Priority Z Time Programme


Note to schools, schoolchildren, and non-professional astronomers:

Please be aware that Priority Z Time proposals should only be submitted by research astronomers. These proposals are assessed and allocated for their contribution to international astrophysical research. Those affiliated with schools and colleges should generally apply for time through the National Schools' Observatory programme.


Researchers can apply for LT observations in a "Priority Z Time" mode, outside of the usual semester-based rounds and Time Allocation Comittees. We welcome Priority Z time proposals from any active research astronomer. The intention is to provide a backup programme to fill the telescope queue during instrument downtime or periods of poor weather.

We define Priority Z time as time when there is no A, B or C-ranked science group available for the scheduling software to pick, and so the telescope would otherwise sit idle. This can occur during periods of poor seeing during full moon, or during times of instrument failure. We estimate approximately 10-15 hours of such time are available per month, although this can of course vary significantly.

Priority Z time is well-suited to long-term proposals of bright targets with no significant time constraints. We would typically expect to approve a Priority Z proposal for a period of two years. Proposals will be assessed internally by LT staff.

Applications can be sent in at any time. They should be made using ONLY the web-based application form lower down this page.

Science and technical justifications are provided in plain text in the form. They should be clear and concise, but contain enough details of the scientific objectives and methodology for the peer review process to understand the objective and assess potential conflicts with existing allocations. Beyond the normal specification of telescope or instrument configuration and integration requirements, the technical case should make it clear how these observations exploit the limited, sporadic and potential poor observing conditions available.

Allocations will typically remain valid for a period of two years from when the proposal is accepted, but please include any relevant information about date ranges or other constraints that would limit the data's usefulness. In particular, please state clearly in the science case the range of semesters you want your programme to be active for.

If your submission fails, please try again using a different web browser or contact the LT Support Astronomer (see the Contact Us link on the sidebar).

Priority Z Form

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