Sending your setup to the CHARA team

In order to streamline nightly operations, observers should send their configuration requests to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at least two days prior to the beginning of your scheduled observing time.  This request will be used to align the lab during the day and to set the configuration and slew to the first target at the start of the night.   Please include the following information directly in the text of the email:

  • Date of program
  • Program PI and designation
  • 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 and any PoP changes during the night
  • Filter (if using CLASSIC or CLIMB)
  • First target or check star (alignment star, fringe finder for first target)
  • Any special requirements you might have (LDCs, CLIMB for fringe finding/tracking, etc)
  • 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, current conditions, and whether there is a need to go on stand-by status or that the night is being cancelled due to inclement weather.  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.

Links for detailed observing procedures

Astronomer’s Lodging at Mount Wilson Observatory

Lodging is available for astronomers and staff visiting CHARA at Mount Wilson Observatory. We have two cottages available for occupancy:

Cadman Cottage

  • 3 bedrooms, twin beds
  • 2 bathrooms, full w/showers

Kapteyn Cottage

  • 2 bedrooms, full beds
  • 2 bathrooms, full w/showers

Cost: $45 first night and $20 each additional night, per person

Exemptions provided for:

Payment may be made by credit card here. Please contact Larry Webster (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to schedule lodging. Additional information about traveling to Mount Wilson can be found on the Travel and Accommodation Page on the CHARA wiki.