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HET 9.2-m Telescope National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Community Access to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope

Observing time on the 9.2-m effective aperture Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at McDonald Observatory was available to the astronomical community through the NOAO proposal process from 2000B-2008A.

All observations through the Public Access Program were queue-scheduled, and proposals from the national community were merged into the HET queue. Because the observations were queue-scheduled, the number of equivalent nights available was ~16 clear nights per year, after allowing for an historical 62.4% spectroscopic hours at McDonald Observatory and for an allocated portion of unscheduled downtime. Public Access time was distributed over the phases of the moon and the seasons of the year in the same proportion as the scientific observations scheduled for the staffs of the HET's parent institutions.

Current Status

The current agreement, which made HET available for general community access from 2000-2008, will expire at the end of 2008A. Community access will not be available starting with the 2008B semester. If access is once again available in some future semester, it will be announced to the community and details will be updated on this page.


The instrumentation suite of the HET now includes low, medium, and high resolution spectrometers (LRS, MRS, and HRS).

Phase II Instructions

Successful investigators must complete HET Phase II target tables. NOAO staff will verify the completion of these Phase II tables and forward the targets to the HET staff who will carry out the observations.

Collecting Your Data

Data will be forwarded to NOAO by the HET staff for distribution to investigators. As soon as the data are available, the principal investigator will be notified that he/she can obtain the data by FTP from the NOAO distribution site. All data obtained under this program may also be placed in NOAO's Save-the-Bits program under the same rules as data obtained at NOAO telescopes.

Additional Information

Dave Bell serves as staff contact for investigators planning proposals for observing at the HET. Please direct proposal questions specific to the HET telescope and its instruments to him at Please do not send questions directly to HET staff.

Investigators will be requested to provide an assessment of their HET observations and of the quality of their data to NOAO. Those assessments will be provided to the HET.

Publications resulting from observations obtained through this Public Access program should include the following as a footnote on the title page: "Based on observations obtained with the Marcario Low Resolution Spectrograph on the Hobby - Eberly Telescope, which is operated by McDonald Observatory on behalf of the University of Texas at Austin, the Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, the Ludwig-Maximillians-Universitaet, Munich, and the George-August-Universitaet, Goettingen. Public Access time is available on the Hobby - Eberly Telescope through an agreement with the National Science Foundation."

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NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.
Last updated Feb 20 2008

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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Proposals >   HET Community Access

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