Starting in spring 2018, the applications to the IAC guaranteed time to a number of telescopes follow new rules. These apply to access the IAC80, the Carlos Sánchez Telescope (TCS), the OGS, the SARA telescopes, and the granted time to the Las Cumbres Observatory.

  • Proposals can be sent at any time through the dedicated form;
  • The PI must be affiliated to the IAC;
  • Observing time will be organized in two semesters:
    • Semester A: from January 1 to June 30, for proposals sent before November 15 each year
    • Semester B: from July 1 to December 31, for proposals sent before May 15 each year
  • Proposal will be evaluated by a dedicated committee (IAC-CAT) which includes:
    • the Head of the Research Division (or a person designated by him/her)
    • the Head of Telescope Operations (or a person designated by him/her)
    • the IAC responsible for the SARA telescopes (or a person designated by him/her)
    • the IAC responsible for the LCO telescopes (or a person designated by him/her)
    • the IAC responsible for the Open University telescope (or a person designated by him/her)
    • a designated member of the telescopic operations group

Currently, the committee is formed by Dr. J. Licandro, Dr. À. Oscoz, Dr. E. Palle, Dr. M. J. Arévalo, Dr. M. Monelli.

The deadline to send proposals for semester 2018B is May 15, 2018, h23:59 Local time.

The different installations have different characteristics summarized below.


Since semester 2013A, the IAC80 and the TCS are not offered any more though the night CAT.  These telescopes are available for collaborations lead by IAC research groups and for practical astronomy by universities of any nationality. Also, the telescopes will be available for IAC instrumental tests. The available instrumentation can be found in the corresponding webpage. Both telescopes offer different observing modes.

Observing in Visitor Mode

  • For safety reasons, we strongly encourage to sleep in the Residence after finishing your observations.
  • The visiting astronomer should take care of his own reservations for accommodation and meals. A car to drive up to the Observatory can be booked if the visiting astronomer is an IAC staff member. External astronomers should arrange their own transportation.
  • When arriving to the Observatory, visiting observers should go first to the Residencia. Look for your name and room number on the reservations screen. The staff of the Residencia will deliver both the room and a telescope key for working group.
  • Once finished the observing run is mandatory to fill out the end-of-run form.

Remote Observations

  • Since the end of 2015, The IAC80 and TCS telescopes can be run remotely by the observer.
  • Observations can be performed from the remote control room at the IAC headquarters, in La Laguna, or from any external computer with internet access. Nevertheless, in the latter case the support from the support astronomer will be limited.
  • Access to the computer in the remote control room is granted by the Telescopic Operations Group. Observers are requested to contact the team at least a week before the first night of observations. We recommend to make a connection test during the day to verify the access to the computers at the observatory.
  • Observers are responsible to obtain the formal authorization mandatory to stay overnight at the IAC.

For any information and detailed connection instructions, contact the staff at ttnn_a at iac.es.

Observing in Service Mode

Filler and monitoring programs are ideal to be scheduled at the IAC80 and TCS telescopes in service mode. Observations are carried out by the IAC’s Telescopic Operations Group or by the Technicians of Telescope Operations (TOT) and the presence of the user astronomer at the telescope is not required. The approved proposals will be added to the queue list. The execution of the observations will driven by both scientific and technical reasons, such as the available instrumental setup, the visibility of the targets, or possible temporal restrictions and weather conditions. The proposals will be on the queue for a period of 12 months. Typically two or three nights per months are reserved for service programs.

Target of Opportunity

A Target of Opportunity (ToO) observing mode is introduced starting in semester 2018B. These projects are intended to observe uncommon or unexpected events with short notice, coupling high scientific return with stringent time constraints. Examples of targets of opportunity are rare events, such as supernovae, unusual transits, gamma-ray bursts, approaches of near-Earth objects.

ToO projects must follow the following prescriptions:

  • they must be properly justified in the observing time request form
  • they must require time critical observations
  • both the IAC80 and the TCS are offered, eventually simultaneously
  • ToO proposals can ask for no more than 2 hr in winter, and 1.5 hr in summer per night.
  • ToO proposals can observe for up to three consecutive nights
  • The IAC-CAT will decide whether a ToO proposal will can the override status over time already assigned to other projects. Only under very special and important circumstances a ToO program will be scheduled in nights assigned to monitoring programs realized with the IAC80.

General recommendations for the IAC80 and TCS observers:

  • Contact one month before your observing run with the Telescopic Operations Group (ttnn_a at iac.es) to confirm the necessary filters and any possible inquiries. By default, the filters will be installed as indicated in the proposal. However, it is possible to ask for additional filters (special filters) or different ones to those proposed provided they are requested well in advance.
  • A night assistant will be at the telescopes all night long, but keep in mind that only one night assistant is in charge of all night time telescopes during the night.
  • The Instrumental Maintenance service is reduced; and therefore there is not warranty of immediate repair of the failures.
  • Publications derived from service night data should include proper acknowledgement of the origin of the data, as well as a special mention to any of the tasks carried out by support astronomers or night assistants. We will also appreciate the notification of any publication through an e-mail to aoscoz _at_ iac.es.

Important notes regarding the IAC80:

  • Part of the 2018B semester nights are already allocated to proposals sent before the current change in the policy to assign observing time. Therefore, and only for semester 2018B, the total amount of available night at the IAC80 will be limited.
  • The current CCD camera of the IAC80, Camelot, will be replaced during 2018 a new instrument. Camelot2 will have larger field of view and faster read-out. The set of available filters will not change. Further notice will be given soon, but the proposers should take this into account.


The OGS is offered only in visitor mode.

SARA Telescopes

The SARA telescopes include the JTK (ORM), the 0.9m SARA-Kitt Peak and the 0.6 m SARA-Cerro Tololo telescopes. 10% of the observing time on the JKT is available to the IAC, distributed by the IAC-CAT, and a fraction of the observing time on SARA’s telescopes, equivalent to 20% of the observing time on the JKT will be dedicated to joint scientific programs led by IAC research teams, in collaboration with the SARA partner Universities. Observations have to be carried out remotely by the proponents (no service nor queue mode are offered). Support will be provided during the first night of observations at the IAC remote control room. Be aware of the time difference with Chile and Arizona.

Las Cumbres Observatory

The IAC community has access to the LCO telescope through two channels: 1) regular calls for the open time accessible to the partners, and 2) about 400 hr of granted time to the network of 40 cm telescopes (evaluated by this committee). All the observations are executed in queue mode.