During the commissioning run of NEAR at UT4 alpha Cen was observed during the night of 12/13 April 2019. The purpose of these observations was to demonstrate the capabilities of the instrument, find the best observing strategies and optimise the performance of the data reduction pipeline.
The collection and release of these datasets has been facilitated by the smooth operation of the instrument since its first observing night at UT4 of the VLT. They illustrate well the power of NEAR on the selected alpha Cen science target of the VISIR upgrade for this experiment called NEAR. The data can be used as reference to plan future programmes and, in some cases, for scientific work. However, it is important to stress the limitations of these data. Some of the observations were taken with exploratory exposure times and with non-optimal observing strategies; the headers of some of the files may not be complete and homogeneous, since the commission runs were also used to check and optimize the header keywords.
The NEAR commissioning data is packaged for this particular object and telescope used. Follow the links to reach lists of data files for science exposures. There was no need to take dedicated calibration observations. There are separate links to download the entire science data package or file-by-file. Files can then be selected in the usual way for Science Archive requests. A dedicated science pipeline for reduction of NEAR data including ADI has been developed in idl and can be made available upon requests sent to Eric Pantin.
If any of these data are used for publication, please acknowledge that the results are based on public data released from the NEAR commissioning observations under Programme ID 60.A-9106(A).