Science Announcements

Poll to Evaluate ESO's Scientific Priorities

Published: 03 Feb 2020

ESO's Science Prioritisation Working Group is tasked with reviewing the ESO programme from a scientific perspective. This working group is composed of members of the Scientific Technical committee (STC), the Users Committee (UC) and ESO staff. The working group has devised a survey to better understand the priorities of the ESO community for the upcoming decade. Invitations to answer the survey have been emailed to astronomers registered on the ESO User Portal and/or on the ALMA Science Portal. If you have received a personal invitation, use the provided link with your unique token. In case you have not received an invitation, or you wish to share the poll with unregistered colleagues, please use this registration link.

Update to ESO User Portal Profiles for All Science Users

Published: 31 Jan 2020

Following the recommendation of the Time Allocation Working Group and to support the rehaul of the whole proposal handling system, ESO is now requesting all science users provide more detailed information in their User Portal profile.  This is to enable further and more accurate statistical studies on time allocation systematics, to improve the optimisation of proposal distribution in the current system (for example, to support Distributed Peer Review, and enable more complete bibliometric analyses).

Call for Science Verification Proposals for GRAVITY for MATISSE (GRA4MAT)

Published: 30 Jan 2020

MATISSE is the newly commissioned mid-infrared 4-telescope beam combiner for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. ESO will offer MATISSE with fringe tracking for Science Verification (SV) on four AT nights. While MATISSE has already been offered since Period 103 (starting 1 April 2019), this SV call aims to demonstrate the new capabilities enabled by using GRAVITY as a fringe tracker for MATISSE: updated sensitivity limits and extend spectral coverage.

Share Your Photos Of ESO Sites With The World

Published: 19 Jan 2020

If you are visiting ESO sites and you like to capture your experience on camera, the Department of Communication invites you to share your photos with the world. There are a number of ways in which we can help you to do this, and if photography is your secret — or not so secret — superpower (after astronomy), we might invite you to join our network of Photo Ambassadors.

Conference: Assessing Uncertainties in Hubble’s Constant Across the Universe

Published: 17 Jan 2020

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 22–26 June 2020 

The recently reported discord among Hubble constant determinations – based on the Universe as it is today versus as it was shortly after the big bang -- is puzzling cosmologists and astrophysicists alike. With the discord's significance rising thanks to improved measurements, the community is getting increasingly excited about the potential for modifications to cosmology. However, questions remain whether systematic uncertainties and biases are sufficiently understood and under control.

Conference: Sharpest eyes on the sky

Published: 15 Jan 2020

Exeter, UK, 20–24 April 2020 

The University of Exeter (UK) is hosting The Sharpest Eyes on the Sky: A 2020 vision for high-angular resolution astronomy, a conference focussing on the latest science results from optical interferometers and other very high angular resolution techniques. The meeting will be held in the tradition of the past CHARA meetings and VLTI community days, bringing both communities together for the first time. There will be time for discussions regarding the recent and future technological development of CHARA and VLTI, including how to best exploit these advancements in synergy with other facilities and instruments. Abstract submission will close on 6 March 2020.

Workshop: Ground-based Thermal Infrared Astronomy - Past, Present and Future

Published: 15 Jan 2020

ESO Garching, Germany, 30 March – 03 April 2020 

Ground-based astronomical observations in the thermal infrared wavelength regime (3-30 microns) provide a powerful tool to discover and characterise the most obscured and cool sources in the Universe. This workshop aims to bring together the experts in the field to review the science highlights from various thermal infrared instruments, from protoplanetary discs to active galactic nuclei. We will review some future facilities, and we will compare techniques and approaches for observations and calibrations, with the aim to reach the theoretical limit, the background-limited performance.

Period 105 Telescope Allocation

Published: 20 Dec 2019

The 105th Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met on 19-21 November 2019. Based on the committee's recommendations to the ESO Director General, a total of 972 (10-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 6 February 2020; see the separate announcement for further details.

Phase 2 for Observing Period 105

Published: 19 Dec 2019

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 105 observations is 6 February 2020.

The 2020 ESO Summer Research Programme

Published: 18 Dec 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany 1 July–9 August 2019

The very successful ESO Summer Research Programme will continue in 2020. This fully-funded programme provides a unique opportunity to students who are not yet enrolled in PhD programmes to carry out a six-week long research project at the ESO Headquarters in Garching. The students will be able to choose between a wide range of research projects, covering many areas of astronomy from exo-planets to cosmology. The ESO Summer Research Programme will also provide opportunities beyond research, including lectures, a mini-workshop, and many social activities.

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