FAQ

For more information or assistance, please contact helpdesk@eaobservatory.org. To get up-to-date information about the JCMT please send an e-mail to jcmt_users+subscribe@eaobservatory.org.

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UHH Student JCMT Observers

There are two pieces of EAO paperwork that need to be completed and returned. These are an accommodation request form and a medical waiver form, available here. Please note that even if you live and study in Hilo, a completed accommodation form is required, as it is needed to arrange mountain accommodation, transportation, etc. Please also note that all prospective UHH student JCMT observers are required to have medical insurance coverage.

In addition, since the UH IfA Principal Investigator (PI) of the science project is normally expected to cover the Hale Pohaku accommodation costs for the duration of the observing run, it will usually be necessary to complete this form and return it to Amy Miyashiro at the IfA.

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The project code and the PI name can be found by consulting the JCMT telescope schedule, available here. Select the most recent semester and scroll down to the dates that you expect to be using the telescope. The project code will be something that looks like “M18AH01A” or similar, and the surname of the project PI will be listed just after that.

For the “Arrival in Hilo” parts: UHH students should be able to just put in “N/A” for the arrival date and time.

You should be aware that you will still need to attend a sea-level safety and orientation briefing from your Support Astronomer. They will contact you by e-mail to set up a date and time for that. This should be during normal working hours, whenever possible.

UHH students can usually skip the Hilo hotel and rental car sections of the form for before (and after) the run altogether.

UHH students should complete the Hale Pohaku section, bearing in mind that all observers need to spend at least one additional night up at HP acclimatizing before the start of their observing run. Note that observers who have not worked at the summit of Maunakea before are usually recommended to spend two nights at HP for acclimatization purposes. You can discuss this with your Support Astronomer.

For the first meal, assuming that you’re able to drive one of our cars at the usual 3pm time, then you’ll want that to be “dinner”. (If you don’t drive then your Support Astronomer will discuss other possible Hilo/HP transportation options later on).

For the “Acknowledgement” section: that should be your name & email address. You might also want to forward a copy of the booking confirmation that you will eventually receive from EAO to Dr. Marianne Takamiya at UHH for reference as well.

If you know that you’ll be going up with a second observer, please supply their name in the appropriate part of the form. Otherwise, feel free to leave the “Other Observers” box empty.

The rest of the form is fairly self-explanatory, but please just contact us if you’re still unsure about anything. And don’t worry: we’re already that assuming you’ll reply with a “No” to the seminar question at the end!

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You should ideally try to read through at least these web pages:

It would also be useful to review these pages, to get a feel for the computing environment you will be using while observing:

 

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A selection of videos on the JCMT and sub-mm astronomy are available here. This link includes overview videos of the JCMT, videos on what it’s like to be a visiting JCMT observer, and videos on the JCMT instrumentation.

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The computer systems used by JCMT observers run Linux, which is a Unix-like operating system. If you are only familiar with (e.g.) Windows-based systems, it would be useful to learn at least a little about Linux before you observe at the JCMT. There are many excellent introductory online resources available for users. For example, one very good introduction is available here.

Note that if you have a Mac, then you already have access to a Unix operating system, as macOS is actually a certified Unix variant. The standard Unix commands that are commonly used are available via your Mac’s built-in “Terminal” application.

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