Special call for Mercator and Stella proposals – semester 2023A

This is a special call for Mercator and STELLA proposals for Spanish CAT night observing time in semester 2023A.  Proposal submission deadline is Thursday, December 15th, 2022, at 22:59 h Canarian time or 23:59 h CET.

  • We recall that every proposal within the Spanish CAT scheme must be led by a principal investigator (PI) affiliated to an Institution in Spanish soil. 
  • Applicants can assume that the usual A-semester range or right ascension is observable. 
    • Stella: February – July
    • Mercator: April – September.
  • No large programs are offered in this special call for proposals.
  • Available telescope time:
    • Mercator: 10 nights (visitor mode) 
    • Stella-WiFSIP: 37 hours (queue mode)
    • Stella-SES: 57 hours (queue mode)
  • Only proposals requesting Mercator (HERMES and MAIA) and Stella (WiFSIP or SES) observing time will be accepted for evaluation. To submit proposals, use the http://cat.iac.es tool by selecting “Spanish CAT (CATESP)” type. Please, be cautious when selecting the telescope(s) during the submission phase.

Mercator Telescope

Offered instruments (HERMES and MAIA) can be found at Mercator.
  • It is strongly recommended to request long runs and full nights since the Observatory will reduce the number of introduction due to limited local man/womanpower.
  • The low-resolution, high stability mode of HERMES is no longer available.
  • The high-resolution mode is more efficient, and a double mode in which the object’s spectrum is interleaved with a simultaneous ThArNe exposure is offered. The double mode is intended only for radial velocity work : the background cannot be corrected so if you are interested in the extracted 1D spectrum, you cannot use this mode.
  • The exposure time calculator on the web has been updated accordingly with respect to the efficiency of HERMES.
  • A new guiding mode on the spectrographic telescope is introduced, which allows now guiding in close visual binaries separated by at least 3 arcsec (the spectrograph’s entrance pinhole diameter). This works for faint companions as well.
  • There is a remote observing system, although CAT observers may find it more useful to perform the observations at the Observatory.


The instruments WiFSIP and SES are offered:

  • WiFSIP: the small-band filters and H-beta narrow and wide are not available. 
  • SES has no change with respect to previous calls for proposals. 


How to submit

Applicants must ensure that their proposals comply with the required page limits and layout indicated below. ALL proposals must be written in English. To send proposals, use the night time CAT application tool at http://cat.iac.es.  A simple manual to learn how to deal with this application is available in this pdf document. To submit a proposal, the PI and co-Is need to be registered. If you are already registered but you do not remember your password, please do NOT register twice (in order to avoid confusions for statistical purposes). You can find instructions about how to reset your password in the same webpage or contact the CAT for additional help.

THERE IS A NEW FORM to build the scientific case of the CAT proposals. All applicants of standard and large proposals are kindly requested to use this new form, which is available here  (a “tar” file will be downloaded; read the README file first).  Please note that applications forms are different for LARGE (long-term) and REGULAR programs. Note also that the time request in the on-line application tool has changed, as one should now specify the  time requested for each semester by creating as many “Observations” as needed.

In the evaluation of proposals, CAT will take into account the publications derived from previous observations with the CAT telescopes. Therefore, in the BIBCodes menu of the application tool, remember to update the fields Comment and Bibliographic code  for all proposals approved in the last two years.

Before the deadline expires, please check that the uploaded pdf file (created with the new form) contain the latest version of your proposal, and that it prints correctly. No replacement or updating of the proposal content will be made after the deadline, and those proposals which do not correctly print out or lack relevant sections will be automatically withdrawn from the evaluation process. Those proposals where the font size (12pt) has been reduced or the text of the scientific justification exceeds limitations (one page for common/regular proposals and two pages for large programmes) will also be withdrawn. Figures and Tables cited in the scientific justification should fit a maximum of one page (normal proposals) and two pages (large programs). It is advised to follow the instructions described at http://cat.iac.es/faces/ayuda/pdf_latex.jsf

UPDATED on 2 Dec 2022. 

Contact: catiac at iac.es