ESO Science Newsletter September 2017
01 Sep 2017
VLTI AMBER K-band image of Antares

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

Science Announcements

Call for Proposals for Period 101

31 Aug 2017:

The Call for Proposals for observations at ESO telescopes in Period 101 (1 April 2018 – 30 September 2018) has been released. Please consult the Period 101 document for the main news items and policies related to applying for time on ESO telescopes. All technical information about the offered instruments and facilities is contained on ESO webpages that are linked from the Call. The proposal submission deadline is 12:00 CEST 28 September 2017.

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Period 101 Changes in ESO Scientific Categories A and B

30 Aug 2017:

Astronomers applying for time in Period 101 should note that the Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) scientific subcategories belonging to Categories A and B have been redefined. In addition, Category A is now called "Cosmology and the Intergalactic Medium" (previously "Cosmology") while Category B has been renamed "Galaxies" from "Galaxies and Galactic Nuclei". The full updated list of A and B subcategories is available on the OPC Categories page and in the ESOFORM User Manual.

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ESO Postdoctoral Fellowships

28 Aug 2017:

ESO’s prominent postdoctoral fellowship programme in both Garching (Germany) and Santiago (Chile) offers outstanding early-career scientists the opportunity to further develop their independent research programmes. From exoplanets to cosmology, observational, theoretical and fundamental astrophysics, these are all areas where ESO Fellows can benefit from a highly dynamic scientific environment, at some of the most advanced ground-based telescopes in the world.

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ESO Engineering and Technology Research Fellowship 2018

27 Aug 2017:

The ESO Engineering and Technology Research Fellowship 2018 offers early-career researchers with a PhD degree in an engineering-related discipline, or in physics / astronomy with a strong technology content, the opportunity to take an active part in the very active ESO R&D projects for a minimum of 50% of their time, combined with a good deal of team spirit, curiosity and eagerness to learn.

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ESO/NEON Observing School at La Silla

26 Aug 2017:

Santiago and La Silla Observatory, Chile, 18 February – 2 March 2018

The ESO/NEON School is preferentially targeted 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. Full details on the School website.

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VM Technical Losses

25 Aug 2017:

Technical losses from VLT Visitor Mode observations have been analysed over four Periods (P95 – P98) and are reported here in response to a request from the Users Committee. The technical losses in Visitor Mode, and for global Service Mode and Visitor Mode in parenthesis are as follows on the VLT: UT1: 2.2% (3.4%), UT2: 2.5% (3.1%), UT3: 3.4% (4.6%), UT4: 1.2% (3.9%); on VLTI: 3.8% (7.9%).

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Telluric Standard Stars Added to the X-shooter Data Collection

24 Aug 2017:

1D spectra for telluric standard stars from the beginning of X-shooter operations in October 2009 until the present are now available as stand-alone science-grade spectra. About 30000 new 1D spectra have been added to the X-shooter data collection for a list of 1000 target stars; these numbers will grow as new spectra are added.

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Second PESSTO Catalogue Release

23 Aug 2017:

New versions of the transient and photometric catalogues from the PESSTO Public Spectroscopic Survey have been released to complement the previously released DR3 spectra.

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VPHAS+ Second Band-merged Catalogue Release

22 Aug 2017:

The second catalogue release from the ESO Public Survey, the VST Photometric H-alpha Survey of the Southern Galactic Plane and Bulge (VPHAS+), is now available via the Catalogue Facility. This band-merged catalogue covers about 1100 square degrees, corresponding  to 48% of the VPHAS+ footprint covering the southern Galactic Plane and is based on images acquired up to 30 March 2015.

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Phase 3 Migration of SINFONI Spectra from the AMAZE Large Programme

21 Aug 2017:

AMAZE (Assessing the Mass-Abundance redshift [z] Evolution) was a SINFONI Large Programme aimed at determining the mass-metallicity relation and galaxy dynamics in the redshift range 3 < < 5 (Programme ID 178.B-0838; PI: R. Maiolino). The full set of extracted 1-D FITS spectra from this survey were released in February 2011 and have now been migrated and ingested in the ESO Science Archive Facility.

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Upcoming ESO or ESO-Related Workshops

  • Dispersing Elements for Astronomy: New Trends and Possibilities
    Joint INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera and ESO Workshop, Milan, Italy, 9–11 October 2017

    The aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers and engineers involved in the design, realization and construction of spectroscopic instrumentation, particularly dispersing elements and associated optical components. The workshop provides a forum for discussing the scientific needs for future instruments and technological challenges in developing new types of dispersing elements, covering spectroscopic instrumentation from low to high dispersion and visible to infrared. Full details on the workshop webpage; the registration deadline 5 September 2017.

  • The Challenge of Distributed Science Operations
    European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), Madrid, Spain, 17–20 October 2017

    Science operations are becoming ever more complex and this 3rd ESA-ESO collaborative SCIOPS Workshop on "Working together in support of science" will focus on the challenges that distributed science operations present to space- and ground-based projects, promoting the interchange of ideas and information between ESA, ESO and the broader community. Full details can be found here; the abstract and registration deadline is 6 September 2017.

  • Spectroscopic Surveys with the ELT: A Gigantic Step into the Deep Universe
    Toledo Congress Centre, Spain, 17–20 October 2017

    MOSAIC, a powerful multi-object spectrograph for the ELT, combining wide field high multiplex near-infrared and visible spectroscopy with adaptive optics, is in the design phase. MOSAIC will contribute to a wide variety of science areas, particularly surveys of galaxies to the highest redshift. The worskop is timed to discuss the scientific opportunities of surveys with MOSAIC, focussing in particular on simulated performance from the conceptual design. Full details on the webpage.

  • Centimetre-Sub-Millimetre Q&U (and V) European Southern Observatory Workshop (QUESO)
    ESO Workshop, Garching, Germany, 25–27 October 2017

    Full polarisation observation will become standard for ALMA in the near future. The aim of the QUESO workshop is to bring together leading and potential science users of mm/sub-mm polarimetry, from research fields including AGN, star formation, solar observations and CMB, with observatory calibration experts and software developers to stimulate discussion about the most critical scientific cases, some of which may require development of techniques to achieve the requested precision. Details on the QUESO webpage or by email. The registration deadline 30 September 2017.