Paranal Science Operations
Paranal Science Operations (PSO) is the department of the La Silla Paranal Observatory that is in charge of the operation of the telescopes on Paranal. These telescopes are:
- The four Unit Telescopes (UTs) forming the VLT.
- The VLTI, which is the interferometric combination of either the UTs or the Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs).
- The VST and VISTA survey telescopes.
- And in the future: the ELT!
If you are interested in working at Paranal, you are invited to inform yourself about the career prospects and working conditions in the PSO department. Also check out our alumni page to see where our previous department members are working now.
- March 29, 2022: La Sila Paranal Observatory is back to full operations. Visitor mode on site is offered as of June 2022.
- November 23, 2021: PSO operates close to pre-pandemic levels. Visitor mode is still executed in designated mode dVM.
- November 6, 2021: Users of designated visitor mode programs can view from their computer at home the relevant operation panel in the Paranal control room, via the Paranal Observatory Eavesdropping Mode (POEM). Access credentials will be provided by the mountain staff at the beginning of the run. Up to 5 users can connect to 1 terminal, 1 user can connect up to 5 terminals (if the need arises to monitor more than 1 terminal).
- POEM is also available for co-Is that want to join visiting astronomers on the mountain remotely.September 18, 2020: First scientific data taken with UVES@UT1 and FORS@UT2. Please see the LPO news page for up-to-date information on the systems back in operations.
- August 28, 2020: Minimal science operations to be resumed at Paranal, foreseen starting date September 23. Please see the LPO news page for more details. .
- March 24, 2020: Science operations at Paranal have been stopped due to the Covid pandemic. For regularly updated news given the Corona virus situation, please consult the LPO news page.
Information for Observers
In the SciOps pages, you should find all the information you need for your observations from the time you have an idea of observations until when you finish processing your data. The menu on the left contains the list of the PSO pages for the astronomers, which are described in more details hereafter. Also, some useful ESO pages (not belonging to PSO) can be accessible from the left sub-menus.
Preparing your proposals for observing time and your observations
Visiting astronomer coming to Paranal
Designated Visitor Mode Observations (dVM)
- Although the preparation and execution of your dVM run are similar to that of a VM run, the preparation of the observing material should follow the phase2 guidelines.
- At least 10 days before your run, please have your observation material prepared within p2, including the Readme file.
- This Designated Visitor Information page contains the info you will need.
- All you need for Phase 2 and afterwards is on the USD Phase 2 page
After the observations...
Special cases - Targets of Opportunity and Director Discretionary time:
- General VLT/VLTI Science Operations Policy as defined by the ESO Council.
- LGSF Policies: the rules governing the possible conflict arising because of the Laser Guide Star Facility.