Telescope Operator

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, October 22, 2021
Archive Date: 
Friday, November 19, 2021
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
California Institute of Technology
Palomar Mountain
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Telescope Operator




Job Category:

Fulltime Regular


Exempt Overtime Eligible:

Overtime Eligible


Benefits Eligible: Benefit Based


Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.


Job Summary


The position is full-time, benefited, at Palomar Observatory located in north San Diego County, California. Under the direction of the night operations supervisor, this position is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the 200 inch Hale telescope and Palomar robotic telescopes. Position is responsible to assist the astronomers during the nightly observing sessions as needed.


Job Duties


• Night operation of the 200 inch telescope, adaptive optics system, and remote management of robotic telescopes.

• Assist observers in the operation and efficient use of scientific instrumentation.

• Monitor sky conditions and environmental parameters to safeguard telescope facilities from compromise due of weather, smoke, or any conditions deemed hazardous to personnel, telescopes, or instrumentation.

• Provide input to group supervisor on improvements to procedures or systems to maximize efficiency or safety.

• Assist in problem resolution by solving or contacting the appropriate resources necessary for timely response to problems as they arise.

• Use computer-based diagnostics to troubleshoot observatory system anomalies.

• Participate in instrument exchanges and/or mirror aluminization when needed.

• Assist with ice/snow removal on roads, walkways, and steps.

• Other duties as assigned.


Basic Qualifications


• High school education or equivalent.

• Knowledge and experience in the safe handling of cryogenic liquids.

• Ability to lift 50 pounds.

• Ability to work safely in confined or elevated environments.

• Ability to safely work at 5,600 foot altitude.

• Effective oral and written communications.

• Ability to work nights.

• Effective PC skills including MS Office and telescope control systems.

• Skilled in the interpretation of meteorological data from web and local sources in determining risk due to weather.


Preferred Qualifications


• 1-2 years experience in the safe handling of cryogenic liquids.

• 1-2 years experience working with telescope control systems.

• 1-2 years experience in the interpretation of meteorological data from web and local sources in determining risk due to weather.


Required Documents


• Resume


To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:


We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 21, 2022
Selection Deadline: 
Friday, October 21, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Attention To: 
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