Nickel Observer Information

To see the Deadlines and the Most Recent call for proposals please see Calls for Proposals, Deadlines, and Schedules page.

Proposal Basics

The Nickel 1-meter (40-inch) telescope and Direct Imaging Camera (CCD-C2) are equipped for remote operation and are available for such use. Only observers with experience observing locally with the Nickel telescope and Direct Camera are eligible to observe remotely. New observers require a local checkout at Mount Hamilton and a supplementary remote checkout on their first night of actual remote observing, to be conducted via video-conferencing.

Applying for time with the Nickel telescope requires firstly a submission of a cover sheet followed by a scientific justification. You can access the online cover sheets for the Nickel telescope at along with instructions on how to submit the accompanying science description.

After submission of the cover sheet the main text of the proposal should be prepared as a PDF file and uploaded via the webpage:

Proposal Submittal Instructions

Submitting an application is a two-step process: on-line creation of a proposal cover sheet and uploading a pdf-format file with the Scientific Justification and other support materials. Please make a realistic estimate of the number of nights you will need for your program. Include enough information in your requests so that we fully understand the scientific aims of your proposed program and, specifically, what observations you plan to make.

Step 1: Create a proposal cover sheet and be assigned a Proposal ID#. Go to the web page below, enter the information required for the form, submit the form and note the assigned proposal ID#, which is required in Step 2.

Step 2: Prepare a file with the following sections:

1. Scientific Justification (2-page limit),
2. References and Figures (2-page limit),
3. Targets and Exposures,
4. Supplementary Observations Required from other Observatories,
5. Technical Remarks,
6. Path to Science from Observations,
7. Status of Previously Approved 1-m Programs, including a complete list of publications that have resulted from your previous observing time at Lick over the past 5 years.

Create a pdf-format of this document and upload it at the submission web page:

Graduate Student Observer Applications

Graduate Student Applications: Graduate students are eligible to apply for 1-m observing time. A letter must accompany each proposal from the faculty sponsor stating the student is qualified to carry out the project. Please email the letter to, and be sure the subject line says “Graduate Student Nickel Proposal.”

Graduate student observing projects requiring a large number of nights or nights spread over several semesters must be thesis-related; the first proposal must be accompanied by a letter of support from the student’s thesis adviser.

Remote Observing

Remote observing with the Nickel telescope must be done from one of the mainland approved sites. Proposals for remote observing must specify the facility from which the observer will be working and include a list of up to four filters and the order in which they are to be installed. In all other ways, the remote proposal process is the same as for local observing.

If you plan to submit a remote observing proposal, please consult the following web pages before preparing your proposal.

The Support Astronomers have created a web page that describes the procedure for the home observing mode:

Remote operation of the Nickel 1-m Telescope and Direct Imaging Camera:

Lick observers (astronomers, postdocs, students) are not permitted to observe remotely until they have completed an on-site checkout at Lick Observatory plus a separate remote-observing checkout. These are described further in the Lick remote observing policy page:
Please contact the Lick support astronomers ( to arrange the necessary checkouts.

Important: The CAT will only be offered on a restricted basis. Users who wish to apply for CAT time should contact the UCO Support Astronomers ( before submitting a request.

NOTE: Late proposals will be excepted but will be constrained by available time and resource support. Please contact Deputy Director ( for more information.