Science Announcements

Message from the Director General

Published: 22 Dec 2021

Dear colleagues

Another unusual year has passed, although with a very positive balance for ESO and its community. Despite all difficulties associated with the pandemic, a lot was achieved. The observatories remained open for most or all of the year, with a focus on maximising the delivery of scientific data. Work on the ELT continued at a very good pace, new instruments are at various stages of development, CTA is taking shape, and a variety of scientific activities keep the link between ESO and its community as strong as ever. The special effort that we are all making through these difficult times is warmly appreciated by ESO’s governing bodies, whose unfailing support is a clear tribute to the impact that the ESO community has on worldwide astronomical research.

Phase 2 Observations Preparation for Observing Period 109

Published: 22 Dec 2021

With the release of the La Silla Paranal telescope schedule, the preparation of Service Mode (SM) observations (Phase 2) starts. The deadline for the submission of the Phase 2 material for Period 109 observations is 3 February 2022.

Period 109 Telescope Allocation

Published: 22 Dec 2021

The 109th Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met online during November 2021. Based on the committee's recommendations to the ESO Director General, a total of 2093 (10-hour equivalent) nights of Designated Visitor Mode and Service Mode observations were allocated on the VLT/VLTIVISTA, the 3.6-metre and NTT, and APEX telescopes. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations is Thursday 3 February 2022; see the separate announcement for further details.

ALMA Cycle 9 Pre-Announcement

Published: 20 Dec 2021

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start Cycle 9 observations in October 2022. A Call for Proposals (CfP) with detailed information on Cycle 9 is anticipated to be issued in March 2022 and the deadline for proposal submission will be in April 2022.  A pre-announcement has been issued highlighting aspects of the CfP to assist with early planning. More information on the Proposal Review Process, and full details on the offered capabilities can be found on the ALMA Science Portal. For additional questions regarding the Cycle 9 Call for Proposals, please visit the pre-announcement, the Q&A page or contact the ALMA Helpdesk.

SciOps 2022: Artificial Intelligence for Science and Operations in Astronomy

Published: 20 Dec 2021

The next Science Operations workshop, SciOps 2022, will be dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI) for science and operations in Astronomy and will take place on 16-22 May 2022 at the ESO Headquarters in Garching bei München. Building on the success of the previous series of similar events, this ESO/ESA workshop aims to facilitate the exchange of current developments and applications of AI-enabled technologies in science operations for space- and ground-based astronomical facilities.

Hypatia Colloquium 2022: Programme of Talks by Early Career Scientists Available

Published: 20 Dec 2021

The ESO Office for Science is pleased to announce the beginning of the Hypatia Colloquium Series 2022, where early career scientists will have the opportunity of describing their research to a very broad audience. The seminars were selected after a very competitive process. The detailed programme of the seminars, which are scheduled to take place online on Tuesdays at 3pm (Central European Time), is already available.

Introducing the new Policy for Guaranteed Time Observations on ALMA

Published: 20 Dec 2021

At the most recent meeting, in December 2021, ESO Council approved a new Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) policy for ALMA. In exchange for contributions to the ALMA development programme, the new policy allows institutes to access the European regional share of ALMA time. The policy thus aims to incentivise R&D institutes in the ESO member states to contribute to the ALMA development programme, leading to increased investment in the ALMA facility, which will in turn provide significant improvements in bandwidth, sensitivity, etc., for all users. In other words, the policy seeks to replicate for ALMA the model that has been so successful for the development and upgrade of instrumentation on ESO's optical and infrared telescopes.

The Present and Future of Astronomy - A Critical Look at Hiring, Evaluation Processes, the Way we do Science, and our Role in Society

Published: 20 Dec 2021

In this online workshop, which will take place from 14 to 18 February 2022, ESO invites the astronomical community to discuss several important aspects related to the way science is done, together with professionals from different scientific and social disciplines. On the first day of the workshop, philosophers will lead a discussion of the scientific method and its use in the modern world while the use of metrics in evaluation processes and distribution of funds will be discussed in the following days. One day will be dedicated to mental health in research, a topic of primary importance especially after the severe restrictions on scientific life due to the COVID19 pandemic. Finally, the workshop will be closed with a discussion about the role of astronomy in society.

ESO Summer Research Programme 2022 Call for Applications Is Now Open

Published: 13 Dec 2021

After the marked success of the program in the last three editions, ESO has been working hard on the preparation for the 4th ESO summer Research Programme and is now ready to open the call for applications. The fully-funded program is open to all university students not yet enrolled in a PhD course.

The Messenger 185 is now available

Published: 10 Dec 2021

The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. This Issue 185 completes the series of articles dedicated to the the ESO's Extremely Large Telescope mirrors by presenting the lightweight field stabilisation mirror M5. Further, readers will get acquainted with the specifics of a new instrument for the VLT: MAVIS, which will be a powerful synergistic complement to the ELT in the visible wavelengths range.

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