Release of X-Shooter Commissioning Data

This release of the X-shooter Commissioning data includes a total of 4594 files collected over 24 nights split in four commissioning periods. The first two commissioning runs were with the UV-B and VIS-R arms only, the 3rd and 4th with the UV-B, VIS-R and NIR arms.

Of the 4594 files, 3170 are calibrations, 280 images with the acquisition camera and 1144 spectra. Of the latter, the major fraction are standard star observations collected for a variety of purposes: observing template testing, instrument flux calibration, telluric absorption correction and to get data for the data reduction pipeline testing. The other targets include stars, emission line nebulae, galaxies, QSOs and one GRB. They are identified either with their catalogue name or, when there was not a catalogue name, with their 2000 coordinates. The main scope of the observations was the building up of a data set for all modes of the instrument to test the observing templates and the pipeline on different types of targets and to demonstrate the capability of the instrument.

The collection of this data set has been made possible by the good weather of Paranal (close to 90% of usable night time during the commissioning runs) and the relative smooth operation of the instrument from the first night at the telescope. They illustrate well the power of the instrument on different science targets and they can be used as reference to plan future programs and in some cases for scientific work.

It is important however to note here the limitations of this data set. The observations were taken in the first night of test of the instrument on the sky, sometimes with tentative exposure times and in not-optimal configuration (e.g. the ADC not working in the UV and VIS arms). Concerning the calibrations, sometimes it was not possible to obtain a complete set of matching calibration because the opto-mechanical set-up of the instrument was changed within a short time. The file headers are at times not complete and homogeneous, since the commission runs were also used to check and optimize the keywords.

Limited information on the status of the instrument during the observations can be obtained from the commissioning team, which can be contacted via S. D'Odorico. The list of the files from the four commissioning are given in the following excel files:

By clicking on the following links, one can download the Commissioning files from the ESO archive:

If the data are used in a scientific publications credit should be given to ESO and to the Garching and Paranal Instrument Scientists, J.Vernet and E. Mason, who executed most of the observations.

X-shooter is an instrument built by a Consortium of Danish, Dutch, French and Italian Institutes and ESO, which acted as coordinator and was in charge of the commissioning runs. More details on the project can be found at the X-Shooter Web site .

XSHOOTER Paranalization

A separate page provides information about the Release of the XShooter May 30 - June 1 Paranalization Data