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McDonald Observatory and the Texas portion of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope are scheduled after peer-review by a Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC). The proposal process is conducted three times per year, covering periods of December - March (trimester 1), April - July (trimester 2) and August - November (trimester 3). Our goal is to publish the schedule 4 weeks prior to the start of each period, so proposals are due 2 months prior to the trimester start. The Mt. Locke and HET proposal due dates are staggered by 1 week. 

The general due dates are: 

        Mt. Locke   HET
 Trimester 1   (Dec-March)   September 30   October 7
 Trimester 2   (Apr-July)   January 31   February 7
 Trimester 3   (Aug-Nov)   May 31   June 7


If any of these dates occur on a weekend or University holiday, the proposals are due on the next business day. Proposals are due at 5pm central time on the day of the deadline and NO late proposals are accepted. Details specific to each trimester will be emailed to normal users about 2 weeks prior to the deadline. 

NOTE: We acknowledge all proposals via a separate email within a few days of the deadline (this is different from the software indicating the proposal has been submitted). If you do not receive this acknowledgement within a week, please email to anita at astro dot as dot utexas dot edu and inquire. 

Each applicant provides a scientific proposal justifying the telescope time and providing information necessary to schedule the telescope (requested dates, lunar phase, instrument, etc). 

Schedules will be published on the observatory web site at Observing Schedules and posted in a variety of places. Amendments to schedules will be announced and the on-line schedules will be updated throughout the trimester. Be sure to check the web site for a current schedule.