X-SHOOTER p2 Tutorial

This tutorial provides a step-by-step example of the preparation of a set of OBs with XSHOOTER at the ESO/VLT. The specifics of this tutorial pertain to the preparation of OBs for Period 101 onward.  Please note that all the figures shown below can be clicked on to get higher resolution versions.

To follow this tutorial you should have familiarity with p2: the web-based tool for the preparation of Phase 2 materials. A short introductiory video illustrating how to use p2 is available here.

Please refer to the main p2 webpage (and the items in the menu bar on the left of that page) for a general overview of p2 and generic instructions on the preparation of Observing Blocks (OB). Please also follow the link to the p2 ObsPrep Tutorial for explanations on what can be done with the ObsPrep tab of p2, including interactive planning of blind offset and observing offsets (e.g., generic offsets, nod-on-slit), uploading of user provided background images which are also used to create the instrument-compliant Finding Charts with the p2fc Tab (see here). 

Screenshots for the tutorials were made using the demo mode of p2, but should not differ in any way from one's experience in preparing your own OBs under your run.


First steps

The Phase 2 process begins when you receive a communication of the ESO Observing Programmes Office (OPO) communicating to you that the allocation of time for the coming period has finalized and that the results can be consulted in the corresponding Web page. You follow the instructions given by ESO and find that time was allocated to your run with X-Shooter. Therefore, you decide to start preparing your Phase 2 material. First, you collect all the necessary documentation:

Examples of X-Shooter Observing Block creation

Observations at the VLT are performed in terms of Observing Block (OB), which represents the basic observational unit. As such, astronomers specify their programmes in terms of OBs, which contain all the necessary information to obtain a single observation. Observations with X-Shooter are therefore performed through dedicated OBs that contain both general and X-Shooter specific information. In what follows we concentrate on the main X-Shooter specific information required to construct an OB.

The links from this page will showcase some typical examples of how one can create OBs for observations with X-Shooter:


Example OBs available on p2demo

Additional example OBs are available on p2 demo, under the programme ID 60.A-9253(P). There you can access to the XSHOOTER Tutorial folder created by us, where we have stored a sample of OBs designed for different modes and observing strategy. The example OBs are not editable but can be exported if needed. Please refrain from creating new OBs in the XSHOOTER Tutorial folder, rather create a new folder for your tests.

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