Observing Proposal project


Here's the situation: the Director of Kitt Peak Observatory has announced that there will be 6 nights (and only 6 nights) of "Director's Discretionary" time available on the 4m telescope over the next 12 months while it is equipped with the CCD Mosaic imager. You all get to write observing proposals to use the telescope.
Things to consider:
Note on using the exposure time calculator:

The exposure time calculator assumes you are doing photometry of individual stars, i.e., point sources. So it works well for giving you an estimate of exposure time to image a star of a given total magnitude.

But if you are looking at extended sources (like galaxies, which are spread over many pixels), the calculation will give you the wrong answer.  If you want to measure a large object down to a given limiting surface brightness (in mag/arcsec^2) -- for example, measure the surface brightness of a nearby galaxy, it's more complicated, and the calculator can't handle it. So for our purposes, if you simply enter a magnitude that's 1 mag brighter than your desired surface brightness (so m = mu + 1), that will get you in the right ballpark. Don't attempt this for surface brightness fainter than ~ 27, though. (And don't use this kludge for a real observing calculation!)

And also, if your galaxies are very small (a few arcsec across, like galaxies in a high redshift cluster), just treat them like point sources -- use their total magnitudes and run the calculator like you would on stars, but set the seeing to be sqrt(seeing^2 + angular size^2).

These kludges are pretty crude, so if you are doing an exposure time calculation for an extended source, check in with me to make sure you're getting reasonable values.

Proposal Structure and Format

Cover Page (one page maximum):


Scientific Justification (two pages, single spaced. If you're writing less than this, you're not being thorough; if you're writing more, you're not editing yourself well.):


Figures and References (a page or two max):

Technical Description of Observations (one page):
Notes:

Proposal Review Criteria