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HARPS Observing Tools

Radial velocity standards

Radial Velocity (RV) standard stars are available here. (for details see Udry et al. 1999).
Care has to be taken on the definition of "standard". What has been found to be a RV "standard" by an instrument with a low RV accuracy is not necessarily a "standard" anymore when measured by an instrument of much superior RV accuracy. We hope in few more periods to get a growing list of "HARPS RV standards".

Spectrophotometric standard stars

List of spectrophotometric standard stars

Extinction coefficients for La Silla

Extinction coefficients for La Silla can be found here

Thorium-Argon Atlas

High resolution Thorium-Argon Atlases are available for

Observer's tools

Almanach, airmass plots, and other tools are available from this page

Phase 2 Proposal Preparation tool (P2PP)

We expect our users to use the P2PP tool to prepare their observations, whether they are in service or in visitor mode.
This is the standard ESO way of operating an instrument: Observing Blocks (OBs) are prepared from instrument-specific templates with the P2PP tool before the observations. At the telescope, OBs selected by P2PP are fetched by the Broker for Observing Blocks (BOB) and executed.

Service mode observers are requested to submit their Observing Blocks (OBs) about 5 weeks before the start of the period for which they were granted the time.
Deadlines for OBs submission, as well as P2PP download instructions and P2PP manual can be found in the ESO service mode guidelines page.
Althought the P2PP manual might state differently, please, be aware that the proper motion units which are needed by the system are arcsec/year.

Visitor mode observers are also welcome to prepare their OBs in their home institute if they so desire. In any case a support astronomer will be available in La Silla to help with the preparation of the observing program.

In case of questions while preparing the OBs in their home institutions, astronomers should address them to the responsible person of their service program or to

Exposure Time Calculator

An Exposure Time Calculator (ETC) is available. It is modelled after the UVES ETC but uses the efficiencies relevant for HARPS (atmosphere, Cassegrain telescope, seeing, "slit loss", instrument optics (including fibre link), CCD). During the Commissioning 1+2 runs the ETC proved to be accurate to within about 10%. After the overhaul of the secondary mirror of the 3.6m telescope the instrument efficiency increased by about 15%. This is not taken into account yet by the ETC. When using the ETC for the Iodine self-calibration method then one must in addition take into account the ~50% absorption loss in the Iodine cell which the ETC does not include in the calculations.