ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera
Portrait of an Observing Run
Before Arrival
Contact the telescope team
Instrument documentation
Preparing P2PP observing blocks at home
Planning your travel

Contact the Telescope Team

The support staff are sometimes out of email contact and so contacting 6 weeks in advance will ensure that you will get a response well before your run. This first contact provides an opportunity to clarify your doubts, get the latest information and think of appropriate alternatives in case your requirements cannot be met. You should contact:

      EFOSC2 Instrument Scientist: <ls-spectro > (until June 2003)
and La Silla Science Operations: <ls-sciops>
or   3.6m telescope team: <3.6m Team> (may be eliminated in the future)

MultiObject Spectroscopy (pre-imaging)

MOS slitlets have to be defined on an EFOSC2 image and the whole process of defining a MOS plate and cutting it takes at least 30 minutes (assuming an observer familiar with the MOS software and not including the time it takes for the observer to choose the objects). To avoid observing time loss we accept requests for prior imaging of the observer's target field in advance of his/her allocated nights (typically on a set-up night). We shall endeavour to provide such images but observers should not expect them as a matter of right. In particular, observers should put in such requests well in advance of their run to have any chance of obtaining pre-images. Note that roughly only a third of the 3.6m telescope is allocated to the EFOSC2 instrument - thus, all things considered a 2 month notice would be very comfortable (weather, other scheduled observations during set-up nights etc); in any case, such requests should reach the support astronomer at least 2 EFOSC2 set-up nights in advance of your run (see telescope schedule for set-up night dates)

Instrument documentation

Please go through these web pages (which are constantly updated) or the instrument documentation (especially EFOSC2 instrument  manual (note it is outdated)), and the P2PP manual.

Preparing P2PP Observing Blocks at Home

Preparing  P2PP observing blocks at one's home institute is an option and one could bring the prepared blocks to La Silla either on a laptop computer or on a CD/DAT or FTP them across from La Silla (Note: occasionally the external line to La Silla is down and the FTP option could lead to a problem). However the telescope team does not have the resources to provide any P2PP support at your home institute. The adventurous or the computer-savvy may refer to the information on the main P2PP web page, download the EFOSC2 instrument package and explore this option. Naturally, such observers also have to be familiar with observing with EFOSC2 in order that they choose the right P2PP options (see also P2PP for 3.6m/EFOSC2 at La Silla).

Planning Your Travel

Important: Reaching La Silla 48 hours in advance of the start of the observing run is the first step of a good observing strategy. This is absolutely essential for astronomers who have not observed with EFOSC2 on the 3.6m telescope during the last couple of years. Similarly, astronomers who are not familiar with the P2PP package or who have a large number of sources to observe (need more time for P2PP) should arrive at La Silla with 2 days to spare. We strongly urge that observers with no prior experience at all (fresh graduate students for example) are accompanied by a more experienced astronomer for conducting the observations. Experienced observers may reach La Silla just 1 day in advance if they are sure that their preparation does not require much attention from the support astronomer.

Important: Observers with special instrumental requirements may require a longer preparatory period prior to their run. They should contact the telescope team soon after being informed of their telescope time allocation to decide how early they'll have to reach La Silla.

Please note that the support astronomer has many tasks to perform. Arriving on La Silla with sufficient time to spare will make for all the interaction with the support astronomer that you require without having to push panic buttons at the last moment. Do not expect the support astronomer to chalk out your observing strategy in full detail after your arrival on the mountain. You should only expect him/her to provide such inputs as are required to fine-tune your strategy in the light of recent modifications to the instrumental set-up or idiosyncracies of the instrument.

Preparing for Observations at La Silla
During Observations and after

Send comments to : ls-spectro

Last modified: Fri Feb 28 06:14:51 CLST 2003 

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