Shane Telescope: Call for Proposals

March 30, 2015
To: 3.0-m Telescope Observers
From: Claire Max, UC Observatories Director

Second Semester 2016 (2016B) Shane 3-m Telescope Observing Requests
(August 2016 through January 2017)

Application submission for 2016B will close promptly at 5:00 P.M. on Friday, April 22, 2016.

Proposal Information

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

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

Prepare a file with the following sections: Scientific Justification (2-page limit), References, Figures, Targets and Exposures, Supplementary Observations Required from other Observatories, Technical Remarks, Path to Science and Status of Previously Approved 3-m Programs. Create a pdf-format of this document and upload it at the submission web page:

Submit Proposal

Graduate Student Applications

Graduate Student Applications: Graduate students are eligible to apply for 3-m observing. Each proposal must be accompanied by a letter from the faculty sponsor stating the student is qualified to carry out the project.

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

Proposals for long-term synoptic programs on the Shane 3-m telescope are encouraged. Guidelines for the structure of such proposals can be found here.

Remote observing is supported for the Shane and Nickel Telescopes. 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. That is described further in the Lick remote observing policy pages:

Shane Remote Policy
Nickel Remote Policy

Please contact the Lick support astronomers ( to arrange any necessary checkouts.

Other Useful Links

3-meter Manual
Guidelines for preparing 3-m proposals

Available Instruments

Kast Spectrograph - Dual channel optical spectrometer
For 2016A, 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
Shane AO Instrument Document
ShARCS Specs

Information about the sensitivity and expected performance calculated by Srikar Srinath can be found here.

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 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. Note, that within the next year a new laser system should be installed, which will result in a brighter laser guide star, hence improving performance in laser guide star mode.


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