Recent Changes/News

General News

  • As of P106, ObsPrep has been significantly updated to add support for VISIR and FLAMES, defining observing offsets, and to support User Background Images. ObsPrep is integrated into p2 and offers visualization of the observing set-up with the instrument Field-of-View on a sky image, to interactively define the pointing of the telescope, the observing offsets (new), as well as to choose VLT guide stars, AO stars and/or blind offset stars, now for all modes of ESPRESSO, HAWK-I, MUSE, UVES, VISIR, and X-Shooter and the Argus fast acquisition mode of FLAMES (Visitor Mode only).
  • As of P104, the use of Group and Concatenation scheduling containers is allowed for Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations. ToO users are invited to familiarise with the updated procedure to trigger ToO observations. The use of time-link containers for ToO observations is not allowed. Use of scheduling containers of any kind is not allowed for Rapid Response Mode observations.
  • As of P104, the allowable maximum Precipitable Water Vapour (PWV) should be provided for all instruments. The default value is set to 30 mm and should be fine for all non-IR instruments. The ETCs can be used to evaluate the impact on data as well as to assess the probability of realisation should the PWV be changed.
  • As of P103, ESO has implemented a Finding Chart Generation service into p2, called p2fc, which allows the automated non-interactive creation of finding charts for individual or multiple OBs at the push of a button for all Paranal instruments that require finding charts. A detailed description and instructions for usage are available in the dedicated p2fc Finding Charts page.
  • Preparation of the Service Mode observations for all Paranal instruments must be made with the web-based tool p2.
  • For the preparation of Visitor Mode observations for all Paranal instrumentsp2 must also be used. For more information please follow Visitor Mode Phase 2 Guidelines.
  • Observation preparation for La Silla telescopes must be done using web application p2ls, which is a "cousin" of the p2 used at Paranal.
  • Starting with Phase 1 of ESO Period 105 (Sept 2019), a new constraint, the atmospheric turbulence constraint has been introduced. This constraint generalizes the classical seeing constraint used so far, and takes into account the coherence time and the fraction of turbulence in the ground layer, for instruments that need it, in addition to the classical seeing. For more information please consult the observing conditions webpage, as well as instrument User Manuals for specifics per instrument. The Exposure Time Calculators have been updated to reflect these changes.

Observatory News

Please have a look at the latest news and events of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. This page covers some important telescope and instruments news from the  various ESO sites.

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