Announcements 2014

ann14080-en-au — Announcement
ESO Web Pages Redesigned
21 October 2014: After weeks of development ESO has a new design for its web pages. The main motivation for the changes was to give the site a more user-friendly interface and to make it more mobile-friendly. The new responsive design adapts itself automatically to the resolution of the display that the visitor uses — a technology widely adopted nowadays when most people use smartphones or tablets to visit websites. The overall goal was to create a more functional web page with an updated and striking design. This allows ESO’s remarkable facilities, and the science results coming from them, to be presented in the best possible way. The new design gives the ESO web pages a less organisational look and adopts a style closer to that of a magazine or an online newspaper. This is especially true for the redesign of the pages containing the press releases and announcements. This way it is ...
ann14079-en-au — Announcement
Winners of Photo Nightscape Award 2014 Announced
16 October 2014: The winners of the Photo Nightscape Award (PNA) 2014 — which was organised by Ciel et Espace Photos — have been announced. Over 100 contestants from 23 different countries participated in the contest, out of which six winners were chosen. Prizes were awarded to the first and second place in two different categories: Pro for professional photographers and Espoir for youngsters in the field. Furthermore, two junior photographers were honoured for their outstanding work. The first prize in the Pro category went to Jean Marc Lecleire from France for his spectacular landscape showing geysers and the Milky Way. His reward is a one-week trip to the Paranal Observatory, home of the Very Large Telescope, in Chile. This prize was offered by ESO, which is a supporting partner of the PNA. Similarly impressive is the picture of the northern lights over a river landscape by Tommy Eliassen from Norway, who won ...
ann14078-en-au — Announcement
Olivier Chesneau Prize Established
16 October 2014: In May 2014 Olivier Chesneau, one of the most active and prolific members of the optical interferometry community, passed away at the age of 41. To honour his work in this field, his home institute, the Laboratoire J.-L. Lagrange at the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur in France and ESO have established a prize in his memory. The prize will be awarded every two years, for the first time in 2015, for the best thesis completed by a PhD student in the past two calendar years in the field of high angular resolution optical astronomy at a European institution. This includes adaptive optics, optical interferometry and similar techniques. Nominations for the first prize must be received by 15 January 2015 at https://olivier-chesneau.oca.eu, where full details about the prize rules are available. The first winner of the prize will be invited to give a prize lecture in June 2015 during the ...
ann14077-en-au — Announcement
Science in School: Issue 30 now available
14 October 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: a chronicle of Earth’s journey through space and time, as seen from the Moon and how to get from methional to fried chicken. Teaching activities include: a review of the ESO Astronomy Camp 2013, a project to investigate slime moulds, how to build a particle accelerator for your classroom and a demonstration how a hydrogen economy might work in practice. Science in School is published by EIROforum, a collaboration between eight European intergovernmental scientific research organisations, of which ESO is a member. The journal addresses ...
ann14076-en-au — Announcement
The Messenger No. 157 Now Available
9 October 2014: The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. Find out the latest news from ESO on topics ranging from new instruments to the latest science discoveries. Note that as part of a clean-up of the hard-copy subscription database, the subscribers of the print version of The Messenger need to confirm their subscription. All subscribers who provided an email address when they subscribed have received an email with instructions for the confirmation. All hard-copy subscribers will also find instructions in this edition of The Messenger, as well as a unique web link on the label of the envelope, written in the format http://eso.org/m/XYZ . Please either click on the link or type the link into your browser, and tick the box called “Subscribe to receive the ESO Messenger”. Press the “Submit” button. By doing so, you will continue to receive the print version of The Messenger. ...
ann14075-en-au — Announcement
Tools, best practices and methodologies for Technology Transfer
8 October 2014: ASTRONET, a network supported by the European Commission, has the mission to establish a strategic planning mechanism for all European astronomy in the next 5–25 years. Important parts of ASTRONET include the topics of education, recruitment and training, public outreach and industrial links. This work is coordinated by a Working Group which is working on implementing the 10 relevant ASTRONET Infrastructure Roadmap recommendations. There has always been a close coupling between frontier scientific research and cutting-edge industrial development. The Roadmap found that many countries and organisations however lacks a mechanism within their astronomical community to efficiently identify industrial relevance/transfer to other interlocutors or communities as an integral component of their R&D. ASTRONET is now arranging a workshop for new and experienced individuals working with technology and knowledge transfer activities in European astronomy, primarily in the ASTRONET partner organisations, as well as in the EIROforum organisations.  Digital tools, best practices and ...
ann14074-en-au — Announcement
ESO Exhibition A Window to the Universe Reopened in Antofagasta
8 October 2014: On 7 October 2014, after several months of renovation work, Fernando Comerón, ESO Representative in Chile, and Paula Baltra, General Manager of Fundación Ruinas de Huanchaca reopened the exhibition A Window to the Universe. It is one of five permanent exhibitions installed at the Museum Ruinas de Huanchaca [1], in the city of Antofagasta, Chile. The event was held in the auditorium of the museum, and was attended by several local authorities and representatives from different communities of Antofagasta. This space, designed and donated by ESO as a contribution to the Region of Antofagasta in 2009, has been updated with new graphics, images and information about the biggest ESO projects, including the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the European Extremely Large Telescope. From now on, visitors will see 12 gigantic panels, as well as videos and interactive displays showing the history of the Universe. These start from the origins ...
ann14073-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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-en-au — 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 ...
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