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Spitzer Observing Rules

6         Generic Targets

Generic targets denote observations that fail to qualify as Targets of Opportunity (i.e., they generally have more refined and predictive spatial and temporal information than ToOs), and can be scientifically described, but lack precise celestial coordinates or brightness estimates at the time of Spitzer proposal submission.  A generic target can be selected from a complementary observing program with Spitzer, or with any other telescope, where the conditional observations (assumed to be under the control of or clearly available to the Spitzer Principal Investigator) are scheduled or will be scheduled with high likelihood, but not yet executed or analyzed prior to the Spitzer proposal deadline.


An investigator may propose observations of generic targets, describing them in as much detail as possible in a Spitzer observing proposal. In previous observing cycles, an AOR accompanying a generic target needed to contain a celestial position accurate to within 2 degrees (radial) for fixed targets.  For Cycle-8 onwards, this requirement is removed. This will allow proposals for follow-up of well-defined scientific targets from, for example, the WISE mission.  For a moving generic target (e.g., Solar System object) proposers must submit an AOR with a target position ‘to be determined’ from the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) identification, or from orbital elements.  In either case, the execution time must be specified to within a factor of 1.5.  


After the complementary observations are obtained and analyzed, the Principal Investigator must modify the generic target AOR and include the precise celestial coordinates and integration time before the observations can be scheduled. The observations must be completed within the observing time allocation awarded when the proposal was approved. If your proposed targets are not known at the time of proposal submission you must provide a credible schedule for determining the targets and delivering the AORs. Details will be worked with all successful teams. For generic targets the AOR must be fully specified at least 8 weeks prior to execution.


Proposals seeking to observe generic targets will be accepted for consideration through the normal processes if the following (relevant) conditions are satisfied:


·         Rules pertaining to duplicate observations and priority of target selection (as specified in §2) apply.  The basic principle is that the first observer who specifies the AOR with sufficient completeness to permit execution of the AOR has priority for the observation.


·         The generic targets are selected from datasets to which the proposing investigator has clear access.