Spring 2016 News

Last updated 29 February 2016

Proposal Deadline for Semester 2016B (August 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017) is Friday, April 1, 2016, 5PM Hawaii Standard time.

Please review the information and use our ONLINE application form

Note that we have a new instrument, the immersion grating echelle spectrograph (iSHELL), that will be available for general use starting on Oct. 1, 2016. A manual for preparation of proposals is available here.

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

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

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


IRTF Data Archive:
Beginning with the 2016B semester, raw data taken with IRTF facility instruments will be made publicly available via an online archive following a proprietary period that begins at the end of the semester, and extends for 12 months. All data files obtained during the 2016B semester will be made available to the public through the archive beginning Feb. 1, 2018. Past users of the IRTF may notice small changes in observing procedures that are being made in preparation for the archive, and are necessary to produce more uniform data products that will be usable by other researchers in the future.

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). Due to the start of iSHELL operation in the 2016B semester, CSHELL will be available only until Sept. 30, 2016. Contact John Rayner for more details.

The immersion grating echelle spectrograph (iSHELL) is a 1.1-5.3 micron cross-dispersed spectrograph (up to a resolving power of R=70,000) and imager. The instrument has been assembled and is undergoing laboratory testing at IfA Manoa. Delivery of iSHELL to the telescope is now expected in June 2016, with a commissioning phase lasting until Sept. 30, 2016. iSHELL is expected to become available for public use starting Oct. 1, 2016 under shared risk. For more information see the instrumentation page of the website or contact Alan Tokunaga or John Rayner.