Tonight marks the official start of the eighth year of Fermi/Steward Observatory monitoring program with optical campaign 75 at the Kuiper Telescope on Mt. Bigelow, AZ. As has been the case over the last few years, the monsoon season has lasted well into September. The first 6-plus hours of the night were lost to thick clouds, with rain all around the area. The sky quickly cleared at 0200 local time and enough observing time was available for a couple of blazars and some standards. Operations were slowed by some scattered clouds and a brand new operating system for the telescope. Several "features" and bugs in the new system slowed observations. Hopefully, these issues will diminish as the technical people fine tune the operation of the hardware and software and as the observer gains experience with the new system.
Technical difficulties have also been apparent with the prime focus camera on the Bok Telescope.
As a result, after the first three nights of this campaign on Mt. Bigelow
are concluded, SPOL will be brought to Kitt Peak, AZ for the remainder
of the observing run. Observations at the Bok Telescope will start on
September 17, 2015 UTC and continue for five nights.