[ ESO ] La Silla


La Silla Science Operations: NTT

Service Observations,

Director Discretionary Time


Target of Opportunity:

Phase II preparation

-Period 68-



This document is designed to guide you through the Phase II of your Service Observations (SO) at the NTT. Most of this document is also relevant for Director Disctretionary Time (DDT) and, in some cases, for Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations.

During this Phase II, you will prepare all the observations to be executed for your program. The observations are defined using "Observation Blocks" (OBs). Each OB specifies an individual observing sequence that can --and should-- be scheduled and executed completely without interruption. OBs can specify simple operations like "acquire one R-band image with EMMI" as well as complex operations like "Preset the telescope, identify the star and move it to the 0.6" slit, and obtain a sequence of jittered spectra in the K band through the low resolution grism, then another sequence of jittered spectra in the J band" with SofI. To prepare your OBs, you will use the P2PP tool.

In addition to the OBs, you will have to prepare finding charts for all OBs, and to write up a README file describing your strategy. All these informations, which constitute your "Information Package" are to be submitted to the NTT Team, who will review them. Accepted OBs are queued for scheduling, while rejected OBs will be returned to you, and must be corrected and re-submitted before scheduling can begin. One of the NTT Team members will be your support astronomer. His name and email have been or will soon be sent to you. Don't hesitate to contact him for any question related to the strategy of your observations, or their implementation in OBs: an iteration at this stage can save a lot of time and headache at a later time. If you don't receive a reply within a couple of days, re-send your message to nttt@eso.org: it happens that one of the astronomer cannot access his email, but nttt is checked several times every day.

Below is a list of the tasks that you will have to complete. Note that a small fraction of the NTT time is devoted to Service Observations (as opposed to ~50% for the VLT). The Service Observation nights are listed in the following table:

Service Observation Nights - P68

start - end        number of        Deadline for info submission  
                   nights           and/or remarks
17 - 18 Oct 2001   1                delegated SO for 68.B-0267, 30 Sep.
18 - 19 Nov 2001   1                19 Oct
26 - 27 Nov 2001   1                19 Oct
14 - 15 Dec 2001   0.5              delegated SO for 68.C-0465, 30 Nov
17 - 20 Jan 2002   3                15 Dec
16 - 19 Feb 2002   3                15 Jan
09 - 11 Mar 2002   3                15 Feb
Total              12.5

Note that

The dead-line for a given night is listed in the table, and is set about ONE MONTH before that night (except for the first night, for which the dead line is Sep.30.) If your objects are only observable later in the semester, you can submit your Information Package at a later date. Nevertheless we strongly encourage you to submit it asap.

For DDTC observations: pls send us the information package as soon as possible after the time has been allocated, and in any case one week before the observations (non-overriding DDT observations are scheduled either during Reserved time or during SO time).

For ToO observations, send us the information NOW.

Phase II Preparation

All NTT Service Observation PI must complete the following steps:


NTT Overheads
ACTION                              OVERHEAD
Pointing                            2 min per pointing
Pointing, with special acquisition
   such as move to slit:            4 min per pointing
                                    + image exp.time
EMMI Red:                           3 min per exposure
EMMI Blue:                          2 min per exposure
SuSI:                               1 min per exposure
SofI Imaging:                       30% of exposure time
                                    ( = 1.25s per DIT
                                       + 1 DIT per NDIT)
SofI spectroscopy:                  15% of exposure time

While completing the P2PP process, you may find the following tools :

The reason for these very constraining rules is that all the finders will be printed in advance. A finder without these information will be unidentified, lost and therefore useless.

The only exception to this rule is the ToO observations for which the target is not yet known. If you *really* feel a finder is not needed for your program, you can try to convince your support astronomer, but it is very probable that it will take you less effort to generate the finders than to get permission not to provide them...

To create the finders (i.e. get a DSS image and write on it), you may find skycat useful. You can find it at http://archive.eso.org . Note that a very nice "plug-in" is available for skycat, designed to make "Service Observing compliant" finding charts. Information can be found at http://www.eso.org/observing/p2pp/P2PP-FC-cookbook.html


Sorry to be so directive, but this is the only way for us to get all the information we need to execute your observations.

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