Science Announcements

New series of ESO Cosmic Duologues

Published: 25 Jan 2021

ESO is happy to announce the start of the new series of ESO Cosmic Duologues. Started in 2020, the ESO Cosmic Duologue series aim at covering the current state of some of the biggest questions in astronomy in a lively way. The program of the new events is now available on-line. The first event of 2021 will be entitled The Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis: Concordance or New Physics? and will take place on Tuesday 26 January at 3pm (Central European Time). For each duologue, ESO invites two speakers who will present in short, dynamic talks, their side on a challenging scientific subject, or on a topic related to the sociology of science. The duologues will be streamed live on the dedicated YouTube channel.  All astronomers are invited to remotely attend the talks. 

How ESO Impacts Society: New publication highlights ESO’s benefits to its Member States

Published: 22 Jan 2021

ESO is a testament to research, innovation, and collaboration in Europe with a far reaching and invaluable impact on society. A new publication, “ESO’s Benefits to Society”, explores ESO’s contributions to its Member States across five areas: science and engineering, economy and innovation, talent development, education and outreach, and international collaboration and policy. Impact indicators and case studies provide arguments as to why your work matters and why society should continue to invest in astronomical research.

Pitch your Research to ESO Communications to Reach a Broad Audience

Published: 22 Jan 2021

Are you an author on an upcoming scientific study based on ESO data? If you think your study could be relevant for the wider public or journalists, please consider pitching it to ESO’s Department of Communication by sending your paper to ESO's Media Manager Bárbara Ferreira at

New Website for ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope Launched

Published: 14 Jan 2021

ESO has launched a new website to deliver a wealth of information about the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). Created for a wide range of audiences, the general public and astronomy experts alike can dive into the website to discover the new telescope, its instruments, some of the history behind this ambitious and challenging telescope, as well as how it will further our knowledge of the cosmos.

Message from the Director General

Published: 22 Dec 2020

The year 2020 will go into history as an exceptional one in almost every area of human activity. While we are still suffering the direct impact of the global pandemic and these will surely continue for some time, the end of the year is a suitable occasion to sincerely thank the efforts of our scientific community to carry on producing excellent science. I also wish to express my appreciation to all ESO staff and to our partners and contractors in the Member States and Chile for finding creative ways of enabling our projects to move forward, and of resuming astronomical observations and the delivery of scientific data. Last but not least, my warmest thanks to the Member State delegations in our governing bodies for their continued, unfailing and invaluable support to ESO.

ALMA Cycle 8 2021 Pre-Announcement

Published: 18 Dec 2020

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) is planning to start the observations for Cycle 8 2021, in October 2021. A Call for Proposals (CfP) with detailed information on the new cycle is anticipated to be issued in March 2021 and the deadline for proposal submission will be in April 2021. The purpose of this pre-announcement is to highlight aspects of the CfP to assist with early planning. It also contains information related to the proposal review process.

Paranal Update

Published: 17 Dec 2020

VIRCAM@VISTA started science operations on December 15th, bringing back all Paranal telescopes. The operational systems on Paranal are: FORS2@UT1, UVES@UT2, SPHERE & X-Shooter@UT3, MUSE@UT4 with AOF, ESPRESSO@ICCF, OmegaCAM@VST, VIRCAM@VISTA, Gravity/MATISSE/PIONIER @ VLTI.

ALMA Update

Published: 17 Dec 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic the European ARC Network continues to provide support for PIs and users of archival data. More specifically the European ARC Network is offering a series of topical trainings called I-TRAIN. The next appointment is on January 15th, 2021, with an online training on UVMultiFit, a versatile library for fitting models directly to visibility data. More information on this event can be found at this link and upcoming trainings will be soon advertised on the European ARC Announcements page.

Hypatia Colloquium: Programme of Talks by Early Career Scientists Available

Published: 17 Dec 2020

The ESO Office for Science is pleased to announce the beginning of the Hypatia Colloquium Series, 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 following the reception of over 300 proposals by ESO. The detailed programme of the seminars, which are scheduled to take place online on Tuesdays at 3pm (Central European Time), is already available.

The Infrared Sky at Milli- and Microarcsecond Resolution with GRAVITY+ Online Workshop: 24-25 February 2021

Published: 16 Dec 2020

GRAVITY+ was recently recommended by the ESO Scientific and Technical Committee as the top priority instrument upgrade for the VLT/I and will start the Phase A in 2021. It will transform interferometric capabilities of the VLTI by enhancing the sensitivity to K=18mag on-axis or K=22mag off-axis with Laser Guide Stars on all UTs and will allow phase referencing over an unprecedented large field of >30" (compared to currently 2"). This will enable milliarcsecond imaging and microarcsecond astrometry in the infrared for a wide new range of Galactic and extragalactic science cases. The GRAVITY+ consortium invites interested members of the ESO science community to a two half-day online workshop on GRAVITY+ that will take place on 24-25 February 2021.

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