How to create Finding Charts for Service Mode

In general, a finding chart has to be attached to each OB. Exceptions are possible for some instruments, in which case this is specified in the instrument-specific rules, which can be found by selecting the instrument from the pull-down instrument selector menu in the upper right of this web page.

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, e.g. 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 the parallactic angle)

Please verify that finding charts have sufficient quality and resolution. This can be done using p2 by attaching the finding chart and then clicking on the "thumbnail" version to see the full size version displayed in your browser.

Please read the P2 finding chart tutorial for a detailed description on how to attach finding charts to OBs.

How to create finding charts

p2 Finding Chart Generation service

As of P103, 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 almost all of the P103 VLT instruments that require finding charts. A detailed description and instructions for usage are available in the dedicated p2fc Finding Charts page.

For P103, this service should be considered somewhat experimental. If it works for you great, if for any reason it doesn't, please tell us about it. In any case OBs must be submitted by the Phase 2 deadline including attached compliant Finding Charts (unless this requirement has been WAIVERed for your OB(s)/run...).

Unified Guidecam tool for Finding Chart creation

VISIR, MUSE and HAWK-I users can use the unified Guidecam tool (GUCT) to prepare ESO-compliant Finding Charts. Using GUCT is recommended for those cases where the user also wants to interactively prepare the observations, e.g. select the guide stars for AO observations, check the offsets for the sky, etc. etc. GUCT allows to directly connect to p2 and upload the planned observing parameters as well as the associated Finding Chart(s) to the OB(s) in preparation.

GUCT is available from the ESO software repositories (see below), package name eso-guidecamtool.

Other Finding Chart tools

Alternatively, valid finding charts can be produced with any software tool able to produce output files in JPEG format. For users who do not use the unified Guidecam tool or the p2 finding chart generation service, ESO recommends the use of the SkyCat-based finding chart tool. This tool provides another user-friendly interface to easily produce finding charts with the general characteristics described above.

Skycat, including the ESO Finding Chart Plugin, is now available from the ESO software repositories (see below), package name eso-skycat.


Additional rules for VLTI finding charts

For VLTI observations, a 5 x 5 arcmin optical finding chart should be submitted, centered on the target (whether it is a science object or a calibrator), showing objects brighter than V=17.

Additional rules for MATISSE finding charts

If the target is not a single isolated source in the near-infrared (NIR) FOV of MATISSE, a NIR Finding Chart  (30x30 arcsec, with the SKY position labeled) should be submitted in addition to the optical Finding Chart required for all VLTI observations.

ESO Mac & Linux software repositories

For several years ESO has been providing pipelines and esoreflex via MacPorts and RPM repositories.

As of April 23rd, 2018 RPM repositories are available for several Fedora, Scientific Linux and CentOS versions and can be used under certain conditions in other RPM based distributions.

We are now in the process of extending this service, on a trial basis, to include other ESO software components, beginning with some phase 2 tools, in particular the GuideCamTool, FIMS, KARMA and FPOSS, which are now all supported both for Mac and Linux.

In addition we are providing access to an EXPERIMENTAL Ubuntu repository (providing Phase 2 tools only, no pipelines (yet)) and it is also possible to use the Scientific Linux 7 repository on RedHat Enterprise Linux 7 systems. See instructions for accessing these repositories below.

In case your OS/distribution is not one of the above, the phase 2 tools are still available for installation via the "traditional" tarball + install script methods. But please feel free to contact usd-help@eso.org to let us know which OS/distribution you would like supported. Obviously we cannot promise to support every single OS/distribution, but this information will help guide us in deciding where any resources that might be available in the future would be best focussed.

Currently only 64bit systems are being supported. Please contact usd-help@eso.org if you need 32bit support.

To make use of these repositories to install the available tools you will need superuser/admin user (i.e. the ability to run sudo) privilege, or else to ask you system administrator, to first install the repositories and then the tool(s).

Please follow the instructions below, as appropriate for your operating system/distribution.

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