Subject: APO 3.5m time for SDSS (and other) fast reaction observations

From: elt@astro.Princeton.EDU

Submitted: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 16:41:19 -0500 (EST)

Message number: 425 (previous: 424, next: 426 up: Index)

APO 3.5m observations of targets identified from SDSS data have
produced some of the most exciting results from both of these
ARC projects to date.  In apparent recognition of this fact and
(presumably) in response to proposal demand, the institutional
TACs which allocate the large majority of 3.5m time are devoting
an increasing fraction to SDSS follow-up projects.  Nevertheless,
it seems to me that it would be valuable to have a small amount
of 3.5m time set aside especially for the purpose of fast reaction
observations by anyone with SDSS data rights.  The idea is to be
able to move faster than the quarterly 3.5m allocation and 
scheduling cycle normally allows and to provide opportunities
independent of the particular institutional share (if any) of 3.5m
time a proposer can otherwise access.

Therefore, as an experiment, I have set aside 2 nights of 3.5m
DD time in 2Q2000 for this purpose.  The time is designated
DD03 and is scheduled for the half nights 5/7B, 5/26B, 6/25A and
6/26A (3 dark and 1 gray).  (This includes the effect of one
swap which is not yet represented on the published/web schedule.)

I will assign this time to specific projects based on requests
which should be sent directly to me by email.  It will probably
be most convenient to use the standard ascii template for 3.5m
scheduling requests (see apo35-general message #419) since one
would eventually have to be filled out anyway if the time is
allocated to the project.  I will aim to make the allocations
a few (4-7) days in advance of the actual observing time.  Proposals
may be for projects that already have institutional allocations
of 3.5m time or not, and may be made by anyone with SDSS data
rights regardless of institutional affiliation (including those
at institutions which do not have a share of 3.5m time).  The
criterion will be to maximize the scientific impact of both
telescopes.  I may seek informal advice from (disinterested)
colleagues concerning the choice of programs, especially if
demand is high.

Although follow-up of SDSS observations is the main motivation
for this program, the time could be assigned for use on non-Sloan
targets-of-opportunity (SNe, GRB afterglows, TNOs...) if the case
for doing so seems sufficiently compelling.  Such proposals should
be submitted in the same way.

If this experiment seems productive, it may be continued and
perhaps expanded in subsequent quarters.

Ed Turner

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