PL EN


NEWS


2024-02-01

[SALT eNews] DEADLINE EXTENSION: SALT Call for proposals for semester 2024-1

Dear all,

As many of you know, we have been experiencing technical difficulties with the network at both the SAAO and SALT recently, which are having a negative impact on the proposal preparation and submission process. We have received several new proposals and progress reports, but we are aware that many of you are struggling.

As a result, we have decided to extend the proposal deadline by one week, to Friday 9 February 2024 at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UCT).

Please share the news widely within the SALT community. For the time being, we request that you also please also cc your liaison SA or myself whenever you send an email to salthelp.

I include below the original call as a reminder, with the updated call deadline to prevent confusion.

Apologies for the disruptions.

Sincerely,

Encarni on behalf of SALT Astronomy Operations

-----

Dear colleagues,

We are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 May 2024 - 31 October 2024 (2024 Semester 1).

The NEW Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 9 February 2024, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS and NIRWALS. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals linked below, including changes from previous semesters.

Regarding NIRWALS (SALT’s new IFU-Fed NIR spectrograph), the commissioning and science verification phases are essentially complete, and guaranteed time observations for the instrument team are starting. For Semester 2024-1, 30 hours of telescope time have been set aside for NIRWALS science proposals on a shared risk basis.

PIs intending to use NIRWALS during semester 2024-1 are requested to indicate in their proposal:

a) that they have the capability and willingness to reduce/analyse NIRWALS data using software tools that may require manual tweaking in the event that the full science pipeline has not been completed,

b) discuss how their proposal would help get NIRWALS into routine science operations (for example, by writing brief reports on data quality, providing feedback and suggestions for improving the PIPT and/or the science data pipeline, or describing new methodology for specific science cases).

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). You may continue to use v5.5 unless you intend to use the new grating, in which case please update to the latest version available on the website. Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website. Note also that the web manager will ask for some user statistics, which the SAAO is now required to capture for reporting purposes.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the latest PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

NIRWALS - description and performance: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16UUKsQuyB_7a3kIKp3nM5Rx-Ixt39G-OdIxThBk7U-w/edit

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations

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2024-01-22

[SALT eNews] REMINDER: SALT Call for proposals for semester 2024-1

Dear all,

It seems the announcement didn’t reach everyone in December, not sure why. In case you missed it, here it is again.

REMINDER: SALT Proposal deadline is next week Friday, 2 February 2024, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC). Please see the full announcement with relevant links below:

-----

Dear colleagues,

We are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 May 2024 - 31 October 2024 (2024 Semester 1).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 2 February 2024, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS and NIRWALS. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals linked below, including changes from previous semesters.

Regarding NIRWALS (SALT’s new IFU-Fed NIR spectrograph), the commissioning and science verification phases are essentially complete, and guaranteed time observations for the instrument team are starting. For Semester 2024-1, 30 hours of telescope time have been set aside for NIRWALS science proposals on a shared risk basis.

PIs intending to use NIRWALS during semester 2024-1 are requested to indicate in their proposal:

a) that they have the capability and willingness to reduce/analyse NIRWALS data using software tools that may require manual tweaking in the event that the full science pipeline has not been completed,

b) discuss how their proposal would help get NIRWALS into routine science operations (for example, by writing brief reports on data quality, providing feedback and suggestions for improving the PIPT and/or the science data pipeline, or describing new methodology for specific science cases).

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). You may continue to use v5.5 unless you intend to use the new grating, in which case please update to the latest version available on the website. Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website. Note also that the web manager will ask for some user statistics, which the SAAO is now required to capture for reporting purposes.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the latest PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

NIRWALS - description and performance: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16UUKsQuyB_7a3kIKp3nM5Rx-Ixt39G-OdIxThBk7U-w/edit


All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp@salt.ac.za

Sincerely, SALT Astronomy Operations




2023-12-22

[SALT eNews] SALT Newsletter December 2023

Dear SALT community,

Please find the latest version of the SALT Newsletter here:

https://www.salt.ac.za/2023/12/21/newsletter-december-2023/

It includes some reports on problems fixed with Salticam and RSS. There are also good news regarding NIRWALS, which is ready for some shared-risked observations.

Enjoy the read, and I wish you all a Merry Christmas,
Anja

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2023-12-20

[SALT eNews] SALT Call for proposals for semester 2024-1

Dear colleagues,

We are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 May 2024 - 31 October 2024 (2024 Semester 1).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 2 February 2024, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS and NIRWALS. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals linked below, including changes from previous semesters.

Regarding NIRWALS (SALT’s new IFU-Fed NIR spectrograph), the commissioning and science verification phases are essentially complete, and guaranteed time observations for the instrument team are starting. For Semester 2024-1, 30 hours of telescope time have been set aside for NIRWALS science proposals on a shared risk basis.

PIs intending to use NIRWALS during semester 2024-1 are requested to indicate in their proposal:

a) that they have the capability and willingness to reduce/analyse NIRWALS data using software tools that may require manual tweaking in the event that the full science pipeline has not been completed,

b) discuss how their proposal would help get NIRWALS into routine science operations (for example, by writing brief reports on data quality, providing feedback and suggestions for improving the PIPT and/or the science data pipeline, or describing new methodology for specific science cases).

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). You may continue to use v5.5 unless you intend to use the new grating, in which case please update to the latest version available on the website. Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website. Note also that the web manager will ask for some user statistics, which the SAAO is now required to capture for reporting purposes.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: " http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the latest PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

NIRWALS - description and performance: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16UUKsQuyB_7a3kIKp3nM5Rx-Ixt39G-OdIxThBk7U-w/edit


All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp@salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations
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2023-08-15

[SALT eNews] SALT newsletter

Dear SALT community,

Please find the August issue of our SALT Newsletter here:

https://www.salt.ac.za/2023/08/14/newsletter-august-2023

As usual, there are lots of news in this issue: all the nitty gritty details on how the tracker was fixed, some updates on the LFC and timDimm, and we also show you some nice pictures from the SALT conference in June.

Stay safe and healthy!

Sincerely, The SALT Operations team

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2023-06-19

[SALT eNews] SALT Call for Proposals for semester 2023-2

Dear Colleagues,

We are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 November 2023 - 30 April 2024 (2023 Semester 2).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 28 July 2019, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS and HRS. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

NIRWALS proposals are not being requested in this call. The commissioning and integration of NIRWALS into SALT is progressing well, albeit at a slower pace than anticipated; the instrument+telescope is not yet ready for a regular science call. SALT and the NIRWALS team would like to work closely with interested PIs to start NIR science during semester 2023-2 as soon as the instrument is ready, likely in early 2024. Please get in touch with the commissioning team via salthelp@salt.ac.za if you are interested in getting involved during the early science period. We will contact PIs who have submitted NIR proposals in previous calls. In addition to engineering time, up to 30 hours of DDT will be made available for early NIRWALS science.

Proposals requesting brighter Moon or poorer seeing conditions are particularly encouraged, as we have noticed a significant drop in such proposals over the last few semesters which is leading to a very uneven observing queue (i.e. observing gaps and tight competition in the best conditions).

Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Download the PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp@salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations
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2023-04-06

[SALT eNews] SALT Annual Report 2022

Dear SALT Community,

The SALT Annual Report 2022 is now ready and can be downloaded from

https://www.salt.ac.za/2023/04/06/salt-annual-report-2022/

in both low as well as high resolution. As it was last year, we are not able to send out hard copies, but feel free to pick up a copy either at the library at the SAAO in Cape Town or at SALT exhibition booths of international conferences.

Cheers, Anja Schroeder

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2023-01-30

SALT Science Conference - abstract and financial support deadline 31 January

Dear colleagues,

A reminder that registration for the SALT conference - Science Highlights from SALT - to be held in Poland from 1-3 June 2023 is open and that the deadline for abstract submission and to apply for financial support is tomorrow, 31 January. The registration deadline is 28 February.

Kind regards, Joanna

---
We are pleased to invite the SALT community to join us for a conference "Science Highlights from SALT", to be held in Warsaw, Poland, from 1-3 June 2023. The conference aims to present the main achievements enabled by SALT and look forward to the most, also potentially, promising fields for SALT Science. We hope that this meeting will provide an opportunity for the present and future SALT users to discuss scientific highlights, upcoming projects as well and strategic plans for future, and to promote close working relationships between scientists from different partner institutions and with different professional experience. The conference is organized by Polish SALT Telescope Foundation and Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of Polish Academy of Sciences.

To find more details and to register please go to the conference website at https://salt2023.pl/.

We encourage you to register as soon as possible, since the attendance at the workshop will be limited to 80 participants. If you wish to make an oral presentation you must submit your title and abstract by 31 January, 2023 and we shall inform speakers soon after 15 February. If you apply for financial support (which is limited) the deadline is also 31 January, 2023.

We look forward to you participation!

On behalf of the SOC and LOC,
Joanna Mikołajewska & Marek Sarna

--
Prof. Joanna Mikolajewska Phone: +48 22 3296134
N. Copernicus Astronomical Center Fax: +48 22 8410046
Bartycka 18 Email: mikolaj@camk.edu.pl
00-716 Warszawa, Poland Web: www.camk.edu.pl



2023-01-25

[SALT eNews] SALT Proposal Deadline Extension to Friday 3 February + NIRWALS update

Oto oryginalna wiadomość:

Dear SALT Community,

We are extending the SALT phase 1 proposal deadline for Semester 2023-1 by a week, to avoid the clash with the JWST deadline. Therefore, the new deadline is Friday 3 February 2023 at 16:00 UT.

We would also like to take the opportunity to give you a brief NIRWALS update:

As many of you already know, South Africa is subject to scheduled rolling power-cuts and these have been getting progressively worse (longer and more frequent) over the past few months. Since the NIRWALS instrument is extremely vulnerable to steep temperature gradients, the danger posed by the worsening power situation has led to delays in cooling the instrument to its operating temperature. This, in turn, has knock-on effects on the commissioning schedule. The instrument enclosure is being cooled this week and the hope is that we will soon be able to continue with the commissioning process that was planned for last November. Early on-sky data in October 2022 indicate NIRWALS performance is good, however, there are still unresolved technical risks concerning the fiber instrument feed that will not be understood until Feb/Mar of 2023 and other telescope+instrument systems that have not yet been tested. Consequently, shared-risk observations with the instrument in the 2023-1 semester may be delayed, but we will keep would-be users posted as the situation evolves.

Cheers,

Encarni on behalf of SALT Astronomy Operations and the NIRWALS PI

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2023-01-17

[SALT eNews] FP survey and SALT Proposal deadline reminder

Dear all,

Happy New Year! :)

We have received no responses to the anonymous FP survey we set up at the end of the year, but I think most of us were done with 2022 by then, so we have decided to keep it open for another week. Please let us know whether you are interested in this niche mode so we can make an informed decision as to whether to continue with the repairs.

This is the survey link:

https://forms.gle/23nPoAaE71BZ95EP7

You can find more information about this in our latest newsletter:

https://www.salt.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/SALT_Newsletter_dec2022.pdf

And a gentle reminder of the upcoming SALT proposal deadline next week, 27th January 2023 at 16:00 UTC.

Cheers,

Encarni on behalf of SALT Astronomy Operations

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2022-12-12

[SALT eNews] SALT Call for Proposals for semester 2023-1

Dear colleagues,

We are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 May - 31 October 2023 (2023 Semester 1).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 27 January 2023, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC ).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS and NIRWALS. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

Please note that NIRWALS commissioning has not yet been completed, so it is again being offered on a shared risk basis.

Proposals requesting brighter Moon or poorer seeing conditions are particularly encouraged, as we have noticed a significant drop for this group the last two semesters which is leading to a very uneven observing queue (i.e. observing gaps and tight competition in the best conditions).

Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

NIRWALS (NIR Integral Field Spectrograph) - description and performance predictions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TBX9eeVlAOflmr_M8i6xohUFlfUFGnv2

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations

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2022-12-09

[SALT eNews] SALT Newsletter December issue

Dear SALT community,

Please find the December issue of our SALT Newsletter here:

https://www.salt.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/SALT_Newsletter_dec2022.pdf

This issue is bulging with news: not only updates on the instruments, but also reports on conferences, meetings and announcements, including the plan to establish a User's group.

We hope that everyone stays safe and healthy!

Sincerely,
The SALT Operations team

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2022-12-05

[SALT eNews] Announcement: SALT Science Conference
1-3 June 2023

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) community to join us for a conference “Science Highlights from SALT”, to be held in Warsaw, Poland, from 1-3 June 2023. The conference aims to present the main achievements enabled by SALT and look forward to the most, also potentially, promising fields for SALT Science.
We hope that this meeting will provide an opportunity for the present and future SALT users to discuss scientific highlights, upcoming projects as well and strategic plans for future, and to promote close working relationships between scientists from different partner institutions and with different professional experience.
The conference is organized by Polish SALT Telescope Foundation and Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of Polish Academy of Sciences.

To find more details and to register please go to the conference website at https://salt2023.pl/.
We encourage you to register as soon as possible, since the attendance at the workshop will be limited to 80 participants. If you wish to make an oral presentation you must submit your title and abstract by 31 January, 2023 and we shall inform speakers soon after 15 February. If you apply for financial support (which is limited) the deadline is also 31 January, 2023.
Please distribute this announcement to your colleagues.
We are looking forward to your participation.

On behalf of the SOC and LOC,
Joanna Mikołajewska & Marek Sarna

--
Prof. Joanna Mikolajewska Phone: +48 22 3296134
N. Copernicus Astronomical Center Fax: +48 22 8410046
Bartycka 18 Email: mikolaj@camk.edu.pl
00-716 Warszawa, Poland Web: www.camk.edu.pl


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2022-08-26

[SALT eNews] SALT Newsletter August 2022

Dear SALT community,

Please find the August issue of our SALT Newsletter here:

https://www.salt.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/SALT_Newsletter_aug2022.pdf

This issue's highlight (by far) is the achievement of the long awaited NIR first light! Everyone is excited, and you all get the chance to try it out soon. Also, the RSS updates are progressing nicely, and you hear about some results of the questionnaire that made the rounds a while ago.

We hope that everyone stays safe and healthy!

Sincerely,
The SALT Operations team

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2022-07-04

[SALT eNews] SALT Happenings blog

Hi all,

A quick reminder about the SALT Happenings blog, since things are ramping up on the NIR front!

https://salthappenings.blogspot.com

Cheers
Lisa

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2022-06-30

[SALT eNews] SALT proposal software

Dear Colleagues,

Updated versions of the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT) and RSS simulator that include the NIR and PG0700 grating are now available through the SALT website: https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/

For more information on the current call for proposals, please see the email below and the Call for Proposals documentation on the SALT website (https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/).

Any queries can be directed to salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Kind regards, SALT Astronomy Operations



2022-06-22

[SALT eNews] SALT Call for Proposals for Semester 2022-2

Dear Colleagues,

We are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 November 2022 - 30 April 2023 (2022 Semester 2).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 29 July 2022, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC ).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS and NIR. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

There are three major changes to highlight in this call:

1 - The NIR Integral Field Spectrograph is being offered for the first time, on a shared risk basis. The instrument is being installed at the telescope and it is expected to be commissioned during August/September. A document has been prepared by the NIR PI (link below) with the expected performance of the instrument to enable our users to estimate their time requests and the technical feasibility of their proposals for this phase 1 call. Please note that the phase 2 for this instrument will have its own separate deadline, which will be communicated to everyone once the instrument performance characteristics are known and the tools are ready.

2 - The RSS grating PG0300 will be permanently replaced with the new PG0700 grating.

3 - The SALTICAM imaging overheads have been increased significantly, to match the actual telescope performance.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT), but please wait a couple of days if you plan to use the PG0700 grating on RSS or the NIR for the updated PIPT to be released.

Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

SALT NIR Integral Field Spectrograph - description and performance predictions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TBX9eeVlAOflmr_M8i6xohUFlfUFGnv2

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations



=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Dr. Encarni Romero Colmenero
Head of SALT Astronomy Operations
erc@salt.ac.za

For personal emails please use: romero.encarni@gmail.com


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2022-05-26

[SALT eNews] SALT Feedback

Dear SALT Community,

We at SALT would like to improve our service to the SALT Community. In order to do this, we need your help: we need to know where we are dropping the ball and what would be most useful to work on. So we have prepared a simple anonymous questionnaire with NO compulsory answers to learn about any issues you’re having using SALT:

https://forms.gle/7qVgm4zu77e9hLch6

We will really welcome all of your answers - anything goes, as long as it doesn’t involve making SALT fully steerable!! ;)

It would be great if you could submit your responses by the end of the following week, Friday 10th June.

Thanks!

Encarni on behalf of the SALT Operations team

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Dr. Encarni Romero Colmenero
Head of SALT Astronomy Operations
erc@salt.ac.za


For personal emails please use: romero.encarni@gmail.com


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2022-04-13

[SALT eNews] SALT Annual Report 2021

Dear SALT Community,

As a little Easter egg, the SALT Annual Report 2021 is ready and can be +downloaded from

https://www.salt.ac.za/2022/04/12/salt-annual-report-2021/

in both low as well as high resolution. Hard copies will become available at the SAAO in Cape Town (next week), selected national and international libraries and at SALT exhibition booths. If you want me to send you directly a hard copy, please email me with your full postal address.

Happy Easter, Anja Schroeder

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2022-04-12

[SALT eNews] SALT Newsletter April 2022

Dear SALT community,

Please find attached the April issue of our SALT Newsletter, also available on

https://www.salt.ac.za/2022/04/11/newsletter-april-2022/

This time we report, among others, that the NIR instrument is on its way (yay!), while the new RSS collimator triplet has already arrived. Also, the HRS has undergone some much needed maintenance.

We wish you all a Happy Easter and hope that everyone stays safe and healthy!

Sincerely,
The SALT Operations team

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2021-12-17

[SALT eNews] SALT Newsletter December 2021

Dear SALT community,

Please find attached the December issue of our SALT Newsletter, also available on

https://www.salt.ac.za/2021/12/17/newsletter-december-2021/

This time we report on the success of the shutdown in October, give an update on the NIR instrument and the slitmask IFU, and show some the of testing the new PG0700 grating.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

Sincerely,
The SALT Operations team

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2021-12-16

[SALT eNews] SALT Call for Proposals 2022-1

Dear colleagues,

We are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 May 2022 - 31 October 2022 (2022 Semester 1).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 28 January 2021, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS and HRS. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals linked below, including changes from previous semesters. Note that a new grating for RSS, PG0700, will be commissioned over the next few months, and is available on a shared risk basis in the next semester.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). You may continue to use v5.5 unless you intend to use the new grating, in which case please update to the latest version available on the website. Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website. Note also that the web manager will ask for some user statistics, which the SAAO is now required to capture for reporting purposes.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations

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2021-10-13

[SALT eNews] SALT Annual Report 2020

Dear SALT Community,

The SALT Annual Report 2020 has finally come out - you can find it at

https://www.salt.ac.za/2021/09/18/salt-annual-report-2020/

in both low as well as high resolution. If you want a hard copy, please email me with your full postal address.

Enjoy, Anja Schroeder

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2021-09-28

Upcoming SALT shutdown dates

Dear SALT PIs and Co-Is of 2021-1 proposals,

As mentioned in our Call for Proposals and, more recently, in our August SALT Newsletter, SALT is having a short shutdown in October. The main purpose of the shutdown, together with a description of the various tasks, was discussed in an article in the newsletter (https://www.salt.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/salt_newsletter_202109.pdf). As an update, we can now confirm that the RSS optics replacement will not happen during this shutdown.

We have now finalised the dates as follows:

10th October - last observing night.

11th October - shutdown begins.

~18th October - on sky re-commissioning and beginning of observations with HRS and SALTICAM ONLY.

~26th October - RSS on-sky re-commissioning.

~29th October - normal operations.

Please note that these dates may shift slightly, depending on how things go.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us (salthelp@salt.ac.za) if you have any questions.

Regards,

Encarni

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Dr. Encarni Romero Colmenero
Head of SALT Astronomy Operations
erc@salt.ac.za



2021-08-30

[SALT eNews] SALT Newsletter September 2021

Dear SALT community,

Please find attached our September issue of the SALT Newsletter. Among others, we report on progress with the RSS Big 5, the NIR instrument and the decision to obtain a laser frequency comb for the HRS. Our new FP postdoc reports on refurbishment plan for the LR and MR Fabry–Pérot etalons. And we look for volunteers to beta-test the new Web Manager.

We wish you all well during this challenging time of COVID-19. Hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

Sincerely,
The SALT Operations team


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2021-07-02

[SALT eNews] SALT Mini-Tracker science discussion

Dear SALT users

Please join us for an open discussion about "SALT Science with four Mini-Trackers" on Tuesday, 13 July at 15:00 SAST (13:00 UT):

https://saastrnomical.zoom.us/j/94552392231?pwd=by9HTzR3K2xpMUxkT0xTQzhoYTJ6Zz09

Before the meeting, we would like to invite you to think expansively about this concept that is being explored, by which SALT could be augmented and used to provide spectroscopic observations of thousands of additional targets per year, even while executing its normal observing queue...

The idea is to employ multiple “mini-trackers” (MTs) to take advantage of SALT's spherical primary mirror's enormous (35 degree diameter) uncorrected field of view.  These deployable devices, each with patrol fields of 100 square degrees, would be able to range around the focal sphere to access additional targets while conventional SALT observations are made with the main tracker.  A suite of up to four MTs would therefore effectively serve as a set of individual four-to-six-metre mini-SALTs, each equipped with a low-resolution spectrograph that would likely be fibre-fed.  These "telescopes" would be additionally constrained in terms of their track times and the fields they can access due to their dependence on the main tracker, but the simpler spherical aberration corrector optics would increase their throughput.

The main MT science case centres on transient follow-up for the Rubin Observatory and broader time-domain science.  However, we need to be aware of other potential opportunities that may exist and we would particularly like to get a sense of the sorts of targets (total number, sky density, brightness range) that other science areas may provide for the MTs.  An ideal project would include a vast pool of targets brighter than 21st magnitude distributed all over the sky, though only a small fraction of the total pool could be expected to be observed.  Repeat visits would also be quite unlikely with the MTs, since their patrol fields would be governed by the main tracker observing the normal SALT queue.

Please see the attached PDFs for additional information and feel free to share this message with your networks as you consider the various kinds of science that might be pursued with such a system.   If you have any specific questions before the meeting, please feel free to contact us via salthelp.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 13 July!

Kind regards

The SALT Team


 


2021-06-23

[SALT eNews] SALT Call for Proposals for semester 2021-2

Dear Colleagues,

We are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 November 2021 - 30 April 2022 (2021 Semester 2).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 30 July 2021, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS and HRS.  All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document:  https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal:  https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations



2020-12-21

[SALT eNews] SALT Call for Proposals for semester 2021-1

Dear Colleagues,

We are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 April 2021 - 31 October 2021 (2021 Semester 1).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 29 January 2021, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to  16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS and HRS.  All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document:  http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal:  http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software:  http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations



2020-12-18

[SALT eNews] SALT newsletter Dec 2020

Dear SALT community,

Please find attached our December 2020 issue of the SALT Newsletter - a +jam-packed edition with lots of updates on SALT's various projects :)

Happy holidays!

Sincerely,
The SALT Operations team.
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2020-07-09

[SALT eNews] Launch of the SALT Data Archive: 10th July at 13:00 SAST (11:00 UT)

Dear SALT Community,

We are pleased to announce the launch of the SALT Data Archive tomorrow 10th July at 13:00 SAST (11:00 UT): https://ssda.saao.ac.za

The SALT Data Archive currently contains data from 1340 proposals from 2011 onwards, of which 926 are public. Public data will be available to search anonymously and also to download. Proprietary data can also be accessed by PIs and Co-Is of the relevant proposal via the SALT Data Archive, but this will require authentication (using your SALT Web Manager credentials). 

PIs whose data will be publicly available should have received an email from SALT on the 12th June containing instructions on how to extend their proprietary period (if needed). Please get in touch with us today if you are concerned and did not receive our email. 

The SALT Data Archive is the first part of a larger SALT/SAAO collaboration. It is envisaged that public SAAO data from the other telescopes will become accessible from this portal in the near future - stay tuned!

Cheers,

Encarni (on behalf of SALT Astronomy Operations)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Dr. Encarni Romero Colmenero
SALT Astronomer
sa@salt.ac.za


2020-06-22

[SALT eNews] SALT Call for Proposals for semester 2020-2

Dear Colleagues,

We are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 November 2020 - 30 April 2021 (2020 Semester 2).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 31 July 2020, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS, and BVIT. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations


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2020-04-23

[SALT eNews] SALT newsletter April 2020

Dear SALT community,

Please find attached our April issue of the SALT Newsletter. We look at how the SALT shutdown went, report on the newly installed SPS and check-in with the progress on the NIR project. Podcasts, puppies and monkeys also make an appearance ;)

We wish you all well during this challenging time of COVID-19. Hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

Sincerely,
The SALT Operations team
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2020-03-18

[SALT eNews] SALT Postdoctoral fellowship

Dear colleagues,

We are currently advertising a SALT Postdoctoral Fellowship, please see the link below:

https://jobregister.aas.org/ad/2ba8c322>

Please share as widely as possible.

Thank you, and stay safe!



Encarni



=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Dr. Encarni Romero Colmenero
Head of SALT Astronomy Operations
erc@salt.ac.za



2020-02-05

[SALT Board] Postdoc positions at the SAAO

Dear all,

Three post-doc positions are currently being offered at the SAAO (the two links are for the same positions). We would really appreciate it if you could circulate amongst your institutions and anyone else who may be interested.

https://jobregister.aas.org/ad/f0f31c9d

https://nrfintra.careerjunction.co.za/jobs/view/2353930/saao-postdoctoral-fellowships-in-cape-town-western-cape-at-national-research-foundation

We are in the process of adding these links also to the SALT website. As always, please also let us know if there are any opportunities at your institutions that you'd like to see advertised in the SALT website and/or circulated amongst the community.

Thanks!



Encarni



=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Dr. Encarni Romero Colmenero
Head of SALT Astronomy Operations
erc@salt.ac.za



2020-01-27

[SALT eNews] SALT newsletter January 2020

Dear SALT community,

Please find attached our January issue of the SALT Newsletter. We look back at accomplishments of 2019 (52 published papers!) and forward towards the Feb/March shutdown (to name but a few articles).

Happy reading!

Sincerely,
The SALT Operations team.
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2019.12.18

[SALT eNews] SALT Call for Proposals for semester 2020-1

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you that we are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 1 April 2020 - 31 October 2020 (2020 Semester 1).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Wednesday, 29 January 2020, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS, and BVIT. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations



2019.09.16

[SALT eNews] SALT Newsletter - September 2019

Dear SALT community,

Please find attached our September issue of the SALT Newsletter, which we trust is full of useful information, including some hints regarding the 2019-1 observing queue, updates on the HRS-HS and MaxE, and a heads-up regarding the planned shutdown in February 2020, amongst many other articles.

Sincerely,

The SALT Operations team.



2019.06.19

[SALT eNews] SALT Call for Proposals 2019-2

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you that we are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 01 November 2019 - 30 April 2020 (2019 Semester 2).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Wednesday, 31 July 2019, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS, and BVIT. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations


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2019.05.01

[SALT eNews] SALT Newsletter - April 2019

Dear SALT Community,

Apologies for the slight delay - please find attached the latest issue of the SALT Newsletter,

It contains many articles that we hope are of interest to all (too many to list!), including some more information about the SALT Gravitational Wave SALT policy and process.

Cheers,

Encarni on behalf of the SALT Astronomy Operations Team.




2019.04.03

[SALT eNews] SALT Gravitational Wave Event Proposals


Dear all,

As you may already know, LIGO/Virgo came back online on Monday, 1st April 2019. SALT has set aside some time for proposals covering gravitational wave events, which can be submitted by any member of the SALT partnership.

How to submit a gravitational wave event proposal

If you are a member of the SALT partnership, you need to use version 5.3 or higher of the PIPT 

Contrary to Director’s Discretionary Time proposals, you do not have to get prior approval before submitting the proposal.

If you do not belong to a SALT partner, please contact salthelp@salt.ac.za and we’ll gladly put you in touch with our gravitational wave event group members.

Receiving notifications and commenting on proposals

A notification is sent out to a dedicated mailing list whenever a gravitational wave event proposal is (re)submitted and/or comments are sent for this proposal. In order to sign up on this mailing list, please go to

https://www.salt.ac.za/wm/GW/

and sign up.

For those of you with iphones, there is a cool free iphone app on the appstore called “Gravitational Wave Events” (developed by Kramer&Kramer Software, not by us!) that will chirp at you whenever there is an alert!  

More details

We have set up a webpage with more detailed information about the process:

And please also refer to the policy document for more details. 

As always, please don’t hesitate to email salthelp@salt.ac.za with any questions you might have.

Cheers,

Encarni on behalf of SALT Astronomy Operations

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Dr. Encarni Romero Colmenero
Head of SALT Astronomy Operations
erc@salt.ac.za

For personal emails please use: romero.encarni@gmail.com



2018.12.21

[SALT eNews] SALT Astronomy Operations Survey

Dear SALT Community,

As mentioned already in our newsletter, we at AstroOps really wish to improve our service to you - and we really need your input. Please give us a few minutes of your time to tell us what we do well and where you think we need to improve.

We are all suffering from survey overload, so all of our survey questions are optional - you only need to answer those questions you want to answer. And at the end of the survey, you will have the option to enter a lucky draw for one hour of P0 time for SALT!

Please find the link to the survey here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSejnGQcJlkwKhg37x-05oAM4ycpJJHyB96BumXP_qywpnhHWA/viewform

Thank you very much for your help!

The SALT Astronomy Operations team





SALT Newsletter - December 2018

Dear SALT Community,

Please find attached the December issue of our SALT Newsletter summarising our year, highlighting the new RSS guider work, the HRS surgery in the later part of the year, the SALT Conference in November, etc.

We also wish to remind you all that our Call for Proposals for semester 2019-1 is open, with deadline 31st January 2019 at 16:00 UT.

If you are going on holiday this time of the year, have a wonderful time!

Wishing you lots of SALT time and all the best for 2019 from all of us,

The SALT Astronomy Operations team






2018.12.15

SALT Call for Proposals 2019-1

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you that we are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 01 May 2019 - 31 October 2019 (2019 Semester 1).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Thursday, 31 January 2019, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS, and BVIT. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations



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2018.08.14

Registration reminder: SALT conference Nov 2018

Dear SALT community,

Thank you to all who have expressed interest in the November SALT conference thus far! We are looking forward to productive and interesting meeting.

This is a reminder that the registration deadline is almost upon us - if you have not yet done so, please sign up at http://salt-conference-2018.salt.ac.za by the end of day on * Friday 17 August *

For more information, see the original announcement below. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Kind regards,
Ros (on behalf of the LOC/SOC)


We invite the SALT community to join us for a conference “Advances with SALT”, to be held in Pretoria, South Africa, from 14 – 16 November 2018.

The conference will reflect on the recent scientific achievements enabled by SALT and look forward to new developments, providing an opportunity for SALT users and staff to gather together to discuss new results, upcoming projects, the strategic vision and plans for SALT’s future. In addition to keynote and contributed presentations, there will be practical sessions on making the most of SALT and dealing with data, less formal “unconference” sessions and discussions. We invite contributions on a broad range of science topics, instrumentation, SALT in outreach and other SALT-related themes.

For more information and to register, see the conference website: http://salt-conference-2018.salt.ac.za.

The conference registration fee, covering the cost of lunches and refreshments, the conference dinner and a t-shirt, is R2500. We particularly encourage students and emerging researchers that use SALT or have an interest in using it in future to attend! We expect to be able to waive the registration fee and provide a limited number of travel grants for students from both South Africa and the international SALT partners, thanks to financial support from the SA National Research Foundation and SALT. Please indicate on the registration form if you are a student applying for support.

Venue:
The conference takes place at the NRF’s Albert Luthuli Auditorium in Pretoria. Accommodation is available at the nearby Lynwood City Lodge, and should be booked before 15 September to take advantage of the group rate. Please see the website for more information.

Important dates:

Registration and abstract submission deadline: 15 August The programme will be announced and recipients of travel grants will be notified in early September.

Contact:
Please email us at conference2018@salt.ac.za if you have any questions.

Kind regards,
Ros Skelton and Encarni Romero Colmenero, on behalf of the LOC and SOC

SOC:
Matt Bershady (co-chair)
Encarni Romero Colmenero (co-chair)
Joanna Mikolajewska
Saurabh Jha
Brian van Soelen
Brent Miszalski
Ros Skelton

LOC:
Ros Skelton
Encarni Romero Colmenero
Christian Hettlage
Nhlavutelo Macebele
Lisa Crause
Nazli Mohammed
Surayda Moosa
and the SALT Astronomy Operations team

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2018.07.25

Second announcement: SALT Conference November 2018

Second announcement
--------------------

We invite the SALT community to join us for a conference “Advances with SALT”, to be held in Pretoria, South Africa, from 14 – 16 November 2018.

The conference will reflect on the recent scientific achievements enabled by SALT and look forward to new developments, providing an opportunity for SALT users and staff to gather together to discuss new results, upcoming projects, the strategic vision and plans for SALT’s future. In addition to keynote and contributed presentations, there will be practical sessions on making the most of SALT and dealing with data, less formal “unconference” sessions and discussions. We invite contributions on a broad range of science topics, instrumentation, SALT in outreach and other SALT-related themes.

For more information and to register, see the conference website: http://salt-conference-2018.salt.ac.za.

The conference registration fee, covering the cost of lunches and refreshments, the conference dinner and a t-shirt, is R2500. We particularly encourage students and emerging researchers that use SALT or have an interest in using it in future to attend! We expect to be able to waive the registration fee and provide a limited number of travel grants for students from both South Africa and the international SALT partners, thanks to financial support from the SA National Research Foundation and SALT. Please indicate on the registration form if you are a student applying for support.

Venue:
The conference takes place at the NRF’s Albert Luthuli Auditorium in Pretoria. Accommodation is available at the nearby Lynwood City Lodge, and should be booked before 15 September to take advantage of the group rate. Please see the website for more information.

Important dates:

Registration and abstract submission deadline: 15 August The programme will be announced and recipients of travel grants will be notified in early September.

Contact:
Please email us at conference2018@salt.ac.za if you have any questions.

Kind regards,
Ros Skelton and Encarni Romero Colmenero, on behalf of the LOC and SOC

SOC:
Matt Bershady (co-chair)
Encarni Romero Colmenero (co-chair)
Joanna Mikolajewska
Saurabh Jha
Brian van Soelen
Brent Miszalski
Ros Skelton

LOC:
Ros Skelton
Encarni Romero Colmenero
Christian Hettlage
Nhlavutelo Macebele
Lisa Crause
Nazli Mohammed
Surayda Moosa
and the SALT Astronomy Operations team


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2018.06.18

SALT Call for Proposals 2018-2

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you that we are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 01 November 2018 - 30 April 2019 (2018 Semester 2).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Tuesday, 31 July 2018, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS, and BVIT. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations


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2018.05.25

First announcement: "Advances with SALT" Conference, Pretoria (South Africa), 14-16 November 2018

First announcement
---------------------------
We invite the SALT community to join us for a conference “Advances with SALT”, to be held in Pretoria, South Africa, from 14 – 16 November 2018.

The conference will reflect on the recent scientific achievements enabled by SALT and look forward to new developments, providing an opportunity for SALT users and staff to gather together to discuss new results, upcoming projects, the strategic vision and plans for SALT’s future. In addition to keynote and contributed presentations, there will be practical sessions on making the most of SALT and dealing with data, less formal “unconference” sessions and discussions. We invite contributions on a broad range of science topics, instrumentation, SALT in outreach and other SALT-related themes.

For more information and to register, see the conference website: http://salt-conference-2018.salt.ac.za/.

The conference registration fee, covering the cost of lunches and refreshments, the conference dinner and a t-shirt, is R2500. We particularly encourage students and emerging researchers that use SALT or have an interest in using it in future to attend! We expect to be able to waive the registration fee and provide a limited number of travel grants for students from both South Africa and the international SALT partners, thanks to financial support from the SA National Research Foundation and SALT. Please indicate on the registration form if you are a student applying for support.

Venue:
The conference takes place at the NRF’s Albert Luthuli Auditorium in Pretoria. We are looking into a hotel block booking at the Lynwood City Lodge - more details on the accommodation will be provided as soon as possible.

Important dates:

Registration and abstract submission deadline: 15 August The programme will be announced and recipients of travel grants will be notified in September.

Contact:
Please email us at conference2018@salt.ac.za if you have any questions.

Kind regards,
Ros Skelton and Encarni Romero Colmenero, on behalf of the LOC and SOC

SOC:
Matt Bershady (co-chair)
Encarni Romero Colmenero (co-chair)
Joanna Mikolajewska
Saurabh Jha
Brian van Soelen
Brent Miszalski
Ros Skelton


LOC:
Ros Skelton
Encarni Romero Colmenero
Christian Hettlage
Nhlavutelo Macebele
Lisa Crause
Nazli Mohammed
Surayda Moosa
and the SALT Astronomy Operations team



2017.12.21

SALT Call for Proposals 2018-1

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you that we are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 01 May 2018 - 31 October 2018 (2018 Semester 1).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Wednesday, 31 January 2018, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS, and BVIT. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations



2017.12.06

Call for Proposals for semester 2018-1, which will be issued on the 20th December with deadline 31st January 2018 at 16:00 UT.


2017.12.06

SALT Newsletter - December 2017



2017.07.12

SALT Newsletter - July 2017



2017.06.23

SALT Call for Proposals 2017-2

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you that we are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 01 November 2017 - 30 April 2018 (2017 Semester 2).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 28 July 2017, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS, and BVIT. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available from the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters. PIs should note that SALT will likely have a stand-down period of 4 weeks during March 2018 to install the new RSS guider, amongst other improvements.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the latest PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations



2017.02.28

SALT Newsletter - February 2017



2017.01.27

Reminder: SALT proposal deadline

Dear SALT users,

we wish to remind you of the imminent SALT proposal deadline on Wed Feb 1, 16:00 UT for Semester 2017-1. See http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Also, PIs of current 2016-2 proposals please note that there will be a scheduled shutdown period of SALT for March 1-28 for a tracker upgrade.

SALT Astro Ops



Reminder: SALT workshop in Poland 2017

Dear SALT Community,

We would like to kindly remind you that, if you wish to make an oral presentation during the workshop on:

"SALT among the constellations of very large telescopes"

Kazimierz Dolny, Poland
7-9 June 2017

the deadline for your title and abstract submission is 31 January 2017
(for details visit: https://salt2017.camk.edu.pl/).



Sincerely,

SOC & LOC



SALT Call for Proposals 2017-1

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you that we are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 01 May 2017 - 31 October 2017 (2017 Semester 1).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Wednesday, 1 February 2017, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS, and BVIT. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters. A new development enhancing data quality of all instruments is the recent successful introduction of active mirror alignment on SALT.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document:
http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal:
http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software:
http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations



SALT Newsletter October 2016



SALT Call for Proposals 2016-2

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you that we are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals for the period 01 November 2016 - 30 April 2017 (2016 Semester 2).

The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 29 July 2016, at 18:00 SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).

This proposal call is for SALTICAM, RSS, HRS, and BVIT. All details of the status of specific instrument modes are available in the Call for Proposals link below, including changes from previous semesters. A new development enhancing data quality of all instruments is the recent successful introduction of active mirror alignment on SALT.

Please submit your proposal via the SALT Principal Investigator Proposal Tool (PIPT). Instructions, software, and other information about proposing for SALT can be found on the SALT website.

Call for Proposals, including link to information document: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/

Instructions for submitting your proposal: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/phase-i/

Download the PIPT software: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/software/#PIPT

All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za

Sincerely,
SALT Astronomy Operations



SALT Newsletter May 2016



SALT Status January 2016

Dear SALT users,

please find our first SALT status update for 2016 attached. A text-only version follows below as well.

regards, SALT Astronomy Operations


Topics:

- Reminder of Phase-1 deadline for 2016-1: Friday, Jan 29th
- Updated PIPT manual
- Record breaking weather and seeing
- Polarimetry update
- Fabry-Perot update
- Upgrade projects and 2015-2 targets
- Laser Frequency Comb update
- Press release: Brightest ever Supernova
- Science papers


REMINDER OF PHASE-1 DEADLINE FOR 2016-1

All PIs are reminded of the deadline at 18:00 SAST (16:00 UTC) this Friday, Jan 29th. Please refer to the detailed information in the Call for Proposals: http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/


UPDATED PIPT MANUAL

We are currently updating the PIPT manual. The new version so far covers the general proposal creation process as well as the various phase 1 forms. The manual is available both as html (http://pysalt.salt.ac.za/pipt-manual/html/pipt-manual.html) and pdf (http://pysalt.salt.ac.za/pipt-manual/pdf/pipt-manual.pdf).


RECORD BREAKING WEATHER AND SEEING

As much of South Africa is grappling with drought, November and December of 2015 saw extremely good weather in Sutherland, astronomically speaking. The weather downtime of 21% at SALT in the month of December was the lowest ever since SALT records began. The seeing was also very good, the intrinsic V-band seeing at zenith occasionally staying sub-arcsec for hours at a time. The picture shows a field in the Large Magellanic Cloud taken during a SALTICAM science observation for Warner 2015-2-SCI-033 with approximately 1.2" sizes of stars on the detector.

The weather in January in contrast has not been very good. Nevertheless, at this point, with about 45% the semester 2015-2 behind us, nearly half of allocated P0-P1 time has been done, as well as about a third of all P2 time.


POLARIMETRY UPDATE

As described in the Call for Proposals, commissioning of the RSS Polarimetric modes has been progressing, and we accept proposals for 2016-1 for a limited mode: point-source or compact object targets for linear long-slit spectropolarimetry. PIs interested in other modes are encouraged to let salthelp know of their intentions for the purpose of prioritizing further commissioning.

However, we have recently uncovered a potential problem in the RSS detector (PDET) electronics making accurate polarimetric signal determination difficult below approximately 0.3% level. The problem is being investigated, and while we hope a solution is found before the start of 2016-1 Semester in May, users needing this accuracy should be aware of this potential limitation.

For now, we strongly recommend sticking with the Faint/Slow detector setting, and obtaining repeat measurements to assess systematic error.


FABRY-PEROT UPDATE

The dual-etalon High Resolution (HR) mode has been tested on-sky, but is still not in routine use due to instability in the relative alignment of the two etalons. We have now traced the drifts to changes with temperature. Further tests are underway, but unfortunately it is not clear at this stage when a successful fix will be ready. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience to all PIs affected in the current semester. You may contact your liaison astronomer if you have other options for your blocks, rather than wait for the fix.

Though we are hopeful, we cannot guarantee observations until commissioning is finalized. We will accept new FP/HR proposals for 2016-1, but the PIs should understand the uncertainty. In the Call for Proposals we suggest including a back-up plan, if possible. We will update the FP users and the TACs in late February during the technical reviews of proposals about the dual-etalon status.

As described in the Call of Proposals, the FP/LR and TF modes are in normal use, while MR is currently off-line and is not offered for 2016-1.


UPGRADE PROJECTS AND 2015-2 TARGETS

There are many ongoing technical upgrade projects at SALT. The most recent SALT schedule has the active primary mirror alignment system (SAMS) integration and testing happening March onwards, an RSS service with up to 4 weeks of telescope downtime in July/August during 2016-1, and a tracker upgrade during 2016-2. Especially exciting is to see what SAMS will do for SALT image quality.

The SAMS work does not involve significant telescope downtime, while we had originally scheduled a 4 week shutdown during the current 2015-2 semester. Since progress with science programs has also been good, it is possible that gaps will develop in the queue in March and April. We thus encourage users whose science allows it, to update lists of optional targets in a given time allocation for the latter half of 2015-2, or replace targets which have set with ones still visible.


LASER FREQUENCY COMB UPDATE

As reported in our previous status update and described in http://www.salt.ac.za/news/laser-frequency-comb/ we will likely be doing HRS on-sky tests using a prototype laser frequency comb (LFC) in the middle of this year. These instruments provide an incredibly precise method to calibrate spectroscopy using tens of thousands of lines with well known wavelengths. While the test is mainly an engineering project, it may be possible to do some limited science observations. No separate proposals are called for this purpose, but anyone within the SALT collaboration with interest and ideas on how to make use of the capability on HRS in the short time period the LFC is available, is encouraged to contact us at salthelp@salt.ac.za, preferably by the end of February.


SALT HELPS TO UNVEIL A RECORD-BREAKING COSMIC BLAST

Saurabh Jha, from Rutgers University, obtained spectroscopic observations of ASASSN-15lh with SALT that led to it being identified as the most luminous supernova ever seen! At a redshift of z = 0.2326, ASASSN-15lh reached an absolute magnitude of Mu,AB = -23.5 ± 0.1. The results were reported by Dong et al. in a recent Science paper, and the story has been mentioned in several major media outlets.

For further reading:

Science paper: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6270/257
Press Release: http://www.salt.ac.za/news/record-breaking-cosmic-blast/
LA Times article: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-huge-supernova-20160114-story.html


SCIENCE PAPERS

The total number of refereed papers using SALT continued to climb, reaching 36 for the calendar year 2015. The full list is available at http://astronomers.salt.ac.za/data/publications/

We strongly encourage SALT users to inform us of their papers making use of any SALT data, and to please adhere to the Acknowledgements policy found under the link above. It will make keeping track of the papers much easier. The SALT Board has also requested that authors using SALT data make an effort to make the source of their data as visible in their papers, e.g. by mentioning SALT in the title, if appropriate, or in the abstract.

SALT papers found from ADS after the previous SALT update sent in late October are listed below. These articles include the first one which has used published HRS data.

Chernyakova et al. and van Soelen et al have monitored the 2014 periastron phase of the binary system PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 using SALT data as well as SAAO 1.9m and X-ray data.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2015MNRAS.454.1358C,
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016MNRAS.455.3674V

Childress et al. measure the Nickel masses produced by type Ia Supernovae.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2015MNRAS.454.3816C

Gvaramadze et al. describe the evolution in spectra of a new massive star MN44 in the luminous blue variable phase between 2009 and 2015.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2015MNRAS.454.3710G

Kangas et al. observed the bright type II supernova 2013fc in the circumnuclear ring of a luminous infrared galaxy and describe its origins.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016MNRAS.456..323K

Kessler et al. describe the pipeline to search for transients in the Dark Energy Survey, some of which were confirmed with SALT.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2015AJ....150..172K

Kollatschny et al. use multi-wavelength data to study the peculiarities of the extremely X-ray weak quasar PG0043+039.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016A%26A...585A..18K

Miszalski et al. report the discovery of an eclipsing dwarf nova in the peculiar, bilobed nova shell Te 11.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016MNRAS.456..633M

Ninan et al. present a detailed study on the outbursting protostar V899 Mon; the data used include the first HRS dataset to be published in a refereed paper.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2015ApJ...815....4N





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