Science Announcements

Period 101 Telescope Allocation

Published: 02 Feb 2018

The 101st Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met on 14–16 November 2017. A total of 1000 nights (10-hour equivalent) of Visitor Mode and Service Mode observations were allocated on the VLT/VLTI, VISTA, VST, the 3.6-metre and NTT, and APEX telescopes. The outcome of the time allocation was communicated to the Principal Investigators of the 899 proposals submitted for Period 101 on 21 December 2017. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations was on 1 February 2018.

ALMA Programme Scientist

Published: 01 Feb 2018

The position for European ALMA Programme Scientist is open for applications. The Programme Scientist will serve as the primary contact between the ALMA Observatory, the European ALMA Support Centre and the European astronomical community with respect to the scientific capabilities, mission and exploitation of the ALMA facility. They will be responsible for ensuring that the European share of the observatory and its future development will enable ALMA to meet scientific requirements. Additionally the Programme Scientist will monitor the scientific performance of ALMA operations and its ability to carry out forefront science.  

Release of VLT/VLTI Instrument Data Reduction Software Packages

Published: 01 Feb 2018

The annual public release of ESO VLT/VLTI instruments data reduction software packages is scheduled for April 2018. Please note that the updated pipeline packages will be released for the following operating systems: Fedora 24–27, CentOS 7, Scientific Linux 7 and macOS 10.10–10.13. In addition to the release of data reduction pipelines in April, some instruments with pipelines under active development have intermediate releases throughout the year. To get announcements of new pipeline releases, please send an email or visit the VLT Instrument Pipelines webpage.

Workshop: A Revolution in Stellar Physics with Gaia and Large Surveys

Published: 31 Jan 2018

Warsaw University Library, Warsaw, Poland, 3–7 September 2018

The era of Gaia-enabled revolutions in almost all areas of astrophysics has started. In particular, and crucially, Gaia's exquisite astrometry and photometry combined with data from other large stellar surveys (ground- and space-based) will allow major progress in our understanding of stellar physics. The workshop will focus on the advances in our understanding of stellar physical processes made possible by combining the astrometry and photometry of Gaia with data from other large photometric, spectroscopic, and asteroseismic stellar surveys. Asteroseismology, in particular, has been essential to probe the interiors of stars. These combined data will permit detailed studies of stellar physics to a level that is unprecedented in the history of stellar astrophysics. More details are available on the workshop page or by email. The registration and abstract submission deadline is 15 April 2018.

Phase 2 for Observing Period 101

Published: 22 Dec 2017

The allocation of ESO telescope time for Period 101 (1 April – 30 September 2018) is expected to be emailed in the week of 18 December 2017. With the release of the telescope schedule, preparation of Service Mode (SM) observations (Phase 2) starts. The deadline for the submission of the Phase 2 material for Period 101 observations is 1 February 2018.

Workshop: Planning ESO observations of future gravitational wave events

Published: 18 Dec 2017

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 31 January–1 February 2018

Understanding the nature and results of black hole and neutron star mergers has become a hot topic in astrophysics. The combination of gravitational wave and electromagnetic observations of GW170817/GRB 170817A have triggered new and interesting science projects. In particular, these observations involved more than 50 observatories and highlight the importance of coordination between different instruments and facilities. The timeline for observations of gravitational wave events spans from seconds to days and coordinated observations of any electromagnetic radiation is critical to obtain relevant information.

LIGO-VIRGO Gravitational Wave GW170817: Reduced NACO Data

Published: 17 Dec 2017

The detection of the gravitational wave source GW170817 by the LIGO-VIRGO observatory network on 17 August 2017 has resulted in one of the largest Target of Opportunity campaigns at ESO (see announcement). This new data release adds reduced NACO images in the L' filter, centred at 3.80 microns, to the previously released VISIR reduced frames and finds no detection of the gravitational wave source within the derived sensitivity limits.

Workshop: Science with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment

Published: 15 Dec 2017

Schloss Ringberg, Tegernsee, Germany, 11–14 March 2018

The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) 12-metre submillimetre telescope has been in operation for more than 12 years and has contributed to a wide variety of submillimetre astronomy science areas, from the discoveries of new molecules to deep imaging of the submillimetre sky. The telescope is currently undergoing a major upgrade to ensure reliable operations until at least 2022. In addition, a new suite of instruments is being commissioned, including new large cameras for wide-field continuum imaging and new heterodyne instruments highly complementary to ALMA. The conference venue at Ringberg Castle provides a unique setting for in depth discussions on new scientific results with APEX, synergies with other observatories, and the exploitation of the upcoming new APEX capabilities.

Workshop: Submillimetre Single-Dish Data Reduction and Array Combination Techniques

Published: 14 Dec 2017

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 15–16 March 2018

Single dish submm facilities provide an essential complement to ALMA interferometry data, but require a set of special observing techniques and data reduction software that are different from radio and mm facilities. In this ESO-Radionet workshop, we will train both novice and more experienced users on how to optimally analyse data from telescopes such as APEX. The combination of interferometer data using short baselines and single dish data is required for sources containing emission on spatial scales larger than the largest recoverable scales. However the ALMA observatory does not yet provide such merged data products, and is not planning to do so in the near future. In the workshop, we will introduce different combination techniques such as feathering and joint deconvolution.

Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey Results

Published: 24 Nov 2017

The User Support Department (USD) extends its thanks to all those Principal Investigators and their Phase 2 delegates who filled in this September's online Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey. A total of 194 responses were received from our targeted campaign. Where possible, we have contacted those respondents who provided detailed comments. A summary report based on this latest User Satisfaction Survey is now available.

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