The entire suite of telescopes owned, operated, or partnered in by U.S. institutions make up the U.S. System. Some of these are federal facilities, open to all proposers, and some have been developed with state or private funds, providing access exclusively to their own staffs. NOAO’s goal is to provide peer-reviewed access to a complete set of state-of-the-art capabilities on telescopes of all apertures. Some of these capabilities are found on NOAO’s own telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory and Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, some will be found on facilities such as Gemini, WIYN, and SOAR, which are partnerships that include NSF or NOAO, and some will be found on private facilities, to which NOAO attempts to provide limited access for the broad community.

NOAO also represents the community in new projects that are developing facilities that will enlarge and enhance the System.

Current facilities through NOAO:

Proposals for time on these facilities are solicited by NOAO every semester, with proposal due dates on the last day in March (for semester Aug 1 – Jan 31) and the last day in September (for semester Feb 1 – July 31).

Other open-access facilities:

These facilities provide (or will provide) some access to the entire community. In those cases where that access is part of TSIP or the ReSTAR program, the time is available through the NOAO time allocation process.

Other operating facilities (≥3m):

Listed here are other operating facilities, which currently do not provide open access to the community.

Future facilities:

NOAO tracks progress and explores collaborative relationships with all developing facilities that bring new, desirable capabilities to the System.

Last updated or reviewed February 16, 2017.