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Astron. Astrophys. 343, L1-L4 (1999)

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6. Science verification - a glimpse of the future

For this first science run the VLT telescope performed fully within the expectations, while still at an early stage of its commissioning. Aspects of both the Visitor Mode as well as of the Service Mode of operation have been experimented and tested, proving the validity of the VLT operations concept. Lessons have been learned that will help the implementation of the regular operations.

SV observation runs are now planned for the actual scientific instruments of UT1, i.e. FORS1 and ISAAC. SV of the instruments is expected to be particularly valuable, given their high performance, and the much enhanced capabilities compared to the small instrument available for this first experiment. All the science grade data obtained during future SV runs will be publicly released following the same procedures used for the VLT-UT1 SV data. This will provide the VLT users with an early chance to examine and experiment with the kind of VLT data that will be produced during the regular operations. instrument commissioning.

The VLT-UT1 will start regular operations on 1. April 1999. Nearly at the same time, the second telescope shall see it first light, and shall enter into operations one year later.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: March 1, 1999