Fall 2014 News

Last updated 4 September 2014

Proposal Deadline for Semester 2015A (February 1, 2015 - July 31, 2015) is Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 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), Sean Brittain (Clemson Univ.), Kevin Covey (Western Washington Univ.), Catherine Espaillat (Boston Univ.), Ted Kostiuk (Goddard Space Flight Center), Mark Lacy (NRAO), Vishnu Reddy (Planetary Science Institute), 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 Kris Sellgren (Ohio State) and Leslie Young (SWRI).

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

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 available for 2015A after successfully receiving upgrades to its infrared array and electronic array controllers. Improved sensitivity and increased simultaneous wavelength range in the spectrograph and improved sensitivity in the slit viewer/IR guider (same 60"x60" FOV) is evident. Resolving power is unchanged, but pixel sampling has been improved. As part of the upgrade, a new version of Spextool is being developed to take advantage of these improvements. For more information contact John Rayner.

The MORIS instrument will be available in the 2015A 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 built by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology following on the successes of the POETS occultation systems. MORIS can be used simultaneously with SpeX and can even guide SpeX in place of Guidedog. For more information on this technique 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.

Work on the Immersion Grating Echelle Spectrograph (iSHELL) has continued. The design and fabrication of nearly everything has been completed. The assembly process of the cryostat and mechanisms has started. For more information, contact Alan Tokunaga or John Rayner.

NSFCAM suffered significant damage when the LN2 precharge can burst due to the improper positioning of its pressure relief mechanism, which led to an ice plug. NSFCAM will be unavailable until further notice and is undergoing evaluation for repair or modification for use with adaptive optics.

Due to a failure of the array electronics, MIRSI continues to be unavailable in the 2015A semester. We are considering upgrading the MIRSI electronics, but this work has not been scheduled. Please watch this site for future updates on the status of MIRSI, or contact the IRTF staff for more information.