Recent Changes/News

General News

  • For Service Mode observations that use VLT or VLTI instruments on Paranal it is now possible to design more complex observing strategies in the p2 tool with nested scheduling containers. For example a science case that requires time-monitoring of a set of concatenations of science+telluric OBs can be expressed as time-links of concatenations. For the VLTI imaging observations use of groups of pairs of science+calibrator is mandatory, such that the group defines the set of concatenations that contribute to the same image or uv plane. Nested scheduling containers should be used only if strictly necessary as they increase complexity for observations and scheduling.
  • As of July 2021 we kindly ask the users to Contact Us on the new Helpdesk portal. Whenever possible, please state the relevant run ID and instrument for which support is needed.
  • 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 all Paranal instruments that require finding charts. A detailed description and instructions for usage are available in the dedicated p2fc Finding Charts page.
  • ObsPrep tab in p2 offers visualisation of the observing set-up with the instrument Field of view on a sky image, and easy selection of guide and AO stars and/or blind offset stars. It also supports User Background Images, which are then subsequently used for generation of finding charts by p2fc. ObsPrep is available for all modes of ESPRESSO, HAWK-I, MUSE, UVES, VISIR, CRIRES, X-Shooter, non-FIMS modes of FORS, ERIS and the Argus fast acquisition mode of FLAMES (Visitor Mode only).
  • The use of Group and Concatenation scheduling containers is allowed for Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations. ToO users are invited to familiarise with the updated procedure to trigger ToO observations. The use of time-link containers for ToO observations is not allowed. Use of scheduling containers of any kind is not allowed for Rapid Response Mode observations.
  • The atmospheric turbulence constraint introduced since P105 generalizes the classical seeing constraint used so far, and takes into account the coherence time and the fraction of turbulence in the ground layer, for instruments that need it, in addition to the classical seeing. For more information please consult the observing conditions webpage, as well as instrument User Manuals for specifics per instrument. The Exposure Time Calculators have been updated to reflect these changes.

Observatory News

Please have a look at the latest news and events of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. This page summarizes the status of instruments and telescopes from ESO observatories.

Recent news for VLTI

Nested containers

As of P108, the use of nested containers for VLTI observations is offered. These include groups of (SCI/CAL) concatenations or time links of (SCI/CAL) concatenations. P2 tutorials are available to guide you through the creation of a group of concatenations for imaging (VLTI Imaging p2 Tutorial) and a relative time link of concatenations (VLTI time link p2 Tutorial).

Support for imaging

As of Period 108, ESO introduces imaging slots (ISLs) in the VLTI-AT telescope schedule, in order to further improve the efficiency of VLTI imaging observations. ISLs are periods of about two weeks of uninterrupted service mode, with flexibility on the exact dates to change the AT configurations. The ISLs are specifically set aside and normally centred around new moon in November, February, May, and August of every year. ISLs are primarily intended to support imaging observations, but they are not restricted to this type of VLTI observations. ISLs are regular SM time, and OBs are executed according to their priority. Likewise, imaging observations are not restricted to ISLs, but can be executed in SM time outside of the ISLs.

In case of imaging observations, the use of groups of concatenations is mandatory to define the set of concatenation that contribute to the same image (the same uv plane). If the image needs to be completed within a certain period of time, all OBs of the group need to use absolute time constraints within which the image shall be completed, ideally around an ISL. PIs of VLTI imaging programmes can petition to repeat all observations of a time-critical imaging campaign if it was not completed within the requested time under certain conditions as outlined in the Time critical OB execution policies.
A p2 tutorial on VLTI Imaging specifically has been prepared to guide you through the creation of a group of concatenations for imaging.

Community-supported VLTI Expertise Centres

For users to VLTI needing assistance to prepare their VLTI observations, the community supported VLTI Expertise Centres - distributed throughout Europe - can offer in-depth support. They also offer support for observation preparation, advanced data reduction and interpretation.


Recent news for MATISSE

Please check the instrument new page for the latest news on MATISSE:



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