Call for Science Verification Proposals with AMBER+FINITO+UT1,UT2,UT4

AMBER is offered for the first time together with the external fringe tracker FINITO in Period 82. Thus, although AMBER without fringe tracker has been in service for some time already at the UT's, the possibility of using it with FINITO opens an entirely new window on ground-based near-IR interferometry. With this in mind, the Director General of ESO has allocated a special Science Verification (SV) run with AMBER, FINITO, and 3 UT's. UT1, UT2, and UT4 have been scheduled on the nights of October 12,13, and 14 to be used with AMBER and FINITO.

All astronomers from the community are kindly invited to participate in this unique opportunity to obtain early science with AMBER and FINITO. The observations will be carried out in Service Mode by a dedicated (SV) team of ESO experts who will also assist PI's in the preparation and optimization of the OB's. As is standard practice for Science Verification, all the data will be made public worldwide as soon as it has been QC verified.

Since AMBER and FINITO on the UT's have already been offered for Period 82, all the relevant information is available through the ESO web pages and in the P82 call for proposals. In particular, information about AMBER can be found at the AMBER web site, and information about the various baseline configurations is available, although please notice that for the SV run the stations have been fixed to be UT1, UT2, and UT4 (UT3 being in maintenance). Notice also that AMBER+FINITO is offered only under fairly good seeing conditions (0.8"; tau0 >2.5ms). While conditions worse than these limits are fairly exceptional with the UT's, should they happen during the SV run, the telescopes will used by Paranal operations for regular service observing. Therefore it is not necessary to submit backup programs.

Proposals will be allocated time on the basis of scientific merit and feasibility, so please read the documentation carefully and be rigorous with the magnitude limits and observing conditions. The advantages of using FINITO with the UTs include the possibility to reach fainter limiting magnitudes in the medium resolution and high resolution modes, as well as a clearly improved accuracy of closure phase measurements. Only proposals aiming to use the unique advantages of the external fringe tracker will be accepted. Proposals designed to reach the magnitude limit of the instrument are encouraged. Reference limiting magnitudes of an unresolved source for AMBER with FINITO are given below:

AMBER/FINITO SV LIMITING MAGNITUDES

ModeLimiting Magnitude
LR Fringe Tracking (FT)H,K=7
LR Group Tracking (GT)H,K=7.5
MR FTH,K=7
HR FTH,K=6

In order to simplify the distribution of the proposals to the reviewers, please use the special LaTex template. Please send only the PDF output, and do not send finding charts at this time. These will be requested in due course by the SV team. Applications should be sent by EMAIL to jmelnick@eso.org not later than September 10, 2008.