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), or using p2 by attaching the finding chart and then clicking on the "thumbnail" version to see the full size version displayed in your browser.

Unified Guidecam tool for Finding Chart preparation

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/p2 and upload the Finding Chart(s) to the OB(s) in preparation.

GUCT is now 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 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.

FIMS, the FORS observation preparation software is a such a SkyCat-based finding chart tool. Once installed, if you only what to make finding charts, you can simly run the skycat command (that is installed alongside the fims.sh command). FIMS is now avaialble from the ESO software repositories (see below), package name eso-fors-fims-P101 (except on Ubuntu where it is eso-fors-fims-p101).


Additional rules for UVES finding charts

Target acquisition with UVES relies on precise target coordinates. The VLT-UT2 pointing accuracy is better than 1 arcsec RMS. Therefore, an accuracy of the provided target coordinates of better than 1 arcsec is requested which will bring the object already close to the slit center.

For faint targets (V>20mag, B>19mag) or extended objects, offset stars have to be used to define the precise slit position.

In addition to the standard Service Mode finding chart requirements, the finding charts for UVES have to be provided in the North up - East left convention with a field size of 1x1 arcminutes and the target clearly identified. If offset stars are used for target aquisition, a corresponding 1x1 arcminute chart for the offset star has to be provided. If in the acquisition templates the slit is oriented with a specific position angle ("SKY" mode), the slit orientation and size have to be indicated on the finding chart.

Please note that Finding Charts are not Searching Charts. They are used for target identification in case of close multiple objects or crowded fields. No searches for targets will be performed if the object cannot be identified with the provided finding chart.

ESO Mac & Linux software repositories

For several years ESO has been providing pipelines and esoreflex via MacPorts, Fedora 20-25 RPM and Scientific Linux 7 RPM repositories. 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 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 CentOS-7 and 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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