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Applying For Time

Application Process

There are two avenues available to apply for observing time at the MMTO. If you or your collaborator work for one of the University of Arizona Observatories (UAO) or the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), you must apply through your own telescope Time Allocation Committee (TAC). Please follow the links below.

NOTE: No new time for community access proposals will be offered for non-affiliated astronomers. 

Use of PI instruments

If you wish to propose to use a PI instrument you must contact the Principal Investigator to obtain a letter of approval, consent and support which should be submitted with your proposal. Many PI instruments are used in collaboration with the PI and the PI will support you with your observing run. The spectrographs Hectospec, Hectochelle, Red & Blue Channel are not considered PI instruments for SAO and UAO observers. 

Proposal Timelines

For SAO, each year is split into trimesters with proposals accepted approximately two months before the trimester begins (see the link above for the actual deadlines dates). Trimester dates are:

  • January 1 - April 30
  • May 1 - August 31
  • September 1 - December 31

For UAO, each year is split into semesters with proposals accepted approximately three months before the semester begins (see the link above for the actual deadline dates).  Semester dates are:

  • January 1 - July 31
  • August 1 - December 31 

Approximate summer shutdown dates are August 1-31. The MMTO is closed on December 24.