Fall 2016 News

Last updated 07 September 2016

Proposal Deadline for Semester 2017A (February 1, 2017 to July 31, 2017) is Monday, October 3, 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), which is available for general use in semester 2017A. 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 Chad Bender (Penn. State Univ.), Adam Burgasser (UC San Diego), Peter Capak (IPAC), Henry Hsieh (Planetary Science Institute), Serena Kim (Univ. of Arizona), Nick Moskovitz (Lowell Observatory), Silvia Protopapa (Univ. of Maryland), and Michael Wong (UC Berkeley). This committee consists of four solar system and four non-solar system members. The members who rotated off are Gerbs Bauer (JPL) and Catherine Espaillat (Boston 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 ensure 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, and 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:
Effective August 1, 2016, raw data taken with IRTF facility instruments will be made publicly available via an online archive following a proprietary period of 18 months from the date of observation. Past users of the IRTF may notice small changes in observing procedures that have been made in preparation for the archive, and are necessary to produce 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 Bobby Bus or Mike Connelley.

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 was made available to IRTF users by A. Sickafoose. MORIS can be used simultaneously with SpeX and can be used as an optical guider. For more information contact Bobby Bus.

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 was designed and assembled at IfA Manoa, and delivered to the IRTF in late August 2016. iSHELL is currently in the commissioning phase and is available for general use in semester 2017A. For more information see the instrumentation page of the website or contact John Rayner or Mike Connelley.