Science Announcements

The Messenger 189 is Now Available

Published: 19 Jan 2023

The latest edition of ESO’s science and technology journal, The Messenger, is now available online. Issue 189 features a summary of the science results of the ALMA large programme ATOMIUM, describing how ALMA has been used to trace the origins of molecules in dust forming oxygen-rich M-type stars. Summary of the science results and upcoming data release of the Fornax3D project, which is a magnitude-limited study of galaxies in the Fornax Cluster with VLT/MUSE, can also be found. 

Joint VLT-ALMA Proposals to be offered in P112 and ALMA Cycle 10

Published: 20 Dec 2022

With the aim of taking full advantage of the complementarity of optical-NIR and sub-millimetre observing facilities, ESO and ALMA have entered into a Joint Proposal agreement, to enable those science cases that require observations with both ALMA and VLT(I) telescopes to have their goals fulfilled.

In this framework, ESO is glad to announce that Joint VLT-ALMA Proposals will be offered as of Period 112 and ALMA Cycle 10, with the formal ESO call to be published at the end of February 2023. By agreement with the ALMA Observatory, ESO may award a maximum of 50 hours of ALMA observing time on each of its arrays to Joint Proposals per year. Similarly, ALMA will be able to allocate up to 50 hours per cycle on the VLT(I) in the yearly ALMA Call for Proposals.

Restart of ALMA Cycle 9 observations

Published: 19 Dec 2022

ALMA has resumed performing PI science observations following the cyber-attack. The end-to-end data acquisition and processing workflow and software were successfully re-tested prior to the restart. ALMA is currently taking observations in configuration C-3. User services are also now back online, including access to ALMA user profiles, SnooPI, and the Cycle 9 DDT submission server. As previously announced, ALMA’s most compact configurations (C-1 and C-2) will not be visited again in Cycle 9.

Some Scheduling Blocks (SBs) requiring configuration C-2 were already observed in the days prior to the cyber-attack. Projects with SBs in nominal configurations C-1 and C-2 that can still be observed in configuration C-3 will remain in the observing queue. As per usual ALMA policy, incomplete Cycle 9 Grade A projects will carry over into Cycle 10.

Regarding Cycle 10, due to the disruption caused by the cyber-attack, the Cycle 10 pre-announcement will now be issued in the week of 16th January.

For any comments or concerns, please contact your local ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) via the ALMA Helpdesk at

New data release from the APEX Large CO Heterodyne Outflow Legacy Supercam survey of Orion (ALCOHOLS) project

Published: 16 Dec 2022

This collection provides wide-field spectral line imaging data cubes (5 cubes, total volume: 11.50Gb) of the Orion A and B giant molecular clouds in the 12CO (J=3-2) line at a frequency of 345.795990 GHz from observations collected under ESO programme 094.C-0935(A), PI: T. Stanke, and the Swedish programme 094.F-9343. The data were obtained using the SuperCAM 64-pixel heterodyne array camera at the APEX telescope in December 2014. The cubes cover a total area of ~2.7 deg2 in the Orion A and B giant molecular clouds. The frequency axis includes the full spectral extent of the CO line detected in the area, including high-velocity line wings from protostellar molecular outflows. The data reveal a wealth of cloud structures and allow for an unbiased search for protostellar molecular outflows over a large portion of a star-forming cloud. A full presentation of the survey overview and data was published in Stanke et al. (2022, A&A 658, A178).

Release of pipeline-processed high-resolution imaging data obtained with SPHERE/IRDIS

Published: 16 Dec 2022


SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch) is an extreme adaptive optics system and coronagraphic facility feeding three science instruments: IRDIS, IFS, and ZIMPOL. The primary science goal of SPHERE is imaging, low-resolution spectroscopic, and polarimetric characterisation of extra-solar planetary systems. IRDIS, the infrared dual-band imager and spectrograph, provides classical imaging (CI), dual-band imaging (DBI), dual-polarisation imaging (DPI), and long-slit spectroscopy (LSS) between 0.95 – 2.3 µm.

The first data release covers 602 IRDIS imaging observations acquired between April 2019 and March 2020, i.e., ESO periods P103 and P104. The data were processed by the SPHERE Data Centre, a support service provided by the French community, which is jointly operated by OSUG/IPAG (Grenoble), PYTHEAS/LAM/CESAM (Marseille), OCA/Lagrange (Nice, France), Observatoire de Paris/LESIA (Paris), and Observatoire de Lyon.

ESO Summer Research Programme 2023 - Call for Applications Is Now Open

Published: 12 Dec 2022

After the great success of the programme in the last four editions, we are happy to announce that the call for applications for the 5th ESO Summer Research Programme is now open. The fully-funded programme is open to all university students not yet enrolled in a PhD course.

Seven projects spanning a variety of topics are offered this year and successful applicants will be invited to work at the ESO Headquarters in Garching for six weeks between July 3 and August 11, 2023. 

Applicants should apply online using the dedicated form before the deadline of 31 January 2023, 23:59 CET.

ALMA Update on the Recovery from Cyberattack

Published: 18 Nov 2022

The Joint ALMA Observatory released the following statement today regarding a recent cyberattack that has affected ALMA services:

On October 29, 2022, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) suffered a cyberattack on its computer systems, forcing the suspension of astronomical observations and the public website. This event is under investigation by local authorities. The Computing team quickly isolated the Antennas and Correlator systems and the Science Archive data systems. However, communication and other operational clusters were affected, forcing ALMA to stop all observations. Since then, email communication has been restored safely, along with new collaboration tools that enable the staff to continue their regular work.

The Crisis Management Team has developed a full-recovery plan in consultation with cyber security officers from ESO/NAOJ/NRAO. Our highest priority is to work hard to resume observations before the end of the year.

MUSE Analysis of Gas around Galaxies (MAGG) second data release

Published: 18 Nov 2022

The second data release, the large program "MUSE Analysis of Gas around Galaxies project - MAGG" (ESO programme ID: 197.A-0384, PI: M. Fumagalli) provides the community with 28 high-quality VLT/MUSE cubes centred on bright redshift z~3-4.5 quasars (Lofthouse et al. 2020).

Peer Review Under Review conference: The registration is open!

Published: 18 Nov 2022

The Peer Review Under Review conference will take place at the Headquarters of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany, from February 6 to 10, 2023. The conference aims at bringing experts from diverse environments to assess the current and future challenges, methodologies and other aspects of the peer review processes.

Registration is now open!

Release of Period 111 telescope schedule and proposal evaluation outcome delayed

Published: 18 Nov 2022

The web letters announcing the outcome of the proposal evaluation process and the La Silla Paranal Observatory schedule for odd semesters are usually released by the end of December. For P111, there is a foreseen delay of one month, moving the release of the web letters and the schedule to the beginning of February 2023. The Phase 2 deadline for submission of observing material for Service Mode observations will be shifted according to the envisaged web letters release. The deadline will be set four weeks after the P111 schedule announcement. The priority in the review of the submitted Phase 2 material will be given to the programmes with early targets to ensure the regular start of the P111 observing period on 1 April 2023.

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