Night Logs

Keck tracks every night with a custom, in-house database. These form a complete log of what occurred every night… The routine, the problems, the small disasters of operating a complex facility on top of a mountain. Reading these logs every morning is a ritual for many of the staff. A synopsis arrives in our e-mail each day, to be read on an iPad over breakfast, or as soon as you sit down at your desk.

Keck 1 Operator's Station
The Keck 1 telescope operator’s consoles in the night during laser AO observing
For many in the operations department the contents of the logs set the pattern of the day. Was this a quiet night with no issues? Or is this a day when you need to drop everything to address some serious problem on the mountain?

Below is a typical night log from a quiet night. Reading through the logs each morning reveals much about the inner workings of the observatory. Who was working the night, the visiting astronomers and their subject of study. The logs also contain a number of statistics that are used to monitor the performance of the observatory.

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