SPHERE P2 tutorial

This tutorial provides additional information for the preparation of a set of Observation Blocks (OBs) with SPHERE on UT1 (Antu) of the VLT. The specifics of this tutorial pertain to the preparation of OBs for Period 102 onwards.  

For SPHERE, the creation is rather straightforward and follows the general rules of p2,  the web-based tool for the preparation of Phase 2 materials. 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).  

Some examples of OBs for SPHERE are available on the p2 demo version, in run 60.A-9253(S) - SPHERE, in the folder SPHERE Tutorial.

Getting started

The Phase 2 process begins when you receive an email from ESO telling you that the allocation of time for the coming period has finalized and that you can view the results by logging into the User Portal and clicking on "Check the time allocation information" (within the Phase 1 card). Note that the username and password that you need to use for the User Portal are the same as those you will use to prepare your OBs.

You follow the instructions given by ESO and find that time was allocated to your run with KMOS. Therefore, you decide to start preparing your Phase 2 material.

First, you collect all the necessary documentation:



Since P103, SPHERE OBs now use as a constraint the atmospheric condtions (poor, medium, good, excellent) instead of the seeing. Please make sure this corresponds to the seeing constraint your put in your P1 proposal. 

Be careful when creating SPHERE OBs is to make sure to include the LST intervals in case a lot of field rotation is required - i.e. observations should be done around the meridian. The intervals should always be longer than the duration of the OB and be aware of the exclusion zone around the zenith.

Please do not include LST intervals just to ensure observations are done at a given airmass - this is already taken care by your constraints.


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