Announcements

ann14073 — Announcement
Programme: Open House Day 2014
7 October 2014: We would like to remind you that ESO, the world’s most productive ground-based observatory, will open its doors to the public on Saturday 11 October 2014 between 11:00 and 18:00 CEST. The event will be held at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany. This year ESO will welcome guests to its extended Headquarters, including the two impressive new buildings that have been inaugurated since the last Open House Day in 2013. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the world of ESO first hand by taking part in many different activities. If you need help on your way during the Open House Day, look for our members of staff, who are wearing name badges. As ESO is an international organisation, we have staff speaking several languages. Media representatives who wish to attend the event are asked to confirm their participation by contacting osandu@partner.eso.org. List of Activities on Offer Area ...
ann14072 — Announcement
ESO Signs Agreement to Build MOONS
26 September 2014: ESO has signed an agreement with a consortium led by the Science and Technology Facilities Council's UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) to build MOONS — a unique new instrument for ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). MOONS will be able to tackle some of the most compelling astronomical questions such as probing the structure of the Milky Way and tracing how stars and galaxies form and evolve. During its ten-year design lifetime, MOONS is expected to observe of order ten million objects.   MOONS [1] stands for Multi-Object Optical and Near-infrared Spectrograph. This complex instrument will collect light from many objects at the same time, using up to 1000 fibres over a large field of view, and will work at both visible light and near-infrared wavelengths. The power of the VLT, combined with the unique capabilities of MOONS, will provide the tools necessary to study galaxy formation and evolution over most of ...
ann14069 — Announcement
ALMA Extends Its Arms
24 September 2014: The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has successfully tested an antenna in the most extended configuration of the array yet, producing the longest baseline ever achieved by ALMA. This advance became possible once the first of ALMA's three extended arms was successfully powered up for the first time, and opens up the possibility of greatly extending ALMA’s capabilities. With longer baselines, the ability of a radio telescope to see fine detail increases, allowing astronomers to uncover much more information about objects observed in the Universe. Lore, one of ALMA’s two tailor-made antenna transporters, made its first journey along the Pampa la Bola arm and for the first time relocated an antenna to a position seven kilometers away from its furthest neighbour. This marks a major new technical achievement in the Atacama Desert in Chile, at more than 5000 metres above sea level. This new baseline is more than four times longer ...
ann14071 — Announcement
Build your own LEGO E-ELT!
22 September 2014: On 19 June 2014 construction work for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) started in the Chilean Atacama Desert. It began with blasting off the top of Cerro Armazones, the future construction site of the world’s largest telescope, to create a flat surface for the future telescope. Although work has already begun the first light of the telescope — which has a main mirror with a diameter of 39 metres — will not be before 2024. To accelerate the process, at least in some sense, Dutch astronomer Frans Snik has spent several month of his spare time designing his own E-ELT. Except this one is made of LEGO© bricks! Snik used design tools ldraw and bricksmith to build a model containing exactly 5274 parts ordered from bricklink. The total cost of the model, which has a scale of approximately 1:150, is about 600 euros. Using a detailed construction manual and ...
ann14070 — Announcement
Austrian Industry Day in Vienna
19 September 2014: On 1 October 2014, Aussenwirtschaft Austria (Foreign Trade Austria) will host an industry event for an Austrian business delegation at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKO) in Vienna. At the meeting representatives of Austrian companies and institutions will be offered information about ESO, an introduction to the E-ELT and potential opportunities to take part in ESO’s industrial activities. Austria signed the accession agreement to join ESO on 30 June 2008 (eso0820) and its membership was ratified by the Austrian Parliament on 1 July 2009. Contracts over 7 million euros have been awarded to the Austrian industry since it joined the organisation[1]. In June 2012 the country confirmed that it will participate in the E-ELT programme (ann12096). Most recently, a specialist Austrian team from Linz has completed a very successful final review of a four-year project. Together the team consisting of experts from the Institute for Industrial Mathematics of ...
ann14068 — Announcement
360-degree Web Camera Installed at Paranal
12 September 2014: A state-of-the-art 360-degree high-resolution camera has been installed at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile, at the home of the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The new webcam allows anyone online to see the platform of the observatory in its entirety — for the first time in very high resolution — as well as more distant sights such as Cerro Armazones, home of the future European Extremely Large Telescope. The high-resolution camera delivers a 16,000-pixel 360-degree panorama every hour to the web. The system, a so-called NEOS360 camera, was installed by Apical Technologies also features extremely high resolution zooms in on specific points of interest on the VLT platform and around the observatory. The camera itself is located on the VLTI building [1]. The new camera complements the existing live webcams at ESO which shows views from APEX, and from the ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS) at the Chajnantor Plateau, located ...
ann14067 — Announcement
Czech Industry Day at ESO
12 September 2014: On 30 September 2014, ESO will host an industry event for Czech businesses at its Headquarters in Garching, Germany. At the meeting representatives of interested Czech companies and institutions are offered information about ESO, given an introduction to the E-ELT and presented potential opportunities that are available to take part in its industrial activities. Astronomy in the Czech Republic has a long history, dating as far back as 3500 BC. The famous astronomers Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) and Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) established themselves in Prague, by invitation of the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II. This laid the foundation for the first golden age in astronomy. Later, eminent scientists such as Christian Doppler, Ernst Mach and Albert Einstein also resided in the famous city. Furthermore, the Czech capital Prague has hosted to the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, first in 1967 and again in August 2006. The Czech Republic formally ...
ann14066 — Announcement
ESOcast 67: ESO People at Work and Play
11 September 2014: ESO is not only about large telescopes and observatories in the Atacama Desert. The people at ESO work hard every day to make ESO the most productive ground-based astronomical organisation in the world. But most of the time they work in the background quietly, without being noticed by the public. This new ESOcast features six specialists in different areas who work at ESO in Germany and in Chile. Get to know the work they do at ESO, but also learn about interesting hobbies they pursue in their free time and how these hobbies may be connected to their work. More episodes of the ESOcast are also available. Find out how to view and contribute subtitles for the ESOcast in multiple languages, or translate this video on dotSUB. More Information The ESOcast is a video podcast series dedicated to bringing you the latest news and research from ESO — the European Southern ...
ann14065 — Announcement
ALMA Achieves New Short Wavelength Observing Capabilities
10 September 2014: The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has reached a major milestone by extending its vision fully into the realm of the submillimetre, the wavelengths of cosmic light that hold intriguing information about the cold, dark, and distant Universe. This achievement opens an entirely new window on the Universe for ALMA beyond its existing capabilities with the Band 9 receivers. It also is a critical step in the telescope's commissioning process, which brings its full capabilities to bear and makes them available to the international astronomical community. As a demonstration of its new capabilities, the commissioning team released a new image of planet Uranus as it appears in submillimetre wavelength light. The image — obtained with ALMA's shortest wavelength, Band 10 receivers — reveals the icy glow from the planet's atmosphere, which can reach temperatures as low as -224 C (giving Uranus the coldest atmosphere in the Solar System). ALMA's now ...
ann14064 — Announcement
New ALMA Equipment Designed in Chile
25 August 2014: New equipment for transporting one of the most sensitive components of the ALMA array — the antenna Front Ends (cryogenic refrigerators) — has been delivered to ALMA by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the North American associate of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. This new vehicle, which will save lots of time and increase safety during manoeuvers, was completely designed and built in Chile. It is the first shipment of one of four vehicles for handling the Front Ends that hold the set of detectors inside ALMA´s antennas, and is part of the technological exchange policy with the host country. The Front End Handling Vehicle (FEHV) — a robust elevator-crane car — is the result of a three year design and manufacturing collaboration between NRAO and a team of Chilean professionals from the Prolaser and Maestranza Walper companies, located in the city of Valdivia in the south of Chile. ...
ann14063 — Announcement
Science in School Issue 29: Now Available!
22 August 2014: The latest issue of the free magazine Science in School is now available online and in printed form. This European journal for science teachers offers inspiring articles, fun games and hands-on activities for students in every issue. It aims to promote science teaching by encouraging communication between teachers, scientists and everyone else involved in European science education. Some of the highlights of this issue include: how ethics and chemistry are related, how to use aircraft for atmospheric monitoring, how to use frozen hydrogen to create super hot plasma flames and how space telescopes see beyond the rainbow. Teaching activities include: how to explain light refraction in primary education, how to simulate the effect of the solar wind, how to use biological databases, how to analyse water quality and how water travels up trees. Science in School is published by EIROforum, a collaboration between eight European intergovernmental scientific research organisations, of ...
ann14062 — Announcement
ESO Open House Day 2014
20 August 2014: On Saturday 11 October 2014 the European Southern Observatory (ESO) will open its doors to the public between 11:00 and 18:00 CEST at its headquarters in Garching bei München, near Munich, Germany. This year, visitors will also be able to visit two impressive new buildings that have been inaugurated since the last Open House Day in 2013 and will enjoy a diverse range of activities to introduce them to the world of ESO. This event is part of the Open House Day activities for the whole Garching research campus, and several other local institutes will also open their doors to the public. ESO can be found at location number 39 on this map of the campus. Some of the highlights of the 2014 programme are: See ESO´s two new buildings — participate in guided tours through the innovatively styled office building and technical building. Learn how ESO creates artificial stars, ...
ann14061 — Announcement
Republic of Korea Joins ALMA
20 August 2014: On 17 August 2014, the Japanese National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) signed an agreement concerning the operation and development of ALMA. With this agreement, the Republic of Korea officially joined in the East Asia ALMA consortium whose current members are Japan and Taiwan. Japan and Korea have already promoted active collaboration in the field of astronomy. In 2001, the two countries made a successful very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observation for the first time by linking the 45-metre radio telescope of the Nobeyama Radio Observatory (NRO) of the National Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the 14-metre radio telescope of the Taeduk Radio Astronomy Observatory of Korea. The following year, NAOJ and KASI officially signed an agreement to further strengthen the collaboration. And a decade later, in March 2012, NAOJ and KASI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning collaboration on ...
ann14060 — Announcement
European Astronomy Journalism Prize 2014
18 August 2014: The European Southern Observatory (ESO) invites media representatives from its Member States to enter the 2014 European Astronomy Journalism Prize to win a trip to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. The prize is organised by ESO and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in conjunction with the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) and it aims to encourage a wider coverage of astronomy and related subjects in the media to inspire the next generation of astronomers. Entries for the prize must be about astronomy and related areas of technology, or about the work and lifestyles of astronomers, engineers or others working in the field of astronomy. The entries must reflect European interests and they can be online, written or broadcast. Entries from all ESO Member States are welcome and must be in English. The submitted entries must have been published ...
ann14059 — Announcement
ALMA Pinpoints Pluto to Help Guide New Horizons Spacecraft
6 August 2014: Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) are making high-precision measurements of Pluto's location and orbit around the Sun to help NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft accurately home in on its target when it nears Pluto and its five known moons in July 2015.  Though observed for decades with telescopes here on Earth and in space, astronomers are still working out Pluto’s exact orbit around the Sun. This lingering uncertainty is due to Pluto’s great distance from the Sun (approximately 40 times farther out than the Earth) and the fact that we have been studying it for only about one-third of its orbit. The dwarf planet was discovered in 1930 and takes 248 years to complete one orbit around the Sun. “With these limited observational data, our knowledge of Pluto’s position could be wrong by several thousand kilometres, which compromises our ability to calculate efficient targeting manoeuvres for the New Horizons spacecraft,” ...
ann14058 — Announcement
CAPjournal 15 Now Available
28 July 2014: The 15th issue of Communicating Astronomy with the Public journal is out now! In this issue you will find articles that outline best practice for astronomy outreach with the visually impaired, with the elderly, with children and with audiences from around the world — from rural Mexico to downtown Tokyo, Japan. Amongst the research articles there are resources on designing your own spectroscopy lab, building a do-it-yourself portable planetarium programme and using new analogies to bring the Universe down to a scale that can be better understood. There is all this, and more, in this free, peer-reviewed journal for astronomy communicators — now available for download
ann14057 — Announcement
Solar Farm to be Installed at La Silla
21 July 2014: As part of its green initiatives, ESO has signed an agreement with the Chilean company, Astronomy and Energy (a subsidiary of the Spanish LKS Group), to install a solar farm at the La Silla Observatory. ESO has been working on green solutions for supplying energy to its sites for several years, and these are now coming to fruition. Looking to the future, renewables are considered vital to satisfy energy needs in a sustainable manner. ESO’s ambitious programme is focused on achieving the highest quality of astronomical research. This requires the design, construction and operation of the most powerful ground-based observing facilities in the world. However, the operations at ESO’s observatories present significant challenges in terms of their energy usage. Despite the abundance of sunshine at the ESO sites [1], it has not been possible up to now to make efficient use of this natural source of power. Astronomy and Energy ...
ann14056 — Announcement
Join ESO on Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and More
14 July 2014: ESO has recently expanded its presence on social media to connect better with its communities. You can now add ESO to your Google+ circle of friends if you want to stay up to date with our latest news, follow us on Pinterest if you are interested in our most beautiful photos or on LinkedIn if you are looking for career opportunities at ESO’s sites in Germany and Chile. You will also find more than 2000 ESO images uploaded to Wikimedia for use in Wikipedia and elsewhere. At the same time, ESO, together with the Joint ALMA Observatory and its international partners — the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan — have recently opened dedicated accounts for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Facebook and Twitter are also available in Spanish. To discover where to find ESO on social media, ...
ann14055 — Announcement
ESO Fellow Receives Prestigious Award for Best Doctoral Thesis
3 July 2014: ESO Fellow Claudia Del P. Lagos has won a 2014 MERAC (Mobilising European Research in Astrophysics and Cosmology) Prize for her doctoral thesis on the treatment of star formation and feedback in simulations of galaxy formation. The prize was presented at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland on 2 July 2014 in the category of Best Doctoral Thesis in Theoretical Astrophysics [1]. Claudia gave a plenary lecture at EWASS and will later give a lecture in Switzerland under the patronage of the FONDATION MERAC. Claudia’s PhD thesis focused on the galaxy formation model, GALFORM, which can implement essentially all existing theoretical models of star formation. Her work addresses the two key processes at the centre of how galaxies are made: the formation of stars and the regulation of star formation following the injection of energy into the interstellar medium — the material that ...
ann14054 — Announcement
ESOcast 66: A Groundbreaking Event for the E-ELT
2 July 2014: On 19 June 2014, a major milestone for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) was passed. Part of the 3000-metre peak of Cerro Armazones, the future site of the telescope, was blasted away as a step towards levelling the summit. This new ESOcast tells the story of the blasting, the associated groundbreaking ceremony and the future prospects of the E-ELT. The ESOcast also shows spectacular views of Cerro Armazones, the E-ELT’s future home in the Atacama Desert, the explosion itself and explains the necessity to flatten its top to construct the telescope. This blast was only the first of several steps in this process. The first civil works at Cerro Armazones started in March 2014 and are expected to take 16 months. These works include the laying of a paved road, the construction of the summit platform and the construction of a service trench to the summit. A groundbreaking ceremony, ...
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