Science Users Information

Notice: A minor IT Maintenance and Release Window will take place between Saturday 8 August, 2020 at 08:00 CEST/02:00 CLT and Sunday 9 August, 2020 at 24:00 CEST/18:00 CLT.

From 08:00 CEST/02:00 CLT on Saturday all ESO IT services including ERP, E-mail, Database Management Systems, the Scientific Archive, the User Portal, and internet connectivity on all ESO sites, could be subject to intermittent outages due to configuration changes in the computer rooms.

Full services won't be guaranteed before Monday 10 August 2020.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this.

These pages are aimed at ESO community astronomers and contain all the information required in order to prepare, execute, process and exploit observations with ESO facilities. They also provide information on the scientific activities taking place at ESO. Details can be accessed via the navigation menu.


ESO Science Announcements

Suspension of P107 Call for Proposals Confirmed

Published: 05 Aug 2020

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the La Silla Paranal Observatory has resulted in the loss of virtually all the observing time allocated in Period 105 (April-September 2020), and the timescale for a full resumption of science operations remains unclear at the moment due to the uncertain evolution of the pandemic. Following the Special Announcement issued on 24 July and the finalization of the time allocation process for Period 106 (October 2020-March 2021), ESO has completed an in-depth analysis of the detrimental effects that the loss of the observing time will have on the commitments made for Large Programmes and other high-priority programmes in both Periods 105 and 106, its foreseen impact on the science time expected to be available in the forthcoming Period 106, and the amount of time that will be required for technical work to be rescheduled once the observatory resumes normal operations. The conclusions of this analysis clearly show that the time available for new programmes in Period 107 will be extremely reduced with respect to previous periods. For this reason the ESO Director General, following discussions with the Council President, the Chair of the Scientific and Technical Committee, and the Chair of the Users Committee, has confirmed the decision to suspend the Call for Proposals for Period 107.

Period 106 Telescope Allocation

Published: 04 Aug 2020

The 106th Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met online on 29-30 June 2020. Based on the committee's recommendations to the ESO Director General, a total of 2688 (8-hour equivalent) nights of Visitor Mode and Service Mode observations were allocated on the VLT/VLTIVISTAVST, the 3.6-metre, and NTT, and APEX telescopes. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations is 3 September 2020; see the separate announcement for further details.

Phase 2 for Observing Period 106

Published: 04 Aug 2020

With the release of the telescope schedule, the preparation of Service Mode (SM) observations (Phase 2) starts. The deadline for the submission of the Phase 2 material for Period 106 observations is 3 September 2020.

ESO Fellowship Programme

Published: 03 Aug 2020

ESO’s prestigious postdoctoral fellowship programme in both Garching (Germany) and Santiago (Chile) offers outstanding early-career scientists the opportunity to further develop their independent research programmes. From exoplanets to cosmology, observational, theoretical and fundamental astrophysics, these are all areas where ESO Fellows can benefit from a highly dynamic scientific environment, at some of the most advanced ground-based telescopes in the world. Do watch ESOCast 165 to hear what current ESO fellows have to say about the fellowship programme.

Update on La Silla Paranal Observatory

Published: 03 Aug 2020

Due to the evolving situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in Chile, all ESO observatories continue in a  safe state with no science operations taking place. Visitor mode runs until September 10 have been cancelled. Users have been informed individually by ESO.

The Messenger

The Messenger 179 is now available. Highlights include:

  • Rix: The 2018 Visiting Committee Report
  • Schmidtobreick et al.: NaCo — The Story of a Lifetime
  • Vernazza et al.: SPHERE Unveils the True Face of the Largest Main Belt Asteroids
  • Aravena et al.: ASPECS — An ALMA Large Programme Targeting the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field

You can subscribe to the hardcopy of The Messenger or browse the complete archive of issues. Subscribers to the print edition are asked to confirm their subscriptions and update their postal addresses. Please hold on to your envelope which contains your personalised confirmation code – see the back page of The Messenger 179 for further details.


The ESO Science Newsletter

The August 2020 issue is now available.

The ESO Science Newsletter, mailed approximately once per month, presents the most recent announcements. Subscription is controlled through the Manage Profile link on the User Portal. Back issues (2013-) are archived.