How to create Finding Charts for Service Mode

In general, a finding chart has to be attached to each OB. Exceptions are given in the instrument-specific rules. Please read the P2PP3 User Manual for a detailed description on attaching finding charts to OBs.

General Finding Chart Requirements

Regardless of the instrument, finding charts must have all the following characteristics:

  • Clearly indicate the Observing Run ID.
  • Clearly indicate the PI Name.
  • Clearly indicate the OB Name or Target Name, as used in the OB to which it is attached.
  • The target(s) position(s) must be clearly indicated.
  • The entire instrument field-of-view must be shown.
  • North and East must be clearly indicated.
  • The scale must be indicated by drawing a bar and writing the bar length in arcseconds or arcminutes.
  • The wavelength range of the image must be indicated. Whenever possible, finding charts should have similar central wavelength to observations (e.g. DSS charts are often inappropriate for IR observations near the galactic equator).
  • The images should be negative, i.e. dark objects on light background.
  • The output files must be in JPEG format and their size must be less than 1 Mbyte.
  • Positions of spectroscopic acquisition reference stars, if any, should be marked.
  • Spectroscopic finding charts must indicate the slit(s) position(s) clearly (unless slits are aligned along parallactic angle)

Please verify that finding charts have sufficient quality and resolution. This can be easily done from within P2PP by using the View Finding Chart option in the Finding Charts menu of the main P2PP interface (see also the P2PP User Manual).

NEW: Unified Guidecam tool for Finding Chart preparation

VIMOS, VISIR, MUSE and HAWK-I users shall use the unified Guidecam tool (GUCT) to prepare ESO-compliant Finding Charts. Using GUCT will also allow to directly connect to P2PP and upload the Finding Chart(s) to the OB(s) in preparation.

Other Finding Chart tools

Alternatively, valid finding charts can be produced with any software tool able to produce output files in JPEG format. Users who do not use the new unified Guidecam tool, ESO recommends the use of the SkyCat-based finding chart tool. This tool provides a user-friendly interface to easily produce finding charts with the general characteristics described above.

Additional rules for FORS charts

No Finding Charts are required OBs observing moving targets, ToO or RRM OBs, Calibrator OBs, or pre-imaging OBs (although Finding Charts may be attached to such OBs, if deemed helpful). Finding Charts are mandatory for all other OBs.

All FIMS based observing modes (OCC, MOS, and MXU) require finding charts mandatorily generated with the FIMS tool.The finding chart plugin distributed with the FIMS software provides a convenient way to also comply with the above general rules.

Please include the following requirements:

  • Use the label option of the FIMS tool to get the FORS specific labeling of the finding chart automatically correct (i.e. this gives the coordinates of the field center, the rotator angle, indicates the field of view, the reference and target objects, the slit geometry, wavelength coverage etc.)
  • For FIMS based OBs the finding chart must contain an overlay of the full FIMS field clearly showing the reference stars and the slit geometry.

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