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National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Community Access to the 10-m Telescopes of the W.M. Keck Observatory

As a result of awards made through the NSF's Telescope System Instrumentation Program (TSIP), observing time is available to the astronomical community on the two 10-meter telescopes of the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea. The latest agreement included access through the 2014A observing semester.

Current Status

The latest agreement expires with the 2014A proposal cycle, and no time will be available in 2014B. If access resumes under a new agreement, it will be announced in the NOAO Newsletter and on this web page.


All current facility-class instruments and modes are available for community access. WMKO maintains instrument pages on their website, including links to instrument manuals, FAQs, etc. Please also check their page with special notes for next semester.

Applying for Time

Time will be awarded through the usual NOAO proposal process, with the same proposal form, policies, and due dates as for other NOAO-coordinated facilities. NOAO policies for the allocation of telescope time can be found at

Investigators may request telescope time on any combination of facilities available through NOAO, including Keck, in a single proposal. Proposals will be reviewed by the NOAO TAC, and those approved will be forwarded to WMKO for scheduling. Notifications of awarded time will be sent in conjunction with those for other NOAO-coordinated facilities.

Procedures and forms for applying for telescope time can be found at

Cover Sheet Form: All community-access proposers are required to fill out Keck's Proposal Cover Sheet Form, available after creating an account on the W.M. Keck Observatory Observer Login Page. Completing this form will ensure that the Keck Observatory has accurate information in their system during the scheduling process. Please complete and submit this online form by the regular NOAO proposal deadline. The cover sheets will be used at Keck, but will not be seen by the NOAO TAC, so be sure to include all requested contact and program information on both the NOAO and Keck forms.

Additional Information

Dave Bell serves as NOAO contact for investigators with questions regarding community access to the Keck telescopes and proposal preparation. You may reach him by sending email to For instrumentation questions (only), you may also directly contact the "CARA Contact" listed on the Keck Instruments pages.

All data obtained under this program may be placed in NOAO's data archives and made publicly available under the same ground rules as data obtained at NOAO telescopes.

Any publication that results from TSIP-allocated time on the Keck telescopes should acknowledge the NSF TSIP program, in addition to Keck acknowledgments. The requested wording for TSIP acknowledgements is:

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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 February 28 2014

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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Proposals >  Keck Community Access

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