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Fall 2004 News

Proposal Deadline for February – July 2005
Spring 2005 semester observing proposals are due on Friday, October 1. See instructions, current application form, and list of instruments. Application form, rev. Aug. 2004, must be used. The TAC will review telescope applications on November 18, and time awards will be announced before January 1. Note that remote observing from any location will be supported.

Tempel 1 Observations in Support of the Deep Impact Mission July 4, 2005
The Deep Impact mission is designed to probe the interior of a comet by crashing a 370 kg copper mass into the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005. To support this mission, there will be an observing campaign two weeks before and four weeks after the impact. Time will be set aside for the campaign, and you are encouraged to apply for this time. Click here for more details. If you have any questions, please contact Alan Tokunaga. Proposals are due on Friday, October 1 (same deadline as all other proposals).

The IRTF 36–element adaptive optics system will be available. We are also upgrading NSFCAM with a 2048x2048 array. People planning to use either the adaptive optics system or NSFCAM2 should review the information here. If you have further questions, please contact Eric Tollestrup.

Boston University's Mid-InfaRed Spectrometer and Imager will continue to be available for use on the IRTF for the Spring 2005 semester. To date, MIRSI has been on the telescope for about 15% of the time and has been used for a wide variety of observing programs. Those interested in using MIRSI can find more information here and are encourage to contact a MIRSI team member.

We have updated the science highlights. Please inform us of any science highlights you may have. We distribute these to the NASA Headquarters and the NSF, so this is an excellent way to let our funding agencies know what you are doing. Also please help us keep our publications up to date by sending your recent publications or an email to us.

Image Quality
We are continuing to work on improving image quality. We have made progress recently in reducing the heat input into the dome, installing temperature and environmental sensors, eliminating heat infiltration from the outside, and improving the performance of the dome air conditioning system. We next plan to cool the primary mirror and to implement a method of actively controlling the dome and primary mirror temperatures.

Telescope Allocation Committee
Kevin Luhman (Harvard–Smithsonian CfA) has rotated off the TAC after having served from fall 2001 through spring 2004. New member, Joan Najita (NOAO), will serve from fall 2004 through spring 2006. See full membership here.

IRTF Vehicles
To assure that only licensed drivers operate IRTF vehicles, observers requesting vehicles are required to provide complete information in the transportation section of the Observing Requirements Form.