MUSE Wide Field Mode AO Science Verification



General Information

An integral part of the commissioning of a new instrument at the VLT is the Science Verification phase. SV programmes include a set of typical scientific observations that should verify and demonstrate to the community the capabilities of the new instrument in the operational framework of the VLT Observatory. In accordance with its SV Policy and Procedures  ESO encourages the community to submit also highly challenging or risky science observations that will push MUSE/AOF and the VLT to its limits in order to better understand the performance parameter space and its envelope. Such observations should focus on the instruments core modes in order to benefit a wide community.

MUSE, the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer, is an Integral Field Spectrograph located at the Nasmyth B focus of Yepun, the VLT UT4 telescope. It has a modular structure composed of 24 identical IFU modules that together sample, in Wide Field Mode (WFM), a near-contiguous 1 squared arcmin field of view. Spectrally the instrument samples almost the full optical domain with a mean resolution of 3000. With the GALACSI Adaptive Optics system in combination with the VLT Adaptive Optics Facility, MUSE will offer an AO-corrected 1'x1' field of view with 0."2 sampling.

The new adaptive-optics assisted MUSE mode is offered to the community for Science Verification (SV) for 3 nights in August 2017. All astronomers are invited to participate in this opportunity to obtain unique science with these the MUSE AO-supported wide-field mode and thus to demonstrate its scientific capabilities. A call for proposals has been issued and the community was invited to submit proposals for the MUSE WFM-AO science verification using the simplified proposal template. The deadline for this call for proposals is 14 June 2017, 18:00 CEST.

Proposals will be reviewed by an internal panel and allocated time on the basis of scientific merit and feasibility, as well as in the demonstrated ability of the Principle Investigators to deliver results on a timely basis.

The observations will be conducted during the nights of 12-14 August 2017 in Service Mode by a dedicated team of ESO astronomers. The MUSE WFM SV team will be able to assist the successful PI’s in the preparation and optimisation of the OB’s on a best effort basis only.

The latest version of the MUSE data reduction pipeline will be available for reduction of the SV data. Proposers are reminded that all SV data are made public worldwide immediately after passing the usual quality control checks.


Short description of the WFM-AO of MUSE

GALACSI is an AO system developed to increase the performance of MUSE. It uses a 4 laser guide star system (LGS) and the deformable secondary mirror on UT4 to provide a wave-front that is corrected for the turbulent atmospheric ground layer. It shall double the ensquared energy in one spatial pixel at 750nm by correcting the ground-layer turbulence across the entire field of view. One visible natural Tip-Tilt Star (TTS) will be used to correct for the remaining atmospheric tip-tilt. This TTS has to be located between 52" and 105" off axis and must be brighter than R=17.5 mag and needs to be provided in the proposal.

The MUSE ETC has not been updated for the new mode yet, as the commissioning is still pending. We encourage the proposers to use the current MUSE ETC and use a slightly increased image quality for the calculation of the exposure times.


MUSE with GALACSI in Wide Field Mode. (TTS=Tip-Tilt Star, LGS=Laser Guide Star, SGS=Slow Guiding System)



Approved programmes

A total of 19 proposals have been allocated SV time. The observations will be performed in Service Mode style by a dedicated team and the collected data will be made available to the whole user community through the ESO Archive. See VLT SV Policy and Procedures for more details.


WARNING: all (raw) data and calibrations are becoming public shortly after observations.
There is no proprietary period nor earlier data release to the PIs.


Below is the list of approved projects, together with the corresponding title and assigned programme ID. Shortly after the SV run, for those programmes completed or started we will add the link to data in the archive.

Programme ID PI Name Project Title Status
60.A-9180(A) Smail A MUSE+ALMA survey of the z = 1.46 cluster XCS J2215−17
60.A-9181(A) Alfaro-Cuello A window into the heart of a nuclear star cluster with MUSE WFM+AO observations of M54
60.A-9182(A) Valenti A kinematics study of VVV-CL001: the first binary cluster in the Milky Way?
60.A-9183(A) Sana The compact young and massive cluster NGC 330 in the Small Magellanic Cloud
60.A-9184(A) Ferraro What’s going on in the central regions of NGC 6441 and NGC 6440?
60.A-9185(A) Kuncarayakti 3D view of SN 1987A at 30 years
60.A-9186(A) Cairos-Barreto Haro 14 with MUSE: star formation and feedback in dwarf galaxies
60.A-9187(A) Peroux Spatially Resolved Metal Gas Clouds
60.A-9188(A) Adamo From gas to stars: the star formation lifecycle at parsec scales
60.A-9189(A) Augustin Extent and Homogeneity of gas around elliptical galaxies
60.A-9190(A) Sánchez-Janssen Mapping the chemical complexity of extremely metal-poor galaxies  
60.A-9191(A) Bik High resolution view of feedback in an extreme starburst galaxy  
60.A-9192(A) Fahrion Has the nucleus of FCC47 been feasting on globular clusters?
60.A-9193(A) Krajnovic Testing the robustness of black hole mass recovery with MUSE and ALMA: the early-type galaxy NGC6958
60.A-9194(A) Kool Unveiling the detailed environment of hidden supernovae with MUSE
60.A-9195(A) Zanella What is the fate of giant star-forming clumps at high redshift?
60.A-9196(A) Jauzac Solving the core vs cusp problem in more than one dimension
60.A-9197(A) Vogt Spiral in the dark - lifting shadows at large R
60.A-9198(A) Vogt Taking a sharp-er look at a key supernova remnant in the SMC  


Phase 2 Preparation guidelines

To ensure that all observing material can be verified and ready for the observations during the MUSE SV run between 12 and 14 August, the PIs (or their Phase 2 delegates) of accepted proposals must prepare and submit the Phase 2 material using P2PP3 by 31 July, 12:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST).

Users are strongly encouraged to prepare the OBs with an SV-dedicated new release of the GuideCam tool (see checklist below), which helps selecting suitable Tip-Tilt Stars, as well as preparing ESO compliant finding charts.

Here we provide a quick checklist that will guide you for the preparation of the Phase 2 package for your upcoming MUSE WFM-AO SV observations.

Before you start...:

The Phase 2 package consists of...:

  • A set of OBs, constructed and submitted to the ESO database using P2PP3. 
  • Finding charts that are attached to OBs using P2PP3 and automatically submitted when the OBs are checked-in
  • A README file providing an overview of your programme details, also prepared and submitted from within P2PP3

Once the submission is complete..:

  • Do not forget to click the Alert ESO... button (the whistle button in the tool bar) in P2PP3! This step has to be repeated for every observing run for which you are submitting Phase 2 material. Please be reminded that your phase 2 package submission, re-submission, or modification will not be processed until you have notified ESO of the completion of your submission using the Alert ESO... button.

Where to seek help...:

  • Please contact the ESO User Support Department in all matters regarding phase 2 preparation. Please include the programme ID in the subject line!


Useful links