Announcement of opportunity at the Large Binocular Telescope by uie761km


									                          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 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 and    proposals    must   be    submitted    at 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 .

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


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   and
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
bin/ 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
( 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

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
( 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 The LSC
staff will also provide user support for those willing to reduce data with their own

The implementation of a similar support for the data reduction of the LUCIFER
spectroscopic data is currently being evaluated.

For further information, please send an e-mail to

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