Below we list a few things to check after you’ve prepared and validated your programme. This list isn’t complete (and we’ll add pointers as they occurs to us), though it may help avoid loss of telescope time…
- After changing the wavelength (or anything for that matter) in the UIST component, did you click on “Use default” in the FLAT and ARC? This ensures that these observations pick up the changes made in the UIST component.
- Did you select Guide Stars for your targets. If there’s no guide-star specified, the telescope will assume you’re guiding on your target. If the guide star is dodgey, add a “guide2” and a note to the observer describing its availability (see below).
- Imaging Acquisition: with faint targets use short exposure times and a few coadds rather than one long exposure, to avoid latency in subsequent spectroscopy/IFU frames. 3coadds x 5secs works well.
- Maximum exposure time: is currently 240seconds with UIST spectroscopy (NDSTARE readout).
- Do ALL MSBs contain a flat, arc and a standard star in addition to the science target? ALL MSBs must contain a complete, calibratable set of observations for the science target. MSBs can contain more than one science target, though they should still be short (~1 hour at most). If you don’t want calibrations taken with every target, make this extremely clear in an observer note, and flag the flat/arc and standard star observations as optional in the OT (they then appear “green”). NOTE: calibrations don’t have to have the same position angle as standard star and/or target spectra, though obviously the same grism and slit should be used.
- Are your MSBs well-documented? Notes, flagged with “show to observer”, are EXTREMELY helpful when the observer is unfamiliar with a given project. A URL for a finding chart can be very useful too. Imaging acquisition is the BIGGEST PROBLEM faced by observers, particularly if coordinates are poor or targets are in confused/busy regions. Will the observer be able to identify your target easily during acquisition? Are the coordinates good enough so that s/he can assume that the blob nearest the nominal field centre is the target? Or will s/he need some guidance…?