How to observe in the mid-IR from the ground at the diffraction limit of a 10-meter class telescope
CanariCam is a mid-IR imager and spectrograph with polarimetric and coronographic capabilities built by the University of Florida as a common-user instrument for the GTC. CanariCam observing capabilities are unique, offering the GTC community the opportunity to exploit the 8-25 microns observing windows at the diffraction limit of the GTC. Grantecan started CanariCam operations during the first semester of 2012. Currently, three observing modes are offered to the GTC community: Imaging, low resolution spectroscopy and imaging polarimetry. In this talk, some of the challenges of operating a mid-IR diffraction-limited instrument from the ground will be reviewed. Some CanariCam commissioning results for the currently offered modes will be presented. I will introduce some of the tools available for the community to prepare CanariCam observations and to reduce the data. Finally, I will explain what is the current status of the instrument and telescope for mid-IR observations.