2018B NASA Keck Time Solicitation


The call for proposals for NASA Keck time in observing semester 2018B (August 1, 2018 - January 31, 2019) is now open for professional research using the NASA allocation for telescope observing time at the W.M. Keck Observatory.

2018B proposals are due Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 4 pm PDT

General Information and Guidelines

  • NASA intends the use of the Keck telescopes to be highly strategic in support of on-going missions and/or high priority, long-term science goals. The NASA Keck call is open to a wide range of disciplines spanning from exoplanets and solar system topics to galactic and extragalactic topics. Click here for more details on this proposal call.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Application Procedures

  • Click here for information on page limits, proposal content, electronic submission, etc.
  • The opportunity to propose as Principal Investigators for the NASA time on the Keck Telescopes is open to all U.S.-based astronomers (i.e. those who have their principal affiliation at a U.S. institution).
  • Online Proposal Submission Site
  • Questions? email:

Highlights for 2018B

  1. Letters of support for general mission support proposals must be requested from NASA HQ by March 1, two weeks before the submission deadline.

  2. Keck Observatory Archive (KOA) Check: In an effort to use the NASA time on the Keck telescopes as efficiently as possible, we ask proposers to verify to the TAC that their science goals cannot be met through public observations already in the Keck Observatory Archive. To accomplish this, the PI must enter text into a box on the submission page explaining why the data in KOA are not sufficient to meet their science goals.

  3. Time Domain Astronomy: Observers will continue to have the ability to propose both cadence and Target of Opportunity (ToO) programs. Updated policies for 2018 related to Target of Opportunity or Time Domain Astronomy proposals can be found at ToO Policies and cadence observing policy. These policies are not applicable to Subaru Exchange time. For Semester 2018B, four Keck partners (UC, Caltech, UH, and NASA) have agreed that TAC-approved ToO (TDA) projects will be able to interrupt observers at any of the four Institutions, to increase the utility of the ToO process. If you are considering submitting a ToO or cadence observing proposal, see Section IV for important details.

  4. Information on strategic grading is found in Section Ia of the General Information on this call. Please refer to the 2014 NASA Science Plan for the strategic relevance section of your proposal.

  5. Special notes and considerations for the Keck instruments are listed below. Please also check the WMKO instrument page for telescope observing limits and the current list of available instruments.
    • NIRSPEC: Nirspec and NIRSPAO will both be unavailable for use from August 1 until early December as NIRSPEC undergoes an upgrade.
    • NIRES: NIRES is now available for full science observing. Please see the NIRES instrument home page for information on the instrument capabilities.
    • SUBARU exchange: The SUBARU-Keck exchange will continue as last semester with flexibility as to the number of nights available for exchange, with the final number based on the demand from each community. COMICS, FOCAS, HDS, Hyper Suprime-Cam, IRCS (with NGS/LGSAO with 188 elements), MOIRCS, CHARIS, and SCExAO will be available to the NASA Keck community to propose to. Please note that IRD is offered in shared-risk mode only, and is therefore not offered to the NASA community.

Key Dates

March 1: Mission Support letter requests due to NASA HQ

March 15: All proposals and supporting letters due to NExScI by 4 pm PDT

Useful Links and Information

The NASA Keck Time Solicitation Information web site is a source of information for professional researchers who wish to submit proposals for the NASA allocation of observing time at the W. M. Keck Observatory. For general public information, please visit the Keck Home Page.

Web Curator and NExScI Cognizant Official: Dawn Gelino

(last updated February 12th, 2018 14:49:25)