19 May 2021: Observation requests can now include multiple targets! Each target must have its own coordinates. (The ability to set offsets for dithers/mosaics is still under development.) The request will be scheduled according to the intersection of the visibility of all targets.
13 May 2021: NRES data are now being processed by the new BANZAI-NRES pipeline. All NRES users are advised to read the documentation on the new pipeline and data products.
13 Apr 2021: A WCS-based acquisition mode is now available for NRES observations. The WCS mode is useful when (i) multiple bright stars are in the guider's field-of-view, or (ii) the target is faint. The default acquisition mode centers the brightest object in the guider frame onto the fiber that delivers light to the spectrograph. A detailed description of the NRES acquisition modes is available.
5 Apr 2021: We have increased the filtering options in the Portal. Clicking the "Filter List" button on the Portal's home page unfurls a list of multiple filtering options. The new features are:
1 Feb 2021: Observations that have been attempted and failed three times will be rejected from further scheduling attempts. This "retry limit" rule has been implemented to prevent observation requests from getting stuck in a loop (schedule -> attempt -> fail -> schedule ->) that can eat up many hours of observing time. These loops can occur when a telescope fails to establish guiding (for example, because no star is in the guider's field-of-view). When a request is rejected for hitting the retry limit, a notification that includes the request ID is sent so that the user can inspect the request details and decide whether to resubmit.
1 Feb 2021: Observations that have not started (for example, because of an interruption for bad weather) by 10 minutes after their scheduled start times will be marked as "NOT_ATTEMPTED" and removed from the schedule. This change prevents observations which cannot meet their completion criteria from starting and clears the schedule for observations that can complete successfully. The dismissed observation is immediately eligible for rescheduling.
4-6 Dec 2020: An rsync error deleted the astronomy catalogs (Gaia DR2, 2MASS, USNO, etc.) on our site computers throughout the network, making astrometric solutions impossible. Over the weekend, the spectrographs (NRES, FLOYDS) were taken offline. Imaging observations may have large pointing errors.
19-27 Jul 2021: The 2-meter telescope was offline because of a problem with the M2 mechanism.
2-7 Jun 2021: The 0m4a telescope was offline. A bearing had to be replaced in the focus drive.
20-27 May 2021: There was a problem with Dome B. The 1-meter telescope inside was not available for science observations because the dome would not reliably open and close.
11-29 May 2021: The 0m4b telescope was taken offline because of a problem with a disk on the camera's (kb88) instrument control computer.
22 Apr 2021: FLOYDS was offline again for this night.
18-19 Apr 2021: The problem of blank FLOYDS spectra resurfaced. FLOYDS was offline again.
10-14 Apr 2021: A problem with the shutter on the (en12) FLOYDS spectrograph caused science and calibration images to intermittently be blank.
12 Mar 2021: The 0m4a telescope is making science observations again.
11 Mar 2021: A new focus mechanism has been installed in the 0m4a telescope. Testing is in progress.
23 Feb 2021: The 2m telescope is available for science observations again! In the Spectral camera's filter wheel, the Bessell V filter was replaced with a Johnson V filter. Unfortunately, the 0m4a telescope is now offline because of a problem with its focus mechanism.
15 Feb 2021: The 2m telescope is out-of-service. The mirrors are being re-aluminized.
26 Jan 2021: The kb88 SBIG camera (on the 0m4b telescope) is available for science observations.
21 Jan 2021: The kb88 SBIG camera replaced kb56 on the 0m4b telescope.
7 Jul 2021: The NRES camera's cryo system must be recharged. NRES is still offline.
29 May 2021: The fa18 camera warmed to -70 C and was taken offline.
24 May 2021: The fa18 camera, the backend for TLV-NRES, warmed to -80 C.
5 Apr 2021: Observations with the TLV-NRES unit resume.
2 Apr 2021: The AK14 guide camera replaced AK13 on the telescope.
1 Apr 2021: The AK13 guide camera warmed-up, and observations with the TLV-NRES unit were suspended.
28 Dec 2020 - 05 Jan 2021: A problem with the ASCOM server blocked the reporting of telemetry data. Observations were not possible until the server was fixed.
10 Dec 2020: Software was deployed to improve the synchronization between telescope motion and NRES exposure timing.
10 Jun 2021: The Dome A telescope, with the fa16 Sinistro camera, is available for science observations again.
3 Jun 2021: A new archon controller was installed in the fa16 Sinistro camera. The telescope in Dome A will be unavailable until camera tests are complete.
27- May 2021: There's a problem with the focus mechanism on the 0m4a telescope. The telescope is offline.
8-14 Apr 2021: The fa16 Sinistro camera (Dome A telescope) warmed-up. The cryo system was pumped down, allowing the camera to cool.
10 Mar 2021: Guider-based focus corrections on the Dome C telescope have been suspended.
22 Dec 2020: Once again, the fa06 Sinistro camera has warmed-up.
14 Dec 2020: The fa06 Sinistro camera (on the telescope in Dome C) warmed up.
26-29 Jul 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome B was stuck on a limit.
21 Jul: The 0m4a telescope, with the kb93 camera, is now available for science observations.
19 Jul 2021: The Dome A 1-meter telescope has started science observations. The Sinistro camera is fa20.
15 Jul 2021: The kb93 camera replaced kb81 on the 0m4a telescope. Tests of the new camera are in-progress.
29 Jun 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome B is now available for science observations. The installed Sinistro camera is fa11.
7 - 28 Jun 2021: An engineering team is on site to install 1-meter telescopes in Domes A & B.
26 May 2021: The kb81 camera on the 0m4a telescope has malfunctioned. Images are blank. The problem is being investigated.
12 Jul 2021: In Dome C, observations were suspended because the telescope was stuck on the pitch axis.
7 Jun 2021: On the 0m4a telescope in Aqawan B, the focus motor driver was replaced. This telescope is available for science observations. again.
29 May - 1 Jun 2021: Dome B was not rotating. Observations with the telescope inside were suspended.
21-25 May 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome A was not returning to its home position reliably. The telescope was taken offline.
19 May 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome B is available for science observations again. The Sinistro camera (fa04) is the same, but the instrument package (filter wheel assembly) has been changed.
22-28 Apr 2021: The fa15 Sinistro (on the 1m telescope in Dome A) warmed-up. The telescope was not available for science observations.
11 Apr 2021: The Dome C telescope was stuck on the roll axis.
8 Apr 2021: Intermittent problems with both the motion of the telescope and the stability of the OTS assembly have compelled us to take the 1-meter telescope in Dome A offline. That makes three telescopes (plus the NRES spectrograph) are offline at this site: Dome A, Dome B, and Aqawan B.
18 Mar 2021: The 0m4a telescope in Aqawan B has been taken offline because of a problem with the focus mechanism.
10 Mar 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome A got stuck on the pitch axis and was taken offline.
29 Jan - 5 Feb 2021: The fa15 Sinistro camera (on the Dome A telescope) warmed-up following a site power outage. The camera was unavailable for science observations.
7 Dec 2020: The fa15 camera (in Dome A) warmed-up, then cooled again. Observations resumed during the Dec 8 night.
16- Jul 2021: We've lost communications to Dome B. The problem is being investigated.
22 Mar 2021: The NRES spectrograph is available for science observations again!
12-13 Mar 2021: The fa07 Sinistro camera (in Dome B) was offline for maintenance.
10 Mar 2021: Maintenance on the NRES unit is in-progress.
24 Feb 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome B is now also ready for science observations.
23 Feb 2021: Power to LCO's facility has been restored. The 1-meter telescope in Dome A and the 0.4m telescope are available for science observations again.
14 Feb 2021: The savage winter storm has knocked-out power to McDonald Observatory (as well as many other parts of Texas)!
21-22 Jun 2021: The FLOYDS spectrograph was taken offline because of an intermittent problem with the camera shutter.
15 Mar 2021: MuSCAT3 is released for science observations.
5 Mar 2021: MuSCAT3, with the new Sophia camera for the zs band, was re-installed on the 2m telescope. Testing will commence as soon as skies are clear.
28 Feb 2021: MuSCAT3 was removed from the 2m telescope.
27 Feb 2021: There is a problem with the safety system on the 2m telescope. The clamshell will remain closed until the problem is fixed.
8 Feb 2021: The MuSCAT3 instrument now has a self-guiding mode. The mode is described in the Release Notes and "Getting Started" guide, linked from the MuSCAT3 information page.
6 Feb 2021: Science observations at Haleakala Observatory resume.
3 Feb 2021: The storm that hit Maui knocked out power to Haleakala Observatory at around 5:30 UT.
13 Jan 2021: A comms problem kept MuSCAT3 instrument offline. Only FLOYDS observations were possible.
9-12 Jan 2021: The 0m4c telescope was stuck on the pitch axis.
22-23 Dec 2020: The 0m4c telescope was stuck on the roll axis.