Applying for telescope time

Mt John Observatory sign in winter

Telescope time is allocated quarterly, from February to April, May to July, August to October, and November to January.

Application deadlines

Applications for telescope time are normally called for on the 10th of March, June, September and December. Deadlines are usually the 20th of the same months.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted to Mt John Director in Christchurch, Dr Karen Pollard, either by email or regular mail. There is no set application form, but an application should at least include names, addresses and affiliations of the applicant(s), an indication of what telescope, instrument and detector are required preferred dates and phases of the moon, and a scientific justification.


External astronomers are welcome to apply for surplus telescope time at Mt John. However, Mt John is a private, university observatory, not a national facility funded to support visiting astronomers. For this reason, non-Canterbury observers who conduct a research programme on a regular basis at Mt John will be encouraged to contribute to the facilities and equipment using grants from their home institutions.


New external users should indicate their previous observing experience. After their runs, external users are required to provide a short report which will be incorporated into MJUO's Annual Report.

Not all instruments and detectors are available at any one time. Intending users are strongly advised to consult the Director before making an application.

Apply to use the telescope facilities