At Least Two Weeks Before Your Observing Run
- For onsite observing, follow instructions in Lodging at the CHARA Array to reserve a room on the mountain.
- For directions and additional travel information, see Traveling to CHARA at Mount Wilson.
Sending Your Setup Request to the CHARA Team
- Date of program
- PI and program ID
- Beam combiner(s)
- Telescopes in first configuration and any changes during the night
- Beam order (if you have a preference - see explanation)
- PoP combination to start. Please specify if any PoPs will be changed during the night
- Filter (for CLASSIC or CLIMB)
- Spectral Mode (for MIRCX, e.g. H_PRISM50)
- First target or check star (alignment star, fringe finder for first target)
- Any special requirements you might have (LDCs, CLIMB for fringe finding/tracking, non-standard AO beam splitter)
- Skype or phone contact if remote (in case we do not already have it). Skype is the preferred means of communicating, so please create an account if you do not have one already.
If you have made arrangements to have the array operator assist you with collecting the observations (e.g., if you are unable to be on the mountain and don't have access to a Remote Observing Center), then please include a detailed schedule for the night. This can be sent as a text file, pdf file, or excel spreadsheet and should include the following information:
- UT range and baseline/POP configuration for each target
- List of science target and calibrators (HD number, RA, DEC, Vmag, Kmag, diameter)
- Calibration strategies, instrument settings, etc.
On the Night of Observation
Please arrive in the control room or the remote observing center around sunset. The Array Operator can provide an update on the status of the array and current conditions. In the case of inclement weather, the Array Operator will inform the observers whether to go on stand-by or to cancel the night. The work schedule for the Array Operators is posted in the Observing Schedule. The operator will begin opening the telescopes around 6 degree twilight, and science observations usually begin around 12 degree twilight.