CRIRES Science Verification


General Information

An integral part of the commissioning of a new instrument at the VLT is the Science Verification phase. SV programmes include a set of typical scientific observations that should verify and demonstrate to the community the capabilities of the new instrument in the operational framework of the VLT Observatory. In accordance with its SV Policy and Procedures  ESO encourages the community to submit also highly challenging or risky science observations that will push the upgraded CRIRES to its limits in order to better understand the instrument and mode performance parameter spaces and their envelopes.  

The CRyogenic high-resolution InfraRed Echelle Spectrograph (CRIRES) has been upgraded to a cross-dispersed high-resolution infrared spectrograph (sse the CRIRES Upgrade page).  

The upgraded CRIRES is now offered to the community for Science Verification (SV) for 3 or 4 nights in September 2021. All astronomers are invited to participate in this opportunity to obtain unique science with the upgraded CRIRES and thus to demonstrate its scientific capabilities. A call for proposals has been issued and the community is invited to submit proposals for the CRIRES science verification using the Phase 1 web interface. The proposal cycle "CRIRES SV" should be used for the proposal submission. Only modes offered in P108 will be accepted for SV observations. Please follow the dual-anonymous guidelines applicable since P108.

The deadline for proposal submission was 7 July 2021, 12:00 CEST.

Proposals have been reviewed by an internal panel and allocated time on the basis of scientific merit and feasibility, as well as the demonstrated ability of the Principle Investigators to deliver results on a timely basis.

The observations will be conducted in Service Mode by a dedicated team of ESO astronomers between 15 and 19 September 2021. The CRIRES SV team will be able to assist the successful PI’s in the preparation and optimisation of the OBs. The CRIRES Exposure Time Calculator has been updated, but may still change as the commissioning is still ongoing.

The latest version of the CRIRES data reduction pipeline will be released in time for reduction of the SV data. Proposers are reminded that all SV data are made public worldwide immediately after passing the usual quality control checks.

Short description of the upgraded CRIRES

CRIRES provides a resolving power of at least 40,000 (0.4" slit) or 80,000 (0.2" slit) in the spectral range from 0.95 to 5.3μm. CRIRES offers relatively high spatial (extended sources), spectral and temporal resolution. Spectral coverage is maximized through the use of a cross disperser and a mosaic of three Hawaii H2RG arrays providing an effective 6144 x 2048 pixel focal plane detector. Adaptive Optics (MACAO - Multi-Applications Curvature Adaptive optics) is used to feed the light into the slit and thereby enhance the signal-to-noise ratio of the observations. Although CRIRES will eventually offer polarimetry, this SV call does not include polarimetry, as it has not yet been commissioned.

Phase 2 preparation

The PIs (or their Phase 2 delegates) of accepted proposals must prepare and submit the Phase 2 material using P2 

by 3 September 2021, 12:00 Central European Time (CEST)

to ensure that all observing material can be verified and is ready for the observations during the SV run.

The service mode guidelines for preparing the SV observations are the same as those for regular CRIRES observations, available at

Approved programmes

A total of 23 proposals have been allocated SV time. The observations were performed in Service Mode by a dedicated team and the collected data is  available to the whole user community through the ESO Archive. See VLT SV Policy and Procedures for more details.

All raw data for the respective programmes are available by following the link 'Data' column in the table below. Corresponding calibration data may not be included in the selection, which is based on the programme ID. Each night a telluric standard was observed in all settings employed during that night. 

The pipeline will become available with the regular start of CRIRES operations at the beginning of October 2021.

Prop. Nr. Title Data
107.22SP Cyclic C3H3+ : a search for the smallest aromatic molecule in space Partially completed
107.22SQ Stellar abundances from stars in highly crowded and extincted fields: the Nuclear Star Cluster Partially completed
107.22SS Revealing the Origins of Rare Elements With CRIRES+: The Metal-Poor Planetary Nebula NGC 6790 Completed
107.22SU Testing accretion and ejection mechanisms in young stars with CRIRES+ and PENELLOPE Completed
107.22SV Constraining the chemistry and physics of protoplanetary disks within Earth-like orbits. Completed
107.22SX Characterisation of the Hot Saturn WASP-20b and its Host Star through the High Spectral Resolution of CRIRES Completed
107.22SZ HD 222925: A Stellar Rosetta Stone for Heavy Elements in the NIR Completed
107.22T1 Coronal lines of active stars in the infrared Not started
107.22T4 Spectroscopic follow up of the recently discovered Milky Way globular cluster VVV-CL160 Partially completed
107.22T5 Probing the impact of dust cavities on the gas distribution in intermediate-mass stars Not started
107.22T7 A full L and M band, velocity resolved study of the S CrA N&S disks Completed
107.22TB Formation and fate of an exoplanet on a Planet Nine-like orbit around the young Sun-analog AB Pic Not started
107.22TE Transmission Spectroscopy of exoplanets on the verge of the Neptune Desert Completed
107.22TF Resolving Atomic Gas in the Circumgalactic Medim of a High-Redshift Quasar Absorber Completed
107.22TG Isotope inventory in an L dwarf: a benchmark for isotopologue ratios in exoplanets Completed
107.22TN A high-resolution H3+ spectrum from Jupiter's aurora Completed
107.22TQ Showcasing the potential of CRIRES+ for exoplanet spectroscopy: a phase curve of the ultra-hot Jupiter MASCARA- 1b Completed
107.22TZ Tracing the most recent mass loss episodes in massive post-Red Supergiants Completed
107.22U1 The helium isotope ratio of the Orion Nebula Completed
107.22U5 Scrutinizing the young, nearby beta Pic b with CRIRES+: pushing the limits of rotation rates and atmospheric composition Completed
107.22U7 Measuring the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect of HIP 65 Ab with CRIRES+ Completed
107.22U8 Into the red: Pushing high resolution spectroscopy of exoplanet atmospheres to its reddest limits Not started
107.22UB From Reflected to Emitted Light: Discoveries in Neptune's NIR to MIR Spectra Completed