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).

Skycat Finding Chart tool

Although in most cases valid finding charts can be produced with any software tool able to produce output files in JPEG format, 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 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 AMBER finding charts

If the target is not a single isolated source in the near-infrared (NIR), a NIR Finding Chart for IRIS (2x2 arcmin) should be submitted in addition to the optical Finding Chart required for all VLTI observations.

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