HET Data Rejection Policy

Not all observations go as well as planned and a PI may receive data of unsatisfactory quality. Often the contact person will have information about this in the e-mail they received from the night operations staff, which is the first place to look. The second place to look is in the Program Statistics, which are based upon the RA night reports. There you can see whether any observation is rejected and uncharged, or accepted and charged. If you discover that you have received a spectrum of unsatisfactory quality, you may request to have that spectrum rejected.

To investigate any strangeness in your spectra (low S/N, unusual spectral type, etc.) try the following:

  • Look at the header of the fits files and your copy of the submitted Phase II information to make sure that the correct configuration was actually used

  • Look at the RA Night Reports for the night in question and determine if the observing conditions (image quality, sky brightness and sky transparency) were within the bounds that were requested

  • Look at the S/N in comparison to other targets in your program

  • Look at the XStart and YStart in the fits header to see if your target was observed far from the center of the track (the center of the track is X=0 Y=0). NOTE: observing away from the center of the track can reduce the flux by a factor of 2 but is not a reason for rejection of an observation

  • Look at the agreement with the S/N calculated by the Resident Astronomer

  • For the LRS look at the setup image (called lrsXXXXXXpre.fits) to confirm that the correct target was observed

It is important that you document clearly why the data fail to meet your expectation. Please include the following information:

  • UT date of observation
  • Program number
  • Fits file name
  • Relevant comments made by the RA in the night report or email notification
  • Specific reason(s) you believe the spectrum was unsatisfactory

The first level of petition is to e-mail the Resident Astronomers at astronomer@het.as.utexas.edu. You will be opening a dialog with them about the observations in question. An RA will review your petition and respond. The RA may not agree with your points or may have further questions about your science objectives or data reduction. Please do not take offense; this is a dialog not a power struggle.

If the RA agrees to reject the observation, the night report will be corrected, and the appropriate number of visits will be subtracted, thus returning those visits to the queue. The PI should check that all of the corrections have been made by looking at the Program Statistics.

In the unlikely event that the RA does not concur with the rejection, and the PI does not agree with the RA's reasoning, then the PI should contact his institution's representative to the HET User Committee, which will review the situation and arbitrate.



Last updated: Sun, 08 Jan 2012 18:42:59 -0600 caldwell



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