Flexible observing practice involves determining what the next MSB queued to observe should be by assessing the currently known weather conditions, the source position and the scientific priority of the project. This can be updated on a constant basis and aims to ensure the best use of the available weather conditions and maximise the scientific aims of a project.
When we invite observers to the telescope we always aim to do so at the best time for observing their targets (according to their RA distribution). So we hope that you will get to observe your project when you are at the JCMT. However, if the weather on the night(s) you are at the summit is not in your allocated weather band, then the Queuy Tool will select something else.
Yes! Because this ensures that we match as best we can the current conditions to those for which you calculated your observing time and subsequent sensitivities. It also means there is a good possibility we might have already gathered data for your project before you have arrived at the facility. So when you get here, you may already have freshly collected data to start making great science with.
No. The observatory takes care of all calibration observations (pointing, focus and standard source observations) and this time is not charged to your project. We suggest you look at the calibration pages on specific JCMT instruments to guide you as to our quoted calibration uncertainties. If you have a special requirement, for example with SCUBA-2: a faint source observation (like cosmology) where pointing is critical, you may request in the MSB notes that, if possible, additional pointings are taken bracketing the observations to provide additional precision. Likewise, with a spectral observation, if intensity is of critical importance, you may wish to request a standard source observation be taken closely in time to your science observation. We will do our best to accommodate such requests. If uncertain, ask your Friend of Project for further guidance.