[ASA] Call for 2.3m Automation Shared risk proposals

Paul Francis Paul.Francis at anu.edu.au
Tue Nov 1 09:07:45 AEDT 2022

Dear Observer,

The 2.3m telescope at SSO will begin running in fully automatic mode in early March 2023. This will allow the telescope to carry out many types of science that would otherwise be impractical, particularly large spectroscopic surveys and large follow-up programs for transients.

We are seeking proposals to try out the automated telescope during March and April. These will be shared-risk observations: there may well be unexpected problems and delays.

These shared-risk observations will be free to Australian majority proposals: the normal cap on open-access time will not apply during the commissioning period, though it will resume in May.

We expect to run the 2.3m in normal classical observing mode in February, and then in automated mode in March and April.

Proposals should be submitted using the normal 2.3m proposal system: Full instructions are available at https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/DcfDC4QOPEiJMPOqoIOt_Jf?domain=rsaa.anu.edu.au  .

In your science case, please state clearly if you want to apply for the classical time in February or the automated time in March-April. If applying for automated time, please explain carefully in your science case how many targets you wish to observe, the time per target, and if they are target-of-opportunity observations. Also clearly state the minimum time that will be useful to you.

The closing date 23:59 November 20, 2022.  This call supersedes the previous call for proposals.

Paid proposals will still get priority, and are necessary for international proposals. Note that the price of a paid priority night has increased in 2023 to $1300 for Australian proposers and remains $2000 for international proposers.

*************************** PLEASE NOTE ***********************************

The ANU 2.3-metre telescope at Siding Spring Observatory is scientifically productive and a valuable resource for student training and instrument development. These diverse and significant benefits justify its continued operation for the foreseeable future. The full cost to the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) of operating the 2.3m telescope (including staff, maintenance, and repairs) corresponds to approximately $2000 per night. To defray this cost, RSAA is offering priority on the 2.3m telescope to paying customers from Australia and elsewhere, while simultaneously ensuring a level of open access to astronomers at all Australian institutions.

60% of the telescope time in February will be allocated to paid priority proposals, which will need to contribute $1500 per night towards the running costs of the telescope. The remaining 40% of the time is open-access and remains free. To be eligible to apply for open-access time, 50% or more of the proposers must be based at Australian institutions. The automated time is all open-access this quarter, but will be 60% paid and 40% open-access in future.

In future years the price of a priority night will increase and the fraction of open-access nights will decrease. Full details can be found at

The latest information on using the telescope and its instruments can be found at http://https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/R1vhC6XQ4LfojkvqDim38US?domain=rsaa.anu.edu.au<http://https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/R1vhC6XQ4LfojkvqDim38US?domain=rsaa.anu.edu.au>


If you have questions or technical problems in using the web-based submission process, please email tacinfo at mso.anu.edu.au.

Paul Francis
Chair, ANU TAC

Prof. Paul Francis (he/him)
ANU Distinguished Educator, Astrophysicist
Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics and
Physics Education Centre, Research School of Physics
ANU College of Science
Mt Stromlo Observatory and Building 160
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2600

T +61 6125 2824 or +61 6125 8031
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paul.francis at anu.edu.au<mailto:paul.francis at anu.edu.au>

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