Science Users Information

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

ESO Period 108 Proposal Submission Statistics

Published: 19 Apr 2021

The deadline for proposal submission for Period 108 (1 October 2021 - 31 March 2022) was 25 March, 2021. 948 valid proposals were submitted, including 37 Large Programmes. On the VLT the most requested ESO instrument was MUSE with a request of 452 nights, followed by X-Shooter with 344 nights. HARPS on the ESO 3.6-metre telescope was the most demanded instrument at La Silla (and third most demanded instrument overall), with 265 nights.

Applications for ESO Studentships – First Annual Call

Published: 19 Apr 2021

The ESO research studentship programme provides an outstanding opportunity for PhD students to experience the exciting scientific environment at one of the world's leading observatories. ESO's studentship positions are open to students enrolled in a university PhD programme in astronomy or related fields. Students accepted into the programme work on their doctoral project under the formal supervision of their home university, but they come to ESO to work and study under the co-supervision of an ESO staff astronomer for a period of between one and two years.

First Commissioning of the upgraded IRLOS, the InfraRed Low-Order Wavefront Sensor for MUSE

Published: 16 Apr 2021

Between 11 and 24 March the Assembly, integration, verification and commissioning of the upgraded InfraRed Low-Order wavefront Sensor of MUSE, IRLOS, was carried out through an efficient collaboration between the local Paranal team and the remote support team in Garching. The goal of the upgrade, which uses a new SAPHIRA detector with sub-electron readout noise, is to add at least two magnitudes to the limit for the wavefront sensing while simultaneously increasing the correction rate to 500 Hz. The 500Hz SmallScale mode of the new IRLOS system is in operations with a fully automated acquisition since the beginning of Period 107 with a limiting magnitude of J=17.0 for point sources. This fainter magnitude limit is offered for P108 and proposals submitted during P107. Prior to this commissioning MUSE Narrow Field Mode could use as AO reference stars brighter than H=14.5, with the sensing done at a fixed 200Hz with field-selector scales for point-sources, SmallScale, and extended objects, LargeScale.

ESO Science Archive: 10,000,000 Processed Science Files Downloaded … and Counting!

Published: 16 Apr 2021

March 17th marked an important milestone for the ESO Science Archive with the download of the 10,000,000th processed science file by a member of the ESO community. The Science Archive is a major science resource: more than 35% of the refereed papers based on ESO data that were published in 2020 used it. Its data holdings are constantly increasing, and it currently includes more than 3,000,000 processed datasets from the La Silla Paranal and ALMA observatories, calibrated to remove instrumental and atmospheric effects. These are spectra, images, data cubes, source catalogues, flux maps and interferometric visibilities (the 10,000,000th file itself was a spectrum from the GAIA-ESO Public Survey). These data products can be browsed and downloaded via an highly interactive and intuitive web application or programmatically with Virtual Observatory protocols and tools.

ALMA Cycle 7 Science Observations Status Update

Published: 15 Apr 2021

Since 17 March 2021, the 12-m Array has been used for PI science observations with more than 37 antennas. Unfortunately, it has become clear that the recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Chile will have an impact on ALMA observations. Several areas in Chile are back to full lockdown and the anticipated addition of more staff to the ALMA site to conduct the change of ALMA configurations will be delayed by a minimum of 20 days.

The Messenger

The Messenger 182 is now available. Highlights include:

  • Ramsay, S. et al.: Instrumentation for ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope
  • Mainieri, V. et al.: SUPER — AGN Feedback at Cosmic Noon: a Multi-phase and Multi-scale Challenge
  • Castro, N. et al.: Mapping the Youngest and Most Massive Stars in the Tarantula Nebula with MUSE-NFM

You can subscribe to the hardcopy of The Messenger or browse the complete archive of issues. 

The ESO Science Newsletter

The March 2021 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.