Call for Proposals: UC Time on the Shane 3m Telescope

To: Observers on the Lick Observatory Shane 3m Telescope
From: Claire Max, UCO Director
Date: September 21st, 2016

First Semester 2017 (2017A) Shane 3m Telescope Observing Requests
(February 1st through July 31st, 2017)

Application submission for 2017A will close promptly at 5:00 PM on Monday, October 24th, 2017.

Proposal Information

Lick Observatory's scientific impact manifests itself in several ways: Lick and the Shane 3m telescope can undertake observing programs that require substantially more observing time than is available at 8-10m telescopes. Lick provides a testbed for new and improved technologies, both in instrumentation and in observing techniques. Moreover, graduate students and postdocs can write their own observing proposals and lead their own programs, gaining valuable experience in scientific planning and leadership.

Proposals for large and/or long-term programs on the Shane 3m telescope are encouraged. Guidelines for the structure of such proposals can be found at:

Ambitious long-term programs help Lick Observatory increase its scientific impact. Programs such as these are becoming ever more important as a way to keep Lick scientifically fruitful in the current era of 8-10 meter telescopes, by taking advantage of Lick's greater access to telescope time.

Proposals for use of the 3m Shane reflector will be submitted online in a process very similar to that used for UC Keck proposals.

AT 5:00 PM ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 24th, 2016.

Submitting an application is a two-step process: on-line creation of a proposal coversheet and uploading a pdf-format file with the Scientific Justification and other support materials.

Step 1

Create a proposal coversheet and be assigned a Proposal ID#. Go to the web page below, enter the information required for the form, submit the form and note the assigned proposal ID#, which is required in Step 2.

Create Coversheet

Step 2

1. Scientific Justification (2-page limit),
2. References and Figures (2 page limit),
3. Targets and Exposures,
4. Supplementary Observations Required from other Observatories,
5. Technical Remarks,
6. Path to Science from Observations,
7. Status of Previously Approved 3m Programs, including a complete list of publications that have resulted from your previous observing time at Lick over the past 5 years.

Create a pdf-format of this document and upload it at the submission web page:

Submit Proposal

Graduate Student Applications

Graduate students are eligible to apply for 3m observing time. A letter must accompany each proposal from the faculty sponsor stating the student is qualified to carry out the project. Please email the letter to 

Graduate student observing projects requiring a large number of nights or nights spread over several semesters must be thesis related; the first proposal must be accompanied by a letter of support from the student's thesis adviser.

Remote observing is supported for the Shane Telescope. With the exception of UC Merced and UC San Francisco, all UC campuses maintain at least one remote observing room. General information about remote observing can be found here:

For details about reserving one of these rooms on your campus for your Lick observations, please contact your local astronomy (or physics) department or the support astronomers at Lick (email to

Lick observers (astronomers, Postdocs, students) are not permitted to observe remotely until they have completed an on-site checkout at Lick Observatory plus a separate remote-observing checkout. These are described further in the Lick remote observing policy page:
Please contact the Lick support astronomers ( to arrange the necessary checkouts.

Other Useful Links

3 meter Manual
Guidelines for preparing 3m proposals

Available Instruments

Kast Spectrograph - Dual channel optical spectrometer
For 2017A, we plan on having the new Kast Red detector available. This will be a thick CCD with both higher quantum efficiency and lower fringing in the red part of the spectrum, similar to the red detector on LRIS.

Hamilton Spectrograph - High Resolution Optical Echelle Spectrometer:

Adaptive Optics - Natural and Laser guide star adaptive optics system. The new AO system for the Shane 3m (known as ShaneAO and ShARCS) is available for the general user community. Note: Proposals which use the Natural Guide Star mode are particularly encouraged. Staff limitations at Mount Hamilton may limit the number of Laser Guide Star nights that can be scheduled.

Various links to information about Shane AO and Sharcs are the following:
Shane AO Intro
ShARCS Intro
Shane AO

For AO, a 16x16 grid of sub-apertures is used by default for both NGS and LGS observations, unless the guide star is too faint, in which case the 8x8 sub-aperture grid will be used. For ShARCS 16, the natural guide star Ks-band Strehl performance is 0.8 for a bright on-axis star (i.e., running the wavefront sensor at 500 Hz) and average seeing (0.7 arcsec atmospheric seeing, 1.5 arcsec including dome seeing). The laser guide star Ks-band performance is lower due to the fainter magnitude of the laser guide star (the wavefront sensor runs at 50Hz), so typical performance is ~0.2 Strehl on average nights. Strehls in H and J-bands will be lower than at Ks because AO correction is more difficult for shorter wavelengths. Within the next year (but likely not in time for 2017A), a new laser system is to be installed if all goes according to plan. The new laser will result in a significantly brighter laser guide star, improving performance in laser guide star mode.


Claire Max, UCO Director
UCO/Lick Observatory
Interdisciplinary Sciences Building
University of California
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064