Home > News > Archive > s20120314
Internal JMU TAG Call for proposals for the Liverpool Telescope, Semester 2012B 1600 GMT 14 March 2012

Full details of the telescope, instrumentation and proposal submission are given on the Phase 1 page.

Time available and deadline

The deadline for submission is 16 April 2012. The time available to eligible applicants allocated by the next JMU TAG meeting will be about 260 hours for semester 2012B. In addition another 50 hours will be available as priority C (backup). Applications are particularly encouraged for bright time and/or poor seeing conditions which are typically less subscribed.

Proposal process

Applications are submitted in two phases:

Phase 1

Phase 1 proposals are sent to the TAG outlining the science case for observation. See the Phase 1 page for instructions on how to prepare and submit your Phase 1 proposal. Please specify a "Minimum Usable Fraction" (see below).

Any large or long-term proposals requesting more than 50 hours over one or more semesters may use two pages for their science case. This should include a brief summary of results obtained so far if this is a continuation of an existing program.

Phase 2

Phase 2 is the Observation Specification Phase. Successful proposals are entered into the observing queue with one of three rankings:

A High priority programme. The TAG would like to see 100% completion of the observations.
B Medium priority programme. The TAG would like to see at least the MUF (Minimum Usable Fraction) of observations obtained, provided this does not impact on the completion of priority A programmes.
C Low priority programmes. These programmes are used to over-subscribe the observing queue so that the telescope is not idle. If observations are started for a programme then the scheduling software should aim to obtain at least the MUF of the observations, but not at the expense of completion of priority A or B programmes.

There is generally additional time available for rank C programmes, spread equally across all observing conditions. Some programmes may have time split between the above rankings.
Instrument availability IO:O

An upgraded version of the new 10x10 arcmin optical imager IO:O will be available this semester. The upgraded version will have a new E2V detector in order to improve the blue sensitivity and new baffling to block scattered light. Updates on the status of the instrument are regularly posted on the telescope website. Sloan u' g' r' i' z', Bessel B and V, a rest wavelength H-alpha plus 4 redshifted H-alpha filters are available.

Due to the problems experienced with IO:O in the current semester, we will again offer RATCam in Semester 2012B in order both to preserve the continuity of photometric systems for current programmes and to provide a fallback option. Assuming the upgraded version of IO:O performs to specification, this is likely to be the last semester that RATCam will be offered.


FRODOSpec is the multi-purpose integral-field input spectrograph providing observations at 380 to 1000nm in either low (~2400) or high (~5400) resolution mode. The IFU provides a 12 x 12 lenslet array over a total field of view of ~10 arcsec.


RATCam is an optical CCD camera with a 4.6x4.6 arcmin field of view. The available filters are Sloan u', g', r', i', z', Bessell B and V, and H-alpha. Observations can also be obtained without filters.


The RINGO2 polarimeter is likely to be upgraded to RINGO3 around the start of the semester. This will provide polarimetry with a similar sensitivity and field of view to RINGO2 but in three optical wavebands simultaneously.


RISE is a fast-readout camera developed in collaboration with Queen's University Belfast. It has a fixed "V+R" filter (similar to that used in RINGO) and reimaging optics giving a 7 x 7 arcmin field of view and a cycle time of less than 1 second. For exoplanet related proposals using RISE you must contact Iain Steele for approval before submitting your proposal.

Note that all instruments are now designated common user, but potential users are welcome to contact the LT Support Astronomers Robert Smith or Jon Marchant directly to discuss the capability of the instrument and feasibility of the observing programme well before submitting an observing proposal.

Telescope performance

The current rms pointing of the LT is 6 arcsec. The current tracking performance provides seeing-limited images (FWHM < 0.8 arcsec) for exposures up to 1 minute without the auto-guider (open loop) and up to 30 minutes with the autoguider (closed loop).

Ivan Baldry
LT JMU TAG chair