The planning for the near future of the VLT instrumentation was discussed at the Scientific Technical Committee (STC) meeting in April 2016. With the return of CRIRES+ currently planned for the first quarter of 2018, a VLT Nasmyth focus needs to be freed. ESO has investigated the available options, which essentially come down to FLAMES, UVES and VIMOS.
As announced in the Call for Proposals for Period 98, no science observations on VLT UT4 are foreseen from early October to late December 2016. This is due to the extensive installation and commissioning activities of the Deformable Secondary Mirror (DSM), a key component of the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF).
The upgraded version of the ArTéMiS instrument was successfully installed at APEX between 25 May and 1 June 2016. The bolometer camera can now observe simultaneously at 350μm and 450μm. Despite mediocre weather conditions, with a precipitable water vapour around 1.5mm, ArTéMiS successfully obtained first light images on the molecular cloud Sgr B2 near the Galactic Centre. The commissioning of the instrument will continue with the aim to offer the dual band capabilities in the Period 99 Call for Proposals (observing Apr.–Sep. 2017).
The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) is the flagship ESO Programme to build the world's largest optical/infrared telescope. The construction programme is now well underway with planned first light in 2024 and we felt it important to share with the scientific community the progress and achievements of the Programme.
Therefore, starting from this issue of the ESO Science Newsletter we will provide regular updates on the status of the Programme and important news regarding the E-ELT.
This release provides reduced Ks-band mosaics of the Hubble Frontier Fields obtained with HAWK-I at VLT UT4. The first two fields, Abell 2744 and MACS-0416, were observed with HAWK-I in Period 92 and the second two fields, Abell S1063 and Abell 370, in Period 95 (PI: Gabriel Brammer).
Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are being discovered in ever-larger numbers over the whole electromagnetic spectrum. Different bands (infrared, optical/UV, X-ray, γ-ray and radio) employ different methods to identify these sources but, most importantly, provide different windows on AGN physics. The main goal of the Workshop is to paint the AGN big picture within a truly multi-wavelength approach and to understand the intrinsic and fundamental properties of AGN and the physics behind them. Further details on the website.
The VLT wide field optical integral field spectrograph MUSE has opened up exciting new perspectives in many different areas of observational astrophysics, including star forming regions, stellar populations, local and distant galaxy kinematics and high-z galaxy studies. The Symposium will cover the full range of topics tackled by MUSE observations and highlight key results from the first year of observations. Particular aims are to: share experience regarding observing strategy, reduction and analysis; discuss challenges to interpret and model MUSE data; and stimulate synergies with other facilities. Full details on the EWASS webpage for Symposium S3.
Discs in Galaxies Joint ESO, MPA, MPE, LMU, TUM and Excellence Cluster Universe Conference. ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 11–15 July 2016
The aim of this conference is to explore the importance of stellar and gaseous discs in a variety of galaxies from high redshift to the Milky Way within the context of new observations and numerical simulations. Stellar and gaseous discs represent the most important structural component in normal galaxies and interpreting their early formation and destruction, via observations and numerical simulations, indicates the key processes that shape the eventual Hubble sequence.
This conference will provide a timely and wide ranging exploration of discs in galaxies from observational and theoretical aspects. More details here.
Supernova science has entered a golden age with daily announcements of new discoveries and the rate set to increase with new facilities. As supernova sample sizes increase, well-observed nearby events will still provide insights into progenitor properties and explosion mechanisms. The conference aims at addressing these challenges (and others) through "understanding the past to prepare for the future" with a focus on past, present and future surveys, including also explosion models, progenitors, their link to stellar evolution and the first supernovae.
The conference celebrates the contributions that Mark Phillips and Nicholas Suntzeff have made to this field. Further details are available on the workshop webpage.