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View the Annual Report for 2023.

SALT for Astronomers

This website contains the necessary information for astronomers to plan and conduct observations with SALT. The PIPT is a central program to preparing a proposal, both in Phase I (for submitting your proposal and calculating total time required for an observation) and Phase II (preparing and submitting your observations into the queue).

The call for proposals for semester 2023-2 was issued in June 2023.  For urgent proposals, please see our rules regarding applying for Director’s Discretionary Time (DDT) and for Gravitational Wave Event Proposals.

Important Dates for the 2024-2 semester

June 2024 Call for Proposals
26 July 2024 at 16:00 UT Phase I Deadline
11 October 2024 at 16:00 UT Phase II Deadline
1 November 2024 Start of 2024-2 semester
Anytime Director’s Discretionary Time (DDT)
Gravitational Wave Events

Read about the capabilities of SALT and its instruments

See the call for proposals document which contains the latest up-to-date information.

Phase I: Plan your proposal

  • Download and fill in one of the Phase I template documents
  • Estimate your exposure times, signal-to-noise (S/N) and other details for use in the technical justification of the template using one of various simulators
  • Use the visibility tool to determine whether your object is accessible to SALT, for how long it is visible during a night (Track Length) and during the semester
  • Register for a Web Manager account if you have not already done so.
  • Install and run the PIPT that will allow you to:
    • Create a dummy Phase II proposal for test observations to measure the total time of each observation block.
    • Submit your Phase I proposal containing the filled in template containing science case, technical justification and other info, together with PIPT specific abstract, requested time, partner share and other conditions.
  • Once your proposal is submitted you will have to visit the Web Manager to ‘finalise’ your proposal so that it may be considered by the relevant partner Time Allocation Committee (TAC).

Phase II: Prepare observations for your approved proposal

  • Check the call for proposals document which contains the latest up-to-date tips and tricks for some more specialised observation modes (e.g. MOS, BVIT, Fabry-Perot)
  • Install and run the PIPT that will allow you to:
    • Add a list of targets and their finder charts
    • Check the visibility of these targets
    • Prepare blocks for each target specifying instrument setup
    • Calculate the total time used by your observations in each time allocation (e.g. Dark Priority 1 time)
    • Submit your blocks to the queue.
  • Your blocks will then be checked by your Liaison SALT Astronomer (SA) and added to the queue if everything is OK

Data: Reduce and publish your observations