ESO Call for Proposals – P91

ESO Call for Proposals – P91
ESO Call for Proposals – P91
Proposal Deadline: 27 September 2012, 12:00 noon CEST
Call for Proposals
ESO Period 91
Proposal Deadline: 27 September 2012,
12:00 noon Central European Summer Time
Issued 30 August 2012
Preparation of the ESO Call for Proposals is the responsibility of the ESO Observing Programmes
Office (OPO). For questions regarding preparation and submission of proposals to ESO telescopes,
please contact the ESO Observing Programmes Office, opo@eso.org.
The ESO Call for Proposals document is a fully linked pdf file with bookmarks that can be viewed
with Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher. Internal document links appear in red and external
links appear in blue. Links are clickable and will navigate the reader through the document (internal
links) or will open a web browser (external links).
ESO Call for Proposals Editor: Gaitee A.J. Hussain
Approved:
Tim de Zeeuw
Director General
v
Contents
I
Phase 1 Instructions
1
1 ESO Proposals Invited
1.1 Important recent changes (since Periods 89 and 90) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.2 Important reminders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.3 Foreseen changes in the upcoming Periods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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2 Getting Started
2.1 Distribution of telescope demand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.1.1 Distribution of requested Right Ascension . . . . . .
2.1.2 Prediction of RA demand during Period 91 . . . . .
2.2 Exposure Time Calculators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.3 Online Data Products: Public Surveys, Science Verification,
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Advanced Data
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Products 12
3 How to submit an ESO Phase 1 proposal
3.1 How to obtain the ESOFORM Proposal Package
3.2 The ESOFORM Proposal Form . . . . . . . . . .
3.2.1 Important recent changes to ESOFORM .
3.2.2 Observing conditions: definitions . . . . .
3.3 Proposal Submission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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ESO Telescopes and their Instrumentation
4 The Observatory
4.1 La Silla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2 Paranal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2.1 The VLT Unit Telescopes (UTs) .
4.2.2 UTs Performance . . . . . . . . . .
4.2.3 Laser Guide Star facility on UT4 .
4.2.4 The ATs (VLTI only) . . . . . . .
4.2.5 VISTA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2.6 VST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2.7 Paranal meteorological conditions .
4.3 Chajnantor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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5 Scientific Instruments: La Silla
5.1 SofI — Son of ISAAC, on the NTT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.1.1 ESO Public Spectroscopic Surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.2 EFOSC2 — ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera 2, on the NTT
5.2.1 ESO Public Spectroscopic Surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.3 HARPS — High Accuracy Radial velocity Planetary Search, on the 3.6-m
5.4 FEROS — Fibre-fed Extended Range Optical Spectrograph, on the 2.2-m
5.5 WFI — Wide Field Imager, on the 2.2-m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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6 Scientific Instruments: Paranal
6.1 CRIRES, Cryogenic high-resolution IR Échelle Spectrograph
6.1.1 Calibration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.2 Sensitivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2 FORS2, Focal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph 2 . . . .
6.2.1 Multi-object Spectroscopy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.2 High throughput filters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.3 Volume-phased holographic grisms . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.4 Polarimetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.5 Imaging modes and performance summary . . . . . . .
6.2.6 FORS Instrumental Mask Simulator (FIMS) . . . . .
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vi
6.3
6.4
6.5
6.6
6.7
6.8
6.9
6.10
6.11
6.12
6.13
6.14
6.2.7 Accurate Astrometry or Pre-imaging Required . . . . . . . . . . . . .
FLAMES, Fibre Large Array Multi-Element Spectrograph . . . . . . . . . . .
6.3.1 Instrument Capabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.3.2 Observational Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.3.3 Calibration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.3.4 ESO Public Spectroscopic Surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
UVES, Ultraviolet and Visual Échelle Spectrograph . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
XSHOOTER: multi band, medium resolution échelle spectrograph . . . . . .
VIMOS, VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.6.1 VIMOS Observation Requirements: IMG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.6.2 VIMOS observation requirements: MOS and pre-imaging . . . . . . .
6.6.3 MOS Observations in Visitor Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.6.4 VIMOS Observation Requirements in IFU Mode . . . . . . . . . . . .
VISIR, VLT Imager and Spectrometer for mid Infra Red . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.7.1 Imaging Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.7.2 Spectroscopy Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.7.3 Calibrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.7.4 Exposure Time Calculator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
HAWK-I, High Acuity Wide-field K-band Imager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.8.1 Filters and field of view . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.8.2 Observing modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.8.3 Brightness limit and persistence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.8.4 Limiting magnitudes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
NACO (NAOS+CONICA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.9.1 Adaptive optics correction with Natural and Laser Guide Stars . . . .
6.9.2 Offered modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.9.3 NACO Calibration plan and special calibrations . . . . . . . . . . . .
SINFONI, Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observations in the Near-Infrared
6.10.1 Instrument Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.10.2 Brightness Limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.10.3 Sky Subtraction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.10.4 Calibrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.10.5 Modes that are not offered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
MIDI, MID-infrared Interferometric instrument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AMBER, Astronomical Multi-BEam combineR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.12.1 Spectral Modes and Coverage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.12.2 Integration times, DIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.12.3 Limiting magnitudes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.12.4 Calibration strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.12.5 Execution times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
VIRCAM, VISTA InfraRed CAMera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.13.1 Filters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.13.2 Focal plane geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.13.3 Instrument performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.13.4 VISTA Public Surveys and Open Time Proposals . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.13.5 VIRCAM calibration plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
OmegaCAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7 Scientific Instruments: Chajnantor
7.1 SHFI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7.2 LABOCA, the Large APEX Bolometer Camera . . . . . .
7.3 SABOCA, the Submillimetre APEX Bolometer Camera .
7.4 FLASH heterodyne receiver (MPIfR PI instrument) . . .
7.5 CHAMP+: The Carbon Heterodyne Array of the MPIfR
7.6 Z-Spec: The broadband millimeter-wave spectrometer . .
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8 Visitor Instruments
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9 How to estimate overheads
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10 Calibration Plans and Pipelines
10.1 Data Quality Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10.2 Calibration Plans and Calibration of Science Observations
10.3 Data Reduction Pipelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10.3.1 Data Organization: Gasgano and SAFT . . . . . .
10.3.2 Pipelines in the ESO Environment . . . . . . . . .
10.4 Quality Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10.5 The ESO Science Data Products Forum . . . . . . . . . .
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Proposal Types, Policies, and Procedures
11 Proposal Types
11.1 Normal Programmes . . . . . . . . . .
11.2 Large Programmes . . . . . . . . . . .
11.3 Target of Opportunity . . . . . . . . .
11.3.1 Rapid Response Mode (RRM)
11.4 Guaranteed Time Observations . . . .
11.5 Proposals for Calibration Programmes
11.6 Director’s Discretionary Time . . . . .
11.7 Host State Proposals . . . . . . . . . .
11.8 Non-Member State Proposals . . . . .
11.9 VLT-XMM proposals . . . . . . . . . .
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observations .
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13 Policy Summary
13.1 Who may submit, time allocation policies . . . . . . . . . . . . .
13.2 Requesting use of non-standard observing configurations . . . . .
13.3 Policy regarding offered/available observing configurations . . . .
13.4 Observing programme execution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
13.4.1 Service Mode run execution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
13.5 Phase 2 Service Mode policy: constraints and targets are binding
13.6 Pre-imaging runs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
13.7 Data rights, archiving, data distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
13.8 Publication of ESO telescope results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
13.9 Press Releases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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12 Observing Modes
12.1 Visitor Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
12.1.1 ToO programme execution during VM
12.2 Service Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
12.2.1 Service Mode policies . . . . . . . . .
IV
Appendix
A Acronyms
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73
73
1
Part I
Phase 1 Instructions
1
ESO Proposals Invited
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) invites proposals for observations at ESO telescopes during Period 91 (1 April 2013 – 30 September 2013). The following instruments are
offered in this period:
La Silla
EFOSC2 (ESO Faint Object Spectrograph 2)
FEROS (Fibre-fed Extended Range Optical Spectrograph)
HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planetary Searcher)
SofI (Son of ISAAC)
WFI (Wide Field Imager)
Paranal
AMBER (Near-infrared interferometric instrument)
CRIRES (Cryogenic high-resolution IR Échelle Spectrograph)
FLAMES (Fibre Large Array Multi Element Spectrograph)
FORS2 (FOcal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph 2)
HAWK-I (High Acuity Wide field K-band Imager)
MIDI (MID-infrared Interferometric instrument)
NAOS-CONICA (High Resolution NIR Camera and Spectrograph)
OmegaCAM (Wide Field Imager for the VST at Paranal)
SINFONI (Spectrograph for INtegral Field Obs. in the NIr)
UVES (UV–Visual Échelle Spectrograph)
VIMOS (Visual Multi-Object Spectrograph)
VIRCAM (VISTA InfraRed CAMera)
VISIR (VLT Imager and Spectrometer for mid Infra Red)
XSHOOTER (UV–Visual–NIR medium resolution échelle spectrograph)
Chajnantor
LABOCA (Large Apex BOlometer CAmera)
SABOCA (Submillimetre APEX Bolometer CAmera)
SHFI (Swedish Heterodyne Facility Instrument)
CHAMP+ (Carbon Heterodyne Array of the MPIfR)
FLASH (First Light APEX Submillimeter Heterodyne receiver)
Z-Spec (Broadband millimeter wave spectrometer)
The main characteristics of all instruments offered at La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor in this call
are available in the ESO Instruments Summary Table.
The ESO proposal submission deadline is:
27 September 2012,
12:00 noon Central European Summer Time.
In each submitted proposal, one single person, the Principal Investigator (PI), must be identified
as being principally responsible for this proposal. By submitting a proposal the PI agrees that
2
he/she and his/her collaborators will act according to ESO’s policies and regulations (including the
conditions specified in the present Call for Proposals) if observing time is granted.
Any question about policies or the practical aspects of proposal preparation should be addressed
to the ESO Observing Programmes Office, opo@eso.org. Enquiries about technical requirements of
the planned observations should be sent to the User Support Department (usd-help@eso.org) for
Paranal and Chajnantor and to lasilla@eso.org for La Silla. Enquiries can also be made through
the “Ask for help” link in the User Portal, which is listed under “Other Services”.
Part I of this Call for Proposals provides information on how to complete and submit a Phase 1
proposal to ESO, Part II summarises the capabilities of ESO telescopes and available instrumentation, while Part III describes the policies and procedures regarding proposing for, carrying out, and
publishing ESO observations.
1.1
Important recent changes (since Periods 89 and 90)
• General changes
– ESO proposal submission deadline: Please note that the ESO deadline will be
strictly enforced. It is the PI’s responsibility to resolve any verification or upload problems
related to the instrument configuration, LaTeX file or associated figures well before the
deadline. ESO cannot provide support beyond 11:00 CEST on the day of the deadline.
The online receiver will switch off at 12:00 CEST. No submissions or amendments to
submitted proposals can be accepted after this time.
– PI Pack Service and Science Processing: As of October 2011, the PI Pack service
and science processing in Garching have been discontinued. PIs and their delegates can
access their raw science data through the ESO Science Archive Facility; this requires
authentication through the ESO User Portal. A new archive service, the CalSelector, has
been deployed to automatically associate science files with the complete set of calibrations
and ancillary files needed for processing and data exploitation.
– Precipitable Water Vapour (PWV): A radiometer was successfully commissioned
at Paranal in October 2010, which continuously provides a measurement of the amount
of the precipitable water vapour (PWV) above the observatory. Users of CRIRES and
the APEX instruments in service mode should specify PWV as an observing constraint
during their Phase 1 and Phase 2 preparation. Examples are shown in the ESOFORM
package template files. It is expected that VISIR users will also be able to provide PWV
constraints during their Phase 2 preparation.
– Large Programmes: As in previous periods no Large Programmes will be accepted
for the 2.2-m, VISTA or VST telescopes. On APEX, Large Programmes will not be
accepted for the PI instruments, CHAMP+, FLASH and Z-Spec. In Period 91 Large
Programmes are also not offered for the following VLT instruments: CRIRES, HAWK-I,
NACO, VIMOS. These restrictions are due to the following reasons:
∗ CRIRES may be affected by possible future changes;
∗ HAWK-I will be affected by the installation of the AOF in 2014;
∗ NACO will likely be removed in 2013 to allow the installation of the second generation
VLT instrument, MUSE;
∗ VIMOS has a significant number of existing commitments.
Large Programmes for MIDI and/or the VLTI visitor instrument must not request periods
beyond Period 91 due to the arrival of the second generation VLTI instruments.
– ESO/GTC Large Programmes: There will be no further calls for ESO/GTC Large
Programmes. The titles and target lists of these approved programmes are listed on the
following page:
Targets for approved ESO/GTC Programmes.
– Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) will be carried out in Period 91 with
AMBER, MIDI, NACO, OmegaCAM, SINFONI, XSHOOTER and the VLTI
Visitor Instrument. For details about the planned observations, please see
http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/teles-alloc/gto/91.html.
3
• Paranal
– News on Paranal telescopes and instruments can be found at
http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/lpo/news/.
– VLT-XMM proposals: Proposals are invited for scientific programmes requiring both
VLT(I) and XMM-Newton observations (Section 11.9). These proposals may be submitted for the next XMM-Newton cycle, which extends over ESO Periods 91 and 92.
However, proposers should take the limited availability of some of the VLT(I) instruments in Periods 91 and 92 into account; see below for details on instrument availability.
– VLT Visitor instruments: No Visitor Instrument focus is available on the VLT due
to the installation of KMOS during Period 90.
– UT1 – Antu:
∗ CRIRES:
· Starting from Period 90 a metrology system should ensure sub-pixel reproducibility of the wavelength scale. It is possible that the calibration frequency will be
decreased due to the improved stability of the instrument.
· Users of CRIRES should specify PWV as a constraint during their Phase 1 and
Phase 2 preparation.
· Large Programme proposals using CRIRES will not be accepted.
∗ FORS2 A new functionality has been added to the fast acquisition templates (including the RRM ones) for long-slit spectroscopy, spectropolarimetry, and spectrophotometry. It is now possible to align the slit along any direction defined by two objects
and offer several centering options.
∗ KMOS will be installed on the UT1 Nasmyth B platform in November 2012. Its
commissioning runs will take place during Period 90 and 91.
– UT2 – Kueyen:
∗ XSHOOTER:
· Telluric standard stars will be observed in nodding instead of staring mode in
Period 91. The 400 kHz readout mode for the UVB/VIS arms will be used
independently of the readout speed used for the science observations. Detector
binning will be the same as for the science observations. This change gives a
better correction of the telluric emission and absorption lines as well as bad
pixels, especially in the NIR arm. The provided S/N will be between 50-150 by
default. Users requiring higher S/N are encouraged to submit their own telluric
star OBs, in which case the corresponding execution time must be included in
the time requested at Phase 1.
There is no change for the IFU telluric standard stars observations.
· The Atmospheric Dispersion Correction (ADC) systems on the UVB/VIS arms
are not reliable. Since August 1st, 2012, the ADCs have been fixed in their nondeviation position. Data obtained in this configuration can be reduced by the
pipeline without significant degradation. Updates on the status of the ADCs can
be found on the XSHOOTER news webpage. The latest version of the user
manual provides plots for helping users prepare observations without ADCs.
Users are recommended to carry out observations at the parallactic angle whenever possible or to take special care on the airmass constraint to avoid flux loss.
– UT3 – Melipal:
∗ ISAAC and SPHERE: SPHERE installation is expected to take place during
Period 90. Commissioning runs will therefore occur during Period 90 and 91. As a
consequence ISAAC is no longer offered.
∗ VIMOS:
· A final adjustment to the focussing hardware will be done at the end of 2012.
This should improve the focussing range for the IFU mode.
· The new VPH HR blue grisms have been characterized and have been in normal
operations since Period 89. See details in the VIMOS web pages.
4
· A new Pre-Image-Less MOS (PILMOS) mode will be offered starting from
Period 91 in which a user provided catalogue with accurate target coordinates
(≤ ±0.200 )) can be used to design masks. In the PILMOS mode the slit orientation must be N-S (rotator angle 90 deg).
· Starting from Period 91 the requirement for a fixed orientation of the MOS slit
along the N-S direction is relaxed. Provided the requested target field declination
is within −45◦ < δ < −5◦ , slits can also be oriented E-W (rotator angle 0 deg)
and the observations executed within ±3 h from meridian. In this case a preimaging run must be requested.
· VIMOS is not available for Large Programmes in Period 91 due to existing commitments.
∗ VISIR has undergone a major upgrade during Period 89, which includes a recommissioning and a performance validation phase. The aim of this upgrade is to optimize its performance and enhance its scientific output. Details are available in the
VISIR web pages. VISIR users will be able to set constraints on the PWV during
their Phase 2 preparation.
– UT4 – Yepun:
∗ VLT Laser Guide Star
· PARSEC, the current laser used by the Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF), will
be decommissioned during Period 90. It will be replaced by a prototype of the
laser used by the coming Adaptive Optics Facility. Its commissioning is expected
to be completed by the end of February 2013.
· The current Laser Guide Star (LGS) can be used for up to 15% of the UT4 science
time due to the required sky conditions and intrinsic operational constraints.
Provided that the new laser is successfully commissioned, both the delivered
power and the number of nights during which the LGSF can be used every
month will be significantly increased. However, taking into account the existing
commitments for this facility (in particular, for ongoing Large Programmes and
for Guaranteed Time Observations), it is expected that only a limited amount of
time can be allocated in Period 91 to new programmes requiring the use of the
LGS. Accordingly, proposers are encouraged to carry out a critical assessment of
the need for LGS for execution of their observations, and to carefully study the
possibility of using a Natural Guide Star (NGS).
∗ HAWK-I:
· Large Programmes using HAWK-I will not be accepted in Period 91.
· A user provided narrow-band filter centered at 0.984µm was installed in August
2012 in the slot used by the NB1190 narrow-band filter, which is therefore not
offered in P91.
∗ NACO:
· NACO will likely be removed from the UT4 Nasmyth B platform in the second
half of 2013 to allow for the installation of MUSE.
· Large Programmes using NACO will not be accepted.
· Since Period 90, pupil tracking mode with focal-plane coronographic masks has
been offered also in SM.
All programmes requiring special calibrations must request VM. Chopping is unavailable: users should use the L0 or NB 4.05 filters without chopping instead.
– VLTI:
∗ VLTI-ATs: New baselines have been offered since Period 90 (see the VLTI baseline
page).
∗ AMBER: AMBER can be operated in self-coherencing mode which significantly
improves the quality of data when FINITO cannot be used for fringe tracking. This
possibility is only offered in visitor mode. Check the AMBER Users’ Manual for
details.
5
∗ MIDI:
· Starting from Period 91 MIDI will be offered with the FSU-A as an external
fringe-tracker. FSU-A works in K-band and will be used for on-axis tracking.
MIDI with the ATs will be able to attain a sensitivity similar to what is now
possible with UTs, after data reduction using the fringe tracker data. This configuration is only offered in visitor mode.
· Given the arrival of the second generation VLTI instruments, ESO cannot guarantee the availability of MIDI after Period 91.
· Large Programmes requiring the use of MIDI beyond Period 91 will not be accepted.
∗ VLTI Visitor instruments:
· Given the arrival of the second generation VLTI instruments, ESO cannot guarantee the availability of a VLTI visitor focus beyond Period 91.
· Large Programmes requiring the use of a VLTI visitor instrument beyond
Period 91 will not be accepted.
• La Silla
– 3.6m: A significant fraction (35%) of the available science time is committed to ongoing
Large Programmes in Period 90 (see Fig. 4). Large programmes on the 3.6m telescope
can span up to seven periods, until Period 97.
– NTT: A large fraction (50%) of the available science time on the NTT telescope is
committed to ongoing programmes (see Fig. 4). A significant fraction of the available
dark and grey conditions are committed to these programmes. Large programmes on the
NTT can span up to seven periods, until Period 97.
– 2.2-m: Time is available on this telescope for proposals requesting observations to be
executed during the slots assigned to ESO (see Section 4.1 for details). Proposers should
take these time slots into account for the selection of the targets of their proposals.
Proposals for Large Programmes will not be accepted for this telescope.
• Chajnantor
– SHFI: The APEX-T2 receiver is offered conditional to a successful repair mission planned
in January 2013.
– CHAMP+: This MPIfR PI instrument is offered again to the ESO community in
collaboration with MPIfR.
– FLASH: This MPIfR PI instrument has been upgraded to allow simultaneous observations in the 272-377 GHz and 385-495 GHz bands. Limited observing time is offered to
the ESO community in collaboration with MPIfR.
– Z-Spec: This PI instrument is offered again at APEX, in collaboration with the instrument team.
1.2
Important reminders
• General information
– ESO User Portal: Proposals are submitted via a web upload procedure using the
online tool, Web Application for Submitting Proposals (WASP). This requires users to
first log in to the ESO User Portal at: http://www.eso.org/UserPortal. See Section 3
for more details.
– Duration of one night: Proposers are reminded that for all ESO telescopes, the duration of one night is 8 hours in even periods and 10 hours in odd periods.
– Duplications: Large amounts of data are available via the ESO data archive (Section 2.3;
see http://archive.eso.org). Proposers are strongly advised to check if observations
equivalent to the proposed ones have been performed already. Proposers must check that
their planned observations are not duplicating Guaranteed Time proposals for Period 91:
GTO for Period 91 or ongoing Public Survey observations.
6
– Public Spectroscopic Surveys (PSS): Two Public Spectroscopic Surveys are being carried out on the NTT telescope (EFOSC2 & SOFI), and on the UT2 telescope using FLAMES (GIRAFFE & UVES). Further details are available on the ESO
Public Surveys Projects webpage.
– Overheads: All proposals (Service Mode or Visitor Mode) must include all overheads
when computing the total observing time request (see Section 9).
– Access to Service and Visitor Mode data: Principal Investigators of Service and
Visitor Mode programmes and their data delegates have access to their proprietary raw
data as soon as the data have been ingested in the ESO Archive. The data access is provided through the ESO User Portal. The CalSelector archive service packs together the
science files with any ancillary files that are needed to process the data, (e.g. acquisition
images, calibrations, etc.).
Please note that the 1-year proprietary period starts as soon as the data are made electronically available to the PI.
– Non-standard observing configurations: The use of non-standard instrumental
modes, configurations or filters requires the prior approval by the ESO User Support
Department. A detailed justification should be sent to usd-help@eso.org at least two
weeks before the proposal submission deadline (also see 13.2).
– Backup programme: Although Phase 1 proposals requesting Visitor Mode do not need
to include backup targets and/or a backup programme, the observer should prepare one
in case of unfavourable weather conditions (see Section 4.2.7). The original science goals
must be adhered to in this backup scenario. Approval of a backup programme must be
sought at least one month in advance through the change request form as described in
Section 12.1.
– The information provided in the proposal is binding: all observing runs must be executed
as described in the proposal. Deviations from the proposal (either by observing different
targets or by using different instrument modes or different constraints) may be allowed
only under exceptional circumstances and after approval by ESO (see Section 13.5).
• Paranal
– Observing mode on the VLT: Departures from the observing mode requested by the
proposers may be implemented by ESO so as to achieve a balanced distribution between
Service Mode and Visitor Mode.
As a rule, proposers should request Service Mode only for observations that demonstrably
benefit from the short-term scheduling flexibility allowed by this mode. Proposers may
identify runs that lend themselves for observations in either Service or Visitor Mode by
specifying one of the modes using the alternative run feature in Box 3 of the ESOFORM
Phase 1 proposal form. Please note that if a certain instrument mode is offered exclusively
in either Service Mode or Visitor Mode then this overrides these scheduling considerations.
– Service Mode OBs: Service Mode Observation Blocks (OBs) including all overheads
can last up to a maximum of 1 hour. Longer OBs have to be specifically requested and
justified at Phase 2 via a waiver request, which is evaluated by the Observatory.
– Pre-imaging for VLT instruments and modes: A separate pre-imaging run
must be specified in the proposal (to be executed in Service Mode). Failure to do so will
result in the deduction of the time necessary for the pre-imaging from the allocation to
the main part of the project (see Section 13.6).
– Monitoring in Service Mode: Monitoring a target in Service Mode is carried out on
a best effort basis only, i.e. a monitoring sequence may be interrupted by long periods of
unsuitable weather conditions or Visitor Mode scheduling. All the time needed to observe
one target should be included in one single run; these can be split into the single epoch
observations using a time-linked series in version 3 of the Phase 2 Preparation Tool
(P2PP) (see Section 12.2.1 for more information).
– Rapid Response Mode (RRM): FORS2, UVES, XSHOOTER, SINFONI and HAWKI continue to be offered in this mode in Period 91. RRM observations that correspond
to events with exceptional characteristics may be activated during either Service Mode
7
or Visitor Mode runs, over which they have observational priority (except if the service
or visitor mode runs involve strictly time-critical observations). For details on the RRM
policies, see Section 11.3.1.
– VISTA: Due to ongoing Public Surveys only a limited amount of open time is available
on VISTA; these observations are carried out in Service Mode only and for restricted
Right Ascension ranges. Open time proposals should clearly justify the scientific goals
and why they are not achievable through the scheduled public survey observations. Only
those proposals that have complementary constraints and coordinate ranges with respect
to public survey observations may be scheduled, as the highest priority is given to advance
public surveys on VISTA.
• La Silla
– Support during observing runs and transportation schedule: A streamlined
operation is in effect in La Silla. Technical and logistical support will be delivered as
usual by ESO staff, but no specific support astronomer is assigned. Please note that
the transportation schedule to and from La Silla may have an impact on the arrival and
departure days of the observers at the site. See Section 4.1 for additional details and
check the online instructions for visiting astronomers.
– Large Programmes on NTT and the 3.6-m telescopes may have a duration of up to four
years.
– There is a minimum length of 3 nights for runs to be executed with La Silla telescopes. Proposals including La Silla runs with a duration of less than 3 nights will
be rejected at submission time by the automatic proposal reception system, with three
exceptions:
1. There is no minimum duration for runs to be carried out with Visitor Instruments
(see Section 8). However, in order to minimise the overheads associated with their
installation and removal, such instruments are normally scheduled in blocks including
several contiguous runs; the length of these combined blocks is typically greater than
3 nights.
2. On the NTT, users can apply for combined runs using both EFOSC2 and SOFI. The
total duration of each of these runs must be at least three nights. The combined runs
must be requested using the instrument name “SOFOSC”. Details are also available
in Section 3.2.1 and the ESOFORM User Manual.
3. There is no minimum duration for runs of Calibration Programmes.
Note that the minimum duration requirement for La Silla is applicable to each individual
run of a proposal involving a La Silla instrument (see Section 11 for more information
about the definition of “programme” and “run”). More generally, proposals for long runs
are strongly encouraged on the La Silla telescopes. Splitting of runs in half nights (e.g.
a 3-night run spread over 6 half nights) should be avoided as much as possible; such runs
may be impossible to schedule.
– Pre-imaging: Pre-imaging frames for EFOSC2 will have to be obtained at the beginning
of the spectroscopic run. The resulting lower efficiency should be taken into account in
the computation of the execution time required for such runs.
• Chajnantor
– APEX: This telescope is offered in Service Mode only. APEX users should ensure that
their proposal meets the following requirements:
∗ specify if time is requested from other APEX partners in the macro, \SpecialRemarks
(Box 5);
∗ specify the requested PWV using the macro, \Target (Box 11), for their project to
allow a better distinction between observations requesting a range of atmospheric
transparencies;
∗ either indicate an appropriate off-source position or request time to find such a position if they wish to observe extended line-emitting regions;
8
∗ merge all observations for any APEX instrument into a single run (note that this also
applies for the different receivers of SHFI). For Large Programmes this restriction
should be understood as a single run per instrument and per period. Separate runs
should be specified for observations in different periods.
1.3
Foreseen changes in the upcoming Periods
• Monitoring Programmes: The OPC Working Group and the ESO Users Committee have
recommended the introduction of Monitoring Programme proposals. These proposals will
enable users to request a limited amount of time to monitor targets over more than one
period. The Observing Programmes Office is actively working towards implementing this new
programme type by Period 93.
• 2nd Generation VLT Instruments:
– The commissioning of KMOS and SPHERE will continue in Period 92.
– The installation of MUSE on UT4 is planned for Period 92.
• UT4 – Yepun:
– UT4 will not be available during part of Period 92 to allow for the installation of the
Deformable Secondary Mirror and re-commissioning of the telescope.
– The Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF) is expected to be decommissioned at the end
of Period 92 to allow for the installation of the Deformable Secondary Mirror (part of the
AOF).
– NACO is expected to be removed from the UT4 Nasmyth B platform during 2013 to
allow the installation of the second generation instrument, MUSE.
• VIMOS: A call for public spectroscopic surveys may be issued for VIMOS in the near future,
if the instrument upgrade is successful and the observation backlog has been resolved.
• MIDI: Given the arrival of the second generation VLTI instruments, ESO cannot guarantee the availability of MIDI beyond Period 91. Proposals for Large Programme using this
instrument beyond Period 91 will therefore not be accepted.
• ZEUS-2: Pending successful commissioning, the redshift (z) and Early Universe Spectrometer
(ZEUS-2) may be offered as a PI instrument during Period 92. ZEUS-2 is a broadband spectrograph covering 7 telluric windows covering 200 to 850 µm. For details, see
Ferkinhoff et al. 2010.
2
Getting Started
Observing proposals must contain a scientific case, a summary of the proposed observing programme,
a list of desired instrument modes and configurations, a target list, and a precise definition of required
observing conditions (seeing, atmospheric transparency, lunar illumination, etc.). In addition, a
calculation of the number of hours/nights of observing time needed to accomplish the scientific
goals must be carried out and summarized in the proposal. It is therefore important that proposers
consult technical documentation or instrument experts regarding the instrument capabilities and
sensitivities. Section 9 provides more details on how calculate overheads with different instrument
setups using the Phase 2 Preparation Tool (P2PP).
The following sections give some additional information and references that should be useful to
proposers.
9
7.0 6.0 UT1 Telescope Pressure UT2 5.0 UT3 UT4 2.2 4.0 3.6 NTT 3.0 VLTI APEX 2.0 1.0 0.0 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 Period Figure 1: Ratio of the amount of requested time to the amount of allocated time (pressure) on each
telescope over the past 4 years. Large, ToO, Calibration and GTO programmes are not included.
2.1
Distribution of telescope demand
On all telescopes, the amount of requested time exceeds the amount of time that can be allocated by
a significant factor. Figure 1 shows the pressure on each telescope over the past 4 years. The pressure
is defined as the ratio of the amount of time requested on the considered telescope for execution of
Normal Programmes to the amount of time allocated to these programmes on this telescope. Large,
ToO, Calibration and GTO Programmes, whose selection and scheduling are handled differently (in
particular, with pre-defined upper limits of time allocation), are not included in the figure.
2.1.1
Distribution of requested Right Ascension
The distribution of the demand in Right Ascension (RA) is far from uniform throughout the year
(see Figs. 2 and 3), and the probability that an OPC recommended run is successfully scheduled
and completed depends on this pressure. Proposers are encouraged to read the article by Alves
& Lombardi (2004, The ESO Messenger, 118, 15) on the sky distribution of VLT observations.
In order to optimize the chances of time allocation, and to maximize the scientific return of the
Observatory, proposers should be aware that choosing targets at certain RA’s can have an enormous
impact on the probability of successful scheduling and completion of their runs.
In this section we present statistics for previous periods. For the telescope scheduler, favourite
sky regions mean higher demand for observation time at certain times of the year, i.e. increased
competition for specific Right Ascensions. For example, there are only a limited number of photometric dark nights in April (a particularly popular demand), on average 10 times less than the total
requested by observers. A direct consequence of this is that only the top OPC ranked runs make
it to the telescopes during April dark time. On the other hand, the opposite is true for August
(see Fig. 2). The time request for targets in this month (RA ∼ 20h 30) is relatively low, allowing
a significantly higher fraction of runs applying for time at this RA to be scheduled (if considered
useful by the OPC).
10
14 Requested Time (%) 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 00:30 02:30 04:30 06:30 08:30 10:30 12:30 14:30 16:30 18:30 20:30 22:30 Right Ascension Figure 2: Distribution of requested time (percentage of total) on Paranal and La Silla as a function
of Right Ascension (RA). The histogram bins have a width of 2 h and are labelled with the RA of
their centre. The data for all requested targets over the last 10 periods are shown here.
35 Requested Time (%) 30 UT1 25 UT2 UT3 20 UT4 15 2.2 3.6 10 NTT VLTI UT 5 VLTI AT 0 12:30 14:30 16:30 18:30 20:30 22:30 00:30 Right Ascension Figure 3: Prediction of RA distribution of demand during Period 91 based on requests for the last
five odd periods. For each telescope this is calculated as (100×TimeRA )/(Total Time). The RA
bins are defined as for Fig. 2. The first and last bins also include the requested targets with RAs
earlier and later than the nominal RA range corresponding to the period.
11
18 16 14 Number of nights 12 UT1 10 UT2 UT3 8 VLTI_AT 3.6m 6 NTT 4 2 0 12:30 14:30 16:30 18:30 Right Ascension 20:30 22:30 00:30 Figure 4: The expected time allocation (in nights) for ongoing Large Programmes in Period 91.
This includes time allocated to Public Spectroscopic Surveys on UT2 and NTT and runs carried
over from previous periods on UT3. Telescopes with no ongoing Large Programmes do not appear
in this figure. The RA bins are defined as for Figs. 2 and 3.
2.1.2
Prediction of RA demand during Period 91
Based on the time request for all the ESO telescopes in the last 10 periods, one can make an
educated guess of the RA demand expected during Period 91. Note that during Period 91 the
distribution of instruments on the UTs will be: UT1 (CRIRES + FORS2), UT2 (FLAMES + UVES
+ XSHOOTER), UT3 (VIMOS + VISIR), UT4 (HAWK-I + NACO + SINFONI). Proposers should
take advantage of this information in choosing targets to maximize the probability of the allocation
of time and successful execution of their runs (see Fig. 3). Proposers should also consider the time
expected to be allocated in Period 91 to ongoing Large Programmes started in earlier periods(Fig. 4).
2.2
Exposure Time Calculators
Exposure Time Calculators (ETCs) for ESO instruments are accessible directly on the ESO Web.
For La Silla and Paranal instrumentation:
http://www.eso.org/observing/etc
For APEX instrumentation please go to:
http://www.apex-telescope.org/instruments.
Links to useful proposal preparation software tools (e.g.
the Object Observability Calculator,
Airmass Calculator, Digitized Sky Survey) can be found at:
http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/tools.html.
Information on standard stars and sky characteristics, as well as additional tools, are available at
http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/paranal/sciops/tools.html.
The parameters used by the ETCs are based on data collected during instrument commissioning and
operations. The ETC parameters are frequently updated and changes will be reflected by the running
“version number”. To help the observatory staff assess the technical feasibility of observations,
12
proposers are requested to specify the version number of the ETC they used in the section “9.
Justification of requested observing time and observing conditions” of their proposals.
Please check the ESO web pages for the ETC version to be used in Period 91. Please note that
while the sky background values used in the ETCs generally reflect actual conditions on Paranal,
they do not account for local effects such as the zodiacal light.
Proposers of VLTI observations should check the feasibility of their proposed observations with the
visibility calculator “viscalc”, available from the ETC page. At Phase 2, users are also encouraged
to select a suitable calibrator star for their planned observations using the CalVin tool, available
also from http://www.eso.org/observing/etc.
Service Mode proposers are reminded (see Section 13.5) that the requested observing conditions are
binding in Phase 2, hence proposers should check the exact definition of seeing in the ETC used to
estimate the observing time necessary to complete the programme. They should also ensure that the
observing conditions specified in the proposal are consistent with these requirements. The same is
true for the requested sky transparency and lunar phase. Non-photometric sky transparency can be
simulated by adding 0.1/0.2 mag to the object magnitude for CLEAR/THIN–CIRRUS conditions
respectively.
2.3
Online Data Products: Public Surveys, Science Verification, Advanced
Data Products
Public data from observations made with Paranal and La Silla telescopes are available from the
ESO Science Archive Facility.
Most of the data obtained in Period 88 and before are available in the archive. Users are reminded
of these opportunities in order to stimulate the scientific use of the Archive and to better prepare
for Period 91 projects.
Several sets of reduced data products are available online at
http://archive.eso.org/cms/eso-data/data-packages.
These include ESO Advanced Data Products (ADP) delivered to ESO by the community, from
the GOODS campaign, the ESO Imaging Survey (EIS), as well as Science Verification/Demonstration
and Commissioning data of VLT and VLTI instruments.
Raw data from the Public Surveys are immediately available and advanced data products (e.g.
stacked images, catalogues) will become available in incremental releases. Details of the first release
of advanced data products from the VISTA Public Surveys are available from:
the Phase 3 Data Releases page. These data products can be downloaded directly using the
VISTA Query Form.
The PIs of Large Programmes that have been accepted since Period 75 are required to deliver final
data products to ESO by the time their results are published (see Section 11.2). The procedure to be
followed is described at http://archive.eso.org/cms/eso-data/data-submission. An overview
of ADP releases from Large Programmes is given at :
http://archive.eso.org/cms/eso-data/advanced-data-products-releases.
The PIs of Calibration Programmes are required to deliver the resulting data products to ESO
within 1 year of the completion of the corresponding observations.
Voluntary submission of Advanced Data Products by PIs of Normal Programmes is also encouraged.
The procedure for submission to ESO of ADP from all types of programmes is the same as for Large
Programmes.
13
3
How to submit an ESO Phase 1 proposal
3.1
How to obtain the ESOFORM Proposal Package
The ESOFORM Proposal Package for this period may be obtained by logging into the ESO User
Portal. Please follow the instructions at:
http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/phase1/esoform.html
3.2
The ESOFORM Proposal Form
The “ESOFORM User Manual” describes in detail how to fill the LATEX template, and the information required to prepare a valid proposal. Please be aware that the ESOFORM package is regularly
updated. Proposers should only use the Period 91 package to prepare their proposals.
The telescope schedules are prepared using scheduling software that relies on accurate constraints
(see Alves 2005, The ESO Messenger, 119, 20). Hence, scheduling constraints that are not
indicated or are inaccurately specified in BOX 13 of ESOFORM are unlikely to be taken into account
by the scheduler. Retrofitting scheduling constraints after the release of the schedule is
not possible.
3.2.1
Important recent changes to ESOFORM
• ESO proposal submission deadline: Please note that the ESO deadline will be strictly
enforced: users should plan accordingly. It is the PI’s responsibility to resolve any verification
or upload problems related to the instrument configuration, LaTeX file or associated figures.
The online receiver will switch off at 12:00 CEST on the day of the deadline; ESO cannot provide support with problem proposal submissions after 11:00 CEST. Requests for submissions
or amendments after the deadline will not be considered.
• Precipitable water vapour (PWV) constraints: PWV constraints must be specified for
CRIRES and all APEX instruments in the “Additional Notes” column of the Target macro.
Please see the ESOFORM User Manual for more details.
• PhD thesis information: The \Thesis macro (Box 7) has been removed from the Normal
proposal template form in order to allow more space for “Special remarks”.
• VLT-XMM Proposals: Proposers must indicate in the ESOFORM if they are applying for
VLT-XMM time under the ESA-ESO agreement (see Section 11.9). VLT-XMM proposals may
include observing runs to be executed in Period 91 and/or in P92.
If the proposal is a re-submission of an old proposal then OPC comments must be addressed
in this new submission.
3.2.2
Observing conditions: definitions
Observing conditions are defined as follows:
• Sky Transparency
– Photometric: No visible clouds, transparency variations under 2%, only assessable by the
analysis of photometric standard stars.
– Clear: Less than 10% of the sky (above 30 degrees elevation) covered in clouds, transparency variations under 10%.
– Thin cirrus: transparency variations above 10%.
14
• Seeing
– Seeing is defined as the image FWHM in arcsec, at the wavelength of observation, on the
focal plane of the instrument’s detector, i.e. after the image has been taken through the
entire telescope and instrument. It is not the instantaneous seeing outside the dome.
– For MACAO instruments (CRIRES, SINFONI, MIDI, AMBER), FLAMES and the IFU
mode of VIMOS, where the seeing cannot be measured on the detector, the reference
seeing is the one measured at the wavefront sensor of the active optics of the telescope.
Users should note that:
– Phase 1 seeing constraint for observations using AO instruments should not exceed 1.400 .
– VLTI runs with MIDI that do not make use of MACAO should be carried out in
Visitor Mode only. Note that such observations require excellent seeing conditions (0.600 ).
AMBER observations without MACAO are not possible.
– The seeing specified in the NAOS Preparation Software and therefore in the proposal is
the DIMM (Differential Image Motion Monitor) seeing corrected to zenith.
– Use of the LGS in seeing-enhancer mode requires a seeing better than 0.800 .
• Moon
– Moon illumination (fraction of lunar illumination, FLI) is defined as the fraction of the
lunar disk that is illuminated at local (Chile) civil midnight, where 1.0 is fully illuminated.
Dark time (specified by ‘d’ in Box 3 of the ESOFORM package) corresponds to moon
illumination < 0.4, grey time (‘g’) to moon illumination between 0.4 and 0.7, and bright
time (specified by ‘n’) to moon illumination ≥ 0.7. However, in Service Mode, ‘bright
time’ (specified by ‘n’ at Phase 1) is understood as meaning that no restriction is set
regarding the lunar illumination (FLI=1.0 at Phase 2). By definition, moon illumination
equals 0 when the moon is below the local horizon.
– Lunar illumination does not have a noticeable influence on the feasibility of infrared
observations.
– However, the UT active optics can be adversely affected by the proximity of the bright
moon to the science target, requiring a moon minimum angular distance of 30◦ . For
MACAO UT instruments (CRIRES and SINFONI) as the wavefront sensor is sensitive
in the R-band, restricted moon constraints should be considered for AO observations
with a natural guide star (NGS) fainter than R = 15 mag. In these cases, reducing
the FLI constraint to approximately 0.7 and increasing the distance to the Moon to
approximately 50 degrees is generally adequate. Similar restrictions affect observations
using the Auxiliary Telescopes (see Section 4.2.4). Observers must therefore pay attention
to the moon distance to the target while planning their observations.
• Precipitable Water Vapour (PWV):
– Acceptable upper limits for the PWV must be specified for all proposals requiring
CRIRES and any APEX instrument. The seeing and moon illumination conditions are
not relevant for any APEX observations.
– The PWV constraints must be specified using the \Target macro in the proposal form
as shown in the ESOFORM User Manual.
Please note that observing conditions requested at Phase 1 cannot be altered at Phase 2 (see
Section 13.5 for more details).
3.3
Proposal Submission
Proposals must be submitted in their final version by the submission deadline:
27 September 2012,
12:00 noon Central European Summer Time.
15
This is done via a web upload procedure that can only be accessed by logging into the ESO User
Portal at:
http://www.eso.org/UserPortal.
In order to efficiently verify and submit your proposal, please note that:
• Postscript figures are not accepted. The proposals are compiled using the pdfLATEX
package which accepts only PDF (up to version 1.4) and JPEG file formats. Please note that
there is a size limit of 1MB for each figure to be uploaded.
• Always compile your proposal locally with pdfLATEX. Some of the checks are made at the
LATEX level and checking your proposal in this way will save you time. If there are errors
please read the output carefully in order to identify the problem.
• Further checks are made by the web software (“the receiver”), which uploads your proposal
and checks that it complies with ESO’s requirements. The receiver allows you to verify your
proposal without actually submitting it. You should take advantage of this feature to
check that your proposal is technically correct well before the Phase 1 deadline.
This can be done by verifying a “skeleton” version of the proposal early; this version should
contain all the technical details but not necessarily the full scientific description. This will
ease the final submission process considerably.
• Plan ahead! Over past periods, congestion of the proposal submission system has repeatedly
occurred in the last few hours before the proposal deadline, leading to delays in response
time that occasionally exceeded 1 hour. Try to submit proposals at least one day before the
deadline and avoid “last-minute stress”.
At the end of the submission procedure an acknowledgment page is displayed. Please print it as a receipt. The PI of the proposal and the submitter will also receive later a confirmation ticket via email,
but the acknowledgment page is the official receipt. If you are not sure if your proposal has
successfully entered the system, do not re-submit it but rather contact ESO at esoform@eso.org.
Neither proposals nor corrections to proposals that are submitted after the deadline will be considered.
16
Part II
ESO Telescopes and their Instrumentation
4
The Observatory
4.1
La Silla
The La Silla Observatory site is located at 70◦ 430 longitude West, 29◦ 150 latitude South, at an
altitude of 2375 m. The telescopes operated by ESO are the New Technology Telescope (NTT), the
ESO 3.6-m telescope, and the ESO/MPG 2.2-m telescope. Proposals for observations with these
three telescopes are restricted to Visitor Mode runs. Each run must have a minimum duration of 3
nights. This restriction does not apply to runs using Visitor Instruments.
For NTT programmes involving observations with both EFOSC2 and SOFI to be performed on
contiguous nights, the minimum duration requirement applies to the combined length of the corresponding EFOSC2 and SOFI run. The naming convention SOFOSC is used to refer to this
combination – see Section 3.2.1 and the ESOFORM manual for more details on how to specify such
combined runs in the ESOFORM proposal form.
Requests for the usage of the 3.6-m and NTT telescope for the execution of Large Programmes
are encouraged. The maximum duration for Large Programmes with these telescopes is four years.
However users should be aware of the limited possibilities of approval of new Large Programmes
on the 3.6-m and NTT telescopes in Periods 90, as described in Section 1.1. Large Programme
proposals are not accepted for the 2.2-m telescope.
Technical and logistical support is delivered as usual by ESO staff on the mountain. However, no
support astronomer is available on-site in general.
General information can be found on the La Silla web page.
Proposers are also strongly advised to read the La Silla Science Operations page, which provides updated information on support and procedures. The median seeing in La Silla is 0.800 and the
sky is photometric 70% of the time. For more information take a look at La Silla weather statistics.
• NTT telescope: The New Technology Telescope is an Alt-Az, 3.5-m Ritchey-Chrétien telescope housed in a rotating building designed for optimized air flow. Its thin meniscus Zerodur
mirror is controlled in order to maintain the optical figure so that the total aberrations are
smaller than 0.1500 (80% encircled energy) — the NTT was the first telescope to be equipped
with “Active Optics”. The instruments SofI and EFOSC2 are permanently mounted at the
two Nasmyth foci.
The telescope has a pointing accuracy of 200 RMS; objects can be observed at zenithal distances
from 2◦ to 75◦ . Currently, moving targets can be observed only with differential tracking (not
guiding). Moving objects can be followed for up to 15 min with a tracking error smaller than
0.500 .
• 3.6-m telescope: The 3.6-m telescope was commissioned in 1977, and completely upgraded
in 1999. Only the f/8 Cassegrain focus is available. In August 2004, the f/8 top end was
completely replaced by a new unit permitting the secondary mirror to be actively controlled.
This system provides an improved image quality. The pointing error is better than 500 RMS.
The only available facility instrument, HARPS, is permanently mounted at the Cassegrain
focus. The pointing limitations are described in the 3.6-m pages. Full differential guiding is
possible to observe moving targets.
• 2.2-m Telescope: The 2.2-m telescope is a Ritchey-Chrétien design mounted in an equatorial
fork mount. It is on loan to ESO from the Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG) and has been in
operation since 1984.
A new loan agreement between ESO and the MPG is being finalized at the time of writing.
The new agreement will likely extend until September 30, 2015. According to this, the MPG
17
is allocated 9 months of observations per year, while ESO is allocated 3 months per year. The
detailed distribution will be announced on the Late Breaking News page once available.
One night per month during the ESO time slots will be reserved for scheduled technical activities and execution of the calibration plan. In Period 91, ESO will be allocating approximately
69 nights for the execution of scientific programmes on the 2.2-m telescope; the corresponding
runs will be scheduled exclusively during the ESO time slots. Of these 69 nights, up to 18 will
be allocated to Chilean proposals (Sects. 11.7 & 13.1).
During ESO time, Visitor Mode runs may be interrupted for target-of-opportunity observations
of Gamma-Ray Bursts and X-ray transient afterglows with the GROND instrument of the Max
Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics; up to 15% of the time allocation of each run may
be given away to such observations. A compensation buffer of 9 nights is included in the 69
nights of science time. ESO users whose programmes are affected by GROND interruptions
are therefore not entitled to any additional compensation.
FEROS and WFI are permanently mounted on the telescope.
4.2
Paranal
UT
2
UT 1
UT
UT
1
4
UT 3
UT 2
UT 3
3
UT
UT
UT 4
2
Figure 5: Sky accessibility and vignetting by neighbouring domes for the four UTs. This shows
the sky accessibility for the 4 UTs. The outermost circle marks the telescope safety limit (zenith
distance 70◦ ). Concentric circles denote zenith distance intervals of 10◦ and are marked with the
corresponding airmass value. An object will move along a curve of constant declination; with solid
dots marking the movement in 1-hr intervals. The maximum visibility period of an object can be
read directly (counting intervals between dots). The smaller plots (for UT2, UT3 and UT4) are
identical, only the vignetting due to neighbouring domes vary.
18
4.2.1
The VLT Unit Telescopes (UTs)
The VLT consists of four Unit Telescopes (UTs). From a user’s perspective the four UTs can be
regarded as identical. The Paranal Observatory site is located at 70◦ 250 longitude West, 24◦ 400
latitude South, at an altitude of 2635m.
Each UT primary mirror is a single Zerodur blank of diameter 8.20 m, the secondary has a diameter
of 1.12 m. The UTs have four foci: two Nasmyth, one Cassegrain, and one Coudé. They are Alt–
Az mounted and cannot observe at zenith distances less than 4◦ or larger than 70◦ . The VLT
Interferometer only operates at zenith distances less than 60◦ .
4.2.2
UTs Performance
• Pointing and tracking: The UTs have a pointing accuracy of 300 RMS. The expected
tracking accuracy under nominal wind load is 0.00 1 rms over 30 minutes when field stabilization
is active. The UTs also have the capability of tracking targets with additional velocities (e.g.
Solar System targets) under full active optics control. Proposers who need this capability
should specify the additional velocities in RA and Dec for their targets.
• Active optics guiding: For all observations a guide star is used for acquisition, active
optics, and field stabilization. The typical guide star magnitude ranges from R=11 to R=14
(in optimal conditions). Observations for which no suitable guide star exists cannot be carried
out.
• Adaptive optics guiding (VLTI only): The Coudé foci of the UTs are equipped with
MACAO (Multi Application Curvature Adaptive Optics) units, which can be used with natural
guide stars with 1 <V < 17, seeing < 1.500 , τ0 > 2.0 ms and airmass < 1.7. The distance of
the natural guide star from the science target must be less than 57.500 . For observations using
the fringe tracker FINITO, V< 15, distance < 1300 .
4.2.3
Laser Guide Star facility on UT4
Important note: The Laser Guide Star Facility is expected to be decommissioned at the end
of Period 92 to allow for the installation of the Deformable Secondary Mirror on UT4, part of the
Adaptive Optics Facility. All programmes requiring its use should therefore be completed by then.
UT4 is equipped with a sodium laser that can create an artificial point source to be used with
NACO and SINFONI. A tip-tilt star (TTS) is always necessary to correct for tip and tilt. However,
SINFONI and NACO can be used with the Laser Guide Star but without a TTS, using the seeingenhancer mode. Please note that the TTS can be both fainter and further away from the science
target than natural guide stars (NGS), thus giving users access to a larger fraction of the sky.
Observations using the Laser Guide Star (LGS) require more stringent observing conditions than
observations using natural guide stars. The transparency needs to be clear (CLR) or photometric,
the airmass constraints are tighter and the atmosphere must be quiet (i.e. good seeing and a weak
or absent jet stream). Further note that for operational reasons, the LGSF is currently scheduled
in blocks of typically one week per month. The LGSF is offered with NACO and SINFONI in both
Service Mode and Visitor Mode.
The peak K-band Strehl ratio achieved with the LGS in ideal conditions is around 20%. This
depends on many factors, so users are encouraged to use the SINFONI and NACO ETCs.
The point at which one should consider using the laser instead of a natural guide star can be
estimated with the ETCs. Although the details depend on the distance of the NGS/TTS from the
science target, the airmass and the vertical profile of the turbulence, the magnitude at which one
should consider using the laser is around R=13.5 to 14.
A programme that requires observations using both an NGS and the LGS should separate these
into two distinct runs in the proposal form.
During Period 90, PARSEC, the current laser used by the Laser Guide Star Facility will likely be
19
decommissioned. It will be replaced by a prototype of the laser used by the coming Adaptive Optics
Facility. Its commissioning is expected to be completed by end of February 2013. Provided that the
new laser is successfully commissioned, both the delivered power and the number of nights during
which the LGSF can be used every month will be significantly increased.
4.2.4
The ATs (VLTI only)
The VLT Interferometer is complemented by an array of relocatable 1.8-m Auxiliary Telescopes
(ATs). For Period 91 the ATs are offered with MIDI and AMBER. The baselines offered for this
period are specified at the VLTI baseline page.
The ATs are equipped with STRAP units, which provide tip-tilt correction for targets with −1.7 <
V < 13.5. The distance of the guide star from the science target must be less than 57.500 . For
observations using the fringe tracker FINITO, V< 13.5, distance< 1500 .
While observations on AMBER and MIDI are not affected by the moon there are some restrictions
due to the guiding of the telescopes.
• If the FLI is > 90%, guiding is not possible for stars fainter than 9th magnitude if the distance
to the moon is lower than 20 degrees.
• If the FLI is > 90%, guiding is impossible for any star if the distance to the moon is lower
than 10 degrees.
Visiting astronomers are requested to check for potential limitations during the preparation of their
observations.
4.2.5
VISTA
The Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) is a 4-m class wide field survey
telescope for the southern hemisphere. VISTA is located at ESO’s Cerro Paranal Observatory in
Chile on its own peak about 1.5 km from the four UTs. The telescope has an altitude-azimuth
mount, and quasi-Ritchey-Chrétien optics with a fast f/1 primary mirror giving an f/3.25 focus to
the instrument at Cassegrain. Shape and position of the mirrors are actively controlled by highand low-order curvature wave front sensors (WFS) located inside the instrument focal plane. The
low order WFSs are used simultaneously with the scientific observations.
VISTA is equipped with VIRCAM, which is described in Section 6.13.
4.2.6
VST
The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) is a 2.6-m wide field survey telescope for the southern hemisphere.
It is located on the VLT platform on ESO’s Cerro Paranal Observatory and is equipped with just
one focal plane instrument, OmegaCAM, which is described in Section 6.14.
The telescope has an altitude-azimuth mount with a f/5.5 modified Ritchey-Chrétien optical layout.
It contains an actively controlled meniscus primary mirror, a hexapod driven secondary mirror and
an image analysis system. It also contains two interchangeable correctors: one is a high-throughput
two-lens corrector which provides high throughput from the u to the z band, the other contains
an Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector (ADC) for observations at lower elevations. The throughput
of the ADC is very low in the u band. However, since it has not been demonstrated to improve
significantly the image quality in regular operations, the ADC is not offered. The entrance window
of the OmegaCAM cryostat is the final optical element.
The VST operates from the u to the z band, preserving, within a corrected field of view of 1 by 1
degree, the excellent seeing conditions achievable at the Cerro Paranal site.
20
4.2.7
Paranal meteorological conditions
Extensive statistical information on meteorological conditions on Paranal (seeing, wind, water
vapour etc.) can be found on the Paranal Web page. Information about general climate and
seismic statistics can also be found there. Wind statistics at Paranal show that the wind speed is
between 12 and 15 m/s ∼ 10% of the time. These conditions allow observations to be made only
with the telescope pointing down wind. Predominant winds blow from the North.
4.3
Chajnantor
The Llano de Chajnantor site is located on 67◦ 450 longitude West, 23◦ 000 latitude South, at 5104 m
altitude in the Chilean Atacama desert. It is a very dry site — inhospitable to humans — but an
excellent site for sub-mm astronomy (see Fig. 6). Water vapour absorbs and attenuates sub-mm
radiation and thus a dry site is required for high-frequency radio astronomy. The Atacama Large
Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) — a collaboration between Europe, North America and
East Asia – has started early science observations at the Llano de Chajnantor.
Figure 6: Annual variation of the precipitable water vapour (PWV) content at Chajnantor, based
on 6 years of observations with the APEX radiometer. Blue, green and red histograms indicate the
25, 50 and 75 percentile levels, respectively. The yearly APEX science operations period from 20
March till 20 December is scheduled to avoid the worst conditions during Altiplanic winter. During
Period 91, ESO observations are expected to be scheduled in May and July.
ESO has been offering time on the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX, a 12 meter radio
telescope) at the Chajnantor site since Period 77. APEX is an international collaboration involving
the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR), Onsala Space Observatory (OSO), and ESO.
ESO receives 24.7% of the observing time on APEX. The distribution of the observing time between
the APEX partners can be found on the APEX web pages. During Period 91, the ESO time is
expected to be scheduled in May and July. Time-critical observations should only be requested
during these ESO periods.
Applications are invited for the 870 µm LABOCA bolometer array, the 350 µm SABOCA bolometer
array and the Swedish Heterodyne Facility Instrument (SHFI). In collaboration with MPIfR, applications are also invited for the PI instrument, CHAMP+ (7+7 pixel dual channel heterodyne array
21
covering 620 to 720 GHz and 780 to 900 GHz), and FLASH (280-370 GHz + 385-495 GHz sideband
separating receiver). Finally, in collaboration with its instrument team, applications are invited for
the PI instrument, Z-Spec (190-308 GHz single-beam diffraction-grating spectrograph).
Observations will be done for up to 24 hours per day, but users should be aware that afternoon
conditions are often significantly worse than those during the night or morning. Observations using
high frequency instruments (SHFI/APEX-T2, SHFI/APEX-3, SABOCA) should avoid the afternoon time. All observations will be done in Service Mode by the local APEX staff. In exceptional
cases (e.g. moving targets), remote observing from Bonn (in collaboration with MPIfR) can be
considered. No Visitor Mode proposals will be accepted for APEX.
The wobbling secondary is offered for all SHFI proposals. The wobbler can also be used with
LABOCA and SABOCA to obtain sensitive observations of isolated point sources with accurately
known positions. The APEX wobbler can chop in azimuth up to 30000 with rates up to 2 Hz.
Because the LABOCA detectors need to be cooled to 0.3 K using liquid Helium, the LABOCA
observations will be scheduled in continuous blocks of observing time. This will make time-critical
observations during ESO time difficult to schedule. The re-filling of the Helium will generally be
done during the afternoon, with a shorter re-cycling procedure 11 to 12 hours later. The exact
schedule will be optimised according to the RA pressure on the targets.
SABOCA also has a liquid Helium cooled cryostat, but as the hold time is 48 hours, the observations
can be scheduled with more flexibility. During Period 91, SABOCA is expected to be available only
in July 2013.
All APEX proposals must clearly indicate the requested PWV for their observations in Box 12 of
the proposal form. Figure 6 gives the statistical distribution of PWV throughout the year. The
need for good PWV conditions needs to be justified in the proposal.
For each proposal, all observations with the same APEX instrument should be merged into a single
run. This also accounts for the different receivers of SHFI, which should be grouped into a single
run. Different run ID’s should only be used for different instruments (or in Large Programme
proposals, for observations to take place in different periods). This restriction is needed to increase
the observing efficiency at APEX.
Proposals requesting time from different APEX partners are required to mention the amount of
time requested from MPIfR, Sweden or Chile in Box 5.
More on APEX, including SHFI, LABOCA and SABOCA observing time calculators, can be found
at www.apex-telescope.org.
5
Scientific Instruments: La Silla
5.1
SofI — Son of ISAAC, on the NTT
SofI is the infrared spectro-imager mounted on the NTT. It is equipped with a Hawaii HgCdTe
1024×1024 detector.
SofI is only offered for Visitor Mode observations and has the following observing modes:
• Imaging with plate-scales of 0.273 and 0.28800 /pixel using broad and narrow-band filters in the
wavelength range 0.9–2.5 µm. SofI provides a field of view of 4.920 . A Js filter similar to that
on ISAAC is available in addition to the standard J filter.
• High time-resolution imaging in Burst and FastPhot mode with integration times of the order
of a few tens of milliseconds via hardware windowing of the detector array. Information about
technical details, restrictions, and overheads is available in the SofI user manual.
• Low resolution (R = 600), 0.93–2.54 µm spectroscopy with fixed width slits of 0.6, 1 and 200 .
• Medium resolution (R = 1500) spectroscopy with the same fixed width slits.
• 0.9–2.5 micron imaging polarimetry.
22
Up-to-date information and documentation on the instrument are available at:
http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/lasilla/instruments/sofi/.
5.1.1
ESO Public Spectroscopic Surveys
In Period 91, there will be up to 30 NTT nights assigned to the ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey
entitled “PESSTO: Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey for Transient Objects”. Further details are
available on the ESO Public Surveys Projects webpage. Proposers should check that their science goals do not duplicate those of this public survey.
5.2
EFOSC2 — ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera 2, on the
NTT
EFOSC2 is a very versatile instrument for low resolution spectroscopy and imaging in the visible and near UV. It also has polarimetric capabilities (both for imaging and spectroscopy) and a
coronagraphic mode, and it can efficiently perform multi-object spectroscopy.
EFOSC2 is only offered in Visitor Mode.
The instrument is equipped with a Loral/Lesser UV-flooded 2k×2k CCD. The pixel size is 0.1200 ,
with a corresponding field of view of 4.10 .
The grisms cover the 318–1100 nm wavelength range, with resolutions ranging from 100 to 1000.
Slits from 0.500 to 1500 are available.
Two volume-phase holographic grisms (VPHG) have been offered for medium resolution spectroscopy. The blue grism (#19) covers the wavelength range from 440 nm to 510 nm, at a resolution
of up to ∼ 4000 with a 0.500 slit, while the red grism (#20) covers the range 605 nm to 715 nm at a
resolution of up to 4000 with the 0.500 slit. The grisms introduce a lateral shift of the beam, so the
effective field of view is 3.10 and 2.70 for the blue and red VPHGs respectively.
The wavelength range of the blue VPHG grism (#19) can be extended to cover a more useful range
(e.g. reaching the Mg triplet at 520 nm or the G-band at 430 nm) by using slits offset to the red
or blue. With 15 mm offsets (corresponding to wavelength offsets of 21.8 nm) the wavelength range
coverage for the grism #19 is 418 nm to 532 nm (the full range is achievable by combining red offset
and blue offset spectra). There are offset slits available with 15mm offsets to the blue and red with
the full range of slit widths available for the normal slits. These slits can of course be used with any
other grism, with the wavelength offset depending on the grism dispersion. See the web pages for
more details.
Up to 5 MOS plates can be loaded simultaneously. They are punched off-line, so additional plates
can be punched at any time. To create multi-slit masks, pre-imaging must be acquired using
EFOSC2 with the same position angle as for the actual observations, typically one day before the
spectroscopic observations. Therefore, NTT observers in La Silla may be asked to give up to 20
minutes of their allocated time for pre-imaging observations for subsequent EFOSC2 MOS runs.
The coronagraphic mode features focal stops of 8.000 and 4.000 and a Lyot pupil mask.
The polarimetric measurements are performed using either a half-wave plate or a quarter-wave
plate. These super-achromatic plates can be moved into the optical path and rotated to measure
the polarisation at different angles without rotating the whole instrument. The plates are housed
in separate units, and only one unit (plate) per night can be used. Note that since EFOSC2 is
mounted at the NTT Nasmyth B focus there is strong instrumental polarisation that varies with
telescope pointing. Users should allow time for additional observations of unpolarised standard stars
to correct for this.
For imaging, a set of standard Bessell and Gunn filters as well as several narrow-band filters are
available. See the EFOSC2 filter page for details.
Up-to-date information and documentation on the instrument are available on the EFOSC2 web page.
23
5.2.1
ESO Public Spectroscopic Surveys
In Period 91, there will be up to 45 NTT nights assigned to the ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey
entitled “PESSTO: Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey for Transient Objects”. Further details are
available on the ESO Public Surveys Projects webpage. Proposers should check that their science goals do not duplicate those of this public survey.
5.3
HARPS — High Accuracy Radial velocity Planetary Search, on the
3.6-m
HARPS is the ESO facility for the measurement of very precise radial velocities. It is fed by two
fibres from the Cassegrain focus of the 3.6-m telescope.
HARPS is offered in Visitor Mode only during Period 91.
The instrument is built to obtain very precise radial velocities (∼1 m/s). To achieve this goal,
HARPS is designed as an échelle spectrograph fed by a pair of fibres and is contained in a vacuum
vessel to avoid spectral drift due to temperature and air pressure variations. One of the two fibres
collects the starlight, while the second is used to either record a Th-Ar reference spectrum or the
background sky simultaneously. The two HARPS fibres (object + sky or Th-Ar) have a sky aperture
of 100 , resulting in a resolving power of 115,000. Both fibres are equipped with an image scrambler to
provide a uniform spectrograph pupil illumination, independent of pointing decentring. The spectral
coverage distributed over the échelle orders 89-161 is 378 nm–691 nm. As the detector consists of a
mosaic of 2 CCDs (altogether 4k×4k, 15 µm pixels), one spectral order (N=115, from 530 to 533nm)
is lost in the gap between the two chips.
HARPS reaches a S/N of 110 per pixel at 550 nm for a MV = 6 G2V star in 1 minute (100 seeing,
airmass = 1.2). When using the Simultaneous Thorium Reference Method, which is the mode for
achieving the highest radial velocity accuracy, this signal-to-noise ratio should be sufficient to achieve
a photon-noise-dominated radial velocity accuracy of about 0.90 m/s. Taking into account errors
introduced by the guiding, focus, and instrumental uncertainties, a global radial velocity accuracy of
about 1 m/s RMS is achieved. This is obtained for spectral types later than G and for non-rotating
stars (v sin i < 2 km/s).
In simultaneous Th-Ar mode, HARPS users should strictly follow the calibrations foreseen by the
Calibration Plan, which includes a number of biases, flatfields and Th-Ar exposures taken before
the night.
Since Period 89, a Fabry-Perot Calibration System (FPCS) is available as an alternative calibration
source for simultaneous drift measurements. The Fabry-Perot etalon is illuminated by a supercontinuum laser source providing a uniform density of lines and a relatively flat spectrum over the
HARPS wavelength range.
In the FPCS case, no contamination is seen due to the strong Ar lines; the photon noise is half of
that measured in the ThAr lamp (i.e. ∼ 4 cm s−1 ), while the stability within one night is better
than ∼ 10 cm s−1 .
Programmes that require very high precision and for which contamination of the stellar spectra by
ThAr should be avoided might benefit from the use of the FPCS. However, we caution users that
the long term behavior is still under study.
HARPS is equipped with its own pipeline (installed on La Silla). This pipeline provides the visiting
astronomer with extracted and wavelength calibrated spectra in near real-time (in all observing
modes). When the Simultaneous Thorium Reference Method is applied, the pipeline delivers precise
radial velocities (RV, relative to the solar system barycentre) for late-type stars whose RV is known
within 1–2 km/s, provided that a set of standard calibrations has been executed in the afternoon.
An additional fibre, with a larger aperture (1.400 on the sky) is available for HARPS. This high
efficiency mode is dubbed “EGGS”. The higher efficiency compared to the base mode (referred to
as “HAM”) is achieved by reducing flux losses through the larger fibre aperture and by dispensing
the image scrambler. The resolving power of the mode, due to the larger fibre, decreases to about
80 000. This mode is particularly useful for faint objects. Its peak efficiency is 11% and the gain in
24
flux with respect to the HARPS base mode is 75% at 530 nm with a seeing of 0.800 . This mode is now
equipped with only one fibre, therefore neither the sky subtraction nor the simultaneous Thorium
reference method can be applied. The intrinsic instrument stability (better than 1 m/s) is superior
to the EGGS radial velocity accuracy; the achievable radial velocity accuracy of the EGGS mode
is limited by systematics and is ∼10 m/s RMS. The amount of diffuse light in the spectrograph is
∼4%.
The EGGS mode is also supported by a full reduction pipeline running at the telescope. Both raw
and reduced data will be delivered to the user. The HARPS baseline mode and the high efficiency
mode can both be used during the same night. The time needed to switch from one mode to the
other is about 1 minute. For radial velocity measurements a calibration sequence similar to that of
the base mode should be used.
A polarimeter is also available on HARPS. The unit is able to perform both circular and linear
polarimetry. Measurements of the throughput indicate a light loss with respect to the base mode
of HARPS in the range of 20% to 30%, increasing to ≈40% in the bluest orders. Instrumental
polarization is not detected down to a level of 10−4 for zenith angles smaller than 60 degrees. Closer
to the horizon instrumental polarization grows rapidly if the Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector is
in the light beam. HARPS polarimetric data are reduced by the online pipeline.
Up-to-date information and documentation on the instrument, including the user manual and exposure time calculator, are available on the HARPS web page.
5.4
FEROS — Fibre-fed Extended Range Optical Spectrograph, on the
2.2-m
FEROS is ESO’s high-resolution, high-efficiency spectrograph on the 2.2-m telescope. It is a benchmounted, thermally controlled, prism-cross-dispersed échelle spectrograph, providing, in a single
spectrogram spread over 39 orders, almost complete1 spectral coverage from ∼ 350 to ∼ 920 nm at
a resolution of 48 000.
The available ESO time-slots at the 2.2-m telescope, as defined in Section 4.1, need to be taken into
account for proposal preparation.
FEROS is offered in Visitor Mode only.
The spectrograph is fed by two fibres, allowing simultaneous spectra of an object and either the
sky or a calibration source (normally a wavelength calibration lamp). The fibres are illuminated via
apertures of 2.00 0 and are separated by 2.0 9.
The mechanical and thermal stability of FEROS is such that the wavelength calibration obtained
during the day is sufficiently accurate for most purposes. Additional night-time calibrations are
not necessary. Although not intended as a ‘radial velocity machine’, precise radial velocity work
(accuracies of ∼ 25 m/s or better) is possible, especially via the Object-Calibration mode.
A dedicated pipeline provides, in almost real time, extracted 1-dimensional, wavelength calibrated
spectra, which can be used as a preview and to check S/N. The core of the FEROS pipeline is
included in the standard MIDAS distribution and, together with the FEROS Data Reduction System
(FEROS-DRS) package (provided at the FEROS web site), can be used to re-reduce the data to
obtain publication quality results.
Up-to-date information and documentation on the instrument can be found via the FEROS web page.
5.5
WFI — Wide Field Imager, on the 2.2-m
The Wide Field Imager (WFI) has a field of view of 340 ×330 and is composed of a mosaic of 4×2
CCD detectors with a pixel size of 0.2400 and narrow inter-chip gaps, yielding a filling factor of 95.9%.
It offers excellent sensitivity from the atmospheric UV cut-off to the near IR. All applicants should
take the availability restrictions of the 2.2-m during ESO time and the corresponding lunar phases
into account (Section 4.1).
1 The
two spectral ranges 853.4–854.1 nm and 886.2–887.5 nm are lost due to non-overlap of the spectral orders.
25
WFI is offered in Visitor Mode only.
The filter storage and exchange mechanism, with 50 positions, accommodates 11 broad-band filters
(including a fully transparent one), 27 medium-band filters covering the whole wavelength range,
and 8 narrow-band filters centred at [OIII], [SII], Hα and a few other wavelengths. The large
number of medium- and narrow-band filters are specifically selected to support the determination
of photometric redshifts of distant objects.
We summarise the performance of WFI in Table 1. The table should only be used as a quick guide
of feasibility.
Table 1: WFI limiting magnitudes
Filter
U
B
V
R
I
Limiting magnitude (S/N=5)
23.8
26.0
25.5
25.3
24.3
The limiting magnitudes correspond to a one-hour integration with dark sky, clear conditions, a
seeing FWHM of 0.00 8 and an airmass of 1.2, and have been calculated for a point source of zero
colour (A0V star). To estimate the operational overheads of your proposed observations, please
consult Chapter 5.1. of the WFI handbook. Note that for dithering offsets larger than 15000 , the
overhead increases by 1 minute per offset. These extra overheads must be properly accounted for.
Up-to-date information and documentation on the instrument can be found via the WFI web page.
6
6.1
Scientific Instruments: Paranal
CRIRES, Cryogenic high-resolution IR Échelle Spectrograph
CRIRES is the infrared (0.95 µm – 5.2 µm) high–resolution spectrograph located at the Nasmyth
A focus of UT1. It provides long–slit (3900 ) spectroscopy with a spatial sampling of ≈ 0.100 . Spatial
resolution and signal–to–noise ratio can be maximized by the optional use of a MACAO adaptive
optics system equipped with an optical (R band) wavefront sensor. Good correction is obtained
with stars as faint as R∼ 14 mag under average seeing conditions, while moderate image quality
improvement is seen with stars as faint as R∼16 mag under good seeing (FWHM < 0.6.00 ) conditions.
Important note: Large Programmes using CRIRES will not be accepted in Period 91.
The main optical elements consist of a prism acting as a pre–disperser and a 31.6 lines/mm échelle
grating. Total spectral coverage per individual wavelength setting is ∼ λ/70 thanks to an array of
four 1024 x 512 Aladdin III detectors. Acquisition and guiding are performed by the means of a slit
viewer equipped with an additional Aladdin III detector and a series of five filters (J,H,K and two
neutral density H filters).
Possible slit widths are 0.2 and 0.400 , providing a resolving power of R ' 100, 000 and R ' 50, 000,
respectively. Standard and free wavelength settings are offered for both Visitor Mode (Section 12.1)
and Service Mode (Section 12.2). For settings shortward of ∼ 3µm, the blue and red ends of the
wavelength coverage can be affected by contamination from adjacent orders and lack of illumination
reproducibility. Tables 3 and 4 of the User Manual report the spectral range free of these effects for
all standard settings. Starting from Period 90, the implementation of the metrology system should
ensure the reproducibility of the wavelength scale to sub-pixel accuracy. Despite the availability of
a Krypton and ThAr lamps and of the N2 O and CO gas-cells, the lack of wavelength calibration
lines affect some settings. During P89 a UNe lamp for wavelength calibration was tested that in the
future may act as a complimentary calibration source.
Provided an adequate observational strategy is followed, radial velocity measurements to better
than ≈ 20m s−1 can be reached for stars showing a sufficient number of spectral features. See the
26
CRIRES User Manual for details.
6.1.1
Calibration
The observer has to supply his/her own standard star calibration OBs to correct for telluric features
if necessary. An alternative possibility is the use of an atmospheric model, for example available
at http://www.eso.org/observing/etc/skycalc/skycalc.htm. The efficacy of such a model in the
wavelength region of interest should be checked a-priori.
In particular for Service Mode observations, OBs are typically executed in one-hour blocks; therefore,
a telluric OB should be supplied for each science OB in order to achieve a proper correction. Sciencetelluric pairs of OBs can be used as a concatenation with total execution time of 1.5 hours. Highprecision wavelength calibration or flat-fielding requires an attached template. The observing time
needed to execute these night-time calibrations is charged to the observer.
The Observatory provides day-time calibrations such as lamp flats and wavelength calibrations with
the same wavelength settings as those used for the science, as well as darks obtained with the same
detector settings as the science and telluric observations, lamp flats and wavelength calibration
frames. Note however, that day-time wavelength calibrations are only provided for λ < 2.4µm, as
calibrations based on sky lines are better for redder wavelengths in any case.
From Period 90 there has been the possibility to take night-time calibrations with a 0.200 or 0.400
slit.
Finally, it is possible that, due to the improved stability of the system caused by the installation of
fixed slits, the calibration frequency will be decreased at some point.
6.1.2
Sensitivity
Proposers should refer to the Exposure Time Calculator at http://www.eso.org/observing/etc/
to assess the feasibility of their programmes. In particular, starting from Period 90, the amount of
recipitable water vapour is a user-definable constraint which can be set during Phase 2 preparation
for SM users.
Detailed information regarding CRIRES is provided in the Users’ Manual, available via
the CRIRES web page.
6.2
FORS2, Focal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph 2
FORS2 is a multi-mode optical instrument placed at the UT1 Cassegrain focus. It is capable of
imaging, polarimetry, long slit and multi-object spectroscopy. It has two detector systems and a
wide range of exchangeable optical elements.
The default MIT detector consists of a mosaic of two 2k×4k MIT CCDs (15 µm pixels) and is
available for Service and Visitor Mode observations. A blue-optimized e2v mosaic is available only
for Visitor Mode observations. Compared to the e2v detector, the MIT mosaic provides greatly
improved red sensitivity (> 750 nm) with very low fringing. However, the response of the MIT
detector below 600 nm is reduced. The detector systems are not mounted at the same time, hence
the use of the e2v detector is limited to Visitor Mode and must be justified in the Phase 1 proposal.
Whether the MIT or e2v detector are required must be explicitly requested in Box 14 by uncommenting the corresponding instrument configuration line. This will ensure smooth operations by
flagging the detector change in the schedule.
The image scale in the default readout mode (2 by 2 binning) is 0.00 125/pixel in the high resolution
(HR) mode and 0.00 25/pixel in the standard resolution (SR) mode. The field of view in these two
modes is, respectively, 4.0 25 × 4.0 25 and 6.0 8 × 6.0 8 (note that the detector area is larger than the field
of view). The different magnifications are chosen by setting one of the two collimators. Hence, each
magnification has to be calibrated independently. Unbinned CCD readout modes are only offered for
27
applications that specifically require them; the use of unbinned modes must be explicitly requested
in the proposal.
In addition to the standard imaging and longslit spectroscopy modes, some of the key capabilities
of FORS2 are listed below.
6.2.1
Multi-object Spectroscopy
FORS2 provides two multi-object spectroscopy modes. The MOS mode comprises 19 movable slitlets
of fixed slit lengths between 1900 and 2100 and user-selectable slit widths. The MXU mode provides
the possibility to insert a mask in the focal plane, in which slits of different lengths, widths and
shapes can be cut with a dedicated laser cutting machine. The FIMS tool (Section 6.2.6) must be
used for Phase 2 preparation of MOS and MXU observations. The performance of the MOS and
MXU modes are equivalent (cf. Table 3). Both modes are only offered with the standard resolution
collimator.
6.2.2
High throughput filters
A set of high throughput filters are used on FORS2 to maximize the sensitivity below 600 nm.
6.2.3
Volume-phased holographic grisms
In addition to the standard low-resolution grisms, a number of high throughput VPH grisms are
available which are optimised for both the MIT and E2V detectors.
6.2.4
Polarimetry
FORS2 is capable of measuring both linear and circular polarisation for direct imaging and spectroscopy. It uses a Wollaston prism as the beam splitting analyser and two superachromatic phase
retarder plate mosaics located in the parallel beam.
6.2.5
Imaging modes and performance summary
The High Time resolution (HIT) mode is available with FORS2 (currently only with the MIT
detector) in imaging (Visitor and Service Modes) and spectroscopy (Visitor Mode only) with a
range of filters for imaging and the 600B and 300I grisms for spectroscopy.
In the one-shift mode, the times for a full shift across the mosaic are 1, 4, 16, 64, 256 sec, providing
time resolutions for 100 on sky from 2.3 msec to 0.6 sec. The multiple-shift (MS) mode is predominantly implemented for fast spectroscopy and allows a block of rows to be shifted together. In MS
mode, two user-defined slits can be used; these place the spectra of the target and a comparison
star onto a small region of the CCD. After a pre-defined ‘wait’ time (0.1–20 secs), the rows of the
CCD are rapidly shifted (50 microsec), causing the exposed region to be moved into the ‘storage
area’ (the unexposed region) of the CCD and a new region to be illuminated. This ‘shift and wait’
scheme continues until the first pair of spectra taken reach the limit of the storage region and the
CCD is subsequently read-out in the normal way allowing 41 pairs of spectra per CCD readout.
We summarise the operational modes and performance of FORS2 in the two tables below. These
tables are only intended to be quick feasibility guides. Proposers should refer to the detailed information (e.g. Users’ Manual, Exposure Time Calculator) available via the FORS web page.
The magnitude limits in Table 2 correspond to a one hour integration with dark sky, clear conditions,
a seeing FWHM of 0.00 8 and an airmass of 1.2, and have been calculated for a point source of zero
colour (A0V star). The U, B and V magnitude limits are calculated using the high throughput
filters. The values are shown for both the standard MIT detector mosaic, as well as the E2V mosaic
which is available for Visitor Mode observations.
28
Table 2: Offered FORS2 imaging modes for Period 91
Instrument Mode
Direct Imaging (MIT)
Direct Imaging (E2V)
HIT Imaging (MIT)
Magnitude limit (S/N=5)
U=24.8 B=27.3 V=27.1 R=26.7 I=25.7 z=24.7
U=25.9 B=27.6 V=27.3 R=26.7 I=25.7
U=16.0 B=19.5 V=20.0 R=20.3 I=19.5
Table 3: Offered FORS2 spectroscopic modes for Period 91
Instrument Mode
E2V
MOS – movable slits[1,2]
Long slit Spectroscopy[3]
Spectropolarimetry[3]
MIT
MOS – movable slits[1,2]
MXU – exchangeable masks[2]
Long slit Spectroscopy[3]
HIT-MS spectroscopy
HIT-OS spectroscopy[4]
[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]
Rs = λ/∆λ
Magnitude limit
260–1700
260–1700
260–1700
R = 24.0–22.8
R = 24.0–22.8
R = 19.2–17.2
260–2600
260–2600
260–2600
660–780
660–780
R
R
R
R
=
=
=
=
R
24.2–23.3
24.2–23.3
24.2–23.3
19.5–12.3
= 14.3
In multi-object spectroscopy one may have 19 slitlets of length alternating between 2000 and 2200 .
Only offered with the SR collimator.
In long slit spectroscopy the slit is chosen out of a set of 9 slits with fixed width between 0.00 3 and 2.00 5.
In HIT-OS mode slit masks with widths between 0.500 and 5.000 are available.
The magnitude limits given in Table 3 are the R-band magnitudes of a point source of zero colour
that would result in a S/N of 5 per pixel at 650 nm (grisms 150I and 600RI) in the continuum in
a one-hour integration with dark sky, clear conditions, a seeing FWHM of 0.00 8, an airmass of 1.2,
and using the 1.00 0 slit and the SR-collimator. The two limits given are for the two representative
resolutions. In the case of the HIT-MS mode, the two limits represent the slowest and fastest readout
modes available. In the case of the HIT-OS mode it is simply the limiting magnitude for the slowest
mode available (HIT-OS5-256sec).
6.2.6
FORS Instrumental Mask Simulator (FIMS)
To prepare precise target acquisitions during Phase 2, ESO provides the FIMS software tool. Usage
of FIMS is required when using several spectroscopic modes, as well as to prepare occulting bar
imaging and spectropolarimetric observations. Phase 1 proposers who wish to justify their time
request by optimising movable or MXU slitlet positions during Phase 1 may find it useful to download
and install FIMS. Please refer to:
http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/phase2/SMGuidelines/FIMS.html
for instructions on how to install FIMS and to the FIMS Users’ Manual on how to use FIMS.
Users are reminded that only the FIMS version specifically assigned to a given period may be used.
Older versions should never be used as they may not contain the correct FORS set-up.
6.2.7
Accurate Astrometry or Pre-imaging Required
Highly accurate relative astrometry is required for any observing mode that makes use of FIMS or
does blind offsets during the acquisition. The mask preparation with FIMS requires input images
that are astrometrically corrected within the definitions and precision given below. DSS images will,
in almost all cases, not be suitable for the task.
In general the relative astrometry must be known to better than 1/6 of the slit width over the entire
field of view. Relative astrometry here means that the slit positions must be known relative to
29
those of the reference stars in the field of view with the given precision. These relative astrometric
calibrations are fulfilled if your FIMS preparation is based on images taken with FORS1 after March
22, 2003 or on any FORS2 images.
An important exception is multi-object spectroscopy with unbinned CCD readout modes: users
wishing to apply for this mode must request additional pre-imaging, even if previous FORS1 or
FORS2 images are available.
If images of adequate quality are not available, Phase 1 proposers must apply for pre-imaging
defined as a separate run in the Phase 1 proposal and clearly marked as pre-imaging (PRE-IMG) in
the “Instrument configuration” section of the proposal. Failure to do so will result in the deduction
of the pre-imaging time from the time allocation assigned to the main project, if the programme
is approved for execution. As a rule, pre-imaging runs are carried out in Service Mode, even for
programmes whose main (spectroscopic) runs are conducted in Visitor Mode.
For further information, FORS2 proposers should visit the FORS web page.
6.3
FLAMES, Fibre Large Array Multi-Element Spectrograph
FLAMES is the multi-object, intermediate and high resolution spectrograph of the VLT. Mounted
at the Nasmyth A platform of UT2, FLAMES can access targets over a large corrected field of view
(250 diameter). It consists of three main components:
• A Fibre Positioner (OzPoz) hosting two plates: while one plate is observing, the other
positions the fibres for the subsequent observations. This limits the dead time between one
observation and the next to less than 15 minutes, including the telescope preset and the
acquisition of the next field.
• A medium-high resolution optical spectrograph, GIRAFFE, with three types of feeding fibre
systems : MEDUSA, IFU, ARGUS.
• A link to the UVES spectrograph (Red Arm) via 8 single fibres of 100 entrance aperture.
Special observing software (FLAMES OS) coordinates the operation of the different subsystems,
also allowing simultaneous acquisition of UVES and GIRAFFE observations with the observing
modes listed in Table 4. For combined observations, the exposure times for UVES and GIRAFFE
do not need to be the same. Note that it is not possible to observe simultaneously in two GIRAFFE
modes, or to observe the same target simultaneously with the two spectrographs.
For more detailed information on instrument setups and performance estimates the user is referred
to the FLAMES web page.
6.3.1
Instrument Capabilities
GIRAFFE is a medium-high (R = 5, 600–48, 000) resolution spectrograph for the entire visible
range, 370–950 nm. It is equipped with two gratings and several filters are available to select the
required spectral range. Five additional fibres allow simultaneous wavelength calibration of every
exposure. Each object can be observed in only one, or a fraction of, a single échelle order at once.
The fibre system feeding GIRAFFE consists of the following components:
• Two MEDUSA slits, one per positioner plate: up to 132 separate objects (including sky
fibres) are accessible in MEDUSA single fibre mode, each with an aperture of 1.00 2 on the sky.
• Two IFU slits: each IFU (deployable Integral Field Unit) consists of a rectangular array of 20
microlenses of 0.00 52 each, giving an aperture of 200 ×300 . For each plate there are 15 IFU units
dedicated to objects and another 15 dedicated to sky measurements. In the latter, only the
central fibre is present.
• One ARGUS slit: the large integral field unit ARGUS is mounted at the centre of one
plate of the fibre positioner and consists of a rectangular array of 22 × 14 microlenses. Two
30
Table 4: FLAMES Observational Capabilities
Spectro.
UVES6/8
UVES7+1
GIRAF HR
GIRAF LR
GIRAF HR
GIRAF LR
GIRAF HR
Mode
RED
RED
MEDUSA
MEDUSA
IFU
IFU
ARGUS
GIRAF LR
ARGUS
N. Objects
6 or 8 (with sky)
7 (with sky)
131a (with sky)
131[2] (with sky)
15 (+15 sky)
15 (+15 sky)
1
1
Aperture [00 ]
1.0
1.0
1.2
1.2
2×3
2×3
11.5×7.3
or 6.6×4.2
11.5×7.3
or 6.6×4.2
R∗
47000
47000
21000[1]
7000[1]
32000[1]
11000[1]
32000[1]
Cover.
200
200
λ /22 – λ/12
λ /7.5
λ /22 – λ/12
λ /7.5
λ /22 – λ/12
11000[1]
λ /7.5
Comments
6 fib@520nm
+Sim.Calib.
[1] The resolving powers (R) given here are only average values,
for more details see
http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/paranal/instruments/flames/doc/ which contains a description of
all the GIRAFFE setups.
[2] The number of allocable buttons is 132, but only 131 spectra are fully covered on the detector.
magnification scales are available: “1:1” with a sampling of 0.00 52/microlens and a total aperture
of 11.00 5×7.00 3, and “1:1.67” with 0.00 3/microlens and a total aperture of 6.00 6×4.00 2. In addition,
15 ARGUS sky fibres can be positioned in the 250 field.
GIRAFFE is equipped with one 2k×4k EEV CCD (15 µm pixels), with a scale of 0.00 3/pixel in
MEDUSA, IFUs and ARGUS direct mode, and a scale of 0.00 15/pixel in the 1.67 scale ARGUS
mode. GIRAFFE is operated with 39 fixed setups (31 at high resolution + 8 at low resolution
modes).
The standard readout mode of FLAMES-GIRAFFE is 225 kHz (unbinned) which ensures low readout noise. A high-speed readout mode (625 kHz, unbinned, low gain) with increased readout noise
but less overheads is offered in Visitor Mode only. No pipeline support is available for this mode.
UVES is the high resolution spectrograph at UT2 of the VLT (see Section 6.4). It was designed
to work in long slit mode but it has been possible to add a fibre mode (6 to 8 fibres, depending on
setup and/or mode) fed by the FLAMES positioner to its Red Arm only. Only three of the standard
UVES Red setups are offered, with central wavelengths of 520, 580 and 860 nm respectively (see
the UVES Users’ Manual for details).
The standard readout mode of FLAMES-UVES is 225 kHz (unbinned) which ensures low readout
noise. A high-speed readout mode (625 kHz, unbinned, low gain) with increased readout noise but
less overheads is offered as well in Visitor Mode only. No pipeline support is available for this mode.
With an aperture on the sky of 100 , the fibres project onto 5 UVES pixels giving a resolving power of
∼47,000. For faint objects and depending on the spectral region, one or more fibres can be devoted
to recording the sky contribution. In addition, for the 580 nm setup only, a separate calibration
fibre is available to acquire simultaneous ThAr calibration spectra. This allows very accurate radial
velocity determinations. In this configuration, 7 fibres remain available for targets on sky.
The upgrade of the MIT CCD in the UVES red arm in July 2009 has provided a marked increase
in sensitivity in the 860-nm setting and decrease in fringing.
6.3.2
Observational Requirements
The operation of FLAMES requires the observer to have his/her own list of target coordinates, with
a relative astrometric accuracy better than 0.00 3, when preparing Phase 2. Bad astrometry results
in large losses at the fibre entrance and therefore in much poorer performance. The
minimum object separation is 1100 for MEDUSA fibres. The Fibre Positioner is able to place the
fibres with an accuracy better than 0.00 1. During Phase 2 it is necessary to run dedicated software
(FPOSS) that assigns the fibres to the selected objects. Considerations regarding the relevant
31
astrometric effects induced by the atmosphere can be found in the FLAMES Users’ Manual, Sec
4.4. For any given target field the astrometric effects can also be found using the
FLAMES Airmass Plotter.
6.3.3
Calibration
All required standard FLAMES calibrations are acquired by the observatory staff during daytime.
No night-time calibrations are foreseen except for screen flatfields (so-called attached flatfields) if
additional flatfielding accuracy is required. For ARGUS mode, screen flatfields are taken for Service
Mode programmes in twilight together with a spectrophotometric standard star at no extra cost.
6.3.4
ESO Public Spectroscopic Surveys
In Period 91 there will be approximately 30 nights assigned to the ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey
entitled “The Gaia-ESO Survey” on FLAMES.
Further details are available on the ESO Public Survey Projects webpage. Proposers should
check that their science goals and targets do not duplicate those of this public survey.
6.4
UVES, Ultraviolet and Visual Échelle Spectrograph
UVES is the high resolution optical spectrograph of the VLT and is located at the Nasmyth B focus
of UT2. UVES is a cross-dispersed échelle spectrograph designed to operate with high efficiency
from the atmospheric cut-off at 300 nm to the long wavelength limit of the CCD detectors (1100 nm).
The light beam from the telescope is split into two arms (UV to Blue and Visual to Red) within the
instrument. The two arms can be operated separately or in parallel via a dichroic beam splitter.
With two dichroic observations, the complete wavelength range (300–1100 nm) can be covered. The
resolving power is ∼40,000 when a 100 slit is used. The maximum (two-pixel) resolution is 80,000 or
110,000 in the Blue- and the Red-Arms, while using a 0.400 and 0.300 slit respectively. Three image
slicers are available to obtain high resolving power without excessive slit losses. The instrument is
built for maximum mechanical stability and therefore allows accurate calibration of the wavelength
scale.
The UVES instrument modes offered in Period 91 are listed in Table 5. This table is intended as a
quick guide only; for detailed information, proposers should refer to the UVES Users’ Manual and
Exposure Time Calculator (ETC) available through the UVES web page.
Table 5 indicates, for a given mode, the accessible wavelength range, the maximum resolving power
that can be obtained, the approximate wavelength range covered in one exposure, and an estimate
of the limiting magnitude. Please note that for each instrument mode standard settings
have been defined; in Service Mode, only UVES standard settings are allowed. Visitor
Mode observers are encouraged to use the specially defined UVES standard settings.
Table 5: UVES Period 91 instrument modes
Instrument mode
Blue arm
Red arm
Dichroic#1
Dichroic#2
I2 cell
[1] With a
0.400
Accessible
λ range
(nm)
300–500
420–1100
300–400
500–1100
300–500
600–1100
500–600
(blue) and 0.300 (red) slit.
Maximum
resolution[1]
(λ/4λ)
∼80,000
∼110,000
∼80,000
∼110,000
∼80,000
∼110,000
∼110,000
Covered
λ range
(nm)
80
200–400
80
200
80
400
200
Magnitude
limits
17–18
18–19
17–18
18–19
17–18
18–19
17
32
The magnitude limits listed in Table 5 are estimated on the basis of the following conditions:
continuum source, 0.700 seeing, 100 slit, no binning, 3-hour integration, S/N of 10 (per resolution
element) at the peak of the central order, no moon. They are indicative of the limiting performance
of the instrument only as they depend on the wavelength. UVES proposers should use the ETC for
their S/N estimates.
Whether or not an image slicer should be used depends on the trade-off between slit losses due to
seeing and the reduced transmission (reduction between 20 and 40%) when using an image slicer.
The special spectral formats and the reduced sample of the sky spectrum with the image slicer also
have to be taken into account.
Eight interference filters are offered with the UVES RED arm in Visitor Mode. The purpose of
these filters is to isolate certain échelle orders to allow the use of the maximum slit length of 30 00 .
The central wavelengths of the filters are chosen to permit observations of the most important
emission lines in extended objects. The filters and their central wavelengths are: Hα (656.6 nm),
Hβ (486.1 nm), Oiii (500.7 nm), Oiii (436.3 nm), Nii (575.5 nm), Oi (630.0 nm), Sii (672.4 nm), and
Heii (468.6 nm). The peak transmissions of the filters range from 70 to 90%.
In July 2009 the MIT CCD was replaced by an improved version that offers less fringing and higher
throughput redwards of ∼800-nm. See the UVES news page for details. Proposals for the very
red end of the UVES range (around 1 micron) should consider whether CRIRES would be better
suited. A detailed comparison of UVES and CRIRES performance around 1 micron is given on the
CRIRES news page.
For more detailed information on instrument setups and performance estimates the user is referred
to the UVES web page.
6.5
XSHOOTER: multi band, medium resolution échelle spectrograph
XSHOOTER – the first VLT second generation instrument – is the UV-Visual-NIR medium resolution spectrograph mounted at the UT2 Cassegrain focus. Three arms, each with optimized optics,
dispersive elements and detectors, allow high efficiency observation simultaneously in the wavelength
range 300-2480 nm.
Each arm is an independent cross-dispersed échelle spectrograph complete with its own shutter
and/or slit mask. The incoming light is split into the three different spectrographs/arms through 2
dichroics that have cut-off wavelengths at 5595Å (for the separation of UVB-VIS light) and 10240Å
(for the separation of the VIS-NIR light). Three piezo-controlled mirrors, located in front of each
arm, guarantee that the optical path remains aligned against instrument flexure and corrected for
differential atmospheric refraction between the telescope guiding wavelength and each arm central
wavelength.
The two pairs of ADC prisms in the optical path of the UVB and VIS arms, which normally compensate for the atmospheric dispersion are currently disabled. Because their mechanical system is
damaged and are therefore not reliable anymore, they have been fixed in their non deviation position
since August 1st, 2012. Data obtained in this configuration can be reduced by the pipeline without
significant degradation. Use of ADCs in the future depends on the result of further investigations
and possible intervention.
Users should check the XSHOOTER News webpage to follow the status of the ADCs. The last
version of the user manual provides plots for helping the observation preparation with XSHOOTER
without ADCs.
Users are recommended to carry out observations at the parallactic angle whenever possible or to
take special care on the airmass constraint to avoid flux loss.
Two instrument modes are offered:
• slit spectroscopy (SLT) with a selection of different slit widths for each arm and a fixed length
of 11 arcsec. In Period 91, the offered slits have widths of
– for the UVB arm: 0.5, 0.8, 1.0, 1.3, 1.6, 5.0 arcsec,
33
– for the VIS arm: 0.4, 0.7, 0.9, 1.2, 1.5, 5.0 arcsec,
– for the NIR arm: 0.4, 0.6, 0.6 + K-band blocking filter, 0.9 , 0.9 + K-band blocking filter,
1.2, 5.0 arcsec, a blind position.
• IFU spectroscopy, which allows observations of a 1.8 × 4 arcsec2 field reformatted to a 0.6 ×
12 arcsec long-slit.
The spectral format is fixed. The orders in each detector are highly curved and the sky/arc lines
within each order are highly tilted.
The background between the OH lines in the J and H bands is strongly affected by photons scattered
from the very bright K-band orders. In order to allow sky limited performance in the J and H bands,
two new slits of width 0.6” and 0.9” combined with a K-band blocking filter were installed on the slit
wheel of the NIR arm in July 2011. One of these new slits replaced the 1.5” slit, which is therefore
not offered anymore. These new slits allow for a reduction of the overall background by a factor of
3 to 4 in the H and J bands.
The minimum DIT in the NIR arm is 0.66s. The 1800s DIT in the NIR arm is only offered in
full-night VM as it introduces severe remnants. However, the use of 1800 s DIT in the NIR arm
with the 0.6 or 0.900 slit combined with a K-band blocking filter could be possibly granted also in
SM observations provided the strategy is very well-justified through a waiver request at Phase 2.
We encourage the users to read the XSHOOTER NIR readout mode description. about the
NIR non destructive readout mode and its different regimes.
More detailed information regarding the instrument are provided in the XSHOOTER page.
6.6
VIMOS, VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph
VIMOS is a multi-mode, wide-field optical instrument attached at the Nasmyth B focus of Melipal
(UT3). VIMOS allows imaging (IMG) and multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) at low- (R ∼ 200) to
medium-resolution (R ∼ 2500) over a field of view (FOV) composed of four quadrants, each 70 × 80 ,
separated by 20 gaps. MOS masks, which are prepared with the Mask Manufacturing Unit (MMU)
on Paranal, allow considerable freedom in the positioning, shape, and orientation of the slits. The
maximum number of slits that can be typically accommodated in the VIMOS FOV is up to 750 at
low resolution, and up to 150 at higher resolution. The actual number of slits will depend on the
multiplex used, target density and their distribution in the field of view.
Important notes:
• The VIMOS upgrade project continues with the refurbishment of the focus unit to permit
proper focussing at all temperatures in IFU mode. Details on the scope of the upgrade project,
expected performance, validity of pre-imaging observations, and availability of the instrument
are given in the News section of the VIMOS web pages.
• Starting from P91, a new Pre-Image-Less MOS (PILMOS) mode is offered, in which a user
provided catalogue with accurate target coordinates (≤ ±0.200 )) can be used to design masks.
Slit orientation must be N-S.
• This period we have relaxed the requirement on MOS slit orientation: if target declination is
within −45◦ < δ < −5◦ , slits can also be oriented E-W and the observations executed within
±3 h from meridian. In this case a pre-imaging run must be requested.
• Due to existing commitments no Large Programmes using VIMOS can be submitted in
Period 91.
VIMOS is equipped with an integral field unit (IFU) with 6400 microlenses coupled to fibres and a
choice of two spatial samplings (magnifications): 0.6700 per fibre or 0.3300 per fibre. With the lower
spectral resolution settings, the FOV of the IFU is 5400 ×5400 (using the 0.6700 magnification), or
2700 ×2700 (using the 0.3300 magnification). A quarter of these fields are covered at intermediate to
higher spectral resolutions.
34
Table 6: VIMOS Period 91 offered settings and modes
Mode
Scale
FOV
IMG UBVRIz
MOS LR Blue
MOS LR Red
MOS MR
MOS HR Blue
MOS HR Orange
MOS HR Red
0.20500 /pix
0.20500 /pix
0.20500 /pix
0.20500 /pix
0.20500 /pix
0.20500 /pix
0.20500 /pix
4 × 70 × 80
4 × 70 × 80
4 × 70 × 80
4 × 70 × 80
4 × 70 × 80
4 × 70 × 80
4 × 70 × 80
Wavelength
range (nm) [1]
–
370–670
550–950
480–1000
370–552
520–760
630–870
IFU
IFU
IFU
IFU
IFU
IFU
IFU
IFU
IFU
IFU
IFU
IFU
0.6700 /fibre
0.6700 /fibre
0.6700 /fibre
0.3300 /fibre
0.6700 /fibre
0.6700 /fibre
0.3300 /fibre
0.3300 /fibre
0.3300 /fibre
0.3300 /fibre
0.3300 /fibre
0.3300 /fibre
5400 × 5400
5400 × 5400
2700 × 2700
1300 × 1300
2700 × 2700
2700 × 2700
2700 × 2700
2700 × 2700
1300 × 1300
1300 × 1300
1300 × 1300
1300 × 1300
390–670
580–915
490–1015
370–552
525–740
640–860
390–670
580–915
490–1015
370–552
525–740
640–860
LR Blue
LR Red
MR
HR Blue
HR Orange
HR Red
LR Blue
LR Red
MR
HR Blue
HR Orange
HR Red
λ/∆λ
[2]
Dispersion
Å /pix
–
180
210
580
1430
2150
2500
5.3
7.3
2.5
0.71
0.6
0.6
Spectral
multiplex[3]
–
4
4
1
1
1
1
220
260
720
1790
2650
3100
220
260
720
1790
2650
3100
5.3
7.3
2.5
0.71
0.6
0.6
5.3
7.3
2.5
0.71
0.6
0.6
4
4
1
1
1
1
4
4
1
1
1
1
[1] In MOS mode, with the LR and MR settings, the actual spectral range depends also on the order separation filter used; with the HR settings, the actual spectral coverage depends also on the position of the slit in the
field of view.
[2] This is the resolution given by a slit with width 100 in MOS mode, and by 1 fibre in IFU mode.
[3] This is the number of slitlets that can be accommodated along the dispersion direction.
The VIMOS instrument works in the wavelength range 360–1000 nm. VIMOS modes (IMG, MOS,
and IFU) are summarised in Table 6. Users should refer to the detailed information available on
the VIMOS web page to assess the feasibility of their programme with VIMOS.
All instrument modes and settings are offered both in Visitor Mode and Service Mode, except for
pre-imaging runs, which are carried out in Service Mode only.
Table 7: VIMOS IMG limiting magnitudes
U=26.2
Magnitude limit (S/N=5, A0 star)
B=27.4
V=27.0
R=26.6
I=25.5
z=25.1
The magnitude limits in Table 7 correspond to a one-hour integration with dark sky, clear conditions,
a seeing of 0.800 and an airmass of 1.2, for a point source of zero colour (A0V star) giving S/N∼5.
Fringing in the red is negligible with the new CCDs.
The magnitude limits in MOS mode and IFU mode should be obtained using the Exposure Time
Calculator (http://www.eso.org/observing/etc) to test the proposed programme’s feasibility
and the corresponding execution time. The observing overheads are given in Table 16 and more
details are given in the VIMOS web pages.
Note: For MOS runs ESO will consider OBs as successfully executed when at least 3 of the 4
quadrants are operational and work within specifications.
We summarise some important requirements for OB preparation below that must be taken into
account during Phase 1.
35
6.6.1
VIMOS Observation Requirements: IMG
Offsets greater than 3000 are not allowed during OB execution as they often cause the loss of the
guide star, resulting in large operational overheads. If an offset pattern with a greater amplitude is
needed, users should use separate OBs at each offset position. The increased overhead time due to
this feature must be accounted for when estimating the total time needed for VIMOS imaging runs.
In IMG mode, filter exchanges are allowed within an OB. Overheads for filter exchanges need to be
included using the estimate given in Table 16.
6.6.2
VIMOS observation requirements: MOS and pre-imaging
MOS observations are performed with machine-cut masks that have to be prepared well in advance.
ESO provides a software package (vmmps) for slit definition and positioning for Phase 2 preparation
(equivalent to FIMS for the FORS2 instrument). The user can define rectangular slits of width wider
than 0.600 and length up to 3000 . Inclined slits can be defined.
The change of CCDs that took place during P85 (June-July 2010) invalidated all pre-imaging data
taken before August 1, 2010.
Pre-imaging is recommended for subsequent spectroscopic (MOS) follow-ups, even when targets
come from a pre-defined catalogue, and must be carried out with the R filter. Pre-imaging is done
in Service Mode (this also applies for MOS Visitor runs); separate runs must be requested for
pre-imaging in the Phase 1 proposal and associated overheads have to be taken into account
by the users. Pre-imaging runs are carried out typically two months in advance of the spectroscopic
follow-up. Masks need to be prepared as soon as possible after the pre-imaging has been completed
and submitted according to Phase 2 procedures.
The observations taken as part of a pure imaging run (without the pre-imaging flag set) cannot
be used for the subsequent mask preparation due to the lack of the controlled mask-to-ccd transformation keywords in the headers. Even in the case when imaging data have been obtained with
VIMOS, if the user wishes to use a VIMOS image to design the mask then a short pre-imaging run
is mandatory.
Starting from Period 90 we are offering a Pre-Image-Less MOS mode, PILMOS, that can be used for
mask preparation when the user has a pre-defined catalogue of targets with good quality astrometry
(relative positioning accuracy better than ±0.00 2). See manual for details.
VIMOS is not equipped with an Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector. In order to minimise slit losses,
MOS observations and their pre-imaging are taken at a pre-defined position angles on sky, with
slits oriented either N-S or E-W. For N-S orientation the observations are executed within 2 h of the
meridian. If target declination is −45◦ < δ < −5◦ , slits can be oriented E-W and the observations
will be executed within 3 h of the meridian. Special requirements for different field orientations
should be clearly stated in the proposals.
Due to the recently commisioned automatic flexure compensation system (AFC) attached arcs and
flats are no longer mandatory in MOS mode. Nevertheless, we recommend that users still attach
3 flats and 1 arc if they want the maximum wavelength precision and flat fielding accuracy in any
of the high resolution grism. This is specially true for the new VPH HR blue grism, because the
number of sky and arc lines is rather limited in the blue. The corresponding overheads need to be
taken into account at Phase 1 and can be estimated using Table 16.
In MOS mode only one filter+grism combination per OB is permitted (the only filter exchange
allowed is the one between acquisition and science template). Users who want to observe the same
targets with different filter+grism combinations are requested to submit separate OBs for different
filter+grism combinations and to consider the respective overheads.
6.6.3
MOS Observations in Visitor Mode
Because MOS observations should be carried out within 2 h of the meridian, targets must be uniformly distributed in RA for the night(s) of the Visitor Mode observations. If this is not possible
36
users should apply for Service Mode observations. A maximum number of 7 visitor masks (per
quadrant) will be made available each night, with only (3 masks) per quadrant for half-night runs.
Users should submit OBs for mask preparation well before their observing run, so that masks can
be manufactured before they arrive. Visitor Mode (VM) observers who wish to use VIMOS in MOS
mode are required to submit part of their OBs at least 3 weeks before the first night of the VM run.
Exceptionally, limited additional support is guaranteed for mask preparation on the mountain, up
to 3 sets of masks per night, to be prepared at least 48 h in advance.
6.6.4
VIMOS Observation Requirements in IFU Mode
In IFU mode instrumental flexures introduce flatfield residuals and wavelength calibration offsets
if the calibration data and the science data are taken at very different rotator angles. In order
to minimise these effects attached night-time arcs and screen flats are mandatory in IFU mode for
all settings. The corresponding overheads need to be taken into account at Phase 1 and can be
estimated using Table 16.
Only one filter+grism combination per OB is permitted in IFU mode. Users who want to observe
the same targets with different filter+grism combinations are requested to submit separate OBs for
different filter+grism combinations and to consider the respective overheads.
6.7
VISIR, VLT Imager and Spectrometer for mid Infra Red
VISIR is the mid-infrared imager and spectrometer at the Cassegrain focus of UT3. It operates in
the wavelength ranges 8 − 13 µm and 17 − 24 µm.
Important note: VISIR has undergone a major intervention during Period 89. The upgrade
project included the replacement of the old DRS detector with the new Aquarius arrays. Moreover,
it included an intervention on the low-resolution spectroscopy mode in order to provide complete
N -band coverage in a single shot.
Details are available on the ESO VISIR instrument page. The intervention, recommissioning
and a performance validation phase are planned to be completed at the start of Period 90, after
which VISIR will resume regular operations.
6.7.1
Imaging Modes
In Period 91 the imager with a 1024×1024 detector array is offered with image scales of 0.00 045/pixel
(SF) and 0.00 0762/pixel (IF). The filters available are: PAH1, ArIII, SIV 1, SIV, SIV 2, PAH2, SiC,
PAH2 2, NeII 1, NeII, NeII 2, Q1, Q2, Q3, B8.7, B9.7, B10.7, B11.7, B12.4, J7.9, J8.9, J9.8 and
J12.2.
The offered sensitivities correspond to the old detector. They range between about 4 and 20 mJy
10σ/1 h in the N band and between about 50 and 150 mJy 10σ/1 h in the Q band, depending on
the selected filter and image scale.
The Burst read out mode is offered in Visitor mode only for the imager. It allows one to save
every single DIT of the observation providing a time resolution of few tens milliseconds, depending
on the instrument setup.
Please refer to the VISIR Web pages for further details.
6.7.2
Spectroscopy Modes
The spectrometer is offered for N and Q band spectroscopy in the following modes:
• Low resolution (LR) mode with a resolution of R ≈ 225 for a 0.00 4 slit width in one setting that
covers the full N band, with sensitivity about 50 mJy 10σ/1 h.
37
• Medium Resolution (MR) mode with a resolution of up to R ≈ 3600 in the N band for the
wavelength ranges of 7.4 − 9.4 µm and 10.2 − 13.0 µm , and with a resolution of R ≈ 1800 in
the Q band for the wavelength ranges of 17.1 − 19.0 µm and 19.9 − 20.3 µm . Sensitivities are
between about 200 and 2000 mJy 10σ/1 h, depending on the spectral range.
• High resolution (HR) mode with a resolution of R ≈ 15000 − 30000 at wavelengths near the
[H2 S4], [NeII], [H2 S1] lines in longslit mode, and a wider range of wavelengths including the
[H2 S3], [H2 S2], [ARIII], [SIV], [CoII], [ClIV], [NeII], [CoIII], [CoI], [PIII], [FeII], [NiII], [SIII],
[NaIV], HD(0,0) R(9),R(10) lines in cross-dispersed mode. Sensitivities are between about
2 000 and 10 000 mJy 10σ/1 h, depending on the spectral range and mode.
The VISIR spectrometer observing modes have the following restrictions:
• Acquisition is possible with the spectro-imager for targets brighter than 50 mJy using the
[ArIII] or [NeII]
filter. Please contact usd-help@eso.org for fainter targets.
• Absorption line spectroscopy is untested and flatfielding problems may be anticipated.
The slits cover a range of 0.00 4 – 1.00 0 in width and 4000 in length. The image scale in the spatial
direction is 0.00 0762/pixel. Please refer to the VISIR Web pages for further details. Note that
sensitivity limits in the MIR vary strongly with wavelength due to the atmosphere.
6.7.3
Calibrations
In imaging, one photometric standard star observation will be provided per science target with no
cost for the user. In low-resolution spectroscopy, the Observatory will provide spectrophotometric
observations of a telluric standard star. Such a calibration measurement will be performed at least
once per night, per instrument configuration. The Observatory does not provide standard star
calibrations for VISIR medium- and high-resolution spectroscopy. If MR, HR or any additional
standard star observations are required, the user has to supply his/her own calibration OBs using
the corresponding calibration templates. The observing time needed to execute this calibration is
charged to the programme.
6.7.4
Exposure Time Calculator
The users are requested to use the ETC (http://www.eso.org/observing/etc) in order to test
the feasibility of their programme and estimate the corresponding execution time. The corresponding
observing overheads are given in Table 16. For more details please consult the VISIR User Manual
available at http://www.eso.org/instruments/visir/doc/.
6.8
HAWK-I, High Acuity Wide-field K-band Imager
HAWK-I is a near-infrared (0.85–2.5 µm) wide-field imager installed at the Nasmyth A focus of UT4.
The instrument is cryogenic (120 K, detectors at 75 K) and has a fully reflective design. The light
passes four mirrors and two filter wheels before hitting a mosaic of four Hawaii 2RG 2048×2048
pixels detectors. The final f-ratio is f/4.36 (100 on the sky corresponds to 169.4 µm on the detector).
As of Period 83, proposers can request the Rapid Response Mode (RRM) to trigger HAWK-I
observations. For details on RRM policies, please see Section 11.3.1.
Important note: Due to possible future changes, Large Programmes using HAWK-I will not be
accepted in Period 91.
Online information on HAWK-I can be found via the instrument web page.
38
6.8.1
Filters and field of view
HAWK-I is offered with 10 observing filters placed in two filter wheels: 4 broad-band filters Y, J,
H, Ks (with transmission curves identical to the VIRCAM filters), as well as 6 narrow-band filters
(Brγ, CH4, H2 and three cosmological filters at 0.984 1.061, and 2.090 µm).
In particular, please note that the filter at 1.187 µm has been removed to make space to a new filter,
at 0.984 µm since August 2012.
The field of view of HAWK-I on the sky is 7.50 ×7.50 , covered by the mosaic of the four Hawaii2RG chips. The four detectors are separated by a cross-shaped gap of ∼ 1500 . The pixel scale is
0.106400 /pix with negligible distortions (< 0.3%) across the field of view. The image quality is seeing
limited down to at least 0.400 seeing (i.e. 0.300 measured in K).
15”
217”
7.5’
Figure 7: Sketch of the HAWK-I field of view.
6.8.2
Observing modes
HAWK-I is a wide-field imager and the standard observing mode is imaging.
In Period 91, the Fast Photometry (FastPhot) mode is only offered in Visitor Mode. However, in
the case of lunar occultations only disappearances can be supported in Service Mode. In the case
of observing appearances, Visitor Mode must be requested. For more details about the FastPhot
Mode, please refer to the HAWK-I User Manual.
6.8.3
Brightness limit and persistence
The HAWK-I detectors show a persistence effect if the observed sources are heavily saturated, which
affects subsequent observations of faint sources. In general, the maximum intensity per DIT allowed
for Service Mode observations correspond to 5 time the saturation level. Observations of fields
containing objects brighter than Ks=8.1 mag, H=9.1 mag or J=8.8 mag should be carried out in
Visitor Mode. When using Fast Photometry these limits can be broken under bad (recommended)
seeing conditions and if noAO (BadAO) is used. The magnitude of the brightest source in the field
must be explicitly written in the proposal.
6.8.4
Limiting magnitudes
Typical limiting magnitudes of HAWK-I (S/N of 5 on a point source, 3600 s integration on source)
under average conditions (0.800 seeing, 1.2 airmass) are given in Table 8.
The read-out noise is around 5 e− for DIT > 15 s, while the dark current of the instrument is around
2 e− /pix/s.
The exposure time calculator should be used for detailed exposure time calculations, in particular for narrow-band filters,
Fast photometry will be offered in Period 91 only in Visitor mode.
39
Table 8: HAWK-I limiting magnitude examples
Filter
J
H
Ks
6.9
Limiting mag
[Vega]
23.9
22.5
22.3
Limiting mag
[AB]
24.8
23.9
24.2
NACO (NAOS+CONICA)
NACO provides adaptive optics-assisted imaging, polarimetry, spectroscopy, and coronagraphy in
the 1–5 µm range and is installed at the Nasmyth B focus of UT4.
Important note: Large Programme proposals using NACO will not be accepted in Period 91 due
to the planned installation of MUSE in the course of 2013.
Details of the instrument, tools and observing modes can be found through the NACO Web page.
6.9.1
Adaptive optics correction with Natural and Laser Guide Stars
NAOS, the adaptive optics front-end, has been designed to work with Natural Guide Stars (NGS)
and moderately extended objects. It is equipped with one infrared and one visual wavefront sensor.
For a point-like reference source with a visual brightness of V=12, NAOS can provide Strehl ratios
as high as 50% (on axis) in the K band in optimal weather conditions. A more realistic value is 40%
in good conditions. It can provide partial correction for targets as faint as V=17. Users should use
the preparation software and the NACO ETC for the preparation of their proposals.
NAOS can also be used with the LGS (LGS mode, see Section 4.2.3 for additional details). Two
modes are possible:
• with a tip-tilt star (TTS), of V magnitude in the range 12–18 and with a maximum angular
separation of 5500 from the science target. However, the performance of the adaptive optics
correction decreases with increasing angular separation from the science targets. Finally, the
choice of the TTS imposes some constraints on the field orientation. The name of the TTS
must be specified in the target list of the Phase 1 proposal using the ESOFORM proposal
template;
• without a tip-tilt star, also called seeing enhancer mode. The name of the TTS must be left
blank in the target list of the Phase 1 proposal.
It is compulsory to provide the magnitude of the star and the bandpass in which the magnitude is
given for both NGS and LGS with TTS. Observations in LGS mode require either clear (CLR) or
photometric (PHO) conditions: the transparency constraint must be set accordingly in the proposal.
In addition, LGS without TTS (seeing enhancer mode) must require seeing conditions better than
0.800 . Separate runs should be specified in the proposal form for observations using a NGS, on the
one hand, and for LGS observations, on the other hand.
The LGS mode of NACO is offered in Service and Visitor Mode.
Note that PARSEC, the laser currently used by the Laser Guide Star Facility will be decommissioned during Period 90. It will be replaced by a prototype of the laser used by the coming AOF.
Its commissioning is expected to be completed before the start of Period 91.
6.9.2
Offered modes
CONICA is the imager and spectrograph which is fed by NAOS. CONICA offers a large range of
modes, filters, grisms and masks. Only the main characteristics of each mode are described here.
Details can be found in the NACO Users’ Manual.
40
For low Strehl ratios (a few percent or less), users should carefully weigh the advantages of using
NACO over other IR instruments such as HAWK-I, which generally have larger fields of view, lower
backgrounds and higher throughputs.
A summary of the offered modes is given in Table 9.
Table 9: NaCo modes in Period 91
Imaging
Imaging + cube
noAO (Open loop Imaging + cube)
SDI+
Lyot Coronagraphy
SM
SM
SM
SM
SM
and
and
and
and
and
VM
VM
VM
VM
VM
Phase-Mask Coronagraphy (4QPM)
SM and VM
APP Coronography
SAM
SAM+Pol
Polarimetry
Polarimetry+cube
Grism Spectroscopy
Grism Spectroscopy + APP
SM and VM
VM
VM
SM and VM
SM and VM
SM and VM
VM
Prism Spectroscopy
LGS
LGS/SE
Pupil Tracking
VM
SM and VM
SM and VM
SM and VM
All filters except Mp
Limited setups
Limited setups
Replaces SDI
C 0.7, C 1.4 (all cameras),
C 0.7 sep 10 (not S13 camera),
field and pupil tracking
Optimized for H and K
field and pupil tracking
Simple Imaging, L0 and NB 4.05 only
Includes pupil tracking and cube mode
SAM with Woll 00
Woll 00, retarder plate only
Woll 00, retarder plate only
All modes except pupil tracking
All modes except pupil tracking,
no pipeline support
Limited setups
See Section 4.2.3
See Section 4.2.3
Simple Imaging, SDI+, APP,
Lyot and Phase Masks (4QPM)
Visitor Mode must be requested for programmes requiring special calibrations, i.e. calibrations not
defined in the NACO Calibration Plan (see Section 6.9.3).
SM proposals require a detailed justification for the need for SM and will be considered on a caseby-case basis as part of the technical feasibility evaluation of the Observatory. See Section 6.9.3 for
details.
Imaging, Polarimetric and Coronagraphic Modes Imaging, polarimetry and coronagraphy
can be done with a variety of filters, pixel scales and fields of view (Table 10).
Table 10: NACO pixel scales and fields of view
Wavelength range
SW filters2
SW filters
SW filters
NB 4.05,NB 3.74
NB 4.05,NB 3.74, L0
Scale (mas/pix)1
54.3
27.0
13.3
54.7
27.1
FOV (arcsec)
56×56
28×28
14×14
56×56
28×28
[1] For reference: the diffraction limited FWHM of a point source imaged with an 8m telescope are J(32 mas),
H(42 mas), Ks(56 mas), L0 (98 mas), and M0 (123 mas).
[2] Short Wavelength (SW) filters refer to filters with wavelengths shorter than 2.5 µm.
Polarimetry observations are carried-out using the retarder plate and the Wollaston 00. J-band
polarimetry observations are not possible because of the location of the J filter in the same wheel
as the Wollaston.
Coronagraphy can be performed with a portfolio of focal-plane masks. NACO indeed offers a choice
41
of occulting Lyot-type masks of 0.700 and 1.400 in diameter, as well as a semi-transparent mask of
0.700 diameter, with a transmission of 0.4% (0.3%) for H-band (Ks-band). NACO also offers a series
of phase-mask coronagraphs in both Service and Visitor modes: one “four quadrant phase masks”
(4QPM) is optimised to work at K band (4QPM K) and offers a 1300 × 1300 FOV, while another one
(4QPM H) is optimised for H band observation and has an 800 × 800 FOV. Owing to the fix of the
drift of the PSF in pupil tracking mode, all focal-plane coronagraphs (Lyot and 4QPM) has been
offered in SM both in field and pupil tracking modes since Period 90.
Since P86, the pupil-plane apodizing phase plate (APP) is available on NACO in the 3-5 µm domain.
As it is operationally equivalent to direct imaging without mask, APP imaging is offered in SM and
VM. As explained by Figure 5-18 of the NACO Users’ Manual (Section 4.6.11), the useful field
of view (FoV) with the L27 camera is about 2800 in X but only 800 in Y. This limited FoV must
be taken into account in choosing the offset pattern. Observations in cube mode with a window of
512×514 pixels further reduce the useful FoV to to ∼ 1400 × 2.500 .
Since P87 APP enhanced (grism) spectroscopy is offered but only in VM and for the setups detailed
in Section 5.5.2 of the NACO Users’ Manual.
The approximate limiting magnitudes for imaging are listed in Table 11.
pend on many factors such as the readout mode, the NAOS dichroic, etc.
the preparation software and the ETC for detailed calculations.
These limits deUsers should use
Table 11: NACO magnitude limits with the NAOS visual dichroic
Band
FWHM [mas]
Sky Background [mag]
Limiting Magnitude[2]
J
32
16.0
24.05
H
42
14.0
24.05
Ks
56
13.0[1]
23.35
L0
98
3.0
18.55
[1] With the NAOS N90C10 dichroic, the background for Ks is 11.0 mag per square arc second.
[2] 5 sigma in 1 hour using a V=11.5 mag reference 1000 away from the source with a visible seeing of 0.800 . Please
note that these limits are valid for point sources and have been computed over apertures with a radius of 1.25
times the values listed in the first row. For NB filters, subtract 2 to 3 magnitudes; for spectroscopy, subtract 4 to 5
magnitudes.
For L0 -band imaging without chopping, observations are done only with the AutoJitter template to
ensure proper sky subtraction.
Observations leading to saturation of an object in the field-of-view produce remanence and
electronic ghosts. As a consequence, observational constraints listed in Section 6.14 of the
NACO Users’ Manual must be respected. In particular, the diameters of the saturated area
for each bright target must be provided in the Phase 1 proposal. Observations leading to a
saturated area whose diameter exceeds 4 pixels must be clearly identified in the technical justification in the Phase 1 proposal. They must usually be carried out in visitor
mode; in special cases, they can be executed in service mode pending the approval of
a waiver during the Phase 2 preparation.
Simultaneous Differential Imager (SDI+) High contrast imaging can be carried out using
the simultaneous differential imager (SDI+). Contrasts of 30,000 can be obtained at 0.00 5 in 40 min at
S/N of 6 between a bright (H< 7 mag) primary star and a methane rich (Teff < 1000 K) companion.
The pixel scale of this mode is 17.25 mas/pixel and the FOV is ≈ 800 ×800 . For more information,
consult the NACO web pages.
Spectroscopic Modes Grism spectroscopy can be carried out using two slit widths (86 mas and
172 mas). The slits are 4000 long (restricted to 2800 for the S/L27 cameras).
Prism spectroscopy is only offered in VM for a limited number of setups and without any pipeline
support.
42
Slitless spectroscopy has been decommissioned.
APP enhanced grism spectroscopy is available in visitor mode only and for limited setups since P87
(see above).
6.9.3
NACO Calibration plan and special calibrations
The NACO calibration plan does not support all combinations of detector readout mode and
instrument setup. Observations requiring special calibrations must be carried out in VM.
In exceptional cases, SM observations that require special calibrations will be considered and only
if the following informations are provided in the proposal:
• A comprehensive justification of the need for SM observations as opposed to VM;
• A detailed description of the calibration strategy and needs (box 9.C of the proposal templates);
• Instrument setup(s) compatible with the special calibrations needs, by uncommenting the
provided lines (box 14 of the proposal templates).
6.10
SINFONI, Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observations in the
Near-Infrared
SINFONI is a near-infrared (1–2.5 µm) integral field spectrograph fed by an adaptive optics (AO)
module. It is currently installed at the Cassegrain focus of UT4.
The spectrograph operates with 4 gratings (J, H, K, H+K) with spectral resolutions of 2000, 3000
and 4000, corresponding to the J, H and K gratings respectively, and R∼1500 with the H+K grating.
Each wavelength band fits fully onto the Hawaii 2RG (2k×2k) detector. The SINFONI field of view
on the sky is sliced into 32 slices. The pre-slit optics allows one to choose the width of the slices. The
choices are 250 mas, 100 mas and 25 mas, leading to fields-of-view of 800 ×800 , 300 ×300 , and 0.800 ×0.800 ,
respectively. Each one of the 32 slitlets is imaged onto 64 pixels of the detector. Thus, one obtains
32 × 64 = 2048 spectra of the imaged region of the sky.
The adaptive optics module of SINFONI can be used with natural guide stars (NGS), the laser
guide star (LGS), or without guide stars (the noAO mode), in which case the AO module just acts
as relay optics and the spatial resolution is dictated by the natural seeing. If more than one of these
modes are used in a given programme, they should be requested as part of different runs.
PARSEC, the laser currently used by the Laser Guide Star Facility will be decommissioned
during Period 90 It will be replaced by a prototype of the laser used by the coming AOF. Its
commissioning is expected to be completed before the start of Period 91.
Important notes:
• In order to allow for the installation of the Deformable Secondary Mirror, UT4 will not be
available during part of Period 92. Large Programmes using SINFONI should take this limited
availability of SINFONI into account.
• The Laser Guide Star Facility is expected to be decommissioned during Period 92 to allow
for the installation of the Deformable Secondary Mirror on UT4, part of the Adaptive Optics
Facility. All programmes requiring its use should therefore be completed by then.
In the NGS mode, the star should be brighter than R ∼ 11 mag for peak performance. However,
the AO can work (and will provide moderate image quality improvement) with stars as faint as
R ∼ 17 mag in excellent seeing conditions. The NGS should be as close as possible to the scientific
target (if not the science target itself), and usually closer than 1000 . The NGS can be chosen to
be as far as 3000 away from the science target (or as far as 6000 but with some constraints on the
field orientation), and, depending on atmospheric conditions, the AO system can still provide a mild
43
improvement in the encircled energy. The name of the NGS must be specified in the target list of
the Phase 1 proposal using the ESOFORM proposal template.
The LGS mode (see Section 4.2.3 for additional details) can be used with or without a tip-tilt star.
In Period 91 the LGS mode of SINFONI is offered in Service and Visitor Mode.
If a tip-tilt star (TTS) is used, it should be in the R magnitude range 12–18 and can be as far away
as 6000 from the science target. However, performance decreases with increasing distance, and there
are some constraints on the field orientation. The name of the TTS must be specified in the target
list of the Phase 1 proposal using the ESOFORM proposal template.
The LGS mode without a tip-tilt star (the so-called seeing-enhancer mode) is also offered. Users
requesting this mode must specify CLR or better for the transparency, and a seeing better than
0.800 in their Phase 1 application. In the target list of the Phase 1 proposal using the ESOFORM
proposal template, the TTS name should be left blank. Since Period 87, users of this mode requiring
observation of a PSF calibrator associated with a science target must make use of the template
’SINFONI ifs cal GenericOffset’, that allows one to take the PSF calibrations data within the same
OB as the science data (please see the SINFONI User Manual for details). For the observation
of the PSF calibrator sufficient time must be requested in the proposal.
The fast acquisition template must be used only in case of acquisition of bright targets, which
would saturate the detector in closed loop with the large scale. Excellent astrometry is required for
this acquisition mode.
As of Period 87, proposers can request the Rapid Response Mode (RRM) to trigger SINFONI
observations. This mode is offered with the NGS and noAO modes of SINFONI. For details on
RRM policies, please see Section 11.3.1.
Pre-Imaging runs can also be proposed with SINFONI. Such observations are typically dedicated to
test the feasibility of a specific science programme (e.g. faint target, difficult acquisition).
Further details can be found on the SINFONI instrument web pages.
6.10.1
Instrument Performance
Table 12 gives the limiting magnitudes (S/N of 5) for continuum sources integrated over the typical
size of the point-spread function in one hour of integration time.
Table 12: SINFONI fields of view and limiting magnitudes
Field of View
800 × 800
300 × 300
0.800 × 0.800
Spatial Scale
125 × 250 mas
50 × 100 mas
12.5 × 25 mas
Mode
noAO
NGS
NGS
Limiting Magnitudes (continuum)
J=20.2, H=19.9, K=17.9, H+K=19.6
J=19.4, H=19.6, K=18.8, H+K=19.8
J=17.8, H=18.7, K=18.3, H+K=19.2
These values were calculated for a visual seeing of 0.800 which would provide infrared seeing values
of 0.6700 , 0.6300 , 0.5900 and 0.6100 at the central wavelength of the J, H, K and H+K gratings,
respectively. For the closed loop adaptive optics observations with natural guide stars (NGS) we
have assumed a guide star at a distance of 1000 with a photometric brightness of R = 12 and B−R =
1.5 magnitudes. We encourage the use of the exposure time calculator for more detailed estimates
(http://www.eso.org/observing/etc).
6.10.2
Brightness Limits
To avoid saturation of the detector and detector persistence, which affects subsequent observations
of faint sources, no objects with J, H, K magnitudes < 6 mag must be visible in a field of view of
1500 around the AO guide star and/or the science target. However, if fast acquisition is used,
the limits are brighter by 1 and 2 magnitudes for 0.00 1/pix and 0.00 025/pix respectively.
To exclude any risk of artefacts produced by detector persistence, in all templates DITs must
always be selected such that intensities are at most 8 000 for K, 7 000 for H and H+K and 6 000 for
44
J ADUs/DIT over the entire spectrum.
6.10.3
Sky Subtraction
The user should note that sky offset fields are mandatory for observations in the 25 and 100 mas
scales. The corresponding overheads have to be taken into account when estimating the required
time for an observing run. Typically, 50% (or 33%) of the observing time is spent on sky if NDITSky
= NDITTarget (or NDITSky = 1/2 NDITTarget ).
6.10.4
Calibrations
Observations of telluric standard stars at an airmass within ±0.1 of the science observation will be
offered as part of the SINFONI calibration plan for all modes available (i.e. for all combinations of
image scales and gratings). Darks, internal flat-fields, and wavelength calibrations are also part of
the SINFONI calibration plan and are taken during daytime. Time to obtain special calibrations,
such as observations of PSF reference stars, must be requested in the proposal.
6.10.5
Modes that are not offered
Observations with the sky spider and spectral dithering are not offered in Period 91.
6.11
MIDI, MID-infrared Interferometric instrument
MIDI is the VLTI instrument for N-band (8 − 13 µm) interferometry. It is a two-beam recombiner
giving values of moduli of fringe visibility (samples in the (u,v) plane) depending on the wavelength
(spectral resolution: R = 30 or R = 230). MIDI is offered in both Service and Visitor Modes and
can be used with either the UTs or the ATs. For a list of the offered telescope configurations, please
refer to the VLTI baseline page.
Important note: Given the arrival of the second generation VLTI instruments, ESO cannot
guarantee the availability of MIDI beyond Period 91. Proposals for Large Programme using MIDI
beyond Period 91 will not be accepted.
Since Period 88 a correlated flux mode has been offered. In the MIDI fringe exposures the background can be subtracted without residuals because it is fully uncorrelated. This is not possible for
the photometry, and for this reason good fringe data can be obtained for fainter magnitudes than
good photometry data. The correlated flux mode is suited for observations for which visibilities are
not needed, i.e. when it is intended to compare them to correlated flux observations of the same
object at other projected baselines.
Starting from Period 91 the Fringe Sensor Unit FSU-A can be used as an external K-band fringetracker for MIDI. The fringe-tracker is only offered on-axis, i.e. fringe tracking on the science target
itself. There are two immediate advantages in using the FSU-A with MIDI. A sensitivity gain
during the observations themselves because of the OPD correction applied, which is more precise
than the standard MIDI self-coherencing. As a consequence the fringes are stable on the detector.
An advantage in the reduction and calibration process of the MIDI data where the measurements
of K-band group and phase delay constitute valuable information. Users can only benefit optimally
from this new mode if they are expert in MIDI data processing. For K = 7.5 and for seeing 0.00 6,
MIDI with FSU-A reaches a sensitivity with the ATs comparable to that reached by stand-alone
MIDI observations with the UTs. Thus, fainter objects can now profit from the extended uv-coverage
provided by the AT array. Note:, because of the faintness of the sources targeted in this mode, the
MIDI photometry exposures will be worthless and are therefore not taken. The mode thus allows
only to get information on the morphology of a target via an extended uv-coverage, but not on its
absolute angular size, like in correlated flux mode.
The MIDI + FSU-A mode is offered in VM only and the data produced is not supported by the
ESO pipeline. The execution time is expected to be conservatively 50% longer than normal OBs.
45
Table 13: MIDI limiting uncorrelated flux (LUF).
Telescopes
UTs
UTs
UTs
UTs
UTs
ATs
ATs
ATs
ATs
Beam combiner
CORR FLUX
HIGH SENS
HIGH SENS
SCI PHOT
SCI PHOT
HIGH SENS
HIGH SENS
SCI PHOT
SCI PHOT
Spectrograph
PRISM
PRISM
GRISM
PRISM
GRISM
PRISM
GRISM
PRISM
GRISM
Limit (N mag)
5.7
4
2.8
3.2
2
0.74
0.31
0.0
-0.44
Limit (Jy@12µm)
0.2
1
3
2
6
20
30
40
60
The main features of MIDI for Period 91 are:
• Interference fringes recorded in “dispersed-Fourier” mode (long slow scan with coherencing at
1-Hz rate).
• Spectrograph optics: either NaCl PRISM mode (R = 30), or KRS5 GRISM mode (R = 230).
In correlated flux mode the PRISM is used.
• Beam combiner optics: either “HIGH SENS” (no simultaneous photometric measurement of
beams before combination), or “SCI PHOT” (simultaneous photometric measurement). In
correlated flux mode the HIGH SENS optics is used.
• Limiting uncorrelated magnitudes are given in Table 13.
• For MIDI, the correlated flux is defined by the uncorrelated flux (in Jy@12µm) multiplied
by the estimated visibility. Except for the correlated flux mode, where the MIDI limiting
correlated flux (LCF) limit is equal to the MIDI limiting uncorrelated flux (LUF) limit, the
LCF can be obtained for each mode from the LUF of this mode using: LCF= 0.5 × LUF (see
Table 13).
• Various spectral filters for acquisition images.
Details on MIDI and its instrumental modes can be found on the MIDI web page.
The raw accuracy of the visibility measurements is typically better than 20%. The highest accuracy
for calibrated visibilities can be obtained in SCI PHOT mode, provided target and calibrator are
both brighter than 15Jy for UTs and 200Jy for ATs. The visibility of the Science source is absolutely calibrated by observing a Calibration Source. Two calibration modes are offered: ScienceCalibration (SCI-CAL) for normal accuracy requirements, or Calibration-Science-Calibration (CALSCI-CAL) for high accuracy requirements.
For the correlated flux mode, a CAL-SCI-CAL sequence is mandatory with the additional restriction
that the same calibrator star should be used before and after the science target observations. Since
correlated fluxes are not normalized like visibilities, they must be compared to other correlated
fluxes of the same object taken at different baseline vectors in order to infer the source geometry.
A single correlated flux measurement is not useful. As correlated flux measurements are obtained
in Visitor Mode, source photometry is taken at the user’s discretion. ESO does not guarantee this
photometry to be useful, in particular for visibility calibration.
A proposal can consist of different observations of the same target with different baselines and/or
hour angles in which case the observing time to be requested is simply computed as the number of
required time-slots multiplied by the duration of one slot as given in Table 16. Time-constrained
observations (e.g. variable objects) can be requested.
46
6.12
AMBER, Astronomical Multi-BEam combineR
AMBER is a near-infrared, multi-beam interferometric instrument, combining up to 3 telescopes
simultaneously. In Period 91, AMBER can be used with UTs or ATs. For specifications of the UT
and AT performances see Section 4.2.2 and Section 4.2.4. All possible triplets of UTs are available,
and a number of selected AT combinations. For the telescope positions and baseline lengths of the
different AT and UT baselines, please refer to the VLTI baseline page.
Because of the limited availability of UTs for AMBER, any scientific programme on the UTs should
be designed so that scientifically meaningful results can be achieved in a single night.
Important note: In addition, in order to allow for the installation of the Deformable Secondary
Mirror, UT4 will not be available during part of Period 92. Large Programmes using UT4 with
AMBER should take this limited availability of UT4 into account.
6.12.1
Spectral Modes and Coverage
The following spectral modes are offered: the Low Resolution H+K bands (LR-HK), Medium
Resolution K band (MR-K), High Resolution K band (HR-K) and Medium Resolution H Band
(MR-H). For central wavelengths and wavelength coverages for LR-HK, MR-K, MR-H and HR-K
see the AMBER web page.
6.12.2
Integration times, DIT
External fringe tracking with FINITO is available on both the UTs and the ATs. The use of
FINITO allows the entire AMBER detector to be read, maximizing simultaneous spectral coverage.
It also allows the AMBER DITs to be adjusted to yield sufficient signal-to-noise ratio per frame in
the fringes. However, the DIT has to remain small since, even with the help of the fringe tracker,
interferometric fringes get significantly blurred after integrations lasting seconds. Note that medium
and high resolution are only offered with external fringe-tracking as standard setup.
If no fringe tracker is used (i.e. faint and/or extended objects, or airmass too high) the integration times with AMBER will have to be short to minimise the blurring caused by the atmospheric
turbulence. In Low Resolution, without external fringe tracking, the maximum authorized DITs are
set to 100ms on the ATs and 50ms on the UTs. If absolute visibility measurements is the goal, the
shortest authorized DITs are recommended (see Table 2 in the Template manual); if closure-phase
and wavelength differential-mode are the quantities of interest, the maximum recommended DIT
should be used.
As of Period 91 it will be possible (only in visitor mode) to operate AMBER in self-coherencing
mode which significantly improves the quality of data when FINITO cannot be used for fringe
tracking. Check the AMBER Users’ Manual for details.
Special Modes: Special Programmes may require a different combination of modes and DITs.
This is the case when using MR or HR without external fringe-tracking. A shorter DIT strongly
reduces the limiting magnitude. It also reduces the spectral coverage that can be read. Any proposal
requiring a non-standard DIT should carefully detail the justification and the technical feasibility.
It will be scheduled in Visitor Mode.
In Service Mode the AMBER DITs ought to be chosen while preparing the Phase II. The AMBER
template manual, available on the AMBER documentation page, provides the recommended
DITs for all offered configurations.
6.12.3
Limiting magnitudes
AMBER and the VLTI have limitations in magnitude (V-band, H-band and K-band), fringe contrast
(H-band and K-band), airmass and seeing. The details of these limitations can be found on the
47
AMBER web page:, as well as the most updated values on visibility accuracy and closure phase
accuracy.
The limiting magnitudes are estimates on the basis of at least 50% of the frames being successfully
processed by the AMBER pipeline. If a lower yield rate is accepted, an increase of up to 0.5 in the
limiting magnitude can be achieved. In this case, the user should account for additional integration
in the same spectral band (Section 6.12.5) to obtain more frames.
The limiting correlated magnitude depends on the AMBER spectral resolution, the FINITO tracking
mode (No-Tracking, Group-Tracking or Fringe-Tracking), and the seeing conditions. The main
interest of FINITO Group-Tracking at faint magnitudes is to enhance the SNR on the AMBER
closure-phase, but reducing the flux in the H-band.
In order to be observable with FINITO, the target should have:
H magnitude:
Visibility in H:
6.12.4
-2 to 5 (ATs)
> 15% (ATs)
1 to 7 (UTs)
>10% (UTs)
Calibration strategies
AMBER requires frequent calibration on-sky, using calibrator stars. We offer two calibration modes:
“CAL-SCI-CAL” and “CAL-SCI”. The first one is the standard mode which should be used in most
cases, in particular when absolute calibration is required for best accuracy. Absolute calibration is
required in most programmes, but for some programmes wavelength differential quantities provide
the astrophysical information. In that case, “CAL-SCI” (or indifferently “SCI-CAL”) is sufficient.
The choice of on-sky calibration strategy should be specified in the “calibration request” section of
the proposal. The strategy will be reviewed particularly carefully during the technical
feasibility. Proper justification must be provided if “CAL-SCI” is requested instead of
the standard “CAL-SCI-CAL”.
6.12.5
Execution times
For each Observing Block (OB), either SCI or CAL the proposer(s) should consider the following:
• Acquisition requires 10min in HR or MR, 5 minutes in LR, including the spectrograph setup
and the recording of the calibration fringes (so called P2VM). See Table 16 for more details.
• Integration requires 15min. A maximum of 3 integrations is allowed per OB, which could
consist in repeating 3 times the same integration or 3 integrations around 3 different central
wavelengths within the same spectral setup.
Hence a normal “CAL-SCI-CAL” sequence requires 75min in MR or HR and 60min in LR.
When observing targets close to the limiting magnitude in MR or HR, it is recommended to double
or triple the integration, and to focus on wavelength differential quantities. Hence a “SCI-CAL”
sequence with triple integration requires 2×1h=2h.
Using a non-standard DIT (below 200ms in MR and HR, or below 25ms in LR, see Section 6.12.2)
can strongly reduce the spectral coverage available within one integration. To obtain measurements
at different position within the range of the spectrograph setup, the user can use 2 or 3 integrations
with different central wavelengths.
6.13
VIRCAM, VISTA InfraRed CAMera
VISTA (Section 4.2.5) is equipped with the near infrared camera VISTA InfraRed CAMera
(VIRCAM), which covers a 1.65 degree diameter field of view with a loosely packed detector mosaic totalling ≈ 67 million pixels of mean size 0.33900 . The point spread function (PSF) of the
telescope+camera system including pixels is measured to have a FHWM of 0.5100 .
Further information on this instrument can be found on the VISTA web page.
48
6.13.1
Filters
The filter wheel of VIRCAM has eight slots. One is reserved for a blank, and the rest holds the
filters listed in Table 14. ”Visitor” filters can be accommodated by replacing one of the currently
available filters, but the specifics of the cryogenic instrument and the usage of the current filters in
already scheduled surveys makes this difficult. Filter exchanges must be linked to instrument and
telescope maintenances which are is expected to occur about once every two years. Please contact
usd-help@eso.org for further details. As described in Section 13.2, proposers wishing to use their
own filters need prior approval by the observatory.
Table 14: VISTA filters
Filter
Z
Y
J
H
Ks
NB1.18
NB980/NB990
6.13.2
Wavelength
[µm]
0.88
1.02
1.25
1.65
2.15
1.18
0.98/0.99
FWHM
[µm]
0.12
0.10
0.18
0.30
0.30
0.01
0.01
Comment
required by public surveys
required by public surveys
required by public surveys
required by public surveys
required by public surveys
required by public surveys
2 sets of filters in one slot;
require instrument rotation for complete observations
Focal plane geometry
The sixteen 2048 × 2048 pixel IR detectors (Raytheon VIRGO HgCdTe 0.84 − 2.5µm) in the camera
are not buttable and are arranged as shown in Fig. 8. The diagram shows the focal plane as it
would be seen looking directly down the camera body (down the Z-axis which on the telescope
points towards the sky). On the sky (in the default instrument rotator position) +Y corresponds
to N, and +X to West.
Figure 8: VIRCAM focal plane geometry
A single integration of length DIT secs (or a co-added series of these known as an Exposure) produces
a sparsely sampled image of the sky known as a pawprint. The area of sky covered by the pixels
of a pawprint is 0.6 deg2 . Full, almost uniform, sky coverage of a tile of 1.501 deg2 can be achieved
with six pawprints, offset by ±47.5% in y at two respective x-positions offset by 95% of the detector
size. Any sky position of a tile will fall at least on two of these six pawprints.
49
6.13.3
Instrument performance
Table 15 summarizes the instrument performance as established during commissioning. The instrument performance can be further evaluated from the publicly available Science Verification data sets
which are available through the VISTA Science Verification web page.
Table 15: VISTA performance
pixel scale
best image quality achieved
estimated image quality
image distortion
photometric calibration
photometric calibration
astrometric accuracy
sky concentration/illumination
detector
6.13.4
0.3400 /pixel
0.600 including seeing, optics and sampling
Paranal seeing convolved with the instrument PSF of 0.5100
< 15% in the corners
±2% RMS in respect to 2MASS in J, H, Ks
±2% RMS internally
< 0.200 with respect to 2MASS
< 5% absolute, can be corrected down to < 2%
16 Raytheon VIRGO HgCdTe arrays, sensitive over 0.84 to 2.5µm,
high quantum efficiency, large number of hot pixels,
some dead areas on detector 1
VISTA Public Surveys and Open Time Proposals
VISTA will be dedicated for its first five years of operation primarily to the execution of six public
surveys. At least 75% of the observing time will be devoted to them. For details please refer to the
VISTA Public Survey web page.
As of Period 87, a limited amount of observing time is made available to the community. Open time
proposals should clearly justify the scientific goals and why they are not achievable through the
scheduled public survey observations. Only those proposals that have complementary constraints
and coordinate ranges with respect to public survey observations may be scheduled, as the highest
priority is given to advance public surveys on VISTA. Any unallocated time will be returned to the
public surveys. All VISTA observations are carried out in Service Mode.
Users who plan to propose their own “visitor” filter set to be used in their science programme have to
consider that only one free slot is available in the VIRCAM filter wheel for visitor filter and that the
selected filter will be mounted for a minimum of two years corresponding to the planned maintenance
intervals of the instrument. At proposal submission, the proposal PI will have to demonstrate the
availability of the visitor filter set, its compatibility with the instrument requirements, and the basic
performance of the individual filters.
6.13.5
VIRCAM calibration plan
The VIRCAM calibration plan is described in the VIRCAM/VISTA User Manual. It is continuously
refined and improved based on ongoing observations. Future applicants should presume that the
photometric calibration is based on 2MASS stars in the field of view, with an extinction correction
according to Hodgkins et al. (2009, MNRAS 394, 675) in the extrapolated Y and Z bands. Proposers
will have to include the time for additional standards in their proposals.
6.14
OmegaCAM
OmegaCAM is the wide-field imager for the Cassegrain focus of the VLT Survey Telescope (VST).
It is the only instrument on this telescope. All observations are carried out in service mode.
OmegaCAM has started regular scientific observations in Q4/2011.
In the first two years of operation ESO expects to dedicate all of the available observing time on
VST to Public Surveys, Chilean and GTO programmes. Further details of the public surveys are
available at the Public Survey web page.
50
Important note: Only Chilean and GTO programme proposals will be accepted in Period 91
(Sects. 11.4 & 13.1). ESO reserves the right to reject any submitted proposals that do not conform
to these requirements.
In the first semesters of operation there has been a lack of OmegaCAM programs that accept relaxed
observing conditions. ESO therefore especially encourages proposals (GTO/Chilean for THN clouds
or seeing >1.5
∼ .̈ Also the full moon period has typically been undersubscribed for moderate to large
seeing. Possible science cases include proper motion studies, photometric monitoring in single fields,
and generally accumulating photons in pre-calibrated fields.
The VST/OmegaCAM system is designed to critically sample the best seeing at Paranal over a wide
field: the VST provides a 1 degree unvignetted field of view, which OmegaCAM samples with a
32-CCD, 16k x 16k detector mosaic at 0.21 arcsec per pixel. The CCDs are thinned, blue-sensitive,
3-edge buttable CCD44-82 e2v devices of high cosmetic quality. Image quality is specified such that
in the absence of seeing 80% of the energy from a point source should fall within a 2x2 pixel area
over the full field. The field distortion is very low, so that the image scale is virtually constant over
the whole field. There are narrow gaps between the CCDs: the overall geometric filling factor of
the array is 91%.
In addition to the 32 CCDs making up the science array, OmegaCAM also contains four auxiliary
CCDs around the edges of the field. Two of these are used for autoguiding, so that both field
position and rotation can be tracked accurately. The other two auxiliary CCDs are mounted 2mm
outside the focal plane (one in front, one behind), and are used for recording defocused star images
for curvature wavefront sensing and controlling the active optics system of the VST.
OmegaCAM contains a 12-filter exchange mechanism. Currently the available filters include the
Sloan ugriz set, Johnson B and V filters, several narrow-band filter mosaics, a Stromgren v filter,
and a special calibration filter. OmegaCAM data are taken in the context of a calibration plan that
ensures that all data can be photometrically and astrometrically calibrated to 0.05 magnitude and
0.1 arcsec rms precision, respectively.
The image quality distribution measured on OmegaCAM images in g, r, i between August 2011 and
January 2012 is available in the OmegaCAM Web page. These measurements show median IQ
of 0.80-0.8500 in r and i bands, and 0.9500 in g band. The numbers are consistent with an outside
median seeing of 0.800 at 500-600nm, convolved with an internal IQ of ∼0.400 . Users are encouraged
to take these on-detector statistics into account when defining seeing constraints for Phase 1 and 2.
In operations these constraints are always interpreted as IQ on detector, not the outside seeing.
Please see the OmegaCAM page for more details, including Phase I and II manuals.
7
Scientific Instruments: Chajnantor
7.1
SHFI
The APEX Swedish Heterodyne Facility Instrument SHFI contains 4 single pixel receivers:
• APEX-1: a Single Side Band (SSB) Superconductor-Insulator-Superconductor (SIS) receiver
covering 211–275 GHz with SSB receiver temperature Trec around 130 K between 210 and
260 GHz and 180 K between 260 and 270 GHz. APEX-1 covers low frequencies, allowing observations during conditions with PWV>2 mm. Larger proposals for PWV>2 mm conditions
are encouraged.
• APEX-2: a Single Side Band receiver covering 275–370 GHz with SSB receiver temperature
Trec around 135 K. Observations at these frequencies generally require PWV<2 mm conditions.
• APEX-3: a Double Side Band (DSB) SIS receiver covering 385–500 GHz with DSB Trec
around 110 K. Observations in this frequency range require the best quartile of precipitable
water vapour conditions (PWV <0.5 mm). Only a limited amount of observing time will be
available on APEX-3, so proposals should be self-contained and the requested amount of time
should be modest.
51
• APEX-T2: a Double Side Band (DSB) Hot Electron Bolometer (HEB) receiver operating at
1.25-1.39 THz with DSB Trec around 1200 K. APEX-T2 is offered conditional to a succesful
repair mission planned in January 2013. THz observations require excellent weather conditions
(PWV<0.2 mm). APEX-T2 proposals should therefore be very short and concentrate on
bright sources.
Further information on the SHFI receivers can be found on the APEX instrumentation pages.
Since June 2011, SHFI uses two XFFTS units as back-end. These units cover the full 4 GHz
intermediate frequency bandwidth with a fixed overlap region of 1 GHz in the centre. Each XFFTS
unit provides 32768 spectral channels with a fixed separation of 76kHz (0.1km/s).
For exposure time calculations, users should use the SHFI observing time calculator. Note that
the time needed to search for an appropriate off-source position in extended line-emitting regions is
not included. SHFI users wishing to map extended line-emitting regions should either provide an
appropriate off-source position, or request additional observing time in the technical justification
section to search for such a position. The overhead for this amounts to ∼30 min per field.
7.2
LABOCA, the Large APEX Bolometer Camera
LABOCA is a 295 channel bolometer array, operating in the 870 µm atmospheric window, with a
beam size of 19.00 2±0.00 7 and a total field of view of 11.40 .
An overview of the instrument is given on the APEX home page:
www.apex-telescope.org/bolometer/laboca/.
The following observing patterns will be offered:
• Spiral mode;
• Raster map in spiral mode;
• On-The-Fly mapping (OTF).
• Point source photometry mode.
The point source photometry mode consists of single pixel chopping, using a sensitive and stable
pixel near the optical axis (currently pixel 71). As the LABOCA pixels are separated by twice the
beam size, single pixel chopping improves the on-source efficiency from 6.25% in a Nyquist sampled
map to ∼30% in photometry mode. The same RMS can thus be reached 4.8 times faster than
in mapping mode. The recommended wobbler throw and frequency are 5000 and 1 Hz. The recommended nodding time is 30s, but can be adapted to the weather conditions. The data can be reduced
using the Data Reduction Software for Bolometer Arrays. Note that due to remaining instabilities in the atmosphere and the instrument itself, the photometric accuracy obtained from these
wobbler on-off observations is not as accurate as in mapping observations. The required atmospheric
stability usually requires PWV<1mm conditions. There are two important requirements to use the
00
photometry mode: (1) the positions should be known with an accuracy of <1
∼ , and (2) the sources
should not have other emission within the wobbler throw radius.
For mapping, the main advantages of the spiral modes are that (1) the scanned area is only slightly
larger than the LABOCA field of view, leading to a maximum of integrations on the central 110 field
of view, and (2) the overheads by the telescope control system are much smaller, as the spirals use
a continuous data taking mode while there is a “dead” time when the telescope turns at the edges
of the OTF maps. The optimal observing pattern depends on the spatial extent of the source to be
imaged. Recommendations are provided on the APEX home page:
www.apex-telescope.org/bolometer/laboca/observing/.
For integration time calculations, users should assume the following values: Noise Equivalent Flux
Density (NEFD)=120 mJy s1/2 and 230 working bolometers. For point source detection experiments,
one can apply a low frequency sky noise filtering, improving the sensitivity to NEFD∼75 mJy s1/2 .
All proposers should use the LABOCA observing time calculator, available from
www.apex-telescope.org/bolometer/laboca/obscalc/.
52
This tool allows one to calculate the total integration time required to reach a given RMS or the
RMS for a given total integration time. Users should always include the generic 65% overhead
factor provided by the calculator. This 65% overhead includes acquisition, software setup, readout,
telescope slewing and calibrations (skydip, pointing, focus and flux calibration).
7.3
SABOCA, the Submillimetre APEX Bolometer Camera
SABOCA is a bolometer array operating in the atmospheric window at 350 µm (855 GHz). SABOCA
consists of an array of 39 superconducting TES (Transition Edge Sensor) thermistors with SQUID
(Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) amplification and multiplexing. Of these, 37 are
arranged in a hexagonal layout consisting of a centre channel and 3 concentric hexagons. Two additional bolometers, identical to the inner 37 but optically not coupled (called blind bolometers) were
added to the layout at two diametral opposite positions, for monitoring purposes. The bolometers
are designed to be operated at a temperature of about 300 mK, provided by a cryostat using liquid
nitrogen and helium, in combination with a close-cycle helium-3 sorption cooler.
The APEX beam size at this wavelength is 7.700 , and the total field of view for SABOCA is 9000 .
The array is undersampled on the sky; the separation between channels is twice the beam size (1500 ).
To obtain fully sampled maps it is necessary to move the array on the sky during observations by
scanning in one direction and then stepping in the other, or by moving in a circular or spiral pattern
in the telescope or astronomical coordinate system.
The photometry mode can also be used for SABOCA. The implementation is similar to LABOCA,
though a smaller wobbler throw of 2500 is recommended. The required observing time to reach the
same RMS for a point source is a factor of 6.2 shorter compared to the mapping mode. Potential
users of the SABOCA photometry mode should be aware that a very accurate pointing is essential
to use this mode. This generally requires the availability of a bright (S350 µm > 1 Jy) pointing source
within 10◦ of the targets. In addition, very stable conditions with PWV<0.5 mm are required.
During period 91, SABOCA is expected to be available only in July 2013. Exposure time estimates should assume a noise equivalent flux density, NEFD = 200 Jy s1/2 , weather conditions of
PWV=0.5mm, 37 working bolometers and a 90% overhead for slewing, pointing, focus and calibrations. A dedicated SABOCA integration time calculator is available at
http://www.apex-telescope.org/bolometer/saboca/obscalc/.
Note that a first commissioning of the Artemis instrument will occur in March 2013. If the 350 µm
array of Artemis is more performant, accepted SABOCA programmes may be executed with Artemis
instead.
7.4
FLASH heterodyne receiver (MPIfR PI instrument)
The 345 GHz channel of the MPIfR PI instrument FLASH is again offered to the ESO community
on a collaborative basis with MPIfR. Users who would like to use FLASH shall contact the
PI, Dr. Rolf Guesten (rguesten[AT]mpifr-bonn.mpg.de) at least two weeks prior to
submitting the proposal for which they are requesting approval. Members of the PI team
should be included as CoIs on the proposal. The observations will be done by the PI team during
a maximum of 3 days. Large programmes or time critical observations with FLASH will not be
accepted.
FLASH consists of two single pixel sideband-separating receiver covering the 280–370 GHz and 385495 GHz range with typical Trx (SSB)=100–150 K. The receivers are a copy of the ALMA band 7 and
8. The PI XFFTS backends has the same characteristics as the facility XFFTS. Both IF sidebands
are recorded simultaneously, allowing to cover 2×4 GHz, separated by 12 GHz in each band, i.e. 16
GHz in total. Only a limited amount of observing time is available to the ESO community, and
preference will be given to proposals using the dual-beam, wide-bandwidth capabilities of FLASH.
Technical questions on FLASH should be directed to the ESO APEX Project Scientist, Dr. Carlos
De Breuck (cdebreuc[AT]eso.org).
53
7.5
CHAMP+: The Carbon Heterodyne Array of the MPIfR
CHAMP+ is a MPIfR PI instrument which is offered to the ESO community on a collaborative
basis with MPIfR. CHAMP+ is a heterodyne array operating simultaneously in the 350 µm and
450 µm atmospheric windows. It is composed of 14 pixels, divided into two sub-arrays of 7-pixels
each, arranged in a hexagonal configuration. The two sub-arrays operate at orthogonal signal
polarizations. The RF tuning range is 620-720 GHz for the 450 µm and 780-900 GHz for the 350 µm
sub-array.
The beam-spacing is 2.15 times the half-power beam widths of 8.800 (at 692 GHz) and 7.700 (806 GHz),
so only the central pixels of the two sub-arrays are spatially co-aligned on sky. The front-end is
connected to a FFT spectrometer array back-end, providing up to 2.8 GHz of bandwidth for each
detector pixel, with spectral resolution of 212 kHz. The system is operated in single-sideband mode.
For exposure time calculations, users should assume SSB system temperatures of typically 1000–
1400 K (at the frequency of the CO(6-5) line at 691 GHz) and 2500–4000 K (CO(7-6) at 806 GHz,
closer to the edge of the atmospheric window). The image gain suppression is better than 10-15 dB
for all pixels (in the centre of the IF band). All CHAMP+ proposals should add a 20% additional
overhead for instrument characterisation and calibration purposes such as the establishment of a
pointing model and the determination of the gain curves.
Further information on CHAMP+ can be found on the CHAMP+ homepage.
As the operation of CHAMP+ requires the presence of the instrument team, all ESO CHAMP+
observations will be scheduled on fixed dates. The exact dates of operation for Period 91 have not
been determined yet, but they are likely to be in June 2013, when the atmospheric transparency is
expected to be better. Large programmes or time critical observations with CHAMP+ will not be
accepted.
Users who would like to use CHAMP+ should contact the PI, Dr. Rolf Guesten
(rguesten[AT]mpifr-bonn.mpg.de), at least two weeks prior to submitting the proposal
for which they are requesting approval. Members of the PI team that will operate the instrument for the guest proposal shall be included as CoIs on the proposal.
7.6
Z-Spec: The broadband millimeter-wave spectrometer
Z-Spec is a single-beam diffraction-grating spectrograph which disperses the 190–308 GHz band
across a linear array of 160 bolometers. The detector spacing increases from ∼ 1 part in 400 at
the low-frequency end (∆ν = 500 MHz), to ∼ 1 part in 250 at the high-frequency end of the band
(∆ν = 1200 MHz), while the spectrometer resolving power runs from R∼300 at low frequencies
to R∼250 at the high frequency end of the band. Z-Spec observes in a traditional chop-and-nod
mode, with the secondary chopping between 1 and 2 Hz, and a nod period of 20 seconds. The
channel-to-channel calibration uncertainties are estimated to be less than 10% except at the lowest
frequencies, which are degraded by the wing of the 186 GHz atmospheric water line.
The measured sensitivity of Z-Spec at APEX varies from ∼800 mJy s1/2 , or 7.3×10−18 W m−2 sec1/2
per channel at the central frequencies to >1 Jy s1/2 below 210 GHz. In 2 hours, the 3σ sensitivity per
channel is thus 28 mJy. Since Z-Spec does not resolve most emission lines, on average 1.6 channels
are required to measure a line flux. This translates to a minimum detectable line flux (3σ) in 2
hours of 4.4×10−19 W m−2 in the typical 1 GHz Z-Spec channel. Users should add a 20% overhead
factor for bandpass calibrations.
Z-Spec is offered as a PI instrument to the ESO community in Period 91 . The operations will
be grouped in order to save Helium consumption. The observations are expected to occur in April
or May 2013. Time critical observations are therefore very difficult to schedule. There are no
guarantees that Z-Spec will be offered beyond Period 91, and no large programmes will be accepted.
Users who would like to use Z-Spec should contact the instrument team at least two
weeks prior to submitting the proposal for which they are requesting approval. The
following members of the instrument team that will operate Z-Spec for the guest proposal shall
be included as CoIs on the proposal: Dr. James Aguirre (University of Pennsylvania), Dr. Matt
Bradford (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and Dr. Jason Glenn (University of Colorado). Additional
54
CoIs may be requested by the instrument team. For technical questions, users should contact the
ESO APEX Project Scientist, Dr. Carlos De Breuck.
8
Visitor Instruments
Visitor instruments can be mounted at the VLTI, the NTT, the 3.6-m telescope and at APEX in
order to permit innovative observations by teams with their stand-alone instruments or to test new
instrumental concepts for the development of new facility instruments.
No Visitor Instrument focus is available on the VLT due to the installation of KMOS. Given the
arrival of the second generation VLTI instruments, ESO cannot guarantee the availability of a VLTI
Visitor focus beyond Period 91.
The requirements for visitor instruments are substantially reduced compared to the requirements
for fully integrated facility instruments. A set of guidelines on how to propose a visitor instrument
on the VLTI is available at
http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/paranal/instruments/vlti-visitor/.
Technical information on the interface for VLTI Visitor Instruments can be found at
http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/paranal/instruments/vlti-visitor/requirements.html.
Technical information on the interface to the NTT and 3.6-m telescope is found at
http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/lasilla/instruments/visitor/VisitorInstruments.pdf.
9
How to estimate overheads
Service and Visitor Mode observers must include the overhead times associated with their science
target observations in their proposals. For Service Mode observations, the total execution time
requested for every planned Observation Block (OB) must include all overheads, from telescope
presetting and target acquisition to all other relevant instrument overheads. Proposers should note
that all overheads must be accounted for within one hour for each OB (Section 12.2.1). Time for
night-time calibrations and associated overheads must be included only in cases where the accuracy
of the observatory calibration plan is not deemed sufficient for the science goals. Please note that
calibrations need to be executed as part of the science OBs in some instrument modes (e.g. attached
calibrations for all VIMOS IFU and MOS modes; see the VIMOS User Manual for details). The
time needed to execute such attached calibrations must be included in the proposal (Section 10.2).
Table 16 provides typical overheads associated with individual instruments. More details can be
found in the instrument manuals.
Proposers are strongly encouraged to make use of the Phase 2 Preparation Tool (P2PP) during the preparation of their proposals in order to accurately determine the overheads required by
their programmes. It is possible to simulate the detailed breakdown of the programme in terms of
its constituent Observation Blocks (OBs) using the P2PP tutorial accounts: see Section 1.4 of the
P2PP User Manuals available at:
http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/phase2/P2PPTool/P2PPDocumentation.html
for La Silla observations;
for observations with Paranal instruments see
http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/phase2/P2PPSurveys/P2PP3Documentation.html.
The Execution Time Report option offered by P2PP provides an accurate estimate of the time
needed for the execution of each OB including all the necessary overheads. The total execution time
estimated by P2PP reflects the official ESO time accounting in Service Mode.
55
Table 16: Telescope and Instrument Overheads
Hardware item
Action
La Silla telescopes
La Silla telescopes
HARPS
EFOSC2
SOFI
SOFI
FEROS
WFI
WFI
WFI
WFI
WFI
Paranal telescopes
CRIRES
CRIRES
CRIRES
CRIRES
CRIRES
CRIRES
CRIRES
CRIRES
FORS2
FORS2
FORS2
FORS2
FORS2
FORS2
FLAMES
FLAMES
FLAMES
FLAMES
FLAMES
FLAMES
FLAMES
UVES
UVES
UVES
UVES
UVES
UVES
UVES
Preset (point and acquire target)
Preset (NTT with image analysis)
Read-out
Read-out
Imaging
Spectroscopy
Read-out
Move to gap/pixel
Template change (with initial offset ≤ 12000 )
Template change (with initial offset > 12000 )
Filter change
Offset + readout
Preset (UTs)
Acquisition without AO
Acquisition with AO
Read–out
Nodding cycle
Change of wavelength setting
Change of derotator position angle
Attached wavelength calibration
Attached lamp flat
Acquisition (1 cycle w/o exp. time)[2]
Through Slit Image (2 cycles w/o exp. times)[3]
Instrument Setup
Retarder Plate Setup per PMOS/IPOL OB
Read-out 100kHz binned (spectroscopy)
Read-out 200kHz binned (imaging)
Acquisition[4]
Instr. Setup GIRAFFE
Instr. Setup UVES
CCD read-out GIRAFFE
CCD read-out UVES
Screen Flatfields
Plate Configuration[5]
Instrument Setup
Acquisition. Bright Point Source
Acquisition. Faint, Extended or Crowded Field
Read-out[6] , 1 × 1, Fast
Read-out[6] , 2 × 2, Slow
Attached ThAr, Night-time
Attached Flat, Night-time
Time
(minutes)
4
6
1
2
∼30% of total int. time
∼25% of total int. time
2
7
0.5
1
1
1.17
6
3
5
10%–60% exposure time[1]
0.4
1.5 – 2.5 [1]
1
2.5
2
1.5 or 2
4
1
1
0.7
0.5
9
1
1
1
1
7
0–20
1
2
5
0.75
0.75
1.5
2
[1] See CRIRES User Manual for more details.
[2] Typically one cycle for the target acquisition (exposure time of the acquisition image not included). MXU, MOS
and PMOS: 2 min. LSS, IPOL, ECH: 1.5 min (per cycle). IMG none.
[3] Through-slit exposures are mandatory for all spectroscopic OBs. Two cycles are typically enough to centre the
target on the slit (exposure time of the through slit image not included). MXU,MOS,PMOS,LSS,ECH 2.0 min (per
cycle), IMG and IPOL none.
[4] Includes configuration of UVES fibres, homing the rotator to 0◦ , swapping of the plates, and field acquisition.
For ARGUS fast acquisition (Visitor Mode only), the overhead is 2 minutes if plate 2 is attached to the telescope.
[5] Plate configuration takes 20 minutes at most (Medusa fibres). This does not translate into additional overheads if
the running exposure on the other plate is at least 20 minutes long. Plate configuration overheads have to be added
if the exposure time is shorter than 20 minutes.
[6] In a dichroic exposure the CCDs are read out in parallel.
56
Table 16: Telescope and Instruments Overheads (continued)
Hardware item
Action
XSHOOTER
XSHOOTER
XSHOOTER
XSHOOTER
XSHOOTER
XSHOOTER
XSHOOTER
XSHOOTER
XSHOOTER
XSHOOTER
XSHOOTER
VIMOS
VIMOS
VIMOS
VIMOS
VIMOS
VIMOS
VISIR
VISIR
VISIR
VISIR
VISIR
VISIR
VISIR
VISIR
VISIR
HAWK-I
HAWK-I
HAWK-I
HAWK-I
HAWK-I
HAWK-I
HAWK-I
NACO
SINFONI
SINFONI
SINFONI
SINFONI
SINFONI
SINFONI
SINFONI
Target acquisition
Telescope offsetting
Instrument setup Slit
Instrument setup IFU
UVB Read-out[7] , 1 × 1, Slow/Fast
UVB Read-out[7] , 1 × 2, Slow/Fast
UVB Read-out[7] , 2 × 2, Slow/Fast
VIS Read-out[7] , 1 × 1, Slow/Fast
VIS Read-out[7] , 1 × 2, Slow/Fast
VIS Read-out[7] , 2 × 2, Slow/Fast
NIR Read-out (per DIT)
IMG acquisition + Instrument setup
MOS acquisition + Instrument setup
IFU acquisition + Instrument setup
Read-out IMG,MOS,IFU (4 quadrants)
Change of Filter (IMG)
Attached screen flat+arc (IFU, MOS)[8]
Imaging target acquisition (incl. setup):
fine acquisition (> 1 Jy source)
blind preset (<1 Jy source)
Imaging read-out/chopping
Burst read-out/nod-chopping
Spectroscopy target acquisition (incl. setup):
> 1 Jy source
0.2–1 Jy source
Spectroscopy read-out/nod-chopping
Acquisition and Instrument Setup
Acquisition (MoveToPixel) and Instrument Setup
Telescope Offset (large)
Telescope Offset (small)
Read-out (per DIT)
After-exposure (per exposure)
Filter change
see User Manual
Acquisition no AO
Acquisition AO (NGS)
Acquisition AO (LGS)
Acquisition target (AO and no AO)
Instrument setup (per grating change)
Science exposure read-out (per DIT)
Detector setup (per DIT×NDIT)
[7] The detectors are read sequentially; see User Manual for details.
[8] Flat and arcs are mandatory for IFU and MOS.
[9] DIT and NDIT as required for the AO natural guide star (NGS).
Time
(minutes)
3-5
0.25
0.5
1
70 / 19 sec
38 / 12 sec
22 / 8 sec
92 / 24 sec
48 / 14 sec
27 / 9 sec
0.88 sec
3
15
10
1
3
5-8
5
2
50% of int.time
80% of int.time
15
30
50% of int.time
1
3
0.75
0.15
0.03
0.13
0.35
see User Manual
3
2 + 4 ∗ (DIT ∗ NDIT)[9]
9 + 4 ∗ (DIT ∗ NDIT)[9]
4 + 4 ∗ (DIT ∗ NDIT)
2.5
0.07
0.3
57
Table 16: Telescope and Instruments Overheads (continued)
Hardware item
Action
AMBER
AMBER
AMBER
AMBER
AMBER
AMBER
MIDI
MIDI
MIDI
MIDI
MIDI
VISTA
VISTA
One calibrated Visibility CAL-SCI-CAL:
LR[10]
MR, HR[10]
One calibrated Visibility SCI-CAL:
LR[10]
MR, HR[10]
One calibrated Visibility SCI-CAL[10]
One calibrated Visibility CAL-SCI-CAL[10]
with FSU-A
One calibrated Visibility SCI-CAL [10]
One calibrated Visibility CAL-SCI-CAL [10]
Preset
Preset: 2nd OB
and following in concatenation
Guide Star handling
Autoguiding start
Active Optics start
Filter change
Detector readout
Image writing to disk (per exposure)
Pawprint change
Jitter offset
Micro step
Preset
Offset at template start
Set rotator position angle (PA) (|PA| < 180)
2nd OB and following in concatenation:
Preset:
Set rotator PA:
Guide Star acquisition
Acquisition of new Guide star after offset
Re-acquisition of same Guide Star after offset
Time for pick object
Filter change (different/same magazine)
Detector readout and data writing to disk
Start Active Optics/Image analysis
VIRCAM
VIRCAM
VIRCAM
VIRCAM
VIRCAM
VIRCAM
VIRCAM
VIRCAM
VIRCAM
VST
VST
VST
VST
VST
VST
OmegaCAM
OmegaCAM
OmegaCAM
OmegaCAM
OmegaCAM
OmegaCAM
OmegaCAM
Time
(minutes)
15 + 45 ∗ (number of bands)[11]
30 + 45 ∗ (number of bands)[11]
10 + 30 ∗ (number of bands)[11]
20 + 30 ∗ (number of bands)[11]
50
75
75
115
2
0.33 + (φ/60) [12]
0.05
0.083
0.75
0.35-0.67
0.03 per DIT
0.067
0.17
0.067
0.067
2
0.25
|PA|/120
0.5 +(φ/90) [12]
(|PAn | + |PAn+1 |)/120
1.00
1.00
0.08
0.75
1.08 / 1.92
0.67
3.00
[10] This time includes all telescope and instrument overheads as well as the integration times on the science target and the calibrator. The values for MIDI+ FSU-A are rough estimates only.
[11] With a maximum number of 3 bands per wavelength setting. For each new wavelength setting, a new calibrated
visibility has to be obtained.
[12] φ is the separation, expressed in degrees, between two successive targets.
58
10
10.1
Calibration Plans and Pipelines
Data Quality Control
ESO has implemented calibration plans for all instruments. The primary purposes of these plans
are to assure data quality, monitor instrument performance and calibrate science observations. Based
on these plans, calibration data are obtained for certain standard instrument modes on a regular
basis. Paranal calibration data are reviewed on a daily basis by Paranal Science Operations and the
Garching Data Processing and Quality Control group. A brief summary of the calibration plan for
each instrument is available online from http://www.eso.org/qc/pipeline-status.html.
10.2
Calibration Plans and Calibration of Science Observations
The calibration plans typically aim to calibrate science data to a target accuracy of 5–10%. This
may not be sufficient for all science programmes.
Important note: Not all instrument modes and/or configurations are covered by the current calibration plans. Read the appropriate user manual and online documentation carefully
(http://www.eso.org/qc/pipeline-status.html).
Daytime calibrations included in the calibration plans (e.g. bias, flat-fields, and arc-lamp exposures)
are performed by the Observatory for both Service and Visitor Mode runs. Whenever possible,
these calibration data are obtained in the morning, immediately after the conclusion of night-time
operations. Service and Visitor Mode users receive these data via the CalSelector (see below).
Service Mode runs: Certain ESO specified night-time calibrations (e.g. photometric standard
stars, telluric absorption correction stars) are obtained systematically as described by the calibration plan in the instrument-specific user manuals. For many programmes these calibrations may
be sufficient. Service Mode proposers should only request enough time to complete their science
observations. If the published calibration plan is not sufficient, Service Mode proposers must request
more time (including all operational overheads) for additional user-defined calibrations.
Important note: For some instrument modes, calibrations need to be obtained immediately after
the science observation by means of attached calibration templates. Such attached calibrations are
an integral part of the science OB and are not considered as a part of the calibration plan. Their
execution time must therefore be included in the time applied for.
Visitor Mode runs: Night-time calibrations are the responsibility of the visiting observer with the
following exception: up to approximately 30 minutes per night will be used by the observatory staff
to obtain standard ESO calibrations. The ESO-obtained data will be used to monitor instrument
performance and to assure a baseline calibration accuracy within the ESO Science Archive. ESO
does not guarantee that these standard calibration data will be sufficient to calibrate the Visitor
Mode science observations to the accuracy desired by the observer. Visitor Mode proposers should
plan accordingly.
Raw science data and associated calibrations are made available to the respective PIs and delegates
through the ESO Science Archive Facility. The CalSelector archive service packs together all
the files needed to process the science data including ancillary files,e.g. acquisition images, etc.).
More information on the CalSelector can be found at:
http://www.eso.org/sci/archive/calselectorInfo.html.
La Silla: It is the responsibility of the Visiting Astronomer to obtain all night-time and daytime
calibration frames required. Although ESO staff will execute standard day calibration sequences and
make them available to the visitor, all afternoon calibrations and sky flat-fields must be obtained
by the visitor.
Calibration Programmes: Please note that ESO further accepts Calibration Programmes to
achieve improved calibration of its instruments (see Section 11.5 for details).
59
10.3
10.3.1
Data Reduction Pipelines
Data Organization: Gasgano and SAFT
Gasgano, a Java-based data file organizer developed and maintained by ESO, is made available
to the community and can be used to manage and organize the astronomical data observed and
produced by all VLT compliant telescopes in a systematic way. Gasgano can be retrieved from
http://www.eso.org/gasgano/.
It is also possible to build Unix shell scripts for data organisation using the Stand-Alone FITS Tools
(SAFT) available from http://archive.eso.org/saft. In particular, the dfits and fitsort tools can
be used in combination to select groups of related files (i.e. all frames with the same instrument
configuration) for processing.
SAFT, and in particular the hierarch28 tool, can be effectively used to handle ESO HIERARCH
keywords, e.g. convert them for use with other packages like IRAF.
10.3.2
Pipelines in the ESO Environment
In collaboration with the various instrument consortia, ESO has undertaken to implement data
reduction pipelines for the most commonly used VLT/VLTI instrument modes. These data reduction
pipelines serve three main purposes:
• Data quality control: Pipelines are used to produce the quantitative information necessary
to monitor instrument performance (see Section 10.4).
• Master calibration product creation: Pipelines are used to produce master calibration
products (e.g. combined bias frames, super-flats, wavelength dispersion solutions).
• Science product creation: Pipelines can be run on the user’s desktop in order to finetune the reduction to specific science needs. For this purpose, the algorithmic part of the
VLT/VLTI pipelines (pipeline recipes) are available and can be downloaded with the frontend applications, esoRex, Gasgano and Reflex, from http://www.eso.org/pipelines.
A brief summary of current and anticipated VLT/VLTI pipeline availability and functionality for
each instrument is available online from
http://www.eso.org/qc/pipeline-status.html.
Available pipelines are installed on Paranal and La Silla, and normally run automatically at all
times. These online pipelines use standard (but typically not the most recent) archival master
calibration data to produce quick-look quality control information for the observatory staff, as well
as quick-look science products for supported instrument configurations. These science products are
available to Visitor Mode observers for review and use. With the exception of HARPS and FEROS,
they are not included in the data package delivered to the Visitor Mode observer at the end of their
observing run. Users may copy these science products onto removable media (CD-ROM and DVD).
Blank media are available from the Observatory for this purpose. However, these science products
may not be the best possible because they do not use the most recent master calibration data.
The Garching-based offline pipelines for VLT/VLTI instruments are run by the Quality Control and
Data Processing Group (QCDP) to produce certified (quality-checked) master calibration products.
These are used to monitor instrument performance and assure that it is maintained within the
published ranges (see below). PIs and their data delegates can access their raw science and calibration data via the ESO Science Archive Facility after authenticating with their User Portal
credentials. Raw data are available via the User Portal shortly after acquisition.
Raw calibration data can be downloaded from the archive by all users immediately. Raw science
data are accessible by everyone after the proprietary protection has expired. During the proprietary period the data are only accessible to the corresponding PIs and their delegates. See the
Data Access Page and the Archive User Manual for full details.
60
10.4
Quality Control
The ESO pipelines are used to monitor the performance of the various instruments and their temporal trends.
Extensive information about Paranal data handling and processing (e.g. zero points, colour terms,
wavelength solutions) is maintained on the ESO Quality Control web pages.
The Quality Control Group also maintains the Health Check Monitor with information and data
about actual and historical instrument performance and trending.
10.5
The ESO Science Data Products Forum
The ESO Science Data Products Forum is a platform for sharing ideas, methods, software and
data to assist with the production of science data products from ESO telescopes. The forum is a
service for the ESO community. Contributions are by users of the ESO instruments.
Users are encouraged to contribute on any topic related to the reduction, calibration and analysis
of science data from ESO instruments. Posts might simply describe problems encountered with the
data reduction, or offer solutions to such problems. Software, calibration data or documents up to
100MB in size can be attached to any post.
61
Part III
Proposal Types, Policies, and Procedures
11
Proposal Types
For Period 91 the list of proposal types is:
• Normal Programmes
• Large Programmes
• Target of Opportunity
• Guaranteed Time Observations
• Calibration Programmes
• Director’s Discretionary Time
All proposals except Director’s Discretionary Time (DDT) proposals must be submitted by the
current deadline. DDT proposals may be submitted at any time.
Only the Normal and Large Programme template forms should be used for the preparation of
proposals. An observing programme, as described in a single proposal, may consist of several runs,
e.g. for observations with different instruments, or to be executed in different observing modes or
at different epochs. Proposals for Visitor Mode observations (Section 12.1) must request time in
nights, proposals for Service Mode observations (Section 12.2) must request time in hours. Note
that any given proposal may request a mix of Visitor/Service Mode observations provided that they
are split into separate runs.
• Please note: All proposers (Service and Visitor Mode) must include time for all overheads
(telescope + instrument) in their proposals (see Section 9 and Table 16).
11.1
Normal Programmes
Most of the observing time on ESO telescopes will be allocated to Normal Programmes in
Period 91. Proposers must use the standard LATEX template (Section 3.1). The scientific case of
the programme may take up to two pages including attachments (figures or tables). The scientific
description contains two sections:
A) Scientific Rationale
B) Immediate Objective
Attachments are optional. The respective fraction of the above-mentioned two pages occupied by
the scientific description and by the attachments is left to the discretion of the proposers, but
attachments are restricted to the second of these pages.
If the proposal contains runs requesting La Silla telescopes and instruments, the duration of each
such run must be at least 3 nights, except for runs using Visitor Instruments or for combinations of
contiguous EFOSC2 and SOFI runs totalling at least 3 nights (Section 4.1).
Proposers should keep in mind the need for each OPC panel to cover a broad range of scientific areas;
proposals may not fall within the main area of specialisation of any of the panel members. Proposers
should make sure that the context of their project and its relevance for general astrophysics, as well
as the recent related results, are emphasised in a way that can be understood by their peers regardless
of their expertise.
62
11.2
Large Programmes
Large Programmes are not accepted on the 2.2-m, VST or VISTA telescopes. Due to existing
commitments and upcoming changes Large Programmes will also not be accepted for CRIRES,
HAWK-I, NACO and VIMOS, (see Section 1.3 for more details). Also, given the arrival of the
second generation VLTI instruments, ESO cannot guarantee the availability of MIDI and of a VLTI
visitor instrument focus beyond Period 91.
Up to a maximum of 30% of the observing time distributed by the OPC on the VLT/VLTI can be
allocated to Large Programmes. An ESO Large Programme is defined by the criteria listed below.
For ESO telescopes, one night is 8 hours in even periods and 10 hours in odd periods.
• A programme requiring a minimum of 100 hours of ESO telescope time.
• A programme that has the potential to lead to a major advance or breakthrough in the field
of study, has a strong scientific justification, and a plan for a quick and comprehensive effort
of data reduction and analysis by a dedicated team.
• Large Programmes can span from 1 to 4 periods (i.e. up to a maximum of two consecutive
years) for Paranal instruments, and from 1 to 7 periods (i.e. up to Period 97 for La Silla);
• ToO programmes cannot be submitted as Large Programmes (Section 11.3).
A good organisational structure of the proposing team, availability of resources and relevant expertise
must be demonstrated. A special LATEX template must be used for Large Programmes (Section 3.1).
The proposers may use a total of three pages (not including figures) for the four sections of the
scientific description:
A)
B)
C)
D)
Scientific Rationale
Immediate Objective
Telescope Justification
Observing Mode Justification (Visitor or Service)
An additional 2 pages of attachments are permitted. Proposers of Large Programmes should keep in
mind that the entire OPC (hence also non-experts in a specific field) as well as the specialised OPC
panels will be evaluating their proposal, and that they should clearly explain the relevance
of the proposed programme to general astrophysics.
If a Large Programme proposal contains runs requesting La Silla telescopes and instruments, the
duration of each such run must be at least 3 nights.
Proposers should be aware that the PIs of successful proposals for Large Programmes are required
to provide all data products (processed images and spectra, catalogues) to the ESO archive by
the time their scientific results are published in a refereed journal. Guidelines for submission of
these data products, including a description of the required metadata and formats, can be found at
http://archive.eso.org/cms/eso-data/data-submission/. Proposers are invited to write an
email to usd-help@eso.org for further information.
During the period of execution of a Large Programme, and upon its completion, the PI will be
invited by ESO to report to the OPC on the programme’s preliminary results. He/she may also
be asked to give a more comprehensive presentation of the outcome of the programme at an ESO
Large Programme workshop, similar to those of May 19-21, 2003 and of October 13-15, 2008.
11.3
Target of Opportunity
Normally, up to 5% of the available ESO general observing time may be used for Target of
Opportunity (ToO) proposals. For events with exceptional characteristics ESO will also consider
overriding Visitor Mode observations.
63
ESO recognises two categories of Targets of Opportunity:
1. Unpredictable ToOs are those concerning unpredictable astronomical events that require
immediate observations. The occurrence of such events cannot be foreseen with sufficient
anticipation to allow them to be the subject of proposal submission by the regular deadline.
They qualify for allocation of Director Discretionary Time. Corresponding applications
for observing time should be submitted as DDT proposals (Section 11.6) and not as ToO
proposals.
2. Predictable ToOs are those concerning predictable events in a generic sense only. These
are typically (but not limited to) known transient phenomena and follow-up or coordinated
observations of targets of special interest. Proposals aimed at studying such events are, in the
ESO proposal terminology, ToO proposals.
ToO proposals must be submitted using the Normal Programme ESOFORM template. Proposals
should be for generic targets and/or times. However, if accepted by the OPC the programme will
not be executed until the PI (or one of his/her delegates) contact ESO to request its activation after
the predicted event has occurred. The observing strategy must be the one approved by the OPC,
and the triggers may not exceed the allocated time and number of triggers granted by the OPC.
The observations will be conducted in Service Mode and, in exceptional cases, ongoing programmes
may be interrupted. Read more on ToO policy.
As ToO programmes may require a mixture of ToO runs and normal (see 3.2.1) runs proposers are
requested to specify the type of runs (TOO or normal) in the tenth (final) field of the \ObservingRun
macro of the ESOFORM LATEX template. A more detailed description and examples can be found
in the ESOFORM User Manual.
ToO runs are defined as runs for which the target cannot be known more than one week before
the observation needs to be executed. Such runs will be scheduled for execution upon receipt of
an activation trigger by ESO; the target (and observing time) information will be inserted by the
observatory support staff into generic Observation Blocks (OBs) submitted by the PI at Phase 2.
Targets that are unknown at Phase 1 proposal submission time but can be observed more than one
week after they have been identified should be observed as part of normal (non-ToO) runs. The
related OBs should be defined or updated by the PI once the target is known. The OBs should be
stored in the ESO database with the complete information needed to allow them to be executed as
part of the regular Service Mode queues.
Note that users submitting a ToO programme will need to indicate the number of targets per run
and the requested number of triggers per target using the appropriate macros in the LATEX template.
A trigger is defined as the request for execution of one Observation Block with a given instrument
at a given epoch. Similar observations to be executed with the same instrument at different epochs
count as different triggers, as do observations with different instruments at the same epoch.
Any observing request by other groups at the time an event occurs (e.g. a DDT proposal), with
exactly the same scientific goal and aiming at observing the same object, will be rejected by ESO.
ToO programmes are not carried over to the following periods.
ToO proposers should bear in mind that ToO proposals are ranked across OPC categories by the
whole OPC (hence including non-experts in their specific field). They should therefore clearly
explain the relevance of the proposed programme to general astrophysics.
11.3.1
Rapid Response Mode (RRM)
ESO continues to offer VLT Rapid Response Mode (RRM). During Period 91, FORS2 on UT1,
UVES and XSHOOTER on UT2, and SINFONI and HAWK-I on UT4 are available in RRM.
RRM proposers should note that:
• A RRM trigger is a special ToO trigger that can only be activated up to 4 hours after
an event. If a longer time span has passed since the event, observations should be requested
through normal ToO triggers.
64
• As with ToO programmes, proposers will need to indicate in the LATEX template the number
of targets per run and the requested number of triggers per target.
• RRM runs have to be specified as separate runs in the ESOFORM template.
Upon receiving an encoded alert indicating the coordinates of the target and the associated
Observing Block (OB) to be executed, any ongoing integration will automatically be terminated
and the RRM OB will be executed. Depending on the instrument and the target position, the telescope/instrument will be at the location of the target within about 6 minutes following the arrival
of the alert at Paranal. Depending on the target brightness and instrument mode target acquisition
may take some more time.
RRM observations in Period 91 are subject to the following restrictions:
• The requested instrument must already be in operation. No change of instrument (and telescope focus) is accepted by the automatic RRM system.
• RRM activations will be accepted during Service Mode and Visitor Mode runs. They have
overriding priority over other observations, unless the latter are strictly time-critical.
Additionally, the following instrument specific restrictions apply:
• UVES can only be used with standard wavelength settings;
• FORS2 can only be used in the broad-band imaging, long slit spectroscopic, imaging polarimetric and spectro-polarimetric modes;
• SINFONI is available in NGS and noAO mode but not in LGS mode;
• HAWK-I: all the filters can be used, but the trigger requesters must follow the users’ manual
indications closely as far as brightness restrictions of objects in the field are concerned.
The delivery of the encoded alerts to the Paranal Observatory is entirely the responsibility of the
PI. Successful PIs will be asked to provide a set of OBs by the Phase 2 deadline, to be certified for
execution as is done for other Service Mode runs. Details on the activation mechanisms and the
preparation of RRM observations can be found at the Phase 2 RRM Observation page.
11.4
Guaranteed Time Observations
Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) arise from contractual obligations of ESO vis–à–vis the
external consortia who build ESO instruments (see the GTO Policy page). Guaranteed Time
Observers must submit proposals for their GTO time using the Normal Programme templates, and
by the standard proposal deadline. All GTO proposals will be evaluated and ranked together with
Normal Programme proposals to provide feedback to the GTO teams on the scientific standing of
their GTO programmes. In exceptional cases, badly ranked GTO proposals may not be scheduled.
The policies describing the obligations of Guaranteed Time Observers are defined in Appendix 2 of
the ESO Council document ESO/Cou-996.
In general, GTO runs must be conducted in Visitor Mode (Section 12.1). The only exceptions are
those explicitly stated in the contractual agreement between ESO and the corresponding external
consortium. However ESO may exceptionally transfer some GTO runs from Visitor Mode to Service
Mode for operational reasons (such as the availability of VLTI baselines or the availability of the
LGSF).
Some GTO programmes require ToO runs2 (see Section 11.3). If this is the case then this should be
specified in the ESOFORM package using the \ObservingRun macro of the LATEX template.
2 The possibility for GTO teams to request ToO observations as part of their guaranteed time is restricted to those
cases in which this option is explicitly mentioned in the GTO contract.
65
11.5
Proposals for Calibration Programmes
ESO operates a large number of complex instruments with many possible configurations and observing modes. Although the Observatory executes a rigorous calibration plan for each instrument, ESO
does not have the resources to fully calibrate all potential capabilities of all instruments. On the
other hand, the astronomical community has expressed interest to perform calibrations for certain
uncalibrated or poorly calibrated modes, or to develop specialized software for certain calibration
and data reduction tasks. ESO introduced the Calibration Programmes in order to allow users to
complement the existing calibration of ESO instruments and to fill gaps in the calibration coverage
that might exist.
Up to 3% of all the available observing time may be made available for calibration proposals.
Calibration Programmes will be evaluated by the OPC, with a view to balancing the added calibration value for future science with the more immediate return of the regular science proposals of the
current period. Calibration Programmes are reviewed by ESO with regards to their technical and
operational feasibility.
Successful proposers will be required to deliver documentation, and data products and software to
ESO to support future observing programmes. The raw calibration data, as well as the advanced
calibration products that are obtained as part of Calibration Programmes are non-proprietary and
made available to the entire community through the ESO archive, and the respective instrument
Web pages. Scientific publications that make use of the data or results of Calibration Programmes
will have to reference the corresponding proposals.
Calibration Programme proposals must be submitted using the ESOFORM template for Normal
Programmes. In Box 8A (entitled “Scientific rationale”) the proposers should clearly state the
limits of the existing calibration plan and the expected improvement that can result from the
proposed observations. Moreover the proposal should emphasise the relevance and the overall scientific gain of the calibration techniques and products resulting from these observations.
Calibration Programmes do not pertain to any of the standard OPC categories (A, B, C or
D), since in general they are not directly related to a unique scientific area: the special subcategory code L0 should be used to distinguish them. The PIs of Calibration Programmes
are required to deliver to ESO the resulting Advanced Data Products within one year of the
completion of the corresponding observations. The procedure to be followed is described at
http://archive.eso.org/cms/eso-data/data-submission/.
11.6
Director’s Discretionary Time
Up to 5% of the available ESO general observing time may be used for Director’s Discretionary
Time (DDT) proposals in the current period. Only DDT proposals belonging to one of the following
categories will be considered:
• proposals of ToO nature requiring the immediate observation of a sudden and unexpected
astronomical event,
• proposals requesting observations on a highly competitive scientific topic,
• proposals asking for follow-up observations of a programme recently conducted from groundbased and/or space facilities, where a quick implementation should provide break-through
results,
• proposals of a somewhat risky nature requesting a small amount of observing time to test the
feasibility of a programme.
DDT programmes that have target of opportunity runs should mark their corresponding Run Types
as “TOO” in the \ObservingRun macro. See the ESOFORM User Manual for more details. DDT
programmes involving TOO runs should also fill in the \TOORun macros in the ESOFORM proposal
template as instructed.
Approved DDT proposals are carried out in Service Mode on Paranal and Chajnantor, or in Visitor
Mode override on La Silla. Very few non-time-critical DDT proposals are foreseen to be approved
66
so proposers should provide a clear justification (in Box 9b of the application form) why the programme should be considered for DDT allocation and why it was not submitted through the regular
OPC channel. In the absence of such a justification, the proposal will not be considered for DDT
allocation, and the proposers will be encouraged to resubmit their proposals for the next appropriate
OPC submission deadline. As a general rule, proposals originally submitted to the OPC that were
not allocated time must not be submitted as DDT proposals.
DDT proposals may be submitted at any time. They must be prepared using the special ESOFORM
DDT template. Proposers must upload the DDT ESOFORM template and submit their DDT
proposals by registering and logging into the ESO User Portal. You can find more details at:
http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/phase1/esoform.html
DDT proposals are reviewed at ESO and approved by the Director General. Urgent requests must
be clearly identified in Box 5 (Special Remarks) of the application form.
Please note: Within one month following the delivery of the data, the PI of an accepted DDT
proposal must submit a report on the achieved science to opo@eso.org.
11.7
Host State Proposals
Qualifying proposals whose PI is affiliated with an institute of the Host State (Chile) are counted
as Host State Proposals. The designation as Host State Proposal is independent of the fraction of
non-member state CoI’s.
11.8
Non-Member State Proposals
A Non-Member State Proposal is a proposal where 2/3 or more of the proposers are not
affiliated to ESO member state institutes independently of the nationality of the proposers and of
the affiliation of the PI. Non-member state proposals are submitted in the usual way, but a separate
set of criteria are used for the review of such proposals (Section 13.1). This non-member state policy
does not apply to the host state, Chile, whose participation is regulated by the “Interpretative,
Supplementary and Amending Agreement” to the 1963 Convention (Sects. 11.7 and 13.1).
11.9
VLT-XMM proposals
With the aim of taking full advantage of the complementarity of ground-based and space-borne
observing facilities, ESA and ESO have agreed to establish an environment for those scientific
programmes that require observations with both the XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory and the
ESO VLT(I) telescopes to achieve outstanding and competitive results.
By agreement with the XMM-Newton Observatory, ESO may award up to 290 ksec (∼80 hours) of
XMM-Newton observing time. Similarly, the XMM-Newton project may award up to 80 hours of
ESO VLT observing time. This applies to the duration of an XMM-Newton cycle, which normally
extends over two ESO observing periods. However, proposers should take the limited availability
of some of the VLT(I) instruments in Periods 91 and 92 into account; see below for details on
instrument availability. See Section 1.1 for more details regarding instrument availability during
these periods.
Proposers wishing to make use of this opportunity will have to submit a single proposal in response
to either the XMM-Newton or the ESO call for proposals: proposals for the same programme submitted to both observatories will be rejected. To submit a proposal to ESO, the Normal Programme
template must be used. Such a proposal will be reviewed exclusively by the OPC. A proposal submitted to the XMM-Newton Observatory will be reviewed exclusively by the XMM-Newton OTAC.
Proposals that request different amounts of observing time on each facility should be submitted to
the Observatory for which the greatest amount of time is required. The primary criterion for the
award of observing time is that both VLT and XMM-Newton data are required to meet the scientific
objectives of the proposal. The project does not need to require simultaneous XMM-Newton and
67
ESO telescope observations. Targets of Opportunity and “Triggered Observations” are excluded
from this cooperative programme.
It is the proposers’ responsibility to provide a full and comprehensive scientific and technical justification for the requested observing time on both facilities. Both the ESO and XMM-Newton observatories will perform feasibility checks of the approved proposals. They each reserve the right to
reject any observation determined to be unfeasible for any reason. The rejection by one Observatory
could jeopardize the entire proposed science programme.
Apart from the above, for both ESO and the XMM-Newton Observatory, the general policies and
procedures currently in force for the final selection of the proposals, the allocation of observing time,
the execution of the observations, and the data rights remain unchanged.
12
Observing Modes
In Period 91, most VLT and VLTI instruments will be offered in two modes: Visitor Mode (VM)
and Service Mode (SM). These modes have been extensively described in the Data Flow Operations
section of the December 1997 and June 1998 issues of The ESO Messenger (see also an article
on Service Mode scheduling in the September 2001 issue). As part of the Phase 1 proposal,
investigators will have to specify which mode they desire and why they request that mode. While it
will be attempted as much as possible to follow the desire of the proposers with respect to observing
mode, ESO does reserve the right to allocate time in a mode different from the one requested. Note
especially the restrictions of available modes detailed in Sects. 12.1 and 12.2, and the policy in
Section 13.3.
The telescope, as well as the instruments, will be operated by observatory staff only. The astronomer
interfaces with the telescope/instruments via Observation Blocks (OBs), produced using the Phase
2 Proposal Preparation (P2PP) tool. For La Silla observations observers use P2PP 2.13.1; while
for Paranal observations observers use P2PP 3.
12.1
Visitor Mode
In Visitor Mode (VM) the astronomer is physically present at the observatory during the observations. Each approved VM run will be allocated specific calendar nights. One of the programme
investigators will travel to the Observatory and execute the observations. Visitor Mode is not offered
on VST, VISTA or APEX.
For all ESO instruments data acquisition will be done by executing Observation Blocks (OBs), i.e.
observing sequences specified by the astronomer which are based on templates provided by ESO. VM
investigators will be encouraged to construct their OBs before arriving on the site using P2PP. At
the telescope OBs can be created or further modified in real-time at the telescope (with the exception
of VIMOS, see Section 6.6). VM investigators will be required to arrive on Paranal before the start
of their observing run as follows: 24 hours for UVES, and 48 hours for all other instruments. On
La Silla, Visiting Astronomers shall arrive 1 to 2 days before the start of the observations, and may
leave the site up to 1 to 2 days after the end of their observing run according to the transportation
schedule (see the La Silla Science Operations page). Note that programmes must be executed
as specified and approved at Phase 1. The proposer should prepare a backup/alternative programme to be executed in place of the primary programme if the observing conditions are not ideal
Section 4.2.2. The original science case and goals should be followed. Such backup programmes must
be approved by ESO prior to the observing run. The corresponding requests must be submitted via
the web-based form available at http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/phase2/ProgChange/.
If the conditions prevent the Visiting Astronomer’s primary programme to be executed the telescope
will be used for the execution of Service Mode observations; assuming no backup programme is in
place and that Service Mode observations are allowed on that telescope. Raw data are available for
download shortly after acquisition.
Please note that VM proposers must include overheads for all science exposures. Guidelines
are provided in Section 9.
68
12.1.1
ToO programme execution during VM observations
VM observations may be interrupted by time-critical DDT or ToO programmes. As far as possible,
the execution of observations for such programmes will be confined to scheduled Service Mode
periods. Under exceptional circumstances, the Director of the Observatory may decide to interrupt
VM runs to allow Service Mode observations. ToO runs in the Rapid Response Mode (RRM) may
also interrupt VM observations (see Section 11.3.1).
12.2
Service Mode
About 60% of the total time available for observations on Paranal will be carried out in Service
Mode (SM). SM is also the only mode supported for APEX, VST and VISTA. It is not offered on
any La Silla telescope.
Investigators with runs allocated in SM time will be required to specify their programme by submitting a Phase 2 package in advance to ESO. This package consists of OBs, finding charts, and a
Readme form. Observers intending to submit proposals to be executed in SM may find it useful to
familiarize themselves with the Phase 2 Service Mode procedures. Once the OBs are completed,
they will be submitted to ESO for verification and acceptance.
Accepted OBs will be executed by ESO staff based on their OPC recommended priority and a
proper match between the requested and the actual observing conditions. An article about SM
scheduling appeared in The ESO Messenger (2001, v. 105, p. 18). The article helps proposers
understand how they may optimize their use of this observing mode, and it should be considered
compulsory reading for SM proposers. SM PIs and their delegates have direct access (via their
personal ESO User Portal account) to their own raw proprietary data as soon as the data is ingested
in the ESO Archive. Note that in Service Mode the proprietary period for a given science file starts
as soon as the data are made electronically available to PIs or to those to whom they have delegated
their data access rights.
Please note that SM proposers must include overheads for all science exposures. Guidelines
are provided in Section 9.
ESO will absorb all the time required to complete the calibration sequences to the level of accuracy
foreseen in the calibration plan (see Section 10.2), as well as overheads associated with such calibrations. If those calibrations are not adequate, the SM proposer must include time for any additional
calibrations including overheads.
Proposers are especially encouraged to request Service Mode (on Paranal) if their programme involves Target of Opportunity events or synoptic observing, or if they require the best observing
conditions (which occur at unpredictable intervals). Further information on SM observing may be
found in the Service Mode Guidelines.
12.2.1
Service Mode policies
To ensure the efficiency of SM observing, ESO has implemented a number of rules, procedures
and limitations on Service Mode runs. They need to be carefully taken into account at the time of
preparing an application for SM observations and are summarized here. Please note that these items
have important consequences on the way that execution overheads must be taken into account.
• Some observing strategies cannot be supported in Service Mode; in particular, realtime decisions about the sequencing of OBs, complex OB sequencing, or decisions based on
the outcome of previously executed OBs (like adjustment of integration times or execution of
some OBs instead of others).
• Observation Blocks (OBs) execution. OBs are executed non-contiguously (with the
exception of OBs within the concatenation scheduling containers;
see Programmes with linked time-requirements below). Since efficient SM operations require
continuous flexibility to best match the OB constraints with actual observing conditions, OBs
69
for a given run are normally scheduled non-contiguously. It is thus not possible to reduce
acquisition overheads by requiring the sequential execution of OBs with the same target field.
• Multi-mode, multi-configuration OBs are normally not permitted in SM. Although
multiple configurations within one OB may sometimes reduce overheads, scheduling and calibrating such OBs is extremely inefficient. Different configurations should thus be in different
OBs.
• OB Total Execution Time. Proposers should make sure that all overheads, including
telescope presetting and acquisition overheads (as specified in Table 16) have been properly
included.
• OB execution times must be below 1 hour. Long OBs are more difficult to schedule and
execute within the specified constraints because of the unpredictable evolution of the observing
conditions. OBs taking more than one hour to execute are not normally accepted. Proposers
are especially encouraged to plan for OBs substantially shorter than one hour if the execution
conditions are particularly demanding, as the fulfilment of all the constraints during the entire
execution time becomes more unlikely as the OB becomes longer.
• Phase 1 constraints are binding (also see Section 13.5). As constraints play an essential
role in determining the long-term scheduling of SM time, a relaxation of observing constraints
is permissible at Phase 2 but ESO will not allow any tightening of constraints. Changes with
respect to the times on target specified at Phase 1 will not be allowed at Phase 2.
• Fulfilment of Phase 2 constraints: ESO will consider an OB as successfully executed if
all the conditions in the constraint set are fulfilled. OBs executed under conditions marginally
outside constraints by no more than 10% of the specified value will not be scheduled for reexecution. Adaptive Optics-assisted observations within 50% of the requested Strehl ratio
will not be repeated (assuming that other constraints are suitably met). VLTI OBs executed
marginally outside the specified LST intervals by no more than 30 min will not be scheduled
for re-execution.
• Programmes with linked time requirements: SM is also intended to support programmes
with special timing requirements. However, proposers planning such programmes should keep
in mind that at most 60% of both bright and dark time is allocated to SM (on Paranal), and
that observing conditions cannot be predicted when a time-series is started. This means that
timing sequences that are extremely long and/or complex, timing links that are very restrictive,
and time-series for observations requiring excellent observing conditions, are unlikely to be
successfully completed. Therefore, all such proposals are reviewed for technical feasibility and
may be rejected if judged to be too complex. Proposers for programmes requiring timing links
are strongly encouraged to consider how they may simplify their timing sequences as much as
possible, as this will minimize the risk that the observations are deemed unfeasible.
If a given OB cannot be executed within its intended observability window, it will be removed from the observing queue and will not be attempted again. If it was part of a timelinked series, then the time-series observation will continue with the next OB if appropriate.
ESO will not restart a sequence of linked observations if the pre-specified timing constraints
cannot be fulfilled. More details on how version 3 of the Phase 2 Proposal Preparation
(P2PP) tool can be used to time-link, group or concatenate various OBs, are described in
http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/phase2/P2PPSurveys.html.
• VLTI: A separate run must be specified for each requested baseline configuration.
• ToO programme execution Successful proposers of ToO runs will have to prepare OBs for
their observations well ahead of the beginning of an observing period (see Section 12.2). Mostly
ToO OBs will have to be “dummy” OBs with default values for target coordinates, integration
times etc. At the time of occurrence of the predicted event, the PI of the programme (or one
of his/her delegates) must activate it and at the same time provide the missing information
for completion of the OBs. The service observer will update and execute the specified OBs.
Further details are available on the Phase 2 ToO Procedures page.
70
13
Policy Summary
Several policies regarding all aspects of the use of ESO telescopes have been refined over the years by
the ESO Observing Programmes Committee (OPC), and by the Science and Technology Committee
(STC). Here we summarize those policies relevant for ESO proposers for Period 91. For details on
individual policies we refer to the VLT/VLTI Science Operations Policy document.
13.1
Who may submit, time allocation policies
ESO proposals may be submitted by any group or individual. One single person, the Principal
Investigator or PI, must be assigned to be responsible for the programme. The PI will also act as
the official contact between ESO and the proposers for all later correspondence (Phase 2 information,
data distribution, etc.). By submitting a proposal, the PI takes full responsibility for its contents,
in particular with regard to the names of CoIs and the agreement to follow the ESO policies and
regulations, including the conditions specified in the present Call for Proposals. Following the
introduction of the ESO User Portal, PIs identify themselves uniquely in Phase 1 proposals by their
User Portal username. Note that each individual is allowed to have only one account in the User
Portal database; multiple accounts must not be created. Failure to comply with this restriction may
lead to the rejection by ESO of the proposals by the offending PI.
All valid proposals received by ESO prior to the submission deadline will be reviewed by the OPC,
who will rank them according to the scientific merit of the proposal and the importance of its
contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge. Furthermore, proposals should provide
evidence that the proposing individual or team have the expertise and sufficient resources to carry
out the analysis.
Proposals should be self-contained. The evaluation will be based solely on their contents, to the
exclusion of external references.
For non-member state proposals (Section 11.8) the following additional criteria will be taken into
account:
• The required telescope/instrumentation is not available at any other observatory accessible to
the applicants.
• If an ESO member state proposal and a non-member state proposal are rated equally, preference will be given to the ESO member state proposal.
The following policy, extracted from the agreement between ESO and its host state Chile, governs
the allocation of time to Host State Proposals (Section 11.7): “Chilean scientists who present
meritorious projects shall have the right to obtain up to 10% of the observing time of ESO telescopes”. For VLT projects at least one half of this 10% shall be dedicated to projects of Chilean
astronomers in cooperation with astronomers of ESO member countries.
Following the recommendations of the OPC and a technical feasibility check, the ESO Director
General grants observing time based on OPC ranking and availability. However, in the case of
sudden astronomical events a ToO or DDT programme may be activated, and may lead to an
interruption of the currently active run.
13.2
Requesting use of non-standard observing configurations
Proposers should pay particular attention to the fact that, as indicated in the instrument manuals,
use of certain non-standard instrumental modes or configurations requires prior approval by ESO.
This approval must be obtained before submitting the Phase 1 proposal. Corresponding requests,
including a brief justification, must be submitted by email to usd-help@eso.org at least two weeks
before the proposal submission deadline. Failure to follow this rule may lead to the rejection of the
proposal by ESO for technical reasons.
71
13.3
Policy regarding offered/available observing configurations
Users will be promptly informed if it becomes impossible to support some currently offered instrument mode, and may be asked to switch from Service Mode to Visitor Mode or vice versa. In
general, runs requiring non-standard configurations will only be accepted in Visitor Mode.
13.4
Observing programme execution
Observations in both Visitor and Service Mode must be executed as described in the Phase 1
proposal, including the instrument modes and specified targets. Departures from Phase 1 specifications and targets will not generally be allowed, unless a sound scientific justification exists, and
provided that the change does not involve a significant increase in the pressure factor on oversubscribed regions of the sky. The request for changes of targets and instrument set-up(s), along with
the corresponding scientific justification, must be submitted via the web-based form available at
http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/phase2/ProgChange/.
For any other departure from Phase 1 specifications a justification must be provided in writing to
paranal@eso.org at least one month before the beginning of the observations for runs scheduled
in Visitor Mode. For Service Mode runs, these requests and associated justifications must be submitted to usd-help@eso.org or to p2pp-waiver@eso.org (clear instructions are available at
http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/phase2/SMGuidelines/WaiverChanges.html) at least
one week before the Phase 2 deadline.
ESO reserves the right to reject the changes if they are insufficiently justified, conflicting with any
other approved programmes, or imply significant changes in the overall distribution of scheduled
targets in the sky. Observations of targets for which no authorization has been obtained are not
allowed at the telescope.
13.4.1
Service Mode run execution
The runs to be conducted in Service Mode will be subdivided into the following classes for operational
reasons:
• Class A: All possible efforts will be made to execute all OBs corresponding to the runs in the
requested observing period. Approximately the first half (according to the OPC ranking) of
the total amount of Service Mode time scheduled on each telescope falls in this class.
• Class B: These runs will be executed in the requested observing period on a best-effort basis.
Approximately the second half (according to the OPC ranking) of the total amount of Service
Mode time scheduled on each telescope falls in this class.
• Class C: Filler runs. OBs will only be executed if the observing conditions do not permit
observations for runs within classes A and B.
For Class A runs that are not completed by the end of Period 91, ESO will decide whether they
can be declared “substantially complete”, or have to be carried over to the next period provided
that this is technically feasible. In general, a class A run will not be carried over for more than one
additional natural visibility period. Class B and C runs will not be carried over. ToO runs are by
definition Class A regarding priority in execution but they will not be carried over to the following
periods regardless of their completion status.
13.5
Phase 2 Service Mode policy: constraints and targets are binding
To optimize the use of ESO telescopes in Service Mode a proper mix of runs requiring various
observing conditions, and with targets spread over the entire range of RAs for a given period, is
necessary. For this reason proposers are requested in their Phase 1 proposal to specify not only the
targets with accurate coordinates, but also the needed observing conditions (lunar phase, seeing,
72
sky transparency). Due to their essential role in determining the long-term scheduling of
Service Mode time, the constraints specified at Phase 1 are binding. Successful proposers
will not be allowed to change the instrument set-ups, target lists and/or times per target that
were requested at Phase 1 in their Phase 2 submissions, unless explicitly authorized by ESO (see
Section 13.4). At Phase 2, only the relaxation of observing constraints is allowed. See Section 13.4
for more details on how to request waivers for Service Mode runs.
13.6
Pre-imaging runs
A separate run must be specified for a VLT programme requiring pre-imaging. If this is not specified
in the proposal, the time needed for the execution of the pre-imaging will be deducted from the
total allocation of the project. Pre-imaging runs are always scheduled in priority class A, but must
be specified as pre-imaging runs as this will not occur automatically. Please be sure to indicate
the pre-imaging character of the run by using the corresponding \INSconfig macro in the LATEX
ESOFORM template.
13.7
Data rights, archiving, data distribution
All data obtained with ESO facilities are ESO property. ESO grants a twelve month proprietary
period for science and acquisition data to the PI of the programme as part of which these data were
obtained. This period applies to each data file individually. For Visitor Mode runs, it starts at the
time of the observation; while for Service Mode runs, as soon as the data are made available to the
PI or his/her delegates. Should you wish to specify a shorter period than the nominal 12 months
in Period 91, please do so using the \ProprietaryTime macro in the LATEX ESOFORM template.
Raw data of Public Surveys, calibration and technical data are not subjected to proprietary period
and become publicly available as soon as they are ingested in the ESO Archive.
For Visiting Astronomers, raw data will in general be made available before astronomers leave
the observatory site. For both Visitor Mode and Service Mode observations, raw science data and
associated calibration data are distributed to the PIs and their delegates from their ESO User Portal
accounts.
13.8
Publication of ESO telescope results
Publications based on observations collected at ESO telescopes should state this in a footnote to the
article’s title. The corresponding observing proposal should be clearly identified by its ESO reference
number. For example: “Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile
(ESO Programme 091.C-1234)”.
13.9
Press Releases
Should you consider that your results are worthy of a press release to the general public, please
contact the ESO Outreach Department (information@eso.org) as soon as possible, preferably no
later than when the paper is submitted for publication. ESO reserves the right to use any data
obtained with ESO telescopes as part of programmes allocated ESO time for press releases.
73
Part IV
Appendix
A
Acronyms
4QPM
ADP
AMBER
APEX
APP
AT
CHAMP+
CoI
CONICA
CRIRES
DDT
DIT
EIS
EFOSC2
ESO
ETC
FEROS
FLASH
FFTS
FIMS
FINITO
FLAMES
FLASH
FLI
FORS1
FORS2
FOV
FSU
GTC
GTO
HARPS
HAWK-I
IFU
IR
ISAAC
KMOS
LABOCA
LGS
LST
MIDI
MOS
MPG
MPIfR
MUSE
NACO
NAOS
NB
NGS
OB
OmegaCAM
Four Quadrant Phase Mask
Advanced Data Products
Astronomical Multi-BEam combineR
Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment
Apodizing Phase Plate
Auxiliary Telescope for the VLT Interferometer
Carbon Heterodyne Array of the MPIfR
Co-Investigator
High-Resolution Near Infrared CAmera
Cryogenic high-resolution IR Echelle Spectrometer
Director’s Discretionary Time (proposal)
Discrete Integration Time
ESO Imaging Survey
ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera 2
European Southern Observatory
Exposure Time Calculator
Fibre-fed Extended Range Optical Spectrograph
First-Light Apex Sub-millimeter Heterodyne
Fast Fourier Transform Spectrometer
FORS Instrumental Mask Simulator
Fringe Tracking Instrument of NIzza and TOrino
Fibre Large Array Multi Element Spectrograph
First-Light Apex Sub-millimeter Heterodyne
Fraction of Lunar Illumination
Focal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph 1
Focal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph 2
Field Of View
Fringe Sensor Unit
Gran Telescopio Canarias
Guaranteed Time Observations
High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher
High Acuity Wide field K-band Imager
Integral Field Unit
InfraRed
Infrared Spectrometer And Array Camera
K-band Multi-Object Spectrograph
LArge BOlometer CAmera
Laser Guide Star
Local Sidereal Time
MID-infrared Interferometric instrument
Multi-Object Spectroscopy
Max Planck Gesellschaft
Max Planck Institut für Radioastronomie
Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer
NAOS-CONICA
Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System
Narrow Band
Natural Guide Star
Observation Block
Wide Field Imager for the VST at Paranal
74
OPC
OPO
P2PP
PI
PWV
QCDP
RRM
SABOCA
SAM
SDI
SE
SHFI
SINFONI
SIS
SM
SPHERE
STRAP
SV
SW
ToO
USD
UT1
UT2
UT3
UT4
UV
UVES
VIMOS
VIRCAM
VISIR
VISTA
VLT
VLTI
VM
VST
WFI
WFS
XFFTS
XSHOOTER
ZEUS-2
Z-Spec
Observing Programmes Committee
Observing Programmes Office
Phase 2 Proposal Preparation (software tool)
Principal Investigator
Precipitable Water Vapour
Quality Control and Data Processing Group
Rapid Response Mode
Submillimetre APEX BOlometer CAmera
Sample Aperture Mask
Simultaneous Differential Imager
Seeing Enhancer
Swedish Heterodyne Facility Instrument
Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observations in the Near Infrared
Superconductor-Insulator-Superconductor
Service Mode (programme)
Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch
System for Tip-tilt Removal with Avalanche Photodiodes
Science Verification
Short Wavelength (in the IR)
Target of Opportunity
User Support Department
Unit Telescope 1 (Antu)
Unit Telescope 2 (Kueyen)
Unit Telescope 3 (Melipal)
Unit Telescope 4 (Yepun)
Ultra Violet
UV–Visual Echelle Spectrograph
VIsible MultiObject Spectrograph
VISTA InfraRed CAMera
VLT Imager and Spectrometer for mid Infra Red
Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy
Very Large Telescope
Very Large Telescope Interferometer
Visitor Mode (programme)
VLT Survey Telescope
Wide Field Imager
Wave front sensor
eXpanded Fast Fourier Transform Spectrometer
UV-Visual-NIR medium resolution echelle spectrograph
Redshift (z) and Early Universe Spectrometer
Broadband millimeter-wave Spectrometer
(end of document)
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