ESO Science Newsletter November 2017
24 Nov 2017
VST image of galaxies in the Fornax cluster (Credit: ESO/A. Grado & L. Limatola)

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

Science announcements

Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey Results

24 Nov 2017:

The User Support Department (USD) extends its thanks to all those Principal Investigators and their Phase 2 delegates who filled in this September's online Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey. A total of 194 responses were received from our targeted campaign. Where possible, we have contacted those respondents who provided detailed comments. A summary report based on this latest User Satisfaction Survey is now available.

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ALMA Cycle 5

23 Nov 2017:

ALMA Cycle 5 started successfully on 1 October 2017. Principal Investigator observations started with the longest configurations (~16 km). Progressively smaller baselines will be adopted over the course of next year, reaching the most compact configurations by July 2018. ALMA users may check the configuration schedule and the real-time observing status at any time.

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Presentations from QUESO Workshop 2017

17 Nov 2017:

The submillimetre/mm/cm QUESO Workshop 2017 (Centimetre-Sub-Millimetre Q&U (and V) European Southern Observatory Workshop) was held at ESO Garching from 25-27 October, 2017. The presentations are now available to download from the programme page.

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VPHAS+ Public Survey Updated Band-Merged Catalogue

14 Nov 2017:

Six months of observations have been added to the third catalogue release (DR3.2) from the ESO Public Survey VPHAS+ (VST Photometric H-alpha Survey of the Southern Galactic Plane and Bulge). The updated catalogue release version DR3.2 includes aperture-matched band measurements derived from all calibrated images of sufficient quality that were acquired until 30 September 2015 under ESO Programme 177.D-3023(B,C,D,E, F, G, H). The current catalogue release covers about 1200 square degrees, which correspond to over half of the VPHAS+ footprint targeting the Southern Galactic Plane.

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GASP Large Programme First Data Release

14 Nov 2017:

The ESO Large Programme, GAs Stripping Phenomena in galaxies (GASP) with Principal Investigator, B.Poggianti, has released deep MUSE 3D cubes observed in wide-field mode and natural seeing plus ancillary products from all of the observations taken during the first three semesters of the programme (Periods 96–98).

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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.

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Workshop: Imaging of Stellar Surfaces

11 Nov 2017:

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 5–9 March 2018

There have been tremendous recent advances in observational techniques enabling resolution of the surfaces of stars other than the Sun. Current and planned VLTI instruments, SPHERE on the VLT and ALMA, as well as other interferometric facilities, 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.

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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.

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Upcoming ESO or ESO-Related Workshops

  • Atacama Large-Aperture Submm/mm Telescope (AtLAST)
    ESO, Garching, Germany January 17–19, 2018

    ALMA is currently the world’s most sensitive telescope operating at 0.3 to 3 mm (and will soon be extended to 10 mm).  However, as an interferometer, its mapping speed for large areas is limited, with the largest angular scales limited to roughly an arcminute at 3 mm (and is even more stringent at shorter wavelengths). We invite the community to join us in a discussion of the scientific and technical considerations of an Atacama Large Aperture Submm/mm Telescope (AtLAST). 

  • 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.
  • Science with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX2018)
    Schloss Ringberg, Tegernsee, Germany, March 11–14, 2018

    The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) 12 m submillimeter telescope has been in operation for more than 12 years and has contributed to a wide variety of submillimeter astronomy science areas, from the discoveries of new molecules to deep imaging of the submillimeter sky. 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 the upcoming new APEX capabilities.
  • 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.