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Telescope Proposals


Standard Telescope Time Application

To apply for telescope time on the optical/IR telescopes in the normal scheduling cycle, potential observers must submit a proposal to the Steward Observatory Telescope Allocation Committee, which then provides recommendations for scheduling to the Director who approves a final schedule. Programs are scheduled on a semester timescale, roughly from February through July and August through January. Proposals for time on the ARO radio telescopes are submitted to the ARO TAC for recommendations to the Director. 

We currently accept applications from faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students at UA, ASU, and NAU.

How To Propose: Optical/IR Telescopes

To apply for observing time on Arizona's optical/IR telescopes for the period of July 2017 through Jan 2018 (some variations among telescopes) submit proposals (electronically only) by noon on April 3, 2017. Electronic submission is required and involves uploading your filled in (tex) version of the proposal form as well as the processed pdf to this web page (the password is available in the email proposal announcement or from the TAC chair).

The available telescopes include LBT, Magellan I and II, MMT, UKIRT, 90", VATT, 61", 60", and Minnesota 60"

Make sure to download the current LaTeX2e proposal template (v1.32) soprop.tex and class files soprop.cls. These are required to produce the pdf file that is uploaded for the electronic submission. Using an older version of the templates will result in your proposal not being processed by the automated account.

The macro psfig.sty can be obtained at

Additional Guidelines for Submission

- do not use commas in any coverpage entry field in soprop.tex

- no line breaks in the proposal title (make sure the closing parenthesis is on the same line)

- use approved telescope names (as listed in soprop.tex)

- name your files using your first initial and last name (e.g. jdoe.tex and jdoe.pdf). If you submit multiple different proposals use numbers to differentiate (e.g. jdoe1.tex, jdoe2.tex). Keep names to less than 30 characters and do not use special characters or spaces in the filenames.

- if you submit your files and find that you need to make a change, submit the revised files with the same name. This will not overwrite your previous submission but will create a version with a higher version number. We will then use the highest version number submission. Do not submit the same proposal under a different name.

For more information, follow the link to "Proposal Information" on the right.

How To Propose: Radio Telescopes

The 10-meter Heinrich Hertz Submm Telescope ("SMT") on Mt Graham and the ALMA prototype 12-meter antenna on Kitt Peak are scheduled separately from the optical/IR telescopes. For technical information, and proposal instructions and a fillable cover sheet, see the ARO proposal web page.


Proposers should be aware of the following changes:

- Proposers to the LBT need to also submit Phase I Tool (PIT) forms which can be accessed through

Additional information is also available through those web pages.

A list of current instruments and links to useful proposal preparation pages (like ETCs) is here: 
Links describing the modes/instruments currently available (i.e. status) are here:
There are new LBTO science operations pages with links to the Phase I Tool (PIT), observation preparation tool (OT), and extensive information about all of our facility instrumentation: 
- MagAO will be available for a limited run of a total of nine science nights across the partnership in 17B. Contact Laird Close for additional information.

- The 2.3m Bok telescope will have a significant portion of its dark and grey time allocated in 17B to the BSS program. We recommend that proposers consider using the imagers at the Kuiper or Lennon (VATT) telescopes, the spectrograph at the Lennon (VATT) telescope, or SPOL at the Kuiper as alternatives.

- M2FS proposals for Magellan require PI (Mario Mateo, UMichigan) approval and require agreeing to specific guidelines. Please contact him well in advance of the proposal deadline.

- The availability of UKIRT is highly uncertainty, but we are soliciting proposals.  Contact Richard Green for more complete and current information.

- Proposers may request long-term status for up to 2 years on the 60 and 61 inch telescopes. There is no opportunity currently for long-term status on any other telescope. Proposers must justify the need for long-term status based on the science, not simply on the scale of the program. Proposers seeking long-term status must specify the runs requested in the same manner as done for the current term. Scheduling of runs in subsequent semesters is conditional on approved yearly progress reports and scheduling constraints. The TAC will decide separately on the ranking of the proposal for the upcoming semester and long-term status.




TBS Time

On the occasions when some time remains unscheduled, members of Steward Observatory may apply for TBS (To Be Scheduled) nights on the Steward Observatory 90", 61", and 60" telescopes, or UAOTBS nights on the MMT.Please send TBS requests to Paul Smith (  Request should contain a brief scientific justification. Only in cases of multiple requests to use the same time and facilities will TBS requests be forwarded to the Associate Director for a decision.  Please also note that TBS requests requiring instrument changes may not be accepted depending on the work load of the Mountain Operations staff during the relevant time period.  TBS requests made within the 21-day limit that require an instrument change or any sizable intervention by Mtn. Ops. staff are highly discouraged. Exceptions to this policy may be made in the event of important transitory astrophysical events and handled at the Director/Associate Director level with the consultation of the Mtn.  To clarify the TBS deadline system: it is 21 days before the first night of a TBS block if there are multiple contiguous nights available on a telescope.  TBS nights will not be granted to observers who are not certified on the telescope/instrument unless the request identifies a certified observer that will be present at the telescope during the entire period requested.  That is, proof of certification must come before a observer even submits a request for TBS time unless a certified observer who will actually handle the observations is identified. To apply for TBS nights on the VATT, contact Richard Boyle ( AND Paul Smith.