Recent Changes/News

General News

  • New: as of P104, the use of Group and Concatenation scheduling containers is allowed for Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations. ToO users are invited to familiarize 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.
  • New: as of P104, 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.
  • New: as of P104, the p2 tool includes a new tab called ObsPrep (observation preparation). It offers the possibility to visualize the observing set-up with the instrument Field-of-View on a sky image, to interactively define the central pointing of the telescope, as well as to choose VLT guide stars or blind offset stars. ObsPrep is available for X-Shooter, MUSE (noAO modes), HAWK-I (noAO modes), ESPRESSO and UVES. 
  • 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 all Paranal instruments that require finding charts. A detailed description and instructions for usage are available in the dedicated p2fc Finding Charts page.
  • 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 version 2.13.4 of P2PP. Earlier versions are not usable anymore. Please note that we are in the process of upgrading La Silla Phase 2 preaparation to the same web application p2 used at Paranal. More information will become available once deployment is completed.  
  • Since Period 96, for most VLT instruments, the former 'Seeing' constraint is now called 'Image Quality' inside the Observation Blocks. As before, you are expected to enter the requested image quality at the observed wavelength and airmass. This must be consistent with the V-band seeing at zenith you requested in your Phase 1 proposal. Conversions between seeing and image quality can be performed with the Exposure Time Calculator for the concerned instruments. The OB validation script of p2 naturally takes this change into account.

Observatory News

Please have a look at the latest news and events of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. This page covers some important telescope and instruments news from the  various ESO sites.


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