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 P2 finding chart tutorial 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 done using p2 by attaching the finding chart and then clicking on the "thumbnail" version to see the full size version displayed in your browser.

Unified Guidecam tool for Finding Chart preparation

VISIR, MUSE and HAWK-I users shall use the unified Guidecam tool (GUCT) to prepare ESO-compliant Finding Charts. Using GUCT will also allow to directly connect to P2PP/p2 and upload the Finding Chart(s) to the OB(s) in preparation.

GUCT is now available from the ESO software repositories (see below), package name eso-guidecamtool.

Other Finding Chart tools

Alternatively, valid finding charts can be produced with any software tool able to produce output files in JPEG format. For users who do not use the new unified Guidecam tool, 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.

Skycat, including the ESO Finding Chart Plugin, is now avaialble from the ESO software repositories (see below), package name eso-skycat.

Additional rules for FLAMES finding charts

In addition to the general requirements for finding charts, the following requirements should be fulfilled:

  • the field of view of all finding charts must be 25 arcmin by 25 arcmin in size, with a clear indication of field center and orientation,
  • the VLT Guide Star must be clearly indicated; a field of some 30" in diameter around the star must be clearly visible,
  • the Fiducial (aka FACB) Stars must be clearly indicated; a field of some 10" in diameter around each star must be clearly visible,
  • in order to be able to evaluate the quality of the reference stars, we recommend to produce full-size A4 charts.

The above requested indications for the reference stars can be easily achieved by saving from FPOSS your fibre allocations in Skycat format and using the Skycat Finding Chart Plugin. This procedure is described in detail in the FPOSS User's Manual, Section 4.5. As of P102, Skycat (incuding the Finding chart plugin) is available for both MAC and Linux from the ESO software repositories (see below), package name eso-skycat. Once Skycat is installed, you can just use the skycat command to start skycat with the finding chart plugin enabled.

ESO Mac & Linux software repositories

For several years ESO has been providing pipelines and esoreflex via MacPorts and RPM repositories.

As of April 23rd, 2018 RPM repositories are available for several Fedora, Scientific Linux and CentOS versions and can be used under certain conditions in other RPM based distributions.

We are now in the process of extending this service, on a trial basis, to include other ESO software components, beginning with some phase 2 tools, in particular the GuideCamTool, FIMS, KARMA and FPOSS, which are now all supported both for Mac and Linux.

In addition we are providing access to an EXPERIMENTAL Ubuntu repository (providing Phase 2 tools only, no pipelines (yet)) and it is also possible to use the Scientific Linux 7 repository on RedHat Enterprise Linux 7 systems. See instructions for accessing these repositories below.

In case your OS/distribution is not one of the above, the phase 2 tools are still available for installation via the "traditional" tarball + install script methods. But please feel free to contact to let us know which OS/distribution you would like supported. Obviously we cannot promise to support every single OS/distribution, but this information will help guide us in deciding where any resources that might be available in the future would be best focussed.

Currently only 64bit systems are being supported. Please contact if you need 32bit support.

To make use of these repositories to install the available tools you will need superuser/admin user (i.e. the ability to run sudo) privilege, or else to ask you system administrator, to first install the repositories and then the tool(s).

Please follow the instructions below, as appropriate for your operating system/distribution.

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