the target. Any name (either cataloged or not) is valid. This name will be inserted in the FITS header and, therefore, should be shorter than 70 characters.
  • Coordinate type. A letter describing the type of coordinates to be introduced. Currently three coordinate types can be selected:
    • Equatorial (e). To introduce targets in equatorial coordinates (plus proper motion), the letter e should be used as coordinate type.
    • Minor planet (m). To introduce targets having a heliocentric orbit using mean orbital elements, the letter m should be used as coordinate type.
    • Comet (c). To introduce targets having a heliocentric orbit using orbital elements at perihelion, the letter c should be used as coordinate type.
  • Coordinate value. Depending on the coordinate type chosen, a specific format must be introduced. Please, visit the Coordinate formats page for further information. Some examples for each coordinate type are also provided in the Examples page.

Time requested

It is rather common to have several observations in a proposal where the required sky conditions can be relaxed. Therefore, as requested by some observers, two fields describing the time requested are provided. Both fields can have the same value if desired.


Total time requested

The total requested time (in hours), including all the calibrations and standard star observations taken outside the standard calibration process and explicitly requested by the observer.


Exposure time can be estimated using the exposure time calculator.


Restrictive time requested

The number of hours with observations that have to be taken with the observing constraints specified in Step 2.


The Restrictive time requested is mainly designed to be able to distinguish between several targets. For example, in case that two targets want to be observed (5 hours each), and one of them has to be observed with good seeing (below 1.5 arcsec), and the second with medium seeing (below 2.5 arcsec). The Total time requested in this case would be 10 hours, but only 5 hours would require the most restrictive constraint of good seeing. Therefore, the Restrictive time requested should be 5 hours, because good seeing (the most restrictive one) would have been specified as requirement at Step 2. During Phase 2, the proper observing constraints for each target can be specified.