About the La Silla Web

WARNING: This information is largely outdated.
For details and up-to-date information please check with Michael Naumann !!!

The following text provides a brief overview of the restructured La Silla Web site and may help in finding the various documents in the new structure.


In the second half of 2007 a large fraction of the Science Users Web was ported tothe new look and feel for the ESO Web that was introducted earlier that year. In spring 2008 the Paranal Web site was ported to the new look and feel. In this port the information was slightly relocated to reflect the organisational structure of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. Efforts continued in the first half of 2008 to also port the La Silla Web. This work was basically finished by end June 2008 after which the new site was released on 16 July.

Bug reports, comments, suggestions and other useful information can be sent to Rein Warmels. All input is listed on together with the actions taken. Please check this page before sending your input.

Table of Content

Site Structure

The new La Silla Web is now part of the La Silla Paranal Observatory Web site which also includes Paranal and APEX. The La Silla Paranal Web provides information that is common for Paranal, La Silla and APEX (News, Contact Information,Internal Documents) and the Paranal and La Silla sites Webs. APEX is linked to an external URL.

The new La Silla Web is structured very much alike the Paranal Web, both on the file system level as well as from the user's perspective, i.e. the navigation menus and layout of the pages. As for Paranal the La Silla Web is divided in a number of sections:

  1. News
  2. Contact information
  3. Site and Logistics
  4. Telescopes Overview
  5. Instrumentation
  6. Astroclimatology
  7. Science Operations

The first two sections (News and Contact Information) are shared with Paranal as part of the top La Silla Paranal Observatory News and Contact pages.

When setting up the new site, some attempts were made to sort out old and outdated information. Information that appeared old and obsolete is not used for the new site. In case this information is still needed it can be taken from the original files on epu. On the other hand, it will be very useful if the La Silla staff removes files and information from the new site when it seems obsolete or outdated.

News and Contact Information

The La Silla News and Contact Information are parts of the La Silla Paranal News and Contacts pages. The links bring you to the La Silla sections in these pages. The La Silla sections are separate files that maintained within the /lasilla branch of /sci/facilities/ (see below).

Site and Logistics

This section provides important site and logistics information relevant for La Silla Staff and for users and visitors of the La Silla Facilities. These include safety, transportation, food, health, communication, etc. Note that a separate link to Emergency Procedures is available at the top of the La Silla Facilities menu.


The Telescopes section contains the telescopes that are currently operational. Orginally, telescope and instrument documents were included in the SciOps folder. In the new structure Telescopes and Instruments are separate sections with a numberof standard subsections. As a consequence, the SciOps area is substantially reduced and concentrates on the operational and organisational aspects of the La Silla site.

For each telescope there is technical information, information for observers, and information about operations. The telescope operations pages provide links to all technical documentation,manuals, procedures, maintenance issues and other information.

On the telescope pages links are provided to the instrument(s) that are available. The Danish 1.5m telescope is also included in the Telescopes Overview section. However, these files have not been converted to the new look and feel. Web pages of old and decommissioned telescopes are still available via www.ls.eso.org. In order to reduce confusion between what is on /www.eso.org/sci/facilities/lasilla and what on www.ls.eso.org it would useful to move the old telescope information to the new structure too (but without further conversion).


The Instrumentation section is very much structured like the Paranal Instrumentation pages. Technical descriptions can be found under Instrument Description. Manuals contain the User's documentation and observing guides, as well as links to other pages. Visitors shall also consult the Visitor Instruction pages. For all instruments the IOT pages shall be checked on correctness.

In the old La Silla Web CCD information was spread over different directories. In the new Web all CCD info can be found under /sci/facilities/lasilla/sciops/CCDs. Science Operations also covered observating issues of general nature (Phase I and II, computing, policies). Instrument specific information can be found in the instrument pages in hte Instrumentation section.

Science Operations

The SciOps section consists of public folders and an internal team_only folder. Public information includes generic observing information and instructions, computing issues,ToO policies and procedures, contact information, etc. Also, this section contains all CCDs related information for all instrument on all telescopes. Hence this information is put together in one area.Internal Pages constains ALL internal information including the internal instrument related files.


The new Look and Feel is made available for all upper levels of the information. Lower level documents may still have the original old look and feel. It is intended that eventually also these documents will be converted to the new look and feel.


Links has been adjusted to reflect the new structure and to replace the www.ls.eso.org links by the corresponding links in the new structure. There are a couple of exceptions, including the older telescopes and some older instruments. It has to be decided in how far we want to include this old stuff in the new structure and what fraction is really obsolete and can be removed.

Attempts were made also to correct for broken links that originate from the orginal pages. Some of these were fixed, some links still need to be repaired.

All links in the new Web shall be either be relative or start with /sci/facilities/lasilla.This enables the usage of the files on a local server, e.g. www.ls.eso.org. URLs starting with www.ls.eso.org/ shall no longer be used for Science Operations, telescopes, instruments, site, and user information. www.ls.eso.org remains in use for internal documents, e.g. Meteo Monitor, La Silla University, etc.

Internal Pages

Note that there three areas of internal information:

  • Internal information that is directly related with Science Operations at La Silla can be found under La Silla Science Operations Information.
  • Internal information that is of direct relevance for the La Silla Paranal Observatory staff can be found the LPO Internal Pages
  • Finally, internal information of general nature that might also be of interest for all staff can be found on the ESO Intranet Divisions and DepartmentsIntranet page for the La Silla Paranal Observatory.


Similar to the Paranal Web site, the La Silla Web site will basically maintained by the La Silla staff on the local La Silla web developemnt server, i.e. epu.ls.eso.org. After editing files or creating new ones, the tool webcp will create a copy on the Garching development server (w4.hq.eso.org) and puts the file live (w1/w2). In case files are edited on w4 webcp will make a copy on epu and on w1/2, hence putting the files on the live server. In case editorial work is done on the La Silla pages in Garching on w4 the La Silla staff shall be informed.

Maintenance related details for the entire La Silla Paranal Observatory web, including the La Silla andParanal sites, can be found on the page:


Recently we noticed a few cases in which these guidelines were not followed. Therefore, and to avoid future complications, we invite you to read these pages carefully if you intend to do serious work on theLa Silla Web.Also, please check the bullet list of reminders. The list covers some frequently asked questions about the "new" ESO Web over the last year. Full documentation about the ESO Web is available.


  • Please ALWAYS edit the original source code of the pages. NEVER edit the view source output of the browser to edit pages or page code generated by other tools.
  • Please use either Dreamweaver (PC) or vi/emacs (UNIX)
  • The code contains a PHP header and footer part. They are clearly marked and this should only be modified for getting the page and browser title correct and for highlighting the right menu item. Make sure that these variables are set correctly. Do NOT change the code otherwise. See the Page Structure pages.
  • Use correct file names: NEVER use blank or special characters in the file names See the Naming Conventions pages.
  • For development of new pages please use the templates See the the Templates pages.

La Silla Specific

  • epu.ls.eso.org is a development machine. All pages can only be published via the live web servers in Garching. To published them use the command webcp. This will also make a copy on the Garching development server. See the the Tools page.
  • Do not delete files unless you are sure what you are doing.
  • Note that epu is not backup-ed.
  • The Silla web is not completely converted yet and still contains broken links. Work is in progress.

Support and Help

Editorial support for the new La Silla site is provided by the ESO Web Editorial Office which can be reached via the e-mail address: editorial-office@eso.org.

Comprehensive information about the ESO Web, in particular for page authors and other contributors, can be found on the ESO Web Intranet Web page