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.
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.
16-19 Nov 2020: The 0m4a telescope was offline to make an adjustment to the primary mirror.
31 Oct 2020: The 1m telescope in Dome A is available for science observations again.
27 Oct - 12 Nov 2020: The mount interface computer on the 0m4a telescope (kb24 camera) malfunctioned. The telescope was offline.
18 Oct 2020: The fa12 Sinistro, on the 1m telescope in Dome A, is offline until the old controller can be replaced and new one tested.
12 Oct 2020: The kb24 camera was installed in place of kb28 (SBIG). Testing of the camera is in-progress.
9 Oct 2020: An electrical fault on Dome A prevented it from moving.
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.
6-9 Oct 2020: The telescope was offline because of problems with its control computer.
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.
20 Nov 2020: The NRES unit is available for science observations again. It is operating at a slightly warmer temperature (-85 C).
15-20 Nov 2020: The telescope in Dome A was stuck on the roll axis.
6 Nov 2020: Power was cycled on the NRES backend camera (fa13) and now the camera remains warm (and offline).
2 Nov 2020: The controller on the fa16 Sinistro was swapped, and a problem with the dome motion was fixed. The Dome A telescope is acquiring science data again!
22 Oct 2020: The NRES spectrograph is available for science observations again.
16 Oct 2020: The dry air system has been connected to the NRES spectrograph again. NRES is being tested in preparation for science observations.
16 Oct - 18 Nov 2020: Observations were suspended because of high atmospheric dust content.
11 Apr 2021: The Dome C telescope is 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.
17 Nov 2020: The vacuum on the fa15 camera was pumped down, and the camera was cooled again. The Dome A telescope is available again.
15-17 Nov 2020: The telescope in Dome C was stuck on the pitch axis. All three 1-meter telescopes were offline!
7 Nov 2020: Bad communications with Aqawan A have taken the kb29 SBIG and one ASAS-SN telescope offline.
6 Nov 2020: The fa15 Sinistro (on the Dome A 1m telescope) has warmed and been taken offline.
31 Oct 2020: The 1m telescope in Dome A is available for science observations again.
26 Oct 2020: The camera shutter is in the field-of-view of the 1m telescope in Dome B.
26 Oct 2020: The 1m telescope in Dome C is available for science observations again.
21 Oct 2020: The 0.4m telescopes in Aqawans A and B are available for science observations again!
14 Oct 2020: Power was restored to LCO's site! Testing of equipment (after 7 months without power) begins.
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)!
30 Oct 2020: Power recovery completed. Science observations resume. The appearance of the CCD surface changed again, requiring the acquisition of new flat fields.
28 Oct 2020: A severe storm caused an observatory-wide power outage!
2 Oct 2020: The fa05 Sinistro camera unexpectedly warmed-up, altering the appearance of the CCD surface. Observations from Oct 2-6 had to be processed with new flat fields.
24 Sep - 3 Oct 2020: The 0m4a telescope was unreachable because of a faulty ethernet switch.
11 Sep - 5 Oct 2020: The instrument crates on the Dome B telescope are not powering-up. This telescope was not available for science observations.
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.
1 Oct 2020: First MuSCAT3 science observation!
29 Sep 2020: The FLOYDS spectrograph is available for science observations again.
28 Sep 2020: First light on MuSCAT3! Engineering commissioning begins.
23 Sep 2020: The focus mechanism on the 0m4c telescope is stuck at a limit.
21 Sep 2020: Installation of MuSCAT3 has begun! The Spectral camera has been removed from the telescope, and FLOYDS is unavailable.
17 Sep - 14 Oct 2020: The focus mechanism on the 0m4b telescope was stuck. The telescope was not available for science observations.