If you plan to visit CTIO to observe, or are just thinking about submitting a proposal, CTIO's web page is the place to start (see accompanying table for URL addresses). Even if you've been to CTIO before, visit the site to get the latest updates on telescopes, instrumentation, and travel information.
Want to submit a proposal? As for time on all telescopes scheduled through NOAO, CTIO proposals are handled through NOAO's main web page. First, get the forms. Next, you can find details of the telescopes and instruments you wish to use by following the links on the CTIO main page. The Mosaic II and Hydra pages, in particular, have recent updates--Hydra's new camera is expected to be available next semester and the 16-channel readout mode with Mosaic II is undergoing testing. There is also a growing Mosaic II FAQ archive.
Once proposals have been reviewed by the TAC and scheduled at CTIO by Tom Ingerson, you'll find copies of the schedule at both the NOAO web site and the CTIO web site, which are both linked to CTIO's main page.
So you've been granted telescope time? Congratulations! CTIO's web page contains resources to help you plan your travel and your observing run. Under "Observer Resources" on CTIO's main page, click on "Preparing for an Observing Run." The "Travel Information" link points to much of the information that you will need when traveling to Chile. Also look closely at "Bruce Balick's Airport Survival Guide," which contains important tips on how to pass through the airport in Santiago with the least hassle.
Next, follow the "Observing Resources and Forms" link from CTIO's main page. Be sure to fill out the Visitor Support and CTIO Travel Information Questionnaires as these forms allow CTIO staff to prepare for your arrival.
Bringing a laptop? Be sure to read "CTIO Visitor Computer Guidelines." In La Serena and looking for a place to eat dinner? Check out the restaurant guide.
At the telescope, CTIO's web page will continue to be a valuable resource. You'll probably want to bring up the online instrument manuals, found by following the links under "Telescopes and Instruments" from the main page. If you're using an infrared instrument, Bob Blum's "Infrared Observing Page" is especially useful. To see the latest seeing measurement from the seeing monitor, follow the link under "Observing Resources."
Thanks to Max Boccas, you can now see the latest reflectivity measurement of the telescope's primary mirror, updated bi-weekly at the 4-m and monthly at the 1.5-m. Visit the optical engineering page, accessible from the "Telescopes at CTIO" link, for these values. Weather maps are useful, or maybe you want to know whether that tremor you just felt was real or the result of too much coffee--follow the link under "General Information" on the main page.
CTIO's web page is maintained by Tom Ingerson and Chris Smith.