Instructions for Visiting Astronomers

  • Remember to read the latest CRIRES news.
  • Any questions about your visitor mode run, email
  • Look at the CRIRES telescope allocation schedule. Check that your targets are not too close to the Moon (>30 degrees if possible). If they are very close (<10 degrees) then the telesccope Active Optics and/or CRIRES Adaptive Optics may not work.
  • Remember to prepare a backup program in case of poor seeing, thin clouds or strong winds (usually southern targets [DEC<-24.6 deg] are required in this case). To do this fill out this web form. Recall that without prior-approval, only targets in your Phase I proposal should be observed. Please send the backup request well in advance and not at the last minute when it may be impossible to approve. Recall that the VLT cannot observe through the zenith so take care in scheduling observations of sources with declinations within about 3 degrees of -24.6.
  • Read the User manual!. In particular, note that: (1) Normally 3 darks, 3 flatfields and a wavelength calibration (for settings < 2400-nm only) are taken the morning after your observations. You can ask your Night Astronomer to do more and/or change the DIT/NDIT combination of the Darks. (2) At the start of P88 we moved to two slit widths of fixed width 0.2 and 0.4 arcseconds plus a closed position. (3) On the mountain there are a number of technical templates that you may be able to use as a visitor, for example CRIRES_spec_tec_LampFlats, that allows explicit setting of the DIT. (4) AO observations of bright targets with thick cloud are not allowed due to the possibility of damaging the Avalanche Photo Diodes. Objects brighter than 10.5 in R should be avoided. (5) If SEQ.NGS.USELASTSKY is set to 'F' you need to be sure that the sky position chosen (by default 4 arcseconds East and 4 arcseconds North) is free of stars. Otherwise, damage to the APDs may result. The offset can be changed. (6) AO stars must be fainter than about R=0.4 magnitude (depending on the colour) (7) If you plan to use a visitor gas cell, please email in advance of your run.
  • Quick-look reduced data should be available of your observations. These should not be used for science purposes. Note that DVDs are no longer provided by Paranal and you should download your data from the archive using the calSelector option to associate the calibrations nearest in time to your observations. Check the CRIRES cookbook for details
  • If you want flatfields with a particular DIT, use one of the technical OBs available on the mountain.
  • For data reduction using the CRIRES pipeline a cookbook has recently been released available on the manuals page here
  • Please complete an end-of-mission report when your observing run is completed