ESO Science Newsletter February 2018
02 Feb 2018
Star formation region Lupus 3

This newsletter is a summary of recent ESO Science Announcement items. Follow the links or visit ESO Science Announcements to read more.

Science announcements

Period 101 Telescope Allocation

02 Feb 2018:

The 101st Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met on 14–16 November 2017. A total of 1000 nights (10-hour equivalent) 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 outcome of the time allocation was communicated to the Principal Investigators of the 899 proposals submitted for Period 101 on 21 December 2017. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations was on 1 February 2018.

Read more

ALMA Programme Scientist

01 Feb 2018:

The position for European ALMA Programme Scientist is open for applications. The Programme Scientist will serve as the primary contact between the ALMA Observatory, the European ALMA Support Centre and the European astronomical community with respect to the scientific capabilities, mission and exploitation of the ALMA facility. The successful candidate will be responsible for ensuring that the European share of the observatory and its future development will enable ALMA to meet scientific requirements. Additionally the Programme Scientist will monitor the scientific performance of ALMA operations and its ability to carry out forefront science.  

Read more

Release of VLT/VLTI Instrument Data Reduction Software Packages

01 Feb 2018:

The annual public release of ESO VLT/VLTI instruments data reduction software packages is scheduled for April 2018. Please note that the updated pipeline packages will be released for the following operating systems: Fedora 24–27, CentOS 7, Scientific Linux 7 and macOS 10.10–10.13. In addition to the release of data reduction pipelines in April, some instruments with pipelines under active development have intermediate releases throughout the year. To get announcements of new pipeline releases, please send an email or visit the VLT Instrument Pipelines webpage.

Read more

Workshop: La Silla Paranal Users Workshop – Getting Science Done with Your Observatory

12 Nov 2017:

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 12–14 March 2018

ESO's ground-based observatories located in Chile serve a very diverse astronomical community. The La Silla Paranal Observatory offers observations with a variety of telescopes, instruments and observing modes and a wide ranging level of user support. If you are a La Silla Paranal Observatory user and are interested in face-to-face contact with the various support services at ESO, this workshop is for you. The workshop will provide you with all the necessary knowledge to make the most out of ESO data and thereby provide a strong momentum to your science. Further details are available below and via the workshop website, which also has a preliminary programme.

Read more

Workshop: Take a Closer Look – The Innermost Region of Protoplanetary Discs and its Connection to the Origin of Planets

10 Nov 2017:

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 15–19 October 2018

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.

Read more

Upcoming ESO or ESO-Related Workshops

  • ESO/NEON Observing School at La Silla
    Santiago and La Silla Observatory, February 18–March 2, 2018

    The ESO/NEON School is preferentially tailored to PhD students, advanced MSc's and early PostDocs. During two weeks of intense work the participants will have the chance to have hands-on experience of the full cycle from proposal preparation to data reduction. Students will have lectures on the basics of observing techniques and how to prepare observations for ESO telescopes in Santiago, and then go to the La Silla Observatory for three nights of observations with the NTT and Danish 1.54-metre telescopes.

  • Diversis mundi: The Solar System in an Exoplanetary context
    ESO, Santiago, Chile, March 5–9, 2018

    This workshop aims to bring together the solar system and exoplanet scientific communities to explore how their expertise and recent discoveries can complement each other. The discovery of exoplanetary systems with a large variety of architectures can teach us about the formation and history of our own solar system, and the deep understanding of our own environment can help us towards our search for life traces outside of the solar system. Various aspects will be covered including, the formation and architecture of planetary systems, small components of planetary systems, or planetary atmospheres and biomarkers.
  • Imaging of Stellar Surfaces
    ESO HQ, Garching, Germany, March 5–9, 2018

    There have been tremendous recent advances in observational techniques enabling resolution of the surfaces of stars other than the Sun. Interferometric instruments have recently succeeded in resolving stellar surfaces. The workshop aims to bring together observers from different techniques and wavelengths, and theoreticians working on stellar atmospheres and stellar structure. This will be a focussed workshop with ample time for discussions on recent images of stellar surfaces and atmospheres, observational strategies and the underlying physical processes.
  • Science with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment
    Schloss Ringberg, Tegernsee, Germany, March 11–14, 2018

    The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) 12-metre submillimetre telescope has been in operation for more than 12 years and has contributed to a wide variety of submillimetre astronomy science areas, from the discoveries of new molecules to deep imaging of the submillimetre sky. The telescope is currently undergoing a major upgrade to ensure reliable operations until at least 2022. In addition, a new suite of instruments is being commissioned. The conference venue at Ringberg Castle provides a unique setting for in-depth discussions on new scientific results with APEX, synergies with other observatories, and the exploitation of upcoming new APEX capabilities.
  • Submillimetre Single-Dish Data Reduction and Array Combination Techniques
    ESO HQ, Garching, Germany, March 15–16, 2018

    Single dish submm facilities provide an essential complement to ALMA interferometry data, but require a set of special observing techniques and data reduction software. Participants in this ESO-Radionet workshop will be trained in the analysis of APEX data and in combining single-dish and array data through different techniques, such as feathering and joint deconvolution. The workshop will cover both line and continuum data, consisting of introductory lectures followed by hands-on tutorial sessions.