Noting the scientific importance of comet Hale-Bopp, NOAO welcomes applications for observing time to study this comet. A Hale-Bopp steering group has recommended particularly the period 29 September to 19 October as a prime time for getting observations with as many different techniques as possible. Scheduling different techniques on different telescopes at the same time will minimize the confusion in comparing different types of observations obtained at different epochs for an object that is likely to vary significantly.
Proposals to study Hale-Bopp will be reviewed through the normal TAC process, and by outside reviewers with expertise on solar system astronomy. Those that are successful will, to the extent possible and to the extent that it makes scientific sense, be scheduled during this key period. The normal deadline for proposals will apply.
Michael Belton, Sidney Wolff