The AAO Observers' Guide

This document is terribly out of date, and is provided "as is" for historical reasons, and for the odd tidbit of information that may not be obtainable elsewhere. To help plan your observing proposals or travel plans, please refer to the AAO Observing web page, and links therein.

Fifth (HTML) Edition edited by Chris Tinney
February 1996 onwards.

Fourth Edition edited by
Elaine Sadler, Sandra Harrison and Steven Lee
September 1991

Users of Netscape version 2.0 and higher (and other browsers which support the Frames protocol) will find the Frames version of this manual more useful.

Postscript versions are the entire manual in one file are created irregularly. The latest version was created on 24 July 1997 and is available as a gzipped file (564Kb - but it expands to 14Mb!). Please note that the on-line version is always the most up to date. Also note that the `combined' HTML file from which the Postscript version is created was generated semi-automatically by a Perl script. If you notice it's deleted something important, please let me know!


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This Observers' Guide gives an overview of the Anglo-Australian Observatory and its facilities. We have included most of the information needed for preparing an observing proposal and travelling to the telescope. One aim of this guide is to help you decide whether your intended observing program is feasible at the AAO, how much time it will take, and which is the most suitable instrument to use. More detailed Users' Guides are also available for most of the individual instruments and detectors, and these explain how to prepare for your run and what you should do at the telescope.

Progress in instrument development continues to be rapid, and it is inevitable that some parts of this guide will quickly become out-dated. The AAO Newsletter gives regular updates on instrumental developments and other matters, and a list of currently-available instruments at the AAT is also circulated by the time assignment committees along with their application forms.

Elaine Sadler
Sandra Harrison
Steven Lee

Preface to the HTML Version

It is hoped this HTML version of the Observer's Guide will obviate some of these difficulties, by allowing updates on a regular basis as new instrumental changes are made, old instruments get decomissioned, old computers get shipped to Bob Dean's place, and Yanda gets shut down again.

Chris Tinney

Status of the HTML Version

July 1997 : Several of the instrumetn have now been decommissioned, including IPCS, IRPS and FIGS. These sections of the on-line manual need to be deleted.

21 Feb 1996: Several of the sections of the manual were updated to reflect the changes in detector and instrument technology instroduced since the 1991 paper version was published. These sections are so noted at the end of each HTML page. However, as none of the `old' instruments have been officially de-comissioned, despite their infrequent use (eg. IPCS, IRPS, FIGS),  no sections of the manual have actually been deleted. Readers should be warned that some sections of this manual may therefore be seriously out of date - especially if the This Page last updated: field at the bottom of the page is blank.

13 Feb 1996: The 1991 LaTeX version of this manual was converted to HTML using the LaTeX2HTML translator Version 95.1 (Fri Jan 20 1995) Copyright © 1993, 1994, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds. (using the command  latex2html -split 2 obsguide.tex.). After this most of the multitudinous GIF images LaTeX2HTML creates were replaced with slightly less fancy looking straight HTML.

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This Page created by : Chris Tinney This Page last updated:  3 June 1996, by Chris Tinney
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