Call for Proposals
PERIOD 61: APRIL 1, 2020 - OCTOBER 1, 2020
The Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) invites applications for observing
time in Period 61, April 1, 2020 - October 1, 2020
The deadline for receipt of the applications is:
Monday, November 18, 2019, at UT 12:00 noon.
The Call for Proposals is also available in the following formats:
As you may know, the NOT and its operations is being transferred to
Aarhus University (AU), Denmark, and the University of Turku (UTU),
Finland. The new organization for operating the telescope is a
research collaboration between partners in the Nordic countries. The
telescope will continue to operate in a way similar to how it has
operated in the past and also the new organisation will offer access
to the telescope for astronomers in Denmark, Finland and Norway as
well as astronomers from the University of Iceland and Stockholm
University - the partners in the new organisation. The Swedish
Research Council will no longer fund operations of the NOT, and access
to observing time will be limited for astronomers from Sweden. This
does not apply to astronomers from Stockholm University.
As a new organization will be running NOT, it has been decided to
request all on-going Large proposal to
(re-)submit a proposal at the coming deadline.
AU and UTU will together with all other partners work on ensuring a
smooth transition and we are looking forward to a successful continued
operation of the NOT in many years to come.
Information for applicants
The applicants are reminded of the following:
As maintained in the new organisation, the share of observing time for
applicants will be proportional to the contributions from the
different Partners. Regular visitor mode observing is the basic
mode provided to researchers affiliated with a Nordic institution, and
does not require any user contribution. For any services
requested beyond basic access, a contribution to the operational cost
will be required. The detailed rules for the allocation of observing
time and the related user contributions can be found at
A system of Large Observing Proposals has been introduced, where
researchers or research groups can apply for observing time for
multi-semester programs. A separate proposal form has been prepared
for Large proposals. The form can be downloaded together with the
regular proposal form. The proposal submission is the same for both
regular and Large proposals. The detailed rules applicable to these
Large Proposals can be found at
Late applications are not accepted. However, proposals for short
programmes (≤ 4 hours) using fixed instrument set-ups are welcome at
any time (see http://www.not.iac.es/observing/service/). The
Fast-Track programme is a service that is provided free of cost to
researchers affiliated with a Partner institution. It also
incorporates a system to compensate regular observing programs for
time lost due to interruptions by observations for ToO or Monitoring
In order to spearhead the coordinated use of Europe's 2-4m telescopes,
the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) and NOT telescopes on La Palma
have agreed to enter into a closer collaboration and will continue to
jointly offer time at both telescopes to both communities in the next
semester. See further details
Accordingly, Nordic scientists can submit normal observing proposals
directly to the TNG, and vice versa, but prior coordination between
similar proposals from the two communities is encouraged in order to
optimise the scientific returns of the available observing
time. However, in particular with respect to Target-of-Opportunity
programs, the different rules applying to observing time at the TNG
and the NOT will be taken in to consideration.
In relation to the call for proposals at the TNG, the
NB: As for the allocation of observing time, user
contributions, and travel support, the national rules applicable to
the Principle Investigator of a proposal are followed.
We strongly encourage the submission of joint
`Italo-Nordic' proposals using NOT, TNG, or both
Applicants should carefully read the following instructions:
1: Proposals are reviewed without regard to the nationality of the
applicant(s). Non-Nordic proposals should be submitted via the
OPTICON programme if possible (see below), and the total time
allocated to 'foreign' projects will be limited to ~15% of the Nordic
time. This limit does not apply to Italian projects submitted under
the joint call described above.
Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their proposal as soon
as possible after the evaluation by the NOT Observing Programmes
Committee and preparation of the observing schedule by the
Director. Brief explanatory notes are provided to proposers,
especially for rejected proposals. Note also that only 75% of the
science time can be scheduled by NOT; the rest is Spanish time (20%),
or time allocated based on the agreement to operate the telescope at
the ORM observatory (5%). Awards of observing time do not imply any
financial support from NOT.
2: Proposals for projects of all sizes are welcome, large and small as
well as medium-size. Pooling of related and synergistic proposals by
consortia of groups with similar interests is encouraged.
Visitor mode observing is the basic mode provided. Programmes
requiring service mode observing, or propose a Monitoring,
Target-of-Opportunity (ToO) or similar project, should so indicate
this in the proposal.
In principle, compensation is provided in service mode for any
observing time affected by Monitoring or ToO observations.
Applicants having particular, or complex scheduling requirements
should contact the director (email@example.com) in advance in order to
discuss optimum strategies.
3: The proposal submission procedure is electronic. The Latex template
and style files for Period 61 are available at the NOT web site:
instructions are provided in the template file itself and a README
file; they should be followed carefully. Applicants should process
and view the output of their files before submission in order to check
that they process properly. Proposals using modified style files will
not be accepted.
Proposals requesting more than one observing run in the period (using
different instruments on a project counts as separate runs) should
specify them individually in the proposal as indicated.
4: Regular and Large proposals should be submitted by e-mail before
the above deadline to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with the word "Proposal"
both as Subject and as text. Automatic e-mail acknowledgement of
receipt, with notification of any problems encountered in processing,
is provided. Before the deadline, questions on proposal preparations
or procedures may be sent to the same address with "Question" as the
5: Up-to-date information on instruments at NOT is found at
note the following features for Period 61:
To further improve the stability for radial-velocity measurements, the
FIES grating has been mounted in a vacuum enclosure, making the
spectrograph immune to the large wavelength shifts (of order km/s)
caused by the changing pressure of Earth’s atmosphere. This effect can
be attenuated by bracketing science observations by calibration
frames, but a much better approach is to completely remove the
dependence on the changing atmospheric pressure by enclosing the
grating in vacuum. In addition, a tunable Fabry–Pérot Etalon
calibration unit (TFP) was installed, which will provide an
ultra-precise calibration source used to set the velocity zero point
of the instrument. The current approach using a Th-Ar lamp has several
severe disadvantages (strongly non-uniform flux of emission lines and
drifts in line positions). A TFP calibration source will alleviate
these issues, providing further stabilization of the spectrograph.
Tests are on-going to determine the stability that can be obtained,
but it is expected to significantly improve on the ~2-4 m/s on
time-scales from a day to weeks that is currently reached.
We acquired two holographic diffusers to do high-precision photometry.
These diffusers effectively scrambled the incoming light, providing a
more constant and optimal (`top-head’) shape, with minimal light loss,
significantly reducing any systematic effects in the photometry. The
diffusers provides a very stable stellar image with a width (~FWHM) of
between 5 and 8 arcsec. See for more details
The SOFIN high-resolution Echelle spectrograph is again available. It
only is offered to do circular spectro-polarimetry with the
medium-resolution (R~80,000) camera. SOFIN is not a common-user
instrument: only limited support is provided.
6: The OPTICON Trans-National Access Programme provides access for
external users to NOT and several other European telescopes with
support from the European Union. NB: Proposals for OPTICON time are
submitted and reviewed separately two months before the normal NOT
proposals, and all eligible non-Nordic applicants should follow the
procedure. See http://www.astro-opticon.org/h2020/tna/call/index.html
for the next deadline and all details on this programme.
October 23, 2019
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