User Support Department

Start of P83
Published 4/2/2009 in Gayandhi de Silva Author gsilva
April 1st was the deadline for submission of observing proposals for ESO telescopes. I managed to submit my main proposal quite early on, the other collaborative ones were done last minute , while some new projects which looked like a good idea came to a halt once we started writing the proposals. That was when we realised that we havnt quite done enough background work before we can justify asking for time on the big telescopes...that happens! Even though we applied for new data, I have quite a lot of data already collected from various telescopes. They will get analysed at... read more ❯

Phase 2
Published 2/6/2009 in Gayandhi de Silva Author gsilva
Yesterday was the "Phase 2" deadline for VLT observations. This means that astronomers with programs granted the use of the telescopes had to submit their observing details before yesterday, and I suddenly got a whole heap of emails! The Phase 1 was where the astronomers submitted a project proposal for observations. Those proposals were reviewed by an expert committee and then the highly ranked proposals where granted use of the telescopes. Almost always the number of proposals wanting to use telescope time is much more than the available number of nights. So if your proposal did get granted time on the... read more ❯

First Ticket
Published 1/22/2009 in Gayandhi de Silva Author gsilva
This week I got my first USD problem report ticket from a user - it was an easy question, in fact the user managed to find the solution themselves! When communicating with the user (which is by email) I was thinking what tone to use and how to address them. I mean the user is another professional astronomer, so do I address them as Dr. XXX or simply say Hello? When I was a "user" before starting work at ESO I preferred the informal way - it made me feel comfortable to ask more questions, but now at the other... read more ❯

Another USD astronomer
Published 1/15/2009 in Gayandhi de Silva Author gsilva
Another week is coming to an end. This week I made a start on the "duty" aspect of my job. To further clarify, at ESO most astronomers are working partly for the Observatory and the other part on their own research. The amount of time they spend on each part varies on each persons position here. As an ESO fellow here at the ESO headquarters in Garching near Munich, my "duty" is set upto 25% of my time and the rest of time is for my own research. When I was a fellow in Chile, I supported the science operations on Paranal... read more ❯