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La Silla Science Operations: NTT

Service Observations,

Director Discretionary Time


Target of Opportunity:

Phase II preparation

-Period 69-


This document is designed to guide you through the Phase II of your Service Observations (SO) at the NTT for Period 69.  Most of this document is also relevant for Director Disctretionary Time (DDT) and, in some cases, for Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations. This document is not valid for P.68 and anterior.

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 - P69

start - end     number of   Deadline for info submission  
                nights      and/or remarks

06-08 Apr 2002    2         15 March
18-20 May 2002    1.5       15 March
22-23 May 2002    0.5       15 March
11-16 Jun 2002    4         15 March
22-23 Jun 2002    1         15 March
27-28 Jun 2002    0.5       15 April
07-12 Jul 2002    5         15 April
03-05 Aug 2002    1.5       15 April
06-09 Aug 2002    3         15 April
14-16 Aug 2002    2         15 April
21-24 Aug 2002    3         15 April
01-02 Sep 2002    0.5       15 April
10-14 Sep 2002    3.5       15 April


The dead-lines for acceptance of the OBs  are listed in the table.

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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