DIRECTORS' CORNER


Promotional Video Available

On the occasion of its 15th anniversary, CFHT has contracted the company Ackerman & Black from Kealekekua to produce a promotional video about the corporation. The story line has been established in consultation with CFHT staff. Numerous interviews of CFHT's employees have been conducted to personalize the content and illustrate the various functions of the corporation. The 25 minutes production starts by showing observers at the telescope, and then review the multiple activities necessary to provide them with a comfortable and efficient working environment. The video also describes how Canada, France and Hawaii came together for this collaboration, why the Mauna Kea was chosen, who observes there and how someone comes to observe at CFH. To complement this view, interviews explain the data acquisition process at the telescope and the next steps of data reduction. A few minutes are spent to describe some science and the production ends on an optimistic note describing adaptive optics and CFHT's place among the 8 to 10 meters telescopes.

This video can be ordered from CFHT, at cost (~$6.00), for educational purposes and promotion of CFHT. It is available in English only. We are investigating ways of dubbing this production in French. Contact R. Arsenault for more information.

Instrumentation Manuals On-Line

(Ku i ka lono=the newspread)

This database will serve as an international clearing house for observatory manuals and information on how to access them. At present, CFHT, STScI, and IRTF are participating in this project. It is the librarian's intention that each observatory will submit electronically a pre-formatted template which is now available on NCSA Mosaic. (URL http:// www.cfht.hawaii.edu/html/obs-manuals.html@). The template describes the instrumentation manual in the following manner: location, version, revision, institution, description, wavelength region, field, keywords, contact person, size of document, figures, tables, and availability. In addition, the template provides the user with a direct link to the manual if it is on-line. The librarian will contact the individual or institution in charge of the template at six month intervals in order to insure the manual's description accuracy. It is hoped that the availability of this service will encourage all observatories to make information about their manuals available electronically.

L. Bryson

CFHT Publications on the World Wide Web

The CFHT Library Home Page (URL http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/Reference/Library/@) is pleased to announce the availability of its 1994 publications on the World Wide Web. With the initiation of this project, the library will be suspending bulk mailings of our staff's preprints, unless a library or individual indicates there is no other way to acquire a paper.

We encourage all first authors to send their accepted publications to the library in a timely fashion. Please direct any further inquiries to Liz Bryson, library@cfht.hawaii.edu.

A bibliography of current staff publications will continue to be published once a year in the Information Bulletin. Please direct all requests for papers from the primary author; CFHT staff names are in italic.

L. Bryson

CFHT Refereed Staff Publications

  1. Angonin-Willaime, M.-C., Vanderriest, C., Hammer, F. Magain, P. "Further Observational Evidence that MG J0414+0534 is a Gravitational Mirage", Astron. Astrophys., 281, 388
  2. Angonin-Willaime, M.-C., Soucail, G., Vanderriest, C., "Gravitational Lensing of 10957+561: a Study of the Cluster at z=0.355", in press, Astron. Astrophys.
  3. Bohlender, D.A., Walker, G.A.H. "131 Tau: Another Bootis Star with a Shell", Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc., 266, 891.
  4. Chatzichristou, E., Vanderriest, C., "Bidimensional Spectroscopy of Double Galaxies: I. Markarian 463", in press, Astron. Astrophys.
  5. Glaspey, J.W., Pritchet, C.J., Stetson, P.B., "Lithium in High Velocity A and F Stars: Constraints on the Blue Straggler Phenomenon", Astron. J., 108, 271.
  6. Hammer, F., Rigaut, F., Angonin-Willaime, M.-C., "Imaging and Spectroscopy of B 1422+231 at CFHT: Identification of the Mirage and of the Lensing Galaxy at z=0.647", in press, Astron. Astrophys.
  7. *Ribak, E.N., Rigaut, F., "Asteroids as Reference Stars for High Resolution Astronomy", Astron. Astrphys. Ltrs., 289, L47.
  8. *Indicates paper based on data other than CFHT

Open House in Waimea

On last October 7, CFHT opened its headquarters in Waimea for a general open house celebration. Student groups, age 10 and up, spent each approximately one hour visiting our headquarters and the various displays and exhibits prepared by the staff. General public visits were scheduled later during the day. The event was a success with approximately 900 visitors coming to learn about CFHT's mission. CFHT's staff had been preparing the event since many days. The Corporation received an excellent coverage during the event. Radio stations and newspapers announced the Open House and the corporation made the first page of the West Hawaii Today first, for the publication of the spectacular results of the determination of the distance to the Virgo Cluster of galaxy by Pierce, Welch, McClure, van den Bergh, Racine and Stetson, and the second time for a coverage of the Open House event itself.

Figure 20: B. Magrath demonstrates CO2 cleaning of glass surfaces for the benefit of some Big Island Students.

It is difficult to say whether the staff or the public enjoyed most meeting with the other! We had a bunch of very enthusiastic speakers presenting and explaining the exhibits to the students and public. We received letters from teachers praising the opportunity to visit our headquarters, and pointing out to us that many students want to present an astronomical project at the coming science fair.

Figure 21: D. McKenna explains the basics and use of CCD and infrared cameras in astronomy.

This event was also a pleasant distraction from our routine work, where all the staff worked together toward making the open house a quality presentation for the visitors. Behind the "scene" of exhibits and displays a number of employees worked hard at various tasks: picking-up pamphlets in Hilo, or a last-minute video copy in Kona, taking delivery of T-shirts, distributing programs and refreshments to the visitors and much more...

This activity had us review and think about the status of our public relation material at CFHT. We were forced to the conclusion that not much had been done recently, the cause being obviously the very busy agenda at the corporation. The situation has been greatly improved with a general building cleanup, a major "beautification" of the entrance hall, refurbishment of the 2 company telescope models, preparation of a 25 min. video tape, production of pamphlets and T-shirts. Furthermore, we are in the process of preparing a poster and promotional 3-colors astronomical pictures.

R. Arsenault

Observing Efficiency at the Telescope

As a mean to try to optimize the efficiency of guest observers who have come to use CFHT, I have been collecting statistics for almost two years now on what fraction of time actually is used for taking data during the normal night time observing hours.

The first attempt has simply been to measure what fraction of a night the detector shutter is open. I have assembled data for several CFHT instruments (since all of the data is archived and the FITS headers provide the information needed), excluding engineering and discretionary nights, nights shorter than seven hours, runs involving visitor instruments, and those runs interrupted by weather or technical problems. No corrections have been applied for different CCD readout times or any other system overhead. The idea is to have runs of two or more nights (in a row) for which the fraction of time the shutter was open, starting with the first "real" object of the night, and ending before the start of morning biases, flats, etc.

Figure 22

The figure 22 shows what comes from this compilation for HRCam, coude f/4, coude f/8.2, MOS, SIS, and FOCAM. The main conclusion is that on the first night most observers are clearly less efficient than on subsequent nights - with relatively few exceptions the slope is positive going from night #1 to night #2. This is expected for MOS, incidentally, since most observers spend a significant fraction of the first night taking (less efficient) short exposure images to be used to prepare masks for the (more efficient) longer multislit spectral exposures usually taken on nights 2 and 3. For the most part, however, on the first night most observers are obviously still "learning" the CFHT data acquisition and instrument control system.

How to improve on this record may be more difficult. Overall telescope efficiency would be improved if the observers were scheduled for longer runs - the current average is just over 2.5 nights per run - since there would be fewer "first nights" per semester. This is unlikely to happen without changing the philosophy of the three agency time allocation committees, so the CFHT and the observers must first do better.

Observers would be more efficient if they prepared themselves better by studying the instrument user's manual and arranged with their Support Astronomer to come by CFHT Headquarters in Waimea for a refresher or training session with the Pegasus environment prior to the start of the run. They should also plan their programs in as much detail as possible prior to arriving in Hawaii, with easy to read, printed observing lists of all objects, containing accurate coordinates (with the Epoch indicated) for the Telescope Operator. They should organize each night's program so that they are ready to begin another exposure or to switch to the next field as soon as the previous exposure has finished reading and NOT waste time with the telescope sitting idle while they study (or admire) the previous exposure.

CFHT could help by making the instruments as easy to use as possible (which we try to do already) and by providing training tools that observers could use in advance to familiarize themselves with the Pegasus environment. Most of the instruments' User's Manuals are already available over the World Wide Web and these contain sample Pegasus window forms. These manuals should be more informative than the older printed versions, which were more difficult to revise and to update. We have also discussed updating the Pegasus demonstration session, which could be installed in workstations at the observers' home institution, but that may be too complicated to be practical. Another idea has been to produce a demonstration video on Pegasus that could be loaned out well in advance of someone's runs to refresh the observer's memory.

We welcome any other suggestions that our readers might want to make to improve efficiency. Please send any ideas that you believe might be helpful to glaspey@cfht.hawaii.edu and we will do our best to implement them.

J. Glaspey

Purchase of new filters and grisms

A list of filters and grisms available at CFHT is, or will be, made accessible on line on our WWW server. CFHT is frequently asked to purchase filters or grisms by observers who want them for their particular observations. There is at present no clear formal statement on that question. We would want to formalize an implicit policy which was followed by CFHT to respond to the requests of observers:

1- The Principal Investigator of a program who wants CFHT to buy a new filter or a new grism, must contact in writing the CFHT Director, justifying the request, before the deadline for submission of proposal. CFHT's Director will inform CTAC, CFGT and UH TAC if CFHT will buy the required filter or grism, or not.

2- The forms for proposals will have to be completed correctly: the PI is responsible for making a clear statement on the filters and grisms which are required. In cases where the Director was not contacted in advance of the deadline, CFHT will not be committed to buy any filter or grism just because a proposal is selected by CFGT, CTAC or UH TAC

3- The decision by CFHT on grisms or filters selected for purchase, will be communicated to CFGT, CTAC and UH TAC together with the technical appraisals of the time requests:

  1. if the filter or grism is considered for common use for the future, CFHT will purchase it.
  2. if the filter or grism is strictly related to the special observations requested by the observer: CFHT will help, if requested, for the specifications and the selection of vendors but the observer will have to purchase them.
  3. in some less clear-cut cases, if the observer accepts to leave the filter or grism at the disposal of other observers, CFHT and observer will share 50% of the cost.
  4. if the number of filter and grism requested on one year exceeds the budget allocated for this purpose, CFHT will ask the TAC's and/or SAC to prioritize the requests to be satisfied.

4- For filters, a three month delay between the order and the delivery is common. As soon as the schedule of observations for the semester is known, the procedure to order the filters has to start. CFHT will not be responsible for slow response from the observers or for unforeseen delays coming from the vendor.

For grisms, it takes between five and seven months to get a delivery, so clearly the order needs to be prepared well in advance of the telescope time request.

5- Requests not documented in the time request form and coming after selection process could be ignored and CFHT is in no way obligated to satisfy them.

6- Here is the present situation of grisms available for MOS and SIS observations, and the policy for using them in a visitor instrument or in a non-CFHT mode: grisms have to be explicitly required in the time request form; if not, CFHT could reject the request made after selection of proposals.

  1. V150bis, O300, B600, R150, R300 and O600 are mounted permanently in the "MOS wheel". None of these grisms will be removed for any other use.
  2. "Spare" grisms: V150, O300bis, O600bis (mounted in "ARGUS wheel", 90' from MOS wheel dispersion); R300bis (with a MOS/SIS spacer), B600bis and R150bis (no spacer), could be used under CFHT staff supervision for visitor instruments and/or visitor modes. Visitors are responsible for fabricating , if necessary, a cell and a spacer to use the grism in their own instrument. CFHT staff must do the installation of the grism in such cells.
  3. B400 and U75 mounted on "ARGUS wheel", B300 (no spacer) and a Prism Sandwich have no spare and are reserved for use on MOS/SIS.
  4. If CFHT is not consulted or does not agree to the mounting of a grism for a visitor instrument or a visitor mode, observers will be required to provide their own grisms.

As a general comment, there could obviously be a funding problem if CFHT has to order many filters and grisms without being informed well in advance. The situation of the MOCAM filter wheel is a matter of concern since the MOCAM builders team has only acquired V, R, I filters. The prioritization of the purchase of more filters for MOCAM will have to be made by the TAC's or SAC, subject to budgetary constraints.

SAC has endorsed this policy during its November 1994 meeting.

P. Couturier

The CFHT Observing proposal Latex Macro

Each semester, well in advance of the deadline for applications for telescope time, CFHT mails new observing proposal application forms to recent users of the telescope. The application form itself has been evolving over recent years, and application instructions and updates on current instrumentation, detectors, and observing restrictions change each semester. As a result, it is important that potential observers use the current version of the application form when submitting requests for telescope time. In some instances, failure to do so could result in disqualification of your application.

To facilitate the application process a LaTeX macro for the CFHT observing proposal form for the current semester is available to the community via the Internet. The macro can be retrieved in two ways:

- World Wide Web

If your local site has access to the World Wide Web (WWW) through Mosaic or another HTML viewer you can retrieve the macro from the URL http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/ObsInfo/ObservingProposals/downloads.html@. This page, which is also easily accessible from the CFHT WWW home page, includes application instructions, recent updates, and postscript versions of the application as well as the LaTeX macro itself in both tar and zip file archives.

- FTP

The macro can also be retrieved via anonymous ftp. Telnet to ftp.cfht.hawaii.edu, and log in as anonymous with your e-mail address as the password. Then type:

cd pub/cfht-manuals/cfhform

prompt

mget *

quit

Any comments or suggestions for improvements to the macro are encouraged and should be directed to David Bohlender (david@cfht.hawaii.edu). It is our hope that we will also be able to offer the possibility of electronic submission of

applications in the next few years.

D. Bohlender

More Information on WWW

CFHT staff has been busy adding useful information for users on WWW. Besides the Latex form, CHFT publications lists, manuals and manuals descriptions the following has been added or are in the process of being added: archiving information, Mauna Kea astronomical calendars, Library services, Data acquisition and reduction information, Newsletter, Observing Schedules, and more. To have a look at our homepage access the URL: http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu@

Statistical follow-up of the access to our homepage reveals that for a 3-week period in October 1994, 467 files and 380 kbytes have been transmitted daily. For the same period there has been 880, 805 and 148 accesses to our homepage from Canada, France and the University of Hawaii respectively. For ftp access of CFHT's documentation, refer to D. Bohlender previous article.

R. Arsenault

Staff Changes

During the last semester we lost one employee, gained a french stagiaire and acknowledged employees with ten or more years of service.

Jim Wright left CFHT early September to take a position as system manager for the Keck Center for Integrative Neurology located at the University of California San Francisco. During his 4.5 years at CFHT, he developed and maintained software for real-time instrument control and data acquisition. He also provided system administration of the network data acquisition system. Jim will be remembered for the major role he played in building the user interface and control for the Coude f/4 project, a.k.a. GECKO, and as the architect of the August 94 release of the CCD GENIII controller. Jim 's shy, witty sense of humor will be missed. We wish him all the best.

Bruno Anquine began a 6 month term as a stagiaire from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications de Paris. Bruno is working with the software group writing an application software for object selections for MOS and SIS. When he completes his term with CFHT, he will return to Paris for his last academic year.

After the 15th Anniversary Open House, the staff celebrated a job well done and acknowledged those employees with over ten years of service with engraved koa bowls. Those employees with ten to fifteen years of service include Mercedes Stevens, Wayne Pexa, Ken Barton, Eric Willett, Elissa Lindsey, Bobby Song, John Kerr, Roger Wood, Susan Wood, Liz Bryson, John Hamilton, Norman Purves and Wiley Knight. Four of our engineers have over 15 years of service including Peter Sydserff, Bernt Grundseth, Derrick Salmon and Bill Cruise.

D. Warren


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