UA Science

You are here

Telescope Proposals


Standard Telescope Time Application for 2024B

To apply for telescope time on the Optical/IR telescopes in the normal scheduling cycle, potential observers must submit a proposal to the Steward Observatory Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC), which then provides recommendations for scheduling to the Director who approves a final schedule. Programs are scheduled on a semester timescale, roughly from February through July, and August through January. Proposals for time on the ARO radio telescopes are submitted to the ARO TAC for recommendations to the Director. 

We currently accept applications from faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students at UA, ASU, and NAU.  

How To Propose: Optical/IR Telescopes

Note: Please make sure to sign up for the mailing list by contacting Eiichi Egami (  This mailing list is used to distribute regular & supplemental calls for proposals (regular-proposal deadlines are around Apr 1/Oct 1 every year) as well as any other observer/observatory-related informtation (e.g., updates on observatory & instrument status, announcements of UA/Steward meetings/talks targeting optical/IR observers).

To apply for observing time on Arizona's Optical/IR telescopes for the period of Aug 1, 2024 (~July 15 for Magellan)  through Jan 31, 2024 (~Jan 15 for Magellan), ie, 2024B,   submit proposals (electronically only) by noon on MONDAY, April 1, 2024. (GTO proposals are due April 22)  Electronic submission is required and involves uploading your filled in (latex) version of the proposal form as well as the processed pdf to this Web page .  

The available telescopes include LBT, Magellan I and II, MMT, 90", VATT, 61", 60", and Minnesota 60". NEWS information about available instruments is available here.

Make sure to download the current LaTeX2e proposal template  soprop.tex and class file soprop.cls (we updated/upgraded them on March 3, 2020, not since then). These are required to produce the pdf file that is uploaded for the electronic submission. Using an older version of the templates will result in your proposal not being processed by the automated account.

The macro psfig.sty can be obtained at

Additional Guidelines for Submission:

- do not use commas in any coverpage entry field in soprop.tex;

- no line breaks in the proposal title (make sure the closing parenthesis is on the same line);

- use approved telescope names (as listed in soprop.tex);

- use only one PI-Name and only one (matching) PI-email address;

- name your files using your first initial and last name (e.g., jdoe.tex and jdoe.pdf). If you submit multiple different proposals use numbers to differentiate (e.g., jdoe1.tex, jdoe2.tex). Keep names to less than 30 characters and do not use special characters or spaces in the filenames;

- revised proposals are accepted up until the deadline. Use the revision option on the submission page to update your proposal.

For more information, follow the link to "Proposal Information" on the right.


Target of Opportunity Proposals

Target of Opportunity (ToO) proposals are encouraged for any of our telescopes. However, proposers should be aware that the scheduling flexibility depends on instrument availability and capability, access to queue scheduling, and program requirements. As such, it becomes increasingly difficult, but not impossible, to accommodate ToO programs in telescopes where we have a minority share, or are not queue scheduled.  We do not, at this time, allow for the interruption of observing time outside that available to Steward Observatory. Our scheduling of observing time attempts to follow the TAC proposal rankings as closely as possible, as such, proposers of either classical or ToO observations that require specific conditions are encouraged to write the strongest proposal possible.

For LBT, those ToO proposals ranked in Band B will not be able to interrupt programs ranked in Band A.

For the MMT, ToO can only take place with queue-scheduled instruments (not the Blue Channel).

For Magellan,  ToO can only take place with facility instruments in UA time only.


Requesting TBS time

On the occasions when some time remains unscheduled, members of Steward Observatory may apply for TBS (To Be Scheduled) nights on the Steward Observatory 90", 61", and 60" telescopes, or UAOTBS nights on the MMT. Please send TBS requests to Dr. Dan Stark ( Requests should contain a brief scientific justification. Only in cases of multiple requests to use the same time and facilities will TBS requests be forwarded to the Associate Director for a decision.  Please also note that TBS requests requiring instrument changes may not be accepted depending on the work load of the Mountain Operations staff during the relevant time period.  TBS requests made within the 21-day limit that require an instrument change or any sizable intervention by Mtn. Ops. staff are highly discouraged. Exceptions to this policy may be made in the event of important transitory astrophysical events and handled at the Director/Associate Director level with the consultation of the Mtn. Ops. group. 

To clarify the TBS deadline system: Requests are due 21 days before the first night of a TBS block if there are multiple contiguous nights available on a telescope.  TBS nights will not be granted to observers who are not certified on the telescope/instrument unless the request identifies a certified observer who will be present at the telescope during the entire period requested.  In other words, proof of certification must come before a observer even submits a request for TBS time unless a certified observer who will actually handle the observations is identified. To apply for TBS nights on the VATT, contact Dr. Richard Boyle ( AND Dr. Paul Smith.


How To Propose: Radio Telescopes

There is a new ARO webpage HERE. There will be an email call for proposals.


(Mar 4 2024))


For the public
For Public

Public events include our Monday Night Lecture Series, world-reknowned Astronomy Camp and Mt Lemmon Sky Center.

For Students

A good place to start if you want to become an undergrad major or grad student, or need to find our schedule of classes.


For Scientists
For Scientists

Find telescopes and instruments, telescope time applications, staff and mountain contacts, and faculty and staff scientific interests.