P200 Remote Operations: Observer Information
Your P200/Hale Telescope remote observing run will be supported by a telescope operator and a support astronomer. The support astronomer will be available for afternoon instrument training and calibrations, as well as evening on-sky support. The telescope operator will be present at sunset. Below is some information regarding your run.
Attention Palomar Observers: As of 19 June 2023 the observatory has rolled-back the last of its pandemic-era operations guidelines.
Updated Mon 19 Jun 2023 5:40 am PDT
Before You Observe
Preferably two weeks in advance—but at a minimum of four (4) days before your observing run, you (i.e. the designated cognizant observer) must select the remote observing option for your run using the observatory Reservation System. In order to do this, you must have an existing Reservation System account associated with your observing run. Run location (local, remote, both for teams) information is defined using the Reservation System Observing Location form. If you are not observing from a pre-approved site (e.g. 144 Cahill), you must also submit your IP address as well via the Observing Location form.
Contact the Palomar night staff via email at
Afternoon of Your Observations
The support astronomer will set up the instrument software for you in the early afternoon. Let the support astronomer know if you would like instrument software training, which can be done that afternoon.
Afternoon calibrations can start any time after 3:30pm.
Night of Your Observations
The telescope operator will arrive at sunset. The support astronomer will also be available until 10pm.
You will communicate with the support astronomer and the telescope operator using Zoom. The support staff can provide the meeting ID number. Alternatively, you can use the remote observing user credentials to display the meeting ID below.
If you are unable to use Zoom, let the support staff know via email at
You will need to have a VNC viewer installed on your computer. Some options for this include:
The following virtual desktops will be used (password will be provided by staff):
You can download your images by connecting to
Questions? We've answered many common observing and operations questions in our observer FAQ page.