Target Submission

How do I set my priorities?

PI priorities are set by the PI when submitting targets. The PIs give each of their objects a 1, 2, or 3 grade in the priority box in the target submission tool. They give a 1 to targets that they choose for the first third of their allocated time, a 2 to the next third, and so on. The tool offers an estimate of your exposure time plus overhead (for acquiring your target, obtaining necessary calibrations, and so on) for each priority. The queue observers correct this overhead value in real time to the actual overhead time needed so that your program is only “charged” the number of hours it actually used.

How do I name my targets? What about offset stars?

Please keep target names reasonably short and unique. The queue observer will need to communicate with the telescope operator about targets: long names and names that are the same will slow down the observing process. If you are observing the same target in multiple filters please use “object1_J”, “object1_H” or similar. For offset stars, please use “object1_offset” such that the offset star for each object is identifiable. 

Which seeing value(s) should I choose for my program?

The seeing value for each target should be seen as a MAXIMUM acceptable value, not the value that is ideal for your program. If you choose a seeing value of 0.5”, we will not observe your program in 1” seeing. Be aware that unrealistic seeing values may result in no data being obtained. Queue observers will leave notes about seeing and sky conditions.

How big are the individual observing blocks?

Currently, observations are divided into two-hour-maximum observing blocks (automatically created by the queue software). Multiple two-hour observing blocks are used to fill the requested time for a target.This typically makes a target easier to schedule than would a single longer observing block. It increases the chance that at least part of the requested time for a target will be observed. It also allows the observing block to be scheduled later in the night. Finally, it allows the scheduler to compare the priority of this observing block with other observing blocks more often as observing continues.

Can I upload finder charts or other comments about how I want my data taken?

Yes, we strongly encourage you to add finder charts and comments to help the queue observers ensure the best observations for your program using the target submission tool. If you have more complicated details that you feel need attention, please send those to Joannah Hinz at

Do I need to submit tellurics, requests for darks, flats, etc.?

No, these are all acquired for you and do not need to be submitted to the catalog tool. If you require photometric standards, you should include those in your target list. If you have specific requests for calibrations that you think may be unusual, please contact Joannah Hinz.

What is the format for coordinates?

Only xx:xx:xx.x +/-xx:xx:xx.x will work.