Instructions for Visiting Astronomers

  • Remember to read the latest CRIRES news.
  • Any questions about your visitor mode run, email crires@eso.org.
  • 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 telescope 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. If the wind speed is higher than 12 m/s the telescope needs to point at least 90 degrees away. Note that the North/South cutoff is -24.6 deg and the wind normally (not always) comes from the North.  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 3 degrees of -24.6.
  • Check that the line of interest compared with telluric features (using the exposure time calculator) and make sure that it is covered by the relevant setting. Remember CRIRES wavelength coverage is not continuous and that between 2 (Y-band) and 9 (M-band) settings are needed to cover an entire band.
  • 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 crires@eso.org in advance of your run.
  • Quick-look reduced data should be available of your observations. These should not be used for science purposes. You should obtain your data from the archive archive.eso.org using the calSelector option to associate the calibrations nearest in time to your observations.
  • If you want flatfields with a particular DIT, use one of the technical OBs available on the mountain.
  • A cookbook does not yet exist for reduction of data from the upgraded CRIRES. For data reduction using the original CRIRES pipeline a cookbook is available on the manuals page here
  • Please complete an end-of-mission report when your observing run is completed