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Fall 2015 News

Last updated 28 August 2015

Proposal Deadline for Semester 2016A (February 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016) is Thursday, October 1, 2015, 5PM Hawaii Standard time.

Please review the information and use our ONLINE application form

Available instruments are listed here. Remote observing is offered from any location with broadband Internet access for any project that utilizes IRTF instruments. Click here for more information.

Telescope Allocation Committee
The current TAC members are Gerbs Bauer (JPL), Chad Bender (Penn. State University), Sean Brittain (Clemson Univ.), Peter Capak (IPAC), Catherine Espaillat (Boston Univ.), Nick Moskovitz (Lowell Observatory), Michael Wong (UC Berkeley), and Diane Wooden (Ames Research Center). This committee consists of four solar system and four non-solar system members. The members who rotated off are Mark Lacy (NRAO) and Vishnu Reddy (Planetary Science Institute).

Help Keep Our Publications List Current
Please continue to acknowledge the IRTF in your publications following the instructions shown here. It is important that you include in your papers the name of the instrument used and the citation for the instrument, as this helps to insure future funding of IRTF instruments.

IRTF Cool Star Spectral Library
Users are encouraged to make use of the spectral library of FGKM stars, which is available here. Citations for the papers that have been published can be found here. Contact John Rayner for more details.

SpeX Prism Library
A library of more than 1000 prism spectra of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs is maintained by Adam Burgasser, which is available here.

NEO Spectral Survey
The MIT-IRTF Near-Earth Object spectral survey is underway, and many spectra are publicly available. See the side bar for more information or go to


Instrumentation Update

SpeX is a 0.7-5.3 micron medium-resolution spectrograph and imager. For more information see the instrumentation page of the website or contact John Rayner.

The MORIS instrument is available in the 2015B semester. The MORIS instrument is a 512x512 pixel Andor CCD camera mounted at the side-facing, dichroic-fed window of the SpeX cryostat (60"x60" field-of-view). MORIS stands for MIT Optical Rapid Imaging System, and it was made available to IRTF users by A. Gulbis. MORIS can be used simultaneously with SpeX and can be used as an optical guider. For more information contact Bobby Bus.

CSHELL is a 1-5.5 micron high-resolution echelle spectrometer. It uses a 256 x 256 InSb array. CSHELL is working normally. The built-in CCD guider is less reliable when used under high background conditions (daytime guiding). Contact John Rayner for more details.

Assembly of the Immersion Grating Echelle Spectrograph (iSHELL) continues. Initial cool down testing has been completed, and the assembly process of the optics and internal mechanisms has begun. We are planning for extensive laboratory testing during the next 7 months and for commissioning of the instrument to begin in semester 2016A. For more information, contact Alan Tokunaga or John Rayner.


:: Spring 2016 applications awarded observing time.

:: more

:: Spotlight on Saturn's Aurorae

:: Coordinated observations of ozone on Mars by HIPWAC and Mars Express SPICAM

:: Burgasser Very Cool Brown Dwarf

:: 2009 Jupiter Impact: Second Time Around

:: Ten Years of Triton Spectral Monitoring with IRTF/SpeX.

:: Huge cloud discovered on Titan, 13 August 2009. News articles one and two.

:: Jupiter impact of 19 July 2009. News articles one and two.

:: IRTF observations of H3+ in planetary atmospheres

:: The IRTF Spectral Library: Cool Stars (FGKM-SC-LT)

:: Depth of a Strong Jovian Jet From a Planetary-Scale Disturbance

:: more