Observing FAQ Observing FAQ

Q: Can I observe at a specific time?

A:Yes. By choosing a Fixed observation, you can set the start time of your observing window. Note that this is not the precise instant that your observation will start – the telescope will take time to get on target (a varying delay depending on what it was doing beforehand). If observing a time-critical astronomical event, some margin should be allowed.

Q: Why would I choose Scheduled instead of Fixed for an observation?
A: Observations can fail for a number of reasons – bad weather being the most common. Scheduled observations can (and will) be automatically re-scheduled until the observation is successful. You will get your data….

Q: What is an Alert observation for?
A: The Universe is an unpredictable place. Some events (e.g. supernovae, Gamma-Ray Bursts, flares from cataclysmic variable stars) occur without warning. Since the GLORIA network spans the whole globe, and its telescopes are mostly quite fast-moving, and since GLORIA is the only network with those properties, the system has been engineered to be able to react to some external signal. See the scripting manual. (This is an advanced and
somewhat experimental feature – and potentially very disruptive. Access to this kind of observation will only be granted carefully).

Q: Can I choose to observe using a specific telescope?
A: Yes. Simply enter the telescope as a constraint in the authoring tool. Of course, this effectively prevents the scheduler from finding better alternatives. If the selected telescope is very busy, you could be in for a long wait….

Q: How long can an observation be?
A: Typically, you should decide what you need, and ask for that. The system tries to prioritise the science done on the bigger telescopes first, and so a large request gets pushed to smaller telescopes. Alternatively, depending on the constraints, your request may be scheduled on a big instrument, but pushed further into the future.

Q: What information I have to include, when requesting a GLORIA observation?
A: This varies depending on the kind of observation – see the How To Write An Observing Plan. Usually, you need to identify the target, and the filters and camera capabilities that you need, and the time of the observation, if that is significant. In short, you need to provide enough information for the scheduler to find you a telescope that can do what you want. If you want a Batch Mode experiment (where the observations are scripted ahead of time, and are carried out while you sleep) then you must obviously also provide the script the telescope should follow. See the How To Write An Observing Plan section.

Q: Can I observe a target using multiple telescopes (in parallel or serially)?
A: Not automatically, but there is a partial workaround.
Step 1: Talk to the administrators!
Step 2: Manually decide on the timings for each telescope involved
Step 3: Write separate Fixed Observing Plans for each and submit them.
Step 4: Pass the Plan IDs to the administrators, who will ensure that the scheduler does the right thing..

Q: Will GLORIA somehow process my data? Where I can get the calibration data (dark frames, flat fields, …)?
A: This depends on the experiment. For general imaging case, GLORIA provides you with an automatically processed JPEG image and a way of downloading original FITS images together with the calibration frames.