Italian Coordination Facility Centro Italiano di Coordinamento alle Osservazioni LBT Announcement of opportunity at the Large Binocular Telescope Italian time Semester 1 - 2010 is now open for proposals Applications for observing time for the periods: Jan 14 - Jan 20, 2010 Feb 13 - Feb 18, 2010 Apr 8 - Apr 13, 2010 Jun 12 - Jun 17, 2010 are solicited and should be submitted by Tuesday 10th Nov, 2009, 24:00 CET The Large Binocular Telescope is a binocular facility composed of two 8.4m- telescopes rigidly mounted, located atop the Mount Graham, Arizona, USA at an elevation of 3221 m, as part of the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO). LBT is an international joint project among Italy, Germany and the United States of America, of which Italy has 25% of the total observing time. It is currently equipped with a wide field prime focus camera (LBC, Large Binocular Camera) offering imaging from the ultraviolet to the near-IR wavelengths (1 micron) at the two telescopes, in single and binocular mode, and a near-IR imaging and spectrograph camera (LUCIFER) currently available only on the left side mirror, offering imaging and long-slit spectroscopy in the near-IR wavelength range. It can be operated in binocular mode, observing the same field with the two telescopes and in single telescope mode. The dates available to the Italian community in the first semester of 2010 are listed above. Further information can be found at http://lbt.inaf.it and in the links therein. Who can apply: The PI of a proposal must be a researcher affiliated to an Italian astronomical institute or university. Researchers affiliated to other institutions are allowed in the CoI list up to the 50% of the total number of applicants. Application forms and proposal submission. Proposal submission is handled by the TNG system. Forms can be downloaded at http://lbt.inaf.it/observing.html and proposals must be submitted at http://www.tng.iac.es/lbt/submit.html within Tuesday 10th Nov, 2009, 24:00 CET. Offered Instruments and modes: LBC (Binocular) LBC is a twin optical imager composed of two identical large field cameras, with a FoV of ~25' x ~25' mounted at the prime foci of the two telescopes. LBC is a fully binocular instrument, that observes simultaneously the same field with the two cameras. The camera on the left side (SX) is optimized for the UV/blue wavelength range and offers imaging in the Bessel filters (U,B,V) and in the SDSS-like filters (Uspec,g,r). The camera on the right side (DX) is optimized for the red/near-IR range and offers imaging in the filters V,R,I (Bessel), r,i,z (SDSS), 1um broad-band Y and the narrow band F972N20, centered at 972 nm. Details on the instrument can be found at http://lbc.oa-roma.inaf.it . LBC (Blue- and Red-only) The best scientific exploitation of LBC is obtained by programs requiring multiwavelength coverage in the blue and red wavelength ranges. However, it is also possible to apply for LBC-Blue or LBC-Red only, for the following reasons: 1) Due to maintenance operations of the LBT primary mirror, LBC-Red is not available in January; 2) Pending refinements to the binocular guiding system, the programs requiring only the blue channel may obtain better image quality if executed with the LBC red channel disabled; 3) due to ongoing maintenance runs of the telescope, one of the two mirrors might be not available. To allow for an efficient exploitation of the Italian runs, programs requiring only one instrument can therefore be submitted. These programs will be ranked by scientific merit exactly as the others, and will be executed according to their scientific rank even if the binocular configuration is available. LUCIFER LUCIFER (LBT NIR spectroscopic Utility with Camera and Integral-Field Unit for Extragalactic Research) is a twin instrument composed of two near-IR spectrograph and imagers mounted at the Nasmyth foci, of which only the one at the SX telescope is available for use in this semester (LUCIFER1). It offers imaging, long-slit and multi-object spectrography in the wavelength range 1 um - 2.5 um over a field-of- view ~4’ x 4’ . All mode currently work in seeing-limited mode. Details on the instrument can be found at http://www.astro.rub.de/LuciferHome and http://abell.as.arizona.edu/~lbtsci/Instruments/LUCIFER/lucifer.html We remark that LUCIFER, at the time of issuing this call, has passed major milestones in the commissioning but has not been fully tested nor calibrated. In particular, the multi-object spectroscopic mode (MOS) will be tested for the first time on the sky in Nov 2009. Despite this, given the high scientific interest of this unique facility, applications can be submitted also for the MOS facility. Applicants must be aware of the above mentioned uncertainties, and explicitly accept the "shared risk " policy for LUCIFER1 applications. Evaluation of the exposure times The LBC Exposure Time Calculator is available at http://lbc.oa-roma.inaf.it/cgi- bin/ETC.pl. It has been carefully tested with real astronomical observations and can be safely used to estimate the required exposure times. A preliminary ETC for LUCIFER is available on the SDT website (http://abell.as.arizona.edu/~lbtsci/Instruments/LUCIFER/lucifer.html). At variance with the LBC one, the LUCIFER1 efficiency predicted by the ETC is to be verified on the sky. The applicants are strongly encouraged to specify as clearly as possible the targeted S/N in their exposures. After a more careful evaluation of the LUCIFER performances with real astronomical observations, the astronomers in charge of the service mode observations will adjust the requested exposure times of the approved programs, within reasonable limits, in order to achieve the desired S/N. For both instruments, applicants must compute and specify in the proposal only the net exposure time requested, with no correction for overheads. Target of Opportunity (ToO) ToOs will be available in this semester, in two categories. Soft-ToO are intended for targets whose coordinates are not known at the moment of submitting a proposal, but which will be available at the beginning of the Italian observing run. Relevant observations will be executed in one of the nights of the italian run, following the scientific rank provided by the TAC. Hard-ToO are intended for targets whose coordinates are not known at the moment of submitting a proposal and that must be observed as promptly as possible. If approved by TAC, the Hard-ToO observations will be given the highest prioirity and executed as soon as possible. In the proposal, the applicants must clearly describe the maximum time lag after the triggering event during which the observations are useful. A maximum number of two hard-ToOs for a total for 4 observing hours are available in each Italian run. ToOs of both categories cannot be requested for LUCIFER1 MOS observations. Time-constrained or time-critical observations cannot be requested, even for targets of known coordinates. Proposal Evaluation: The proposals will be evaluated by the INAF Time Allocation Committee, the same appointed for the TNG and REM proposals. Collaborative programs aiming at using also observational time from other LBT partners are encouraged, although each application will be independently evaluated by the competent TAC. A schedule of observing periods allocated to the other LBT partners can be found at http://lbt.inaf.it/observing.html Observing modes: The observations will be conducted in service mode. Programs will be executed by their scientific ranking, as established by the TAC, regardless of the requested instrument(s), and with a scheduling based on the observational constraints requested by the applicants. Standard calibrations will be provided by the service observers. Special calibration should be described in the proposal and included in the total time request. Object observability: In principle, all the objects observable in the period Jan 14 - Jul 17 can be scheduled for observations (except those requiring LBC-Red in January, which is not available). In practice, applicants should take into account that current operational constraints limit at present the operations at the beginning of the night, mainly due to thermal drifts of the mirrors leading to difficulties in reaching a reliable optical configuration. Hence, programs with targets visible only at the beginning of the January nights may be difficult to complete. Data Flow: All the scientific data from LBC and LUCIFER will be stored at the IA2 italian archive (http://wwwas.oats.inaf.it/IA2/) in raw form, and are accessible to the P.I. within few days from the observations. Imaging data from LBC and LUCIFER will be reduced at the LBC Survey Center (LSC) at OAR and made available to the P.I. at http://deep01.oa-roma.inaf.it/. The LSC staff will also provide user support for those willing to reduce data with their own software. The implementation of a similar support for the data reduction of the LUCIFER spectroscopic data is currently being evaluated. 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