General Information

Paranal Science Operations (PSO) is the department of the La Silla Paranal Observatory that is in charge of the operation of the telescopes on Paranal. These telescopes are:

  • The four Unit Telescopes (UTs) forming the VLT.
  • The VLTI, which is the interferometric combination of either the UTs or the Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs).
  • The VST and VISTA survey telescopes (soon).

PSO News

Information for Observers

In the PSO pages, you should find all the information you need for your observations from the time you have an idea of observations until when you finish processing your data. The menu on the left contains the list of the PSO pages for the astronomers, which are described in more details hereafter. Also, some useful ESO pages (not belonging to PSO) can be accessible from the left sub-menus and are explained in this page.

  • Preparing your proposals for observing time and your observations

  • Visiting astronomer coming to Paranal:

    • Before your observation run: you should familiarize yourself with the technical documentation (see below), and with P2PP. This Visitor Information page contains the info you will need. From that page, you will also find informations on the Computers at your disposal, as well as on the Data Reduction Software installed.

      Remember to prepare
      • a backup program in case of poor seeing, thin clouds or strong winds (usually implying targets with Dec < -25deg),
      • the list of additional objects you want to observe in addition to your approved targets
      and to request their approval well in advance using this procedure

      NEW - Jul.2007 - requests have to be sent using the webform included in the updated procedure

    • Arriving on Paranal, you should also check out the practical information you should find in your room (or here as a PDF file)
  • Service Observation

  • After the observations...

  • Special cases - Targets of Opportunity and Director Discretionary time:

    • DDT Instructions: how to apply for Director Discretionary time
    • RRM trigger: instructions for triggering Rapid Response Mode Observations.
    • RRM Status: log of the instrument status and of the RRM triggers.
    • ToO Policies: the rules governing the execution of ToO at the La Silla Paranal Observatory.
    • ToO Trigger form, to request the execution of an approved ToO observation.
  • Other policies

Technical Information

Quick Links

Contact Information