AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 48 Visible-Light Telescopes, Instruments, and Technology
Poster, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[48.08] A Web-based Clearing-house for Community Telescope Information and Access

C. D. Garmany, T. A. Boroson (NOAO)

Where can one find information on all available community telescopes and their instrumentation? With the growth of a very diverse set of ground-based O/IR telescopes and instruments there is an increasing need for corresponding information on these facilities, as has been pointed out by the 2nd community workshop on the ground-based O/IR system (May 2004). In response, NOAO has agreed to develop a web site for the community that summarizes all publicly available observing opportunities and acts as a clearing -house for information.

While much of the information is currently available on the web, it requires consolidation. Observing opportunities include not only those scheduled through NOAO, but other facilities as well. In particular, PREST (Program for Research and Education with Small Telescopes), a new NSF initiative, will provide community access to smaller (< 2.5 m) telescopes . We envision a web site that includes NOAO facilities, the TSIP program (which provides public time on Keck, HET, MMT, Magellan, LBT), and other telescopes giving public access through NOAO: WIYN, SOAR, SMARTS. Facilities that provide public access but not through NOAO, will also be included. The site should include time available, how and when to apply, instrument and detector capabilities, selection criteria, typical weather, lodging accommodations, and technical assistance or training available at the telescope. Also, feedback from observers on the performance of the facilities will be made available to potential proposers.

As we develop this site, we welcome input from the astronomical community on how to make it most useful to astronomers.

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