Otwarcie konkursu wniosków obserwacyjnych na I semestr 2016
Oto oryginalna wiadomość:
We would like to inform you that we are now accepting SALT Phase 1 proposals
for the period 01 May 2016 - 31 October 2016 (2016 Semester 1).
The Phase 1 proposal deadline is Friday, 29 January 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.
In particular note changes from the currently running Semester in the RSS Fabry-Perot mode availability,
and new availability of selected RSS spectropolarimetry modes.
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.
All questions regarding this proposal call should be addressed to: salthelp(at)salt.ac.za
SALT Astronomy Operations
II faza składania wniosków obserwacyjnych
Oto oryginalna wiadomość:
Congratulations to everyone who has received time for the 2015-2 semester.
** As a reminder, the Phase II deadline is 23 October 2015 **
Tips for Creating your Phase II proposal
Tips for creating your phase II proposal:
When creating your phase II proposal for next semester, there is no need for you
to retype all the maximum lunar phases you chose in your phase I proposal.
You can instead use version 4.7 of the PIPT to copy the phase values, as described
at the bottom of
You don't have to use this version for submitting your proposal. However, if you
are planning to use pools in your proposal, you'll at least have to update
to version 4.6 of the PIPT.
If you are a Mac user and have upgraded to El Capitan already, you might notice
that the PIPT GUI is rather wonky. This seems to be an issue with Java 6,
and upgrading to Java 8 should solve the problem.
As already communicated to FP users directly, the coatings of the Medium Resolution
MR etalon have unfortunately degraded resulting in significant loss of spectral
resolution. We have removed it from the telescope and are in the process
of determining both costs and timescales for repairs - but we do not expect it will
be returned to the telescope for several months.
On the positive side, LR is working well, and the HR etalon has been inserted
and we are working to commission the dual etalon HR mode in November. If this effects
your program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
New P4 Policy
There is a new policy on P4 Blocks allowing any accepted program to enter P4 targets
to the queue, above their time allocation. These are to be used as filler targets
in case we have nothing else available at a given time. If you are unsure what
it means, first read the bits about P4 time in the Intro and Section 11.4 of the
and discuss with your Liaison Astronomer. Note that using optional targets in pools
is more useful in general.
Before the 2015-2 Semester starts, there will be a new 'Block Probability' number
on the Web Manager attached to each active Phase II block. The intention
is to indicate roughly the chances of a block getting done. The number takes
into account Moon phase and Seeing constraints, the 'Observability' i.e. how tight
the requested track is within its visibility window, and Competition from all other
Blocks in that same window taking into account their Priorities. Note that in case
of multiple visits the number refers to the binomial probability of finishing *all*
the requested visits taking into account the available tracks over the semester.
The system is live, so you can see the effects when e.g. changing seeing
and lunar phase constraints. It also means that the numbers before at least
the great majority of Phase II blocks are active do not mean much since
the competition calculation will be unrealistic.
Disclaimer: This is our first stab at providing this functionality and
it may still contain bugs. Please let us know if you think your nubmers
are showing anomalous behaviour.
Status teleskopu SALT w październiku 2015
Oto oryginalna wiadomość:
Recent Scientific Papers
The 2015 calendar year will top the number of 31 refereed SALT publications from 2014.
While waiting for the final tally, here is a list of SALT papers that have appeared
since our last update in July:
* Hajduk et al. combine X-Shooter spectra with RSS data to conclude that [JD2002]11
is the ninth symbiotic star known in total, and only the 2nd known dusty symbiotic
star in the Small Magellanic Cloud.
* Katkov, Kniazev & Sil'chenko show, using RSS spectra of isolated lenticular
galaxies, that there is a large range in their formation epochs and that their gas
is likely externally accreted by minor mergers.
Laser Frequency Comb at SALT
We have been fortunate to be approached by researchers from the University Heriot-Watt
in Edinburgh, the Department of Photonics and Quantum Science, asking SALT to provide
an on-sky test for their prototype laser frequency comb. These instruments provide
an incredibly precise method to calibrate spectroscopy using tens of thousands
of lines with well known wavelengths. Currently, only HARPS at ESO is equipped
with such an instrument, and with such a calibrator it regularly delivers precision
down to a few cm/s.
The frequency comb is expected to be installed on the telescope for a three month
period and provide HRS with a high stability calibration source. It will be installed,
commissioned and tested as soon as it arrives in January 2016, and will be available
for HRS science during the second quarter of 2016. For more information, and if you
have ideas of how to make use of the capability on HRS in this limited time period,
please contact us at email@example.com.
SALT polarimetry update
The RSS polarimetry beamsplitter was returned to its US manufacturer in 2013 after
problems were discovered with leaking coupling fluid. An alternative coupling "gel"
was used in the repair and the beamsplitter was successfully re-installed into RSS
in June 2015. The recommissioning of the mechanical and electrical mechanisms
and control software associated with the polarimetry mode has been ongoing over
the past few months. As of October 2015, closed dome re-commissioning tests
are almost complete. On-sky commissioning and calibrations are scheduled to begin
in October/November 2015. We hope some of the polarimetry modes will be ready
to be advertised for the SALT 2016-1 Semester Call, but at this point
we are not certain yet. We will keep users informed. For more information
about RSS polarimetry, please send any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new RSS guider project is progressing well with proof-of-concept hardware
for the motion stage and stand-alone control system on its way and concept designs
of all the major components under way. This new two-probe design will be able
to deliver rotation guidance (which especially MOS mode users will appreciate)
and automatic focus feedback (which the observers will greatly appreciate),
while delivering significantly improved performance with much fainter stars,
reaching the same V~20 mag in 15 sec sensitivity as the current FIF guider.
It is expected to be ready for integration with the telescope towards the end of 2016.
Last week, the telescope was taken offline for the installation of the new
Y-drive motors. The installation went smoothly and the telescope was back online
and in operation after only two nights of down time. The final stage of the upgrade
is expected to be carried out in April 2016 and will result in a much better performing
and capable tracker for the telescope. Congratulations to the TechOps team
for successfully carrying out this major milestone!
Status teleskopu SALT w lipcu 2015
Oto oryginalna wiadomość:
Darragh O'Donoghue's sudden passing on 25 June 2015 has left a huge hole in
of our lives. Darragh was directly responsible for much of the success of
SALT and was leading the long term plan for the telescope as well as in the
midst of developing new instrumentation for use by the community. More
importantly, he was a mentor and friend to many of us. A memorial will be
held for Darragh at SAAO on 24 July. For those who cannot attend, written
tributes may be email to Lisa Crause at crause [at] saao.ac.za or posted
Call for Proposals
We wish to remind all of the Phase-1 deadline for
submissions is July 31st, 6pm SAST.
* Kirk et al. present SALT multi-object spectroscopic observations of
galaxy clusters detected by ACT, and find a type II QSO in a brightest
cluster galaxy. The paper is useful reading to anyone planning RSS/MOS
The SALT Science Conference was a success, featuring many on-going
SALT projects and general excitement of recent results. The conference
itself was featured well in the South African media, especially the
keynote presentation given by the Minister of Science and Technology
Naledi Pandor. See the conference web-site
for science talks given at the conference and the SAAO web-site for a PR
Check out our new popular level SALT news pages at
The pages are are updated approximately
once a month and are maintained by one of the SALT Operators, Thea Koen. If
you have are willing to write a short piece for the benefit of all,
please contact her at thea_at_salt.ac.za.
Konkurs wniosków obserwacyjnych na 2 semestr 2015 roku
Do 31 lipca 2015 r. do godz. 16:00 UTC można składać wnioski obserwacyjne (faza 1)
na wszystkie instrumenty teleskopu SALT na okres
od 1 listopada 2015 roku do 31 lipca 2016 roku.
Oto oryginalna wiadomość:
We would like to inform you that we are now accepting SALT Phase 1
proposals for the period 01 Nov. 2015 - 30 April 2016 (2015 Semester 2)
The Phase 1 proposal deadline will be 31 July 2015 at 18:00
SAST (corresponding to 16:00 UTC).
Please note that this proposal call is for SALTICAM, BVIT, HRS, and RSS,
but with some modes, such as Fabry-Perot HR
still on a "best efforts" basis (i.e. no guarantees regarding
performance or completion), or not available at all. In particular,
we will not accept polarimetric proposals, although it may be
possible that we'll reactivate previous polarimetric commissioning
proposals later in the semester should this mode becomes available.
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.
All questions regarding this proposal call should be address to:
Pomoc w redukcji danych z SALT
Oto oryginalna wiadomość:
Dear SALT user -
This letter is directed to any PI or co-I who has in the past received
data from SALT. We are interested in getting SALT data published, and
hence are offering help where possible and where it would be
useful. We are also gathering feedback to improve efficiency.
1) If you have published your data, thank you very much. On the other
hand, There are a myriad of reasons why observations don't get
published. Maybe the data were clearly of inferior quality or not
enough for the science purpose. And some project types
(e.g. monitoring, student theses) often just take a long time. But if
you are in a possession of a reasonably complete data-set and have not
yet published it, we would like to know if there is anything we could
help you with. This could be in the area of data reductions,
calibrations, or perhaps some trivial amount of data or information
missing for the set to be useful.
- Please send an email to salthelp with any details you wish to give
us. Add the word "help" and a program ID in the subject line for us
to keep the requests organized.
- We cannot guarantee results. But we do promise to at least assess
the situation with you to see if there is something to be done, and
possibly assign one of the SALT Astronomers to work with you.
2) In an effort to make future SALT Astro Ops more effective we would
be interested in your frank feedback. What part of the process worked
in your opinion, what did not? Were the data acceptable, useful, or
- Please send an email to salthelp with the word "feedback" in the
subject line and a program id if appropriate.
3) Finally, we wish to advertise the fact that SALT data quality is
- There was a significant increase in RSS throughput recently.
- Stray-light affecting faintest RSS observations have also
significantly been reduced.
- The active alignment system for stable PSF (the SAMS) is not on-line
yet. However, the central 7 segments already have sensors and are
gathering performance data.
- There is a high priority project to implement a new RSS guider to
address rotational guiding issues affecting especially MOS observations.
- We are aware that many users are waiting for a HRS reduction
pipeline. When ready, we will announce the availability and help PIs
to get extracted spectra from both past and on-going HRS data sets.
- We have studied the completion fractions of blocks and programs over
the previous semesters and have tips and suggestions on how to
maximize your chances of finishing programs. We will include these in
the next Call for Proposal in late June.
We do hope that you continue to use SALT for your science and hope that
with upcoming improvements we can deliver the kind of quality data
and the whole SALT Astronomy Operations team.
Status teleskopu SALT w marcu 2015
Oto oryginalna wiadomość:
We are saddened by the untimely passing of Janusz Kaluzny on 6 March
2015. Janusz, of the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center in
Poland, was involved in SALT from its very first days, and throughout
the project devoted his time and wisdom to ensuring that SALT would
live up to the high expectations of it. His contributions, both
scientific and technical, will be missed.
After running the Astronomy Operations for 10 years, David Buckley has
taken a sabbatical and will return to SAAO and SALT related projects
as SALT Scientist at the end of this year.
Chris Coetzee has been named the SALT Operations Manager and any
issues or feedback regarding management of the operations and process
as a whole should be addressed to him at chris_at_salt.ac.za. Petri
Vaisanen has taken over as the Head of SALT Astronomy Operations since
mid-January. Any questions relating to SALT science and programs
should be addressed to him at petri_at_saao.ac.za or
saltastrohead_at_saao.ac.za. Normal operations and on-going programs
continue to be handled by the assigned individual Liaison SAs as
SALT Papers since November
In 2014, 33 papers were published that included SALT data. Already,
2015 is off to a great start and here are some of the refereed papers
that have been published this year (and please do let us know of SALT
papers we may have omitted):
SALT Science Conference 2015
Registration for 'Science with SALT' conference to be held at the
Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study (STIAS) from 1-5 June is now
open. Please visit the conference website for more information:
SALT in the News
Recently SAAO issued two SALT related Press Releases. One about the
closest known stellar fly-by of a late type star / brown dwarf binary
intruder through the Oort Cloud 70.000 years ago and the other about
finding a rare Luminous Blue Variable star.
SALT DDT followup of MASTER transients
As part of a SALT Directors Discretionary Time program, snapshot RSS
spectroscopic observations were undertaken of three MASTER SAAO
transients in order to optically identify them. They were subsequently
identified (and the results published in Astronomers Telegrams) to be
a Dwarf Nova declining from outburst (Atel #7165), a flaring FSRQ
blazer, at a redshift of 0.90 (Atel #7167), and an eclipsing Polar
with a 2.1 h orbital period (Atel #7169). The latter was determined
from follow-up photometry on the SAAO 1.9-m and 1.0-m telescopes using
the high speed SHOC cameras. This was conducted during a campaign of
CV photometry undertaken by UCT graduate students Hannes Breytenbach
and Mokhine Motsoaledi, together with John Thorstensen and students
from Dartmouth College, who have been visiting SAAO and UCT for the
Phase-1 proposals for 2015-1
We received 76 proposals for the upcoming Semester 2015-1 starting May
1. The process is now with the various Time Allocation committees.
For all proposals, the time available was oversubscribed by a factor
of 1.3. The successful PIs will be informed by the Ast Ops by 1 April
and phase-2 material will be expected to be submitted by 17 April.
After the re-installation of RSS in November we have unfortunately
struggled to get the FP mode stable and calibrated. New cabling was
required which arrived only in January. Calibrating all the required
wavelength regions has been slow due to various technical issues, but
we are making progress are are confident that both LR and MR are back
on-sky during this month. The good news is that LR mode is on-line
after a long period off-line in 2013-2014.
We do sincerely apologize for significant loss of valuable time for
accepted FP programs during 2014-2.
Rozpocząłęła się rejestracja uczestników konferencji "Science
with SALT 2015". Potrwa ona do 1 kwietnia br.
Konferencja odbędzie się w dniach od 1 do 5 czerwca br.
w Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study, w pobliżu
Kapsztadu w Republice Południowej Afryki.
Organizatorzy szczególnie mocno zapraszają studentów.
Osoby zainteresowane udziałem w tej konferencji proszone
są o kontakt z prof. Joanną Mikołajewską (email@example.com).
Oto oryginalna wiadomość:
This is to inform you that registration for the forthcoming "Science
with SALT 2015" conference at the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced
Study (STIAS) from 1-5 June is now open.
Here you will find more details and the conference registration page.
The deadline for registration and submitting an abstract for a talk or
poster is 1 April.
We encourage students to attend this meeting and depending on the
level of funding we receive, we will waiver or subsidize the R2000
registration fee (which covers all breaks and lunches) and possibly
also contribute to accommodation expenses.
We look forward to seeing you in June!