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1 Overview of W. M. Keck Observatory - page 4 / 10





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Figure 3: h-index for the VLT, Keck, Gemini, and Subaru observatories as of April 2007.  A higher h-index implies higher overall scientific impact.

3 Current U.S. Community Participation in Keck Observatory

The partners in the operation of Keck Observatory are Caltech, the University of California and NASA. The University of Hawaii participates in Keck observing by providing access to Mauna Kea. The allocation of observing time is divided among these institutions as follows: Caltech (36.5%), University of California (36.5%), NASA (14.5%), and University of Hawai’i (12.5%).  Yale University and the Swinburne Institute of Technology participate in Keck observing via a partnership with Caltech. The broad U.S. community gains peer-reviewed access to the Keck telescopes via the NASA partnership and through the NSF/NOAO Telescope System Instrumentation Program (TSIP; approximately 24 nights per year; see Section 4).  NOAO’s recent ALTAIR committee noted in the context of 6.5-10 meter telescopes that “of the open access time available to the entire US community, Gemini represents ~57%, the NASA Keck time represents ~25%, and NSF TSIP represents ~18%.”  Thus, Keck Observatory represents a significant fraction of U.S. peer-reviewed public access to large telescopes.

Through specific time exchanges with both the Gemini Observatory and Subaru Observatory, the Keck observer community gains access to some of their instrument capa­bilities that are not emphasized at Keck and vice versa.  For the Gemini exchange, the Keck community gains access to Gemini’s mid-infrared instruments MICHELLE and T-ReCS (Keck has no non-interferometric mid-infrared capability) and the near-infrared instrument NIRI.  The Gemini community gains access to HIRES, WMKO’s high-resolution optical spectrograph.  In the case

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