KPNO Observing Run Preparation

The success of each and every observing run at Kitt Peak is important to us, and that success depends on how carefully investigators prepare for their observations. Please review all the relevant documentation, make plans, and let us know in a timely fashion through the contact process what your needs will be.

A Staff Contact who is responsible for ensuring that you have the information and assistance necessary for a successful observing run at KPNO has been assigned to your program. If you have questions about anything associated with your planned observations please contact this individual by telephone (520 318-8000) or by email ( Your Staff Contact will be checking with you before you fill out your Observing Run Preparation form to discuss your planned instrument configuration and observing strategy, and again in the weeks before your run to review your observing plans. Your Staff Contact was listed in the Proposal Status Report included in the letter allocating telescope time.

Here, we provide a checklist to help you prepare for your run.

* Look over the KPNO and NSO User Handbook.
* Get copies of any of the instrumentation manuals you will need for your run. Don't forget an ICE manual if you will be using a CCD detector.
* Contact your Staff Contact for the instrument you are using if you have any questions.
* At least six weeks before your run, submit your Observing Run Preparation Form to the Kitt Peak Support Office.
* Review the Alternate Observing Modes information to determine if you will need any special services.
* Submit a Motor Vehicle Operator's Identification Card application (formerly the GSA license form) if you will need to operate an NOAO vehicle during your visit, if you don't already have an Operator's ID Card.
* Send in any coordinate lists that may be needed for your observing run at least two weeks before your run.
* Get any IRAF reduction manuals that you will need, and arrange a visit downtown if you need an introduction to IRAF before your run.
* Order your night lunch through our Web form for your first night at the telescope if you anticipate a late arrival (orders need to be placed by 11:00am for that evening's night lunch or the next morning's breakfast).