The 102nd Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met on 22-24 May 2018. A total of 1174 (8-hour equivalent) nights 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 submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations is 2 August 2018; see the separate announcement for further details.
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 102 observations is 2 August 2018.
The archive of the La Silla Paranal Observatory (LPO) is a powerful scientific resource for the ESO astronomical community. We are delighted to announce new capabilities and user services to enhance data discovery and usage in the face of the increasing volume and complexity of the archive holdings:
The ESO Archive Science Portal: New web-based access enables browsing and exploration of the archive with interactive, iterative queries. The results are presented in real time in various tabular and/or graphic forms, including interactive previews, allowing an evaluation of the usefulness of the data which can then be selected for retrieval.
Direct database and Virtual Observatory access: The inherent limitation in the intuitive way that the web interface enables archive content to be discovered is that it is unsuited to more complex queries, such as those that include sequences with logical statements like “and”, “or” and “not”, or queries that join different sources of information. This restriction can be overcome through direct access to the ESO database tables. Extensive documentation is provided in terms of practical examples, which are intended to provide templates for users to customise and adapt to their specific needs.
Science workshops are an essential component of ESO's programmes and represent a unique opportunity to promote and foster ideas and collaborations within the scientific community. Every year, through the Directorate for Science, ESO provides support and funding to organise two workshops in Santiago and four in Garching, as well as co-funding some external workshops (see ESO Workshops calendar). In 2019, eight conferences have been selected with four being held at ESO Garching, two at ESO Vitacura, and two elsewhere (in Europe and Australia). ESO would like to sincerely thank all workshop proposers for the time and effort they invested in preparing their proposals and for their participation in the call, which resulted in a pressure factor of above three.
Higgs Centre for Innovation, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, UK, 10–13 September 2018
The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is the most sensitive millimeter/submillimeter-wave observatory spanning 84–950 GHz, and will soon be extended to down to 35 GHz through Bands 1 and 2. However, ALMA's small field of view limits its mapping speed, and the size of the array elements restricts its ability to recover extended scales. In January 2018, a meeting was held to discuss a possible large, 40-metre-class single dish called the Atacama Large Aperture Sub-mm/mm Telescope (AtLAST). A new workshop has been organised to specifically address the many AtLAST science cases, and white papers covering the science, site selection, telescope design, and instrumentation will follow by the beginning of 2019. To get involved in this community effort, please register via the AtLAST wiki.
The commissioning runs of MUSE in Wide-Field Mode Adaptive Optics (WFM-AO) were carried out at the VLT on UT4 in June and July 2017. Several astronomical targets were observed to demonstrate the the capability of this new mode, find the best observing strategies and optimise the performance of the pipeline data reduction. The commissioning data have been released to illustrate the power of GLAO correction with MUSE WFM on different science targets; they can also be used as a reference to plan future programmes. Reduced data will be made available later this summer.
The LEGA-C ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey conducted at the VLT with the VIMOS multi-object spectrograph selects its target galaxies from the UltraVISTA catalogue in the 1.6 square-degree area of the COSMOS field and obtains deep, high resolution spectra from which the kinematics and stellar population parameters of the galaxies are extracted. The LEGA-C second data release (DR2) consists of science products from the second year of observations. Due to refinements of the reduction pipeline, the spectra from the first year were reprocessed and are also included in DR2.
Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands, 8-12 October, 2018
The Network for Young Researchers in Instrumentation for Astrophysics (NYRIA) is organising its fourth annual workshopat Leiden Observatory. This international group of early career researchers was created after a summer school which took place in 2014 in Santiago, Chile. Many of the participants have convened every year since, organising a meeting or workshop at different institutes in Europe whilst expanding this network.
The meeting aims to create a space to present the work of the attendants, to hold open discussions and to encourage collaborations between participants and institutes. The workshop will include a series of talks by all participants and guest speakers, tours of the Leiden University and facilities in Dwingeloo, and a hack-a-thon, in which all participants will work together on a current instrumentation problem.
The bulge is a primary component of the Milky Way, comprising ∼25% of its mass. All major Galactic stellar populations intersect there, reaching their highest densities. Exploring the bulge is fundamental to understanding Galactic formation, structure and evolution. With the advent of multiplexed spectrographs on 8-metre class telescopes, and the availability of wide-field near-infrared photometry, our knowledge of the structural, chemical and kinematical properties of the Galactic bulge has improved dramatically in the last few years. At the same time, the interpretation of the data is not straightforward, and many fundamental questions remain. In this context, a host of exciting new results are expected in 2018. This conference aims to gather the international astronomical community to discuss these developments, and to begin to establish a consensus on their interpretation.
TheKMOS@5workshop will bring together scientists working on all areas of star and galaxy formation using near-infrared IFU spectroscopy. KMOS's five-year milestone offers a perfect opportunity to assess the impact of this instrument on its core science cases and to develop new strategies and programmes, also in preparation for future IFU instruments.
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.
Recent discoveries of close-in planets around main sequence and even pre-main sequence stars raise a number of questions about the formation of planetary systems. Their formation and migration history must be directly linked to the conditions within the inner regions of their progenitor protoplanetary discs. These sites also play a key role in star-disc interactions. Studies probing this important region require the use of innovative techniques and a wide range of instruments.
This workshop will address a number of topics related to the inner disc, including the morphology and composition of the innermost disc regions, star-disc interaction, and theories that describe the evolution of the innermost disc regions and the formation of close-in planets.