Recent Changes/News

General News

  • NEW: For Service Mode observations that use VLT or VLTI instruments on Paranal it is now possible to design more complex observing strategies in the p2 tool with nested scheduling containers. For example a science case that requires time-monitoring of a set of concatenations of science+telluric OBs can be expressed as time-links of concatenations. For the VLTI imaging observations use of groups of pairs of science+calibrator is mandatory, such that the group defines the set of concatenations that contribute to the same image or uv plane. Nested scheduling containers should be used only if strictly necessary as they increase complexity for observations and scheduling.
  • NEW: As of 5 July 2021 the support via has been decommissioned. We kindly ask the users to Contact Us on the new Helpdesk portal. Whenever possible, please state the relevant run ID and instrument for which support is needed.
  • Preparation of the Service Mode observations for all Paranal instruments must be made with the web-based tool p2.
  • For the preparation of Visitor Mode observations for all Paranal instrumentsp2 must also be used. For more information please follow Visitor Mode Phase 2 Guidelines.
  • Observation preparation for La Silla telescopes must be done using web application p2ls, which is a "cousin" of the p2 used at Paranal.
  • Submission of Programme Change Requests (target and setup change) as well as Waiver requests to violate some Service Mode preparation rule is now implemented in p2. Select the Run folder and then on the upper right the appropriate change request menu to submit a well justified request.
  • ESO has implemented a Finding Chart Generation service into p2, called p2fc, which allows the automated non-interactive creation of finding charts for individual or multiple OBs at the push of a button for all Paranal instruments that require finding charts. A detailed description and instructions for usage are available in the dedicated p2fc Finding Charts page.
  • ObsPrep tab in p2 offers visualisation of the observing set-up with the instrument Field of view on a sky image, and easy selection of guide and AO stars and/or blind offset stars. It also supports User Background Images, which are then subsequently used for generation of finding charts by p2fc. ObsPrep is available for all modes of ESPRESSO, HAWK-I, MUSE, UVES, VISIR, CRIRES and X-Shooter and the Argus fast acquisition mode of FLAMES (Visitor Mode only) and FORS non-FIMS modes.
  • The use of Group and Concatenation scheduling containers is allowed for Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations. ToO users are invited to familiarise with the updated procedure to trigger ToO observations. The use of time-link containers for ToO observations is not allowed. Use of scheduling containers of any kind is not allowed for Rapid Response Mode observations.
  • The atmospheric turbulence constraint introduced since P105 generalizes the classical seeing constraint used so far, and takes into account the coherence time and the fraction of turbulence in the ground layer, for instruments that need it, in addition to the classical seeing. For more information please consult the observing conditions webpage, as well as instrument User Manuals for specifics per instrument. The Exposure Time Calculators have been updated to reflect these changes.
  • The allowable maximum Precipitable Water Vapour (PWV) should be provided for all instruments. The default value is set to 30 mm and should be fine for all non-IR instruments. The ETCs can be used to evaluate the impact on data as well as to assess the probability of realisation should the PWV be changed.

Observatory News

Please have a look at the latest news and events of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. This page summarizes the status of instruments and telescopes from ESO observatories.

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