At the Telescope

Pointing Restrictions

The telescope will not point closer than 3 degrees from zenith crossing and to zenith distances larger than 70 degrees.

Atmospheric Restrictions

When the wind speed is larger than 12m/s, the telescope should point at least 90 degrees away from wind direction. The telescope will be closed for wind speed larger than 18m/s.

The telescope will also be closed whenever the relative humidity is above 70% (or dew point is within 1.5 degrees of any telescope or instrument temperature). It will be opened again after humidity gets back to 50% for at least 30 minutes.

Telescope will be closed during periods of complete or almost complete cloud coverage.

The decision about closing and pointing restrictions is made by the weather officer, who is an experienced telescope and instrument operator (TIO).


wu#dhs for retrieving your OBs: the ftp transaction from your directory on the Linux PC (visas-account) and the import into vot on wu#dhs will be done by the support astronomer. Please do not create your own directories on wu#dhs machines.

The wgsoff# workstation is used for quick look data reduction, netscape, etc... This workstation does not interfere with the telescope nor instrument control, so it is the ONLY one where you can run your prefered software. On wgsoff#, you also have access to your raw data in the directory /data-ut#/raw/yyyy-mm-dd/. You should not create directories under /data-ut#/raw/ or /data-ut#/reduced/, but rather copy files to the home-directory and work on them there. You may use the ESO tool GASGANO on this workstation, which allows an easier handling of the raw and reduced data.

You can copy your data also to your personal laptop. Connect the laptop to the wireless network ESO_VA in the control room (password provided by the night astronomer). Then push the data from the offline machine to your laptop, using e.g. scp or rsync. You can also copy the data to your visas account and transfer them to your laptop from there.

The instrument workstation is managed by the support astronomer. BOB is the interface between your vot-session and the instrument. A Real-Time Display (RTD) is available on this workstation, where you can quickly check the quality of your data.

Target Acquistion

The acquistion of the target is done by the supporting night astronomer or the telescope and TIO, based on the instruction of the visiting astronomer. The visitor should therefore participate in the acquisition, and confirm that the proper target is chosen and that the OB can be continued.

Observation Log

Visitors will automatically receive the night report in pdf format as email. It is sent to the PI.

Day-time calibrations

The calibrations will be started in the morning by the TIO and checked by the day-time astronomer.