Recent Changes/News

General News

  • NEW: As of 5 July 2021 the support via has been decommissioned. 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.
  • Preparation of the Service Mode observations for all Paranal instruments must be made with the web-based tool p2.
  • For the preparation of Visitor Mode observations for all Paranal instrumentsp2 must also be used. For more information please follow Visitor Mode Phase 2 Guidelines.
  • Observation preparation for La Silla telescopes must be done using web application p2ls, which is a "cousin" of the p2 used at Paranal.
  • Submission of Programme Change Requests (target and setup change) as well as Waiver requests to violate some Service Mode preparation rule is now implemented in p2. Select the Run folder and then on the upper right the appropriate change request menu to submit a well justified request.
  • 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 visualisatoin 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, and X-Shooter 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.
  • The allowable maximum Precipitable Water Vapour (PWV) should be provided for all instruments. The default value is set to 30 mm and should be fine for all non-IR instruments. The ETCs can be used to evaluate the impact on data as well as to assess the probability of realisation should the PWV be changed.

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 PIONIER

PIONIER was first offered for service mode in P96. Please check here for the latest news:


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