1. Remote Observing

  • We do remote observing for 2dF. Find out more on AAT remote observing here.
  • Observers are recommended to use remote observing stations in Australia: AAO-MQ (North Ryde), RSAA (Canberrra), Swinburne (Melbourne), ICRAR (Perth), USQ (Toowooba), UNSW (Sydney),  UQ (Brisbane) and USydney (Sydney).
  • All observers should also prepare remote observing from home considering complicated situations due to the lockdowns. Key requirement is having at least two screens to place controllers. Please read the instruction below for remote observing from home carefully.

2. Observing Manuals

  • Message from AAT to 2dF users – 2dF observers should thoroughly familiarise themselves with the documentation available on the 2dF + AAOmega home page, which includes the 2dF Manual, Information for Observers, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions. 2dF is a very complex instrument! We have developed a FAQ, available from the 2dF + AAOmega WWW page, and which we encourage observers to read. You should liaise with your support astronomer before your run if there is anything which is unclear. Because of the complexity of 2dF set-ups, it is essential you are ready to begin work by 4 hours before dark on the day of your run. For this reason 2dF observers must always arrive at the telescope on the day before. Many problems can be fixed if they are caught the day before observing starts!
  • Note that the gratings are 580V (at 4900A) in the blue and 385R (at 7150 A) in the red.

3. Tips for Calibration Frames

  • Nightly dome flats are essential for both plate 0 and plate 1. For each plate, a short 30s (for the red ccd) and a longer 200s (for the blue ccd) exposure are needed. Also required are corresponding arc and flappy-flats (see exposure times below) for each plate. If possible, it is best to use a configuration where the majority of the 392 fibres are allocated. These calibrations can be taken in twilight.
    • Comment by Scott Croom: “Twilight or dome flats:  Given we can’t get twilights for all fields we are only using these for an illumination correction.  The “flap flats” are taken with each field.  Feedback from Chris Lidman is that dome flats are good enough for these.”
    • Comment by Matt Owers: “Each night I was taking dome flats for plate 0 & 1 either in twilight, or if the configs weren’t ready I’d take them in the morning twilight. For both plates I took a 30s and a 200s exposure (for the red and blue arm, respectively).”
  • Arc frames (45s) and flappy-flats (6s red, 30s blue) are essential and need to be taken with each set of object frames (including dome flats).
  • Setting some darks running when you have a chance would be good but they’re not strictly necessary. Use the dark slides for security (ask the afternoon technician/ night assistant to help you if remote observing). Dark frames can be left running in the morning. Same with bias frames, these can be taken in the afternoon before waiting to start focusing or before start observing once everything is ready.
  • Long slit flats are not essential, but it would be good to take them each afternoon. For taking these, defocus both AAOmega arms by +3000 (piston) and take a series of ~10-20 frames 25s RED and **** BLUE. Do this BEFORE accurately focusing the spectrograph, or save the parameters of the focusing (piston/spectral/spatial for both arms). NOTE: You have to take the exposures one by one, do not use “count” as the the script will automatically switch off the flat lamps when starting to read the 1st exposure!

4. Targets and Configurations Files

  • Find a folder for your observing run in the ‘Hector/2dF/configurations/‘ directory. Download to the machine on which you have an active VPN connection, and upload to the AAT with:
    > scp -r foo visitorX@aatlxh:/home/visitorX
  • The target selection team will contact with configuration files when the time comes even if you do not find the files now from the Data Central Cloud. For more details contact Sam Vaughan (sam.vaughan@sydney.edu.au) who is working on target selection and generating configuration files for 2dF observing.

5. Observing Logs

  • Observing logs from previous runs can be found here. Please also update the page when you finish your run.

6. Upload Raw Data

  • Please upload all data at the end of your run so that it can be reduced and redshifted in time for preparation of the tiles for the next run!
  • In the ‘Hector/2dF/raw/‘ directory, make a new RUNDIR directory for your run and upload raw data there (e.g., RUNDIR can be the date range of your run). Within the 2dF/raw/RUNDIR directory, please use the following directory structure for the raw files:
    • Per-run biases: bias/ccd[1,2]
    • Per-run darks: dark/ccd[1,2]
    • Nightly dome flats (plus associated flappy-flats and arc frames): YYYYMMDD/dome_flat/plate[0,1]/ccd[1,2]
    • Object frames (plus associated flappy-flats and arc frames): YYYYMMDD/Target_Field/fieldN/ccd[1,2]
    • Where there are frames with ccd-specific exposures (e.g., the flappy-flats and dome flats), please only place the relevant frame in the directory. E.g., only place the 200s dome flat frames in the ccd1/ directory, and the 30s in the ccd2/ directory.
    • In the above Target_Field should either be one of the cluster names (e.g., A3667, A0151, A3395_3391) or H0* for the waves fields. The N in fieldN should be the tile number given in the configuration filename for the targeted field (no need to include the leading zeros).
  • The above file structure is required for the data reduction and redshift pipeline.
  • You can mount the Hector space directly on your laptop. For a Mac, in Finder and in the Go menu, select Connect to Server. Type https://cloud.datacentral.org.au/teamdata/Hector/ in the server address space. Click Connect and then enter your Data Central credentials (make sure to replace your name with your username!). This will mount the Hector space at /Volumes/Hector so you can write scripts to read and write there.
  • If you prefer you can upload directly from aatlxy. Open a browser and navigate to https://cloud.datacentral.org.au/teamdata/Hector/2dF/raw/. At the top of the page next to the file tree, click on the plus (+); this allows to create folders to match the above file structure. The plus also allows to upload by navigating to /data_lxy/aatobs/OptDet_data/YYMMDD/ccd_[1|2] and selecting the desired files.

7. Checklists

  • Have you submitted a Visitor Form to AAT a week before the observing run?