WIYN 0.9m User's Manual

For informantion on 0.9m telescope operations please see the 0.9m Telescope Manual.This handbook is intended as a supplement to the KPNO User Handbook. Please refer to the KPNO User Handbook for details regarding planning your trip to Kitt Peak, directions to the NOAO Tucson office and to Kitt Peak and the mountain environment. Please note that only 0.9m observers granted time through the NOAO TAC will have the use of NOAO/Kitt Peak shuttles. However there is now a private serve (Adobe Car Rental) that has agreed to provide transportation as a pay service. More information can be found on the Kitt Peak Visitor Center web site.


  • Preparing for your Run
  • Operating at the 0.9m
  • Instrumentation
  • Accommodations on the Mountain
  • End of Run Tasks
  • Contacts

  • Preparing for your run

    In preparation for your run, you must submit an Observing Run Preparation Form (ORP) to make sure that all your requirements for your observing run (including room accommodations) are understood. The form should be completed and emailed to kpno@noao.edu at least six weeks prior to your observing run. Failure to submit your ORP on time may result in forfeiture of requested filters, delays in starting up, loss of lodging accommodations and possibly the loss of all your granted observing time! If you were granted time through the NOAO TAC and wish to include an observer who was not on your original proposal, you must write to kpno@noao.edu with a formal request prior to submitting your ORP.

    The ORP form should detail required filters as well as instrument configurations (if applicable). Standard Johnson UBVRI filters as well as a H-alpha set are available at the 0.9m. Kitt Peak filters and some WIYN filters can also be borrowed for use at the 0.9m, depending on availability. Further questions regarding the configuration or setup of an instrument should be directed toward the Site Manager (fhaase@noao.edu).

    Once the ORP form has been received and processed you will be given a visitor authorization for your trip to Kitt Peak.

    Other things to do in preparation for your run:

    Operating at the 0.9m

    Instrument Support

    KPNO Instrument Support will provide support for the Mosaic imager. All other user support will be provided by the Site Manager. This includes all S2KB instrument configurations, performed prior to an observing run, as well as instrument "start-up" assistance (tutorial on instrument operation) on the first night of a run, if required.
    Note: Observers who are inexperienced in ground-based optical observing MUST be accompanied by an experienced observer for their first run. Observers who have never used the 0.9m MUST plan on observing with the previous observer the night before their run begins or be accompanied by an experienced user on their first night.

    Check-in and check-out Time for Observers

    Observers should plan to be on the mountain by 1pm of the first day of their run if they require an instrument start. Arriving at the site any earlier may interfere with observers from the prior run. Observers must be finished using the facilities by noon of the day following the last night of their run. This is to assure that the facilities are available for the observers coming in.

    Problems During the Night

    The first level of response to problems which arise during the night is the Site Manager. The problem will be assessed and any actions or work-arounds will be determined. If the Site Manager is unavailable, Astronomical Consultants & Equipment, Inc. (ACE) is available for response to technical difficulties with the telescope and equipment. ACE will make all reasonable efforts to provide this service until 2200hr each night. In cases where observing can continue at a reduced level of efficiency and without danger to the equipment, the decision to continue or to carry out the repair will be made by the observer. After hours numbers are posted on the white board in the control room.


    When you are on the mountain, the Site Manager will give you a safety tour of the telescope facility pointing out emergency exits, locations of fire extinguishers and light switches, and precautions for your own personal protection. At the same time, emergency procedures, safety guidelines, and use of the phone system and radios will be reviewed. A walk through of the lighning shutdown will be done if there is a possibility of lightning during your run. Any safety concerns that you may have during your visit should be reported to the Site Manager.

    Safety procedures
    Safety Acknowledgment Form - Observer Copy
    Safety Acknowledgment Form - File Copy
    Lightning Safety

    Instrumentation at the 0.9m

    Filter Shutter Assembly

    The Filter Shutter Assembly (FSA) is the guider and instrument interface for S2KB. It contains two filter wheels that can hold up to 7 four-inch filters each, two pick-off guide cameras on fixed stages, and a linear shutter.


    S2KB is a 2k x 2k CCD imager. S2KB characteristics and technical specifications can be found here.


    The NOAO Mosaic is an 8k x 8k pixel wide field imager providing a 59armin field of view on the 0.9m. It is an array of eight 2048 x 4096 pixel CCDs that are read out through four Arcon controllers with a readout time of approximately 2.6 minutes per image. Each image is 135Mbytes, producing 10 Gbytes of data in a typical night. Allow plenty of time to tape your data!

    Mosaic has it's own guide cameras and filter track. The Mosaic filter track holds 14 5.75 inch filters. Four-inch filter adaptors are available, but illuminate only approximately 6k x 6k pixels (56% of the total sky area). See the Mosaic filter list for a complete list of available Mosaic filters.

    The Mosaic manual and additional information on Mosaic can be found on Kitt Peak's Mosaic web site.


    The Harris UBVRI filter set will be permanently mounted in the S2KB FSA. The 0.9m H-alpha filter set will also be mounted, unless an observer requests more filters than can fit into the remaining 4 empty slots. Additional four-inch filters are available for loan from the WIYN 3.5m filter set and KPNO filter set. Requests for use of these additional filters must be specified in advance in the Observing Run Preparation Form.

    Accommodations on the Mountain

    Using 0.9m house, KPNO Dorms and Meal Service

    Non-NOAO visiting astronomers will be able to use the WIYN 0.9m house, with or without the KPNO meal service or the KPNO dorms and meal service. All NOAO observers must use the dorm and meal service. Accommodations are setup after your Observing Run Preparation Form has been received. Details about the dorm rates can be found in the KPNO User Handbook. Charges for stays at the 0.9m house, dorms and meals must be paid prior to departing the mountain. All charges can be paid by check, cash, MasterCard, or Visa to the office assistant in the Mountain Administration Building.

    As of Feb 2009 Kitt Peak has created a new cleaning policy for the WIYN and 0.9m houses. In order to ensure adequate cleaning of both the WIYN house and the WIYN 0.9m house we are clarifying when KPNO facilities staff may enter the houses to clean and maintain the building/rooms. All observers must vacate their respective house by 14:00 the day they are scheduled to check out. Incoming observers are not allowed to "occupy" the houses until 16:00 on their arrival day. Incoming observers are allowed to drop off their food and luggage at the houses before 16:00, as long as luggage is stored in the living room and out of the way. In the case of observer overlap between runs, observers need to understand that on the observing run change over day (change over dates are the dates a new program starts on the respective telescope, see the telescope schedule on-line) between the hours of 14:00 and 16:00 cleaning staff will be authorized to clean the room. The cleaning crew reserves the right to wake observers, if necessary, during these hours on the change over dates. Incoming, overlapped, observers may leave the designated placard on their bed to show that it is occupied and do not have to move their belongings out of their bedroom. If your plans lead you to leave the mountain before noon on your day of departure, please take the time to contact the KPNO Support Office (318-8135) to let them know you have vacated the house and we will put the extra time to clean the house to good use.

    A map of Kitt Peak with telescopes, dorms, and the 0.9m house can be found here.

    Serve-yourself breakfast is available at the dining hall 24 hours a day. Lunch is served 11h30 - 13h00, and dinner 16h30 - 17h45 daily. Night lunch is available on a "take-it-yourself" basis. For a prepared night lunch, available in the refrigerator with your name, please fill out an order form at the kitchen snack bar or use the Web form (http://www.noao.edu/kpno/forms/nlunch/) no later than 11h00.

    Printing and Copying

    A PostScript laser printer is available at the 0.9m site. If you anticipate the need for any copying, please see Mountain Personnel to obtain an account number for using the copier located in the Administration building.


    The telephones located on the 0.9m site have outside lines available. Long distance calls can be made from these phones. If you make long-distance calls, it is preferred that you use a telephone credit card or reverse the charges. However, charges can be billed back to the respective institutions or added to your bill if necessary. Please let the Mountain Personnel know the date you placed the call and the number called for billing purposes.


    There is no vehicle available for use by visiting astronomers unless your telescope time was granted by the NOAO TAC. All transportation on the mountain as well as to/from the mountain is your responsibility unless you were granted time through the NOAO TAC. Using a rental car as transportation on the mountain top is allowed.


    There are paperback books and magazines and a large-screen TV with VHS and DVD players in the lounge next to the Dining Room. A pool table is in the Recreation hall near the Maintenance area. A ping pong table is located on the U floor of the 4meter building.


    Machines are located in the Recreation Hall (Quonset Hut) near the Maintenance area. The machines are coin operated. If change is needed please see the cashier at the Visitor Center between 9:00 and 15:45.

    Soft Drink Machines

    Vending machines are located in the Recreation Hall, at the 4m Visitor's Entrance, and in the shed in front of the Visitors' Center.

    End of Run Tasks

    Make sure to fill out the Observing Run Evaluation Form at the end of your run.

    Publications resulting from the use of the WIYN 0.9m facility should include an acklowledgement. A suggested acklowledgement would include the following:

    The 0.9m telescope is operated by WIYN Inc. on behalf of a Consortium of partner Universities and Organizations (see www.noao.edu/0.9m for a list of the current partners). WIYN is a joint partnership of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomical Observatory.


    Site Manager
    Flynn Haase
    Office Ph: (520)318-8588 or (520)318-8637
    email: fhaase@noao.edu
    Astronomical Consultants & Equipment, Inc.
    Dr. Peter Mack
    Ph: (520)219-8722
    email: mack@astronomical.com
    Dr. Con Deliyannis
    email: con@astro.indiana.edu
    Telescope Scientist
    Dr. Michael Richmond
    email: mwrsps@rit.edu

    Last updated September 28, 2012