ARC 3.5-m New Users
The Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) operates the 3.5-m telescope at Apache Point Observatory (APO) through a management contract with New Mexico State University (NMSU). The 3.5-m Telescope Director is Professor Nancy Chanover (New Mexico State University, nchanove at nmsu.edu), the APO Site Manager is Mark Klaene (mark at apo.nmsu.edu) and the 3.5-m Telescope Engineer is Bill Ketzeback (bketzeba at apo.nmsu.edu). The current APO staff, ARC partners, and 3.5-m Telescope leasing participants may be found here.
This page provides initial information for new users, and is intended as a roadmap to useful links on the APO websites.
- All new users must visit the site prior to or during their first scheduled observing time for a 3 day/night training session. This visit will help ensure efficient, productive and safe operation of the 3.5-m telescope and instruments while providing you a more complete understanding of our capabilities and features. See ARC's training policy here. Note, we will not approve student (non-PhDs) visits without an accompanying faculty member. In our training policy there is also our orientation checklist. Please feel free to ask us any questions about your observing plans or any of the content on our webpages.
- When visiting the site, users will want to check out our Accomodations page. There you will find information about traveling to the site, accomodations and a reservation form, driving directions, etc. Note that there are kitchen facilities at APO, but it is necessary for you buy food on your way (e.g. in Alamogordo), as there is no cafeteria.
- Our telescope and instruments are all run via the Telescope Users Interface (TUI). Here are instructions for download, installation, and use.
- When bringing a group for training, please contact the site and place housing reservations at least one month in advance.
- Users will want to check out the Users Manual for any instrument you anticipate using. Please feel free to explore the rest of our available documentation as well!
- Questions about observing procedures should be directed to the Lead Observing Specialist, Russet McMillan, email mcmillan at apo.nmsu.edu.
- Please make sure to check the telescope schedule and verify when your observing runs are. You will receive a reminder email a few days in advance of all your scheduled time. We ask that users respond to these emails with their desired instrument setup, including filters and slits.
- The observing specialist will be keeping an eye on the weather while observing, but in case users want to watch for themselves, our weather page is here.
- Users should make sure they are signed up for the apo35-general mailing list. Please contact your institutional users comittee member for information.
- Daytime use of the telescope/instruments for calibrations etc. must be coordinated through the Chief Telescope Engineer in advance.
- Input and suggestions are always welcome! We encourage you to discuss items with your User Committee Representative. This group meets monthly with observatory management.
On our website you will find...