Subaru Service Program

1. General Information on Service Program

The following instruments and observing modes are available for Service Programs: COMICS (only imaging), FOCAS (imaging/spectroscopy), HDS, IRCS (imaging/spectroscopy with/without AO188), and MOIRCS (only imaging). Although HSC is not available for service programs, in HSC queue mode there is no lower limit of requested time.

Each program must be completed within 4 hours including all overheads and open-dome calibrations.
(Note: A service program proposal requesting observations divided into several different periods or using different instruments is not necessarily excluded as long as the total observing time is within 4 hours. It should be remarked, however, that the possibility of such a complicated observing proposal being completely executed as a service program is considerably low.)

The observations of accepted service programs will be carried out by Support Astronomers (SA). No visiting observers will be accepted. Service Programs will be scheduled in advance, and executed according to the priorities (given by the TAC) and the prevailing site conditions. The observing method and technical details must be described well in the proposal, so that SA can execute observations without any need of contacting the PI. SA will send information to PI once his/her program has been completed. In other words, SA will not send any announcements to PI until his/her program has been completed. All the proposed programs will be off (i.e., cleaned from) the active service queue at the end of the semester.

2. Reviewing

The TAC will assign priority ranks to each of the submitted service proposals, which will be used by observatory staff to schedule the execution of the programs, along with other factors such as target coordinates and requested site conditions. The results of assessment will be notified to applicants after the Telescope Schedule has been fixed. There is no guarantee that an accepted service program will ever be executed. If there is a conflict between targets in a service program and accepted Open Use Normal Programs or Intensive Programs, such service program will not be executed.

3. Notice for Service Program Application

Describe the requirements for observation as a plain text. Each instrument has a different format for specifying the requested observations. Please see the relevant part of the Appendix (below) for COMICS, FOCAS, HDS, IRCS, or MOIRCS. In addition to specifying the instrument configuration(s) for your observations, you will also need to indicate the site conditions (seeing, photometric, etc.) required for observations to achieve the intended scientific goal. You can request the best conditions for your observations if really needed, but in general your program would have a higher chance of being executed without such a special requirement.

4. Notice for Scientific Justification

Provide your scientific justification as a PDF file. See the instructions below.
i) Should be written in English with the strict page limit of only 1 page (including any items such as figures, tables, and references).
ii) Fonts smaller than 10 point must not be used.
iii) In the beginning should be given the title of the proposal, the name of the PI, and a brief abstract (e.g., a few lines).

*Note to Japanese proposers:
If you wish, you can append an extra page of "faithful" Japanese translation in the same PDF file.

5. Calibration Data

Calibration data taken for one service program may be shared with other service programs (if possible) in order to improve the overall observing efficiency during the nights scheduled for service observations, though applicants do not need to be aware of it.

6. Notes on publishing data obtained from a service program

We ask all service program proposers to follow the Subaru Telescope acknowledgment policy. Though SAs who perform service observations are not expected to be involved as co-authors in any publications which may arise, they are always ready to be inquired about possible collaborations.

7. Describing Requirements for Observations

This section lists the appropriate formats for specifying your requested observations. Each instrument has a different format. Please read carefully the information relevant to the instrument needed for your intended observation.

7-1. COMICS (imaging)

Please submit a plain ASCII text file. Please ensure you leave enough time for overheads and read the information on detector and chopping position angles. The following information must be provided for each target:

  1. Target name.
  2. Target coordinates. Please include the equinox (e.g., J2000) and the source of the coordinates (e.g., IRAS).
  3. Target brightness at the wavelength of interest (Jy are preferred). Please also include the source (e.g., IRAS).
  4. Requested filter.
  5. Integration time. Please indicate also the desired S/N.
  6. Standard star. You may choose a specific star or leave this blank, in which case the SA will choose a star for you.
  7. Chop throw. Currently, chop throws of up to 60'' are possible. If left blank, the SA will choose an appropriate chop throw.
  8. Chopping `off' position. If your target is in a crowded field, or is extended in a particular direction, you may provide a specific location for the `off' position of the chop beam. If left blank, the SA will make an educated guess.
  9. Detector position angle. For extended objects, you may specify the position angle of the detector since the COMICS detector is not square.
  10. Priority. If you have many targets and/or filters, please specify the priority in which you want them executed.
  11. Required site conditions. Please specify the image quality, etc., required to achieve your science goals.
  12. Please indicate any other special requests on your proposal. The observatory staff will try their best to accommodate them.
  13. Please use this Java applet to create an observation file for *each* combination of objects/standards and filters. For example, if you are observing one (1) object and one (1) standard with two (2) filters, then you will need to produce four (4 = 1*2 + 1*2) observation files.

Here is an example to help you prepare your observation file.

N.B.: It is important to submit both a list of answers to the above questions for each object and the Java-produced observation files. Please refer to the example given above.

All the information should be written in (pasted into) the observation requirements section (no page limit) in the application form.

If you think finding-charts will be beneficial, for example, in identifying your target in a crowded field or how it should be placed on the detector array, please supply them as PDF attachments when you submit the proposal via e-mail (see the instruction on electronic submission above).

Here is an example finding-chart.

7-2. FOCAS

Please note that the FOCAS new CCD system has been used since S11A. Please see the instrument web page for details.

(I) General Comments on Service Observation with FOCAS

The available observing modes are:
long-slit spectroscopy (only sidereal tracking)
multi-object spectroscopy (MOS, no preimaging)
Multiple observing modes can be used in a single program. Please note that nonsidereal tracking and polarimetric observing modes are not available, and that preimaging observation for MOS mask will not be made for service programs.
The grisms available for the service program are limited to the followings:
Please check here for the details of the grisms and here about the combination with order-sorting filters and long-slits.

Those who plans to submit the service observation should make a detailed observing plan including overheads, and confirm that the plan can be fit in the 4-hr limit of service program. The overheads that should be considered are target acquisition (2-3min. for imaging, ~10min. for long-slit, and ~15min. for MOS) readout time (see FOCAS web page) taking CAL sources (if required, ~5min. for long-slit, ~10min. for MOS). Please describe the plan at the beginning of the observation file.

If it is MOS observation, up to 2 masks are accepted. Because preimages are not available, only the following case is acceptable as a survice program.
1. The mask is already available from your past FOCAS observation.
2. There is an existing FOCAS image, Suprime-Cam image or HSC image which can be used for the mask design. If you have not done it before, please contact the support astronomer well in advance, i.e. 2 weeks before the proposal deadline. (Please contact the support astronomer if you have not done it before.)

Please check the FOCAS web page for the details of the mask design.
Note that if we find anything wrong with the mask (e.g., large rms in the alignment), the observation will be canceled.

(II) Requirements for Observation

Please submit a plain ASCII text file.
The following information should be provided for each target and observing mode, including calibration standards.

1. Target/field name
2. Magnitude/range of magnitudes in a specified band
3. Are photometric conditions necessary? (Yes/No)
4. What is the maximum acceptable seeing size in arcseconds?
5. Right ascension of the target in format HHMMSS.SSS
6. Declination of the target in format (+/-)DDMMSS.SS
7. Equinox of position in format YYYY.Y
8. Position angle in degrees (-180 to +180)
9. Observing mode (imaging/long-slit/mos)
10. Filter/grism/slit settings for observation.
For spectroscopy, up to 2 spectroscopic settings (the combination of the filter, grism, and long-slit) are accepted.
Note that, for long-slit spectroscopy, you have to specify both slit-width and position (center or offset).
For spectrophotometric standard stars, using 2"-wide slit is recommended.
11. CCD binning (X-axis x Y-axis)
With the new CCDs, only 1x1, 2x1, and 2x2 binning are currently available. See the web page for more information.
12. Exposure parameters for each setting
12-1. Filter/grism/slit setting
12-2. Individual exposure time
12-3. Single/dithering
12-4. Number of exposures and dither pattern
  For imaging mode, specify the coordinates (dRA,dDec.) in arcsec relative to the original position.
  For spectroscopy, specify the relative position along the slit in arcsec. A positive value moves the target toward +x. See the example files below.
13. Requests for calibration
As a standard set of calibration data, following frames will be taken in the evening or morning of the observing night while the dome is closed.
  dome flat (5 frames with the maximum count below 20000 ADU)
  arc (1 frame, or 2 if the wavelength coverage is wide)
  bias (5 frames)
If you need any other calibration data, please describe here. (Please note that twilight flat is not available for the service observation.)
Then add the following information.
14. Special requests for observation (if any)
15. MOS design files
In case of MOS observation, please attach the mask design files (.sbr) here.
Please use '#' to comment out a line and specify the mask names in the comments.
The snapshots of the design software should be attached as the finding charts (see III-3).

(III) Finding charts

Finding charts should be attached for each targets. (For the calibration standards, you dont't have to attach finding charts if they are from the FOCAS web page.)

Please show the target name, the orientation (north and east), and the scale in the chart. In addition, the following information should be added depending on the observing mode.

1. Imaging
Show the FOCAS FOV (6' diameter circle) on the chart. If the target is single or small field (<6') and it is necessary to avoid the CCD gap and bad-columns, please specify how the two FOCAS CCDs are placed in the finding chart.
2. Long-slit spectroscopy
Please attach both wide (~6') and small (~20") FOV charts for each target. The small field chart with a detailed view around the target is essential for accurate acquisition. Show the positions of the target and the long-slit on the charts. If there's no neighboring objects around the target in the 20" chart, please use a wider FOV so that there are a few objects in the FOV and the target can be easily identified in the acquisition image.
If you're going to observe two or more targets in a single exposure, the distance of the targets should be less than 30 arcseconds and provide accurate slit position-angle (~0.1 degree). Fine tuning of the position angle will not be performed.
If the target is spatially extended, please take multiple exposures with dithering to avoid data loss by dead columns.
If the target is faint and cannot be seen in a 30 seconds exposure with FOCAS (use ETC for checking), please specify a bright star (15-22mag.) to acquire first and give either
  i. the coordinate offset (dRA, dDec) to the target from the star in arcsec. Note that the star has to be within 5" from the target for accurate telescope offset using a guide star.
  ii. the position angle of the star from the target with high accuracy (0.1 degree) which is used as the slit PA. The star should be within ~30" from the target due to the error of the slit PA of FOCAS, 0.1 to 0.2 degree.
3. Multi-object spectroscopy
The snapshot of the mask design software must be attached.

If you intend to submit more than 2 finding charts, please compile them into one PDF file.

A-1. Number of finding charts contained (number of pages of the PDF file).
A-2. Give information 1 to 5 below for each of the finding chart.
(1. Page number 2. Object name 3. Size of the chart 4. Orientation of the chart (north and east) 5. Other comments (if any))

Here are examples for imaging, long-slit spectroscopy, and MOS modes to help you prepare your observation file.

7-3. HDS

Please submit a plain ASCII text file. Basically, the following information should be provided for each object. However, in case you use a common instrument setting (#6-12) for all targets, you can combine all targets information (#1-5) into one table.

  1. Target Name (including standard stars, if necessary)
  2. Target coordinate, including the equinox (e.g. J2000).
  3. Target magnitude in an optical band.
  4. Integration time and the desired S/N ratio at a representative wavelength. (Please use HDS Exposure Time Calculator.)
  5. If you use Image Rotator, please indicate slit PA in degrees.
  6. Requirement for ADC (Yes/No).
  7. Image Rotator Mode (Blue/Red/None).
  8. Wavelength Setup (StdUa/StdUb/StdBc ...etc.) If you want to use non-standard setup, describe the desired wavelength range specifically.

    Note that you should use only one wavelength setting for each proposal in order to minimize overheads (10-15minutes).

  9. Wavelength Resolution (slit width).
    If you employ an image slicer, please describe here with the unit number (IS#1 or IS#2 or IS#3).
  10. CCD binning (spatial dispersion).
  11. Requested seeing size (if you want to resolve spatially). Select one from the following four cases: <0".5, <0".7, <1".0, >1".0 .
  12. Are photometric conditions necessary? (Yes/No)
Then add the following information:
  1. Priority, if you have more than one target.
  2. Please indicate any other special requests on your proposal, if any (e.g.,requirement for I2-Cell etc.).

A. Finding Charts ( about 10 10 arcmin2; as PDF attachment files)

If your targets meet at least one of these conditions,
  - V (or B, R, I...) magnitude, m(V) > 10
  - extended objects (nebula, galaxy etc.)
  - double star or target in crowded region
you should attach additional finding charts for each targets,
which have about 11 arcmin2 FOV.

Please describe the following points regarding your finding charts.
  A-1. Object Name
  A-2. Do you attach a PDF file of finding charts of this target? (Yes/No)
  A-3. Page Number of finding charts in your PDF file.
  A-4. Size of the chart
  A-5. Orientation of the chart
  A-6. Other comments (if any)

Here is an example to help you prepare your observation file.

7-4. IRCS

(I) General Notice on Service Observation with IRCS

The available observation modes are following;
imaging with, or without AO188,
Grism spectroscopy with AO188, and
Echelle spectroscopy with AO188.

Please note that IRCS is always operated in combination with AO188 optics regardless of using AO188.
In S19B, only NGS modes is available for IRCS+AO188 operation. Please note that spectroscopic programs MUST have suitable NGS, or TTGS candidates, since spectroscopy without AO188 is NOT available under any circumstance. Any spectroscopic programs without guide stars for AO188 will NOT be considered to be feasible.

For non-sidereal targets, only imaging (1)without AO188, or (2)with NGS mode, is available. Non-sideral targets should be bright enough (R < 16.5) for the latter case of NGS mode.

Please submit a plain ASCII text file and finding charts for targets including standard stars and/or, guide stars.

If you request an observation with NGS, the finding chart should provide relative locations of the targets and their guide stars clearly.

The following information should be provided for EACH object, including calibration standard stars. Please note that you MUST provide calibration standard stars (photometric standard stars, and telluric standard stars) and information on their observation. On-sky observation time for these calibration standard stars MUST be considered for the total observation time for any Service programs, while other calibration data (flat, comparison, or dark) should not be charged against Service programs.

If multiple modes are desired for a target, please provide the required information for each desired mode separately.

(II) Required Observation Information in ASCII format

  1. Object/field name.
  2. Right ascension of the target field in format HHMMSS.SSS
  3. Declination of the target field in format (+/-)DDMMSS.SS
  4. Equinox of position in format YYYY.Y
  5. Are photometric conditions necessary? (Yes/No)
  6. Observation mode (Imaging/Grism/Echelle)
    1. For imaging, do you need AO188? (Yes/No)
    2. NGS, or LGS?
  7. Magnitude/range of magnitudes in a specified NIR band. For Grism/Echelle spectroscopy, targets must be brighter than 21.5 AB mag in K-, or K'-bands.
  8. What is the maximum acceptable seeing size (in arcseconds) in the specified NIR band? In case of using AO188, please provide the maximum acceptable FWHM of the point-spread function after the AO correction.
  9. Please describe the AO guide stars as follows.
    1. R (or, V if not available) magnitude of your AO guide star.
    2. Separation between the target and the AO guide star
    3. Whether the AO guide star is a point source or not. If you use an extended object or a star associated with nebulosity, you must describe a FWHM of its spatial distribution or contrast between the star and nebulosity.
  10. Filter(s)/Band configuration for observation. If more than one filter is to be used, separate them with commas.
    Filter names for imaging are: Y,J,H,KP,K,LP,MP,CH4S(CH4 short), CH4L(CH4 long), FE([FeII] 1.644), HC(H cont NB1550), H2(1-0), BRG(Br Gamma), KC(K cont NB2315), NB2090, NB2071, H3+, H2OICE, PAH, and BRA(Br Alpha).
    Band configuration names for Grism spectroscopy are: zJH, HK, Iz, zJ, J, H, K, and L.
    Band configuration names for Echelle spectroscopy are: Iz, zJ, H-, H+, K-, K+, K*, LA-, LA0, LA+, LB-, LB0, LB+, M--, M-, M+, and M++.
  11. Pixel scale of camera detector array for imaging, or Grism spectroscopy (20MAS/52MAS).
  12. Slit width for Grism/Echelle spectroscopy. A value must be given for each band configuration specified in item 10, separated by commas.
    Slit widths available for Grism spectroscopy are : 0.1, 0.15, 0.23, and 0.45 @ 20 mas and 0.1, 0.15, 0.23, 0.45, and 0.6 @ 52 mas
    Slit widths available for Echelle spectroscopy are : 0.14 (3.47), 0.27 (3.47), and 0.54 (3.47) for Iz, zJ, and J 0.14 (5.17), 0.27 (5.17), and 0.54 (5.17) for all bands within H and K bands 0.14 (6.69), 0.27 (9.37), and 0.54 (5.17) for all bands within L and M bands
    Please note that units for slit widths are arcseconds. The values within parentheses are slit lengths in arcsecond.
  13. Field position angle (PA) for imaging, or slit PA for Grism/Echelle spectroscopy. The PA is defined as the angular offset in degrees relative to the north celestial pole. The PA is measured from North to East, counterclockwise direction.
         Field or Slit: PA=0deg                 PA=90deg                 |
                                N<---| SLIT |--          E<---| SLIT |-- 
  15. Single frame exposure time in seconds. One exposure time must be provided for each filter/band configuration specified in item 10, separated by commas. i. Exposure time for slit viewer for Echelle spectroscopy in seconds. One exposure time must be provided for each filter/band configuration specified in item 10, separated by commas.
  16. Number of coadds at each dithering position. A specific value must be given for each filter/band configuration specified in item 10, separated by commas.
  17. Dither patterns. A pattern must be given for each filter/band configuration in item 10, separated by commas.
      Valid pattern names for imaging are S5, S9, D5 and D9. If you wish to repeat the pattern, write "S5*2", for example.
      The dither patterns are:
            (S5)   5       4     |        (S9)   8   7   6    |  
                                DITH                         DITH
                       1         |               9   1   5    |  
                   2       3                     2   3   4       
                                           (D9)       7
            (D5)       4          |               8       6       |  
                                DITH                             DITH
                   5   1   3      |            9      1      5    |  
                       2                          2       4       
      The valid pattern names for spectroscopy are one frame, ABBA, OSO(object-sky-object), and OSSO(object-sky-sky-object).
      The ABBA dither pattern is:
            A                C                B
      where C is the target acquisition position on the slit.
  18. Dithering size in arcseconds ("DITH" in the above figures). Please provide RA and DEC offsets toward the sky position in case of using OSO, or OSSO patterns.
  19. Type of target. Use "OBJ" for objects, "STD" for standards.
  20. Name of the target, to be written in the OBJECT field of the image FITS header.

Here is an example to help you prepare your observation file.

7-5. MOIRCS (imaging)

(I) General Notice on Service Observation with MOIRCS

MOIRCS service mode is available for imaging observation only. All the standard broadband filters (Y, J, H, and Ks) as well as the narrowband filters are available for use. NB119 filter is open to service observation since S16A. Due to very dark background level for the filter, we may use the multi-sampling readout method to reduce the readnoise. The use of the filter is under the shared-risk policy.

The use of the standard n-point dithering mode (0<n<10) is recommended for the usual observation. However, the experienced observers can make any change on it, including the use the SKYNOD option (see below).

The use of the autoguider is highly recommended for observation by the NB119 or Y band filters, due to very dark sky by the filters. Note that the use of the autoguider will add some more overhead (15-30 sec per dither).

Applicants for service proposals should describe your observing plan in detail at the header part of the generated OPE file, which would help us understanding your intention. Make sure that the whole operation (observation + overhead) does not exceed the 4 hour slot. A crude estimate of the observing time with overhead is shown on the top part of the MOIRCS Service Observation Form Generator. Proposers should also refer to the MOIRCS Imaging Observation Guide as well as the relevant information therein.

(II) Submission of the Service Form

Please use MOIRCS Service Observation Form Generator for your preparation. This tool will generate operation file data in response to the input data given by the user. First, read the description on the website about the details of data input. Run the web program for each target as well as each filter. Copy all the generated lines to a new text file, and repeat this procedure for each target and each filter/exposure setting one by one (insert space between each set: appending short headers is also welcomed). The resulting operation file should be submitted in the text format.

All applicants are highly recommended to use the Web Observation Form Generator. But the experienced observers of MOIRCS may want to revise the generated commands, such as the addition of SKYNOD option to the GETOBJECT. Please add short comments on the file to clarify your purpose when you revise the commands from Web Generator. Please note that there is in principle no chance to correct any mistakes by applicants once it is submitted.

Proposers may want to attach finding charts for the targets (indicate the exact MOIRCS FOV with channel 1/2 sign, as well as the direction of North). Please avoid using deep optical images: 2MASS or similar NIR images are preferable. Although the observatory staff usually checks the FOV before the science exposure of the fields, it is the PI's responsibility to set the correct values in the submitted service OPE form.

Here is an example to help you prepare an observation file.

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