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ann15017 — Mededeling
Win a Trip to Paranal with the Photo Nightscape Awards 2015
6 maart 2015: ESO invites you to take part in the second Photo Nightscape Awards (PNA) —  an international photo nightscape competition for astrophotographers. As a partner in the competition organised by Ciel et Espace Photos, ESO will award the first place winner of the Nightscape category a trip to Paranal, home of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in northern Chile. The competition categories are: Nightscape, In Town and Timelapse, and they are open to photographers from all countries. The PNA Junior categories for ages 9–12 and 13–17 years are reserved for French nationals only. Those who wish to take part in the competition should submit a registration form, their photo or video submission and, if they are under age, a parental consent form, to the following email address: pna@photonightscapeawards.com. For detailed information please check the rules of the competition on the dedicated web page. Announcements will be made on the PNA Facebook ...
ann15016 — Mededeling
Discover the ESO Supernova
6 maart 2015: On Thursday 16 April at 16:00 ESO invites students and staff from all institutions on the Forschungscampus Garching to a presentation of the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre which will be held at ESO Headquarters in the Eridanus auditorium. The ESO Supernova is being built at the site of ESO Headquarters and will open in mid-2017. This event will allow students, staff and anyone else at Forschungscampus Garching to hear about the opportunities associated with this project that are relevant to them. The project coordinator, Fabian Reckmann and the head of the public outreach department, Lars Lindberg Christensen, will present the status of the project and explain how other interested institutions and individuals can become part of the project or otherwise support it. The ESO Supernova will be a cutting-edge astronomy centre providing visitors with an immersive experience that will leave them in awe of the Universe we live ...
ann15015 — Mededeling
ALMA Performs Its First Very Long Baseline Observations
5 maart 2015: ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, has successfully combined its immense collecting area and sensitivity with that of APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) to create a new, single instrument through a process known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). Larger telescopes can make sharper observations, and interferometry allows multiple telescopes to act like a single telescope as large as the separation — or baseline — between them. In VLBI, data from two independent telescopes are combined to form a virtual telescope that spans the geographic distance between them  — potentially up to the diameter of the Earth — yielding extraordinary magnifying power. An essential intermediate step is to test the technique on a short baseline. On 13 January 2015 ALMA and the nearby APEX telescope simultaneously studied the quasar 0522-364. This distant galaxy was used for this first-of-its-kind observation due to its remarkable brightness at radio wavelengths. To ensure the telescopes ...
ann15014 — Mededeling
ESO Remains World’s Most Productive Ground-based Observatory
5 maart 2015: A survey of the number of peer-reviewed scientific papers published in 2014 using data from ESO’s telescopes and instruments has shown that ESO remains the world’s most productive ground-based observatory. Astronomers used observational data from ESO facilities to produce 864 refereed papers last year, equalling the all-time high of 2012. The number of papers published from ESO data in 2014 has even remained slightly higher than the number of papers published based on data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Nearly 65% of all papers credited to ESO in 2014 used data acquired with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) or VLT Interferometer facilities. The most productive VLT instruments in terms of papers are UVES and FORS2 with VIMOS in third place. In addition GIRAFFE and SINFONI both show strong upwards trends. The VISTA survey telescope on Paranal provided data for almost twice as many papers as in 2013. FEROS, SOFI ...
ann15013-nl — Mededeling
Gedenkplaat voor 'Leiden Statement' onthuld
4 maart 2015: In januari 1954 kwamen twaalf astronomen uit zes verschillende Europese landen bijeen in de Senaatskamer van de Universiteit Leiden. De bijeenkomst was belegd om tot een joint venture te komen die moest resulteren in de oprichting van een Europese sterrenwacht onder de gunstige zuidelijke sterrenhemel. In de loop van de vergadering, onder voorzitterschap van de Zweedse astronoom Bertil Lindblad, werd een document opgesteld en door alle aanwezigen ondertekend dat tot doel had om overheidssteun voor hun ambitieuze plan te vergaren. Deze zogeheten 'Leiden Statement' legde de basis voor het ESO-verdrag van 1962, en gaf daarmee het startschot voor een onderneming die de ambitieuze visie van de twaalf initiatiefnemers ruimschoots heeft overtroffen. ESO is inmiddels de belangrijkste intergouvernementele astronomische organisatie in Europa, die met enkele van de meest geavanceerde wetenschappelijke instrumenten werkt die ooit zijn gebouwd. De organisatie wordt gesteund door zestien landen, en nog diverse andere overwegen toetreding. Om deze ...
ann15012 — Mededeling
ESOcast 72: Looking Deeply into the Universe in 3D
26 februari 2015: The MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep Universe. Staring at the Hubble Deep Field South region for 27 hours, the new observations reveal the distances, motions and other properties of far more galaxies than ever before in this tiny piece of the sky; extending even beyond Hubble’s reach to reveal previously invisible objects. This ESOcast takes a look at what MUSE found in the Hubble Deep Field South and the way in which it has made life a little easier for astronomers, by compiling thousands of images of these remote galaxies into a three-dimensional stack of images, each at a different wavelength. You can subscribe to the ESOcasts in iTunes, receive future episodes on YouTube or follow us on Vimeo.Many other ESOcast episodes are also available.Find out how to view and contribute subtitles for the ESOcast in multiple languages, or translate ...
ann15011 — Mededeling
Groundbreaking Ceremony for ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre
24 februari 2015: A groundbreaking ceremony for the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre took place today at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching, Germany. This event marked the beginning of the main construction phase of the facility. The ESO Supernova will be a magnificent showcase for astronomy for the public. It is made possible by a collaboration between the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and ESO. The Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), a German foundation that supports the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, offered to fully fund the construction and ESO will run the facility. The striking building was designed by the architects Bernhardt + Partner. This new facility will provide visitors with an immersive experience of astronomy and ESO’s scientific results, projects and technological breakthroughs. It will include a fulldome planetarium and more than 2000 square metres of permanent and temporary exhibitions. Further rooms housing conference facilities will also host a variety ...
ann15010 — Mededeling
First Light for Laser Guide Star Technology Collaboration
10 februari 2015: A team of astronomers and engineers from ESO, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) and INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma has achieved first light and successful commissioning of the ESO Wendelstein Laser Guide Star system [1] at the IAC's Observatorio del Teide on Tenerife in Spain. Following an agreement in April 2014 between ESO and the IAC, the required infrastructure for the experiment was built at the observatory. The team carried out the installation and commissioning of the ESO Wendelstein Laser Guide Star Unit laser, the receiver system and the automated observing software. These joint activities are research and development studies to optimise the laser guide star return brightness from the upper atmosphere with special attention being paid to the influence of the geomagnetic field on the performance. The experimental setup uses fibre laser technologies developed at ESO to produce a 20-watt continuous wave ...
ann15009 — Mededeling
Thank You, 100 000 Facebook Friends!
10 februari 2015: ESO would like to extend a warm welcome to our 100 000th Facebook friend and a thank you to everyone who has become our friend on Facebook and, in doing so, helped to spread an interest in astronomy, space, and what everyone at ESO is working hard to achieve. Every like, share and mention goes a little way towards helping more people share in the wonders of the Universe, and we are thankful to all those who have participated for their support in helping ESO to reach more people than ever before.
ann15008 — Mededeling
Teacher Training on Stellar Evolution
4 februari 2015: The Board of Education for the German Astronomical Society, in collaboration with ESO and the Excellence Cluster Universe of the Technical University of Munich, is organising a two-day teacher-training workshop on stellar evolution on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 March 2015. The course aims to help those teaching the subject as part of the grade 12 astrophysics curriculum in Germany and will feature lecture and discussion sessions as well as workshops. Teachers who are interested in this opportunity are invited to obtain further details and register at the following web site. Teachers participating in the course will also be provided with a wealth of material to use in the classroom, including presentation slides, computer software, literature and a collection of useful web links. The training session will be held at ESO Headquarters in Garching bei München and will be in German.
ann15007 — Mededeling
2014 European Astronomy Journalism Prize Winner Announced
2 februari 2015: Louise Mayor has won the 2014 European Astronomy Journalism Prize. Her prize consists of a trip to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) — a state-of-the-art telescope to study light from some of the coldest objects in the Universe — in northern Chile. The winning article explores the quest to directly detect gravitational waves using a technique involving studying pulsars with radio telescopes. Entitled “Hunting Gravitational Waves Using Pulsars”, the article was published in the October 2014 issue of Physics World, the magazine for members of the Institute of Physics. It was also promoted via a short clip. As features editor of Physics World, Louise Mayor is helping physicists and science writers to tell their stories in different areas of cutting-edge physics. Before joining Physics World in 2010, Louise did a PhD in dye-sensitised solar cells at the University of Nottingham. “I am absolutely delighted to win the prize. My ...
ann15006 — Mededeling
Media Advisory: Groundbreaking Ceremony for the ESO Supernova
26 januari 2015: On 24 February 2015, at 12:30, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany, to mark the start of construction work for the ESO Supernova Planetarium and Visitor Centre. The centre will be a magnificent showcase for astronomy and will be open to the public free of charge. It is made possible by a collaboration between the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), the research institute of the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, and ESO. The Klaus Tschira Stiftung offered to fully fund the construction and ESO will run the facility. This new facility will provide visitors with an immersive experience of astronomy in general, along with ESO’s scientific results, projects, and technological breakthroughs. It will include a fulldome planetarium and more than 2000 square metres of permanent and temporary exhibitions. Further rooms housing conference facilities will also host a programme of lectures, workshops and conferences. ...
ann15005 — Mededeling
New High-speed Fibre Optic Data Link to ALMA
20 januari 2015: The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope has increased its capacity for remote transmission of data by a factor of 25. A new connection consisting of 150 kilometres of fibre optic cables has been successfully installed between the observatory — situated 34 kilometres from San Pedro de Atacama — and the city of Calama in northern Chile. From Calama, the system connects with the Corporación Red Universitaria Nacional (REUNA) network, which is already established in Antofagasta and, from there onwards, to the offices of ALMA in Santiago, through existing infrastructure (the EVALSO project). This milestone for ALMA means that in future an enormous amount of data can be delivered, with astonishing speed, to the ALMA scientific community around the world. This important step for the scientific work of ALMA is the result of a contract signed between AUI, the institution that represents the North American partners of ALMA, with ...
ann15004 — Mededeling
ALMA Residencia Construction to Start
16 januari 2015: The construction contract to build the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)  Residencia has been awarded to the consortium L y D - Axis, consisting of Constructora L y D S.A. and Axis Desarrollos Constructivos S.A. Both are Chilean companies that have experience in constructing residential-type buildings in the challenging environment of the north of Chile. The ALMA Residencia will be the new home for staff and visitors to the facility. The shape of the buildings and the colour of the exteriors of this major architectural project have been designed to meld with the topography, the environment and the landscape of the ALMA site. The design was undertaken by the Finnish architects Kuovo & Partanen and was then adapted to the Chilean market by Rigotti & Simunovic Arquitectos, a Chilean firm of architects. Ever since the construction of ALMA began in 2008, with the delivery of ALMA’s first antenna (eso0849), staff ...
ann15003 — Mededeling
ESO Awards Contracts for E-ELT Primary Mirror Segment Support System Units
16 januari 2015: ESO has signed parallel contracts with CESA (Spain) and VDL (the Netherlands) for the design and production of qualification models [1] for mirror segment support and related auxiliary equipment for the primary mirror of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). This follows the earlier design and development of prototypes, their intensive testing at the ESO facility and a detailed assessment of lessons learned. The complete E-ELT primary mirror will be 39 metres in diameter. The mirror surface will comprise 798 hexagonal segments, plus a maintenance set, for a total of 931 segments. The hexagonal shape means that a common support structure can be used for all segments. These contracts include the delivery of detailed and complete instructions and engineering drawings for the production of the series. They also include the development of the procedures required to integrate the supports with the E-ELT glass segments, to handle and transport the segment ...
ann15002 — Mededeling
ESOcast 71: New Exoplanet-hunting Telescopes on Paranal
14 januari 2015: This ESOcast takes a close look at an unusual new group of small telescopes that has recently achieved first light at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. The Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) will search for transiting exoplanets — planets that pass in front of their parent star and hence produce a slight dimming of the star’s light that can be detected by sensitive instruments. The telescopes will focus on discovering Neptune-sized and smaller planets, with diameters between two and eight times that of Earth. NGTS is designed to operate in a robotic mode and it will continuously monitor the brightness of hundreds of thousands of comparatively bright stars in the southern skies. The NGTS discoveries, and follow-up observations by telescopes on the ground and in space, will be important steps in our quest to study the atmospheres and composition of small, Earth-like planets. More episodes of the ESOcast are also ...
ann15001 — Mededeling
ESO Hosts Workshop on Public Awareness of Research Infrastructures
9 januari 2015: On 18 and 19 June 2015, ESO will host a workshop entitled Public Awareness of Research Infrastructures — Expectations — Experiences — Examples, organised by the Association of European-level Research Infrastructure Facilities (ERF-AISBL). The event will take place at the ESO Headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany. National research infrastructures and large EU-funded projects share the responsibility to present their research to their funding bodies, the scientific community and society at large. Even though it is generally accepted that good public relations and communication play a fundamental role, expectations with regards to science communication activities often remain unclear. The aim of the workshop is to facilitate a dialogue between funding agencies and project managers on the goals of scientific dissemination activities. Furthermore, public relations and public information officers will share their experience and gain insights into the expectations of funding bodies as well as from experts from academia dealing with ...
ann14093 — Mededeling
The Messenger No. 158 Now Available
15 december 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. Highlights of this edition include: Way forward for the E-ELT: Details of ESO Council Decision Fifteen Years of Service Mode Operations: Closing the Loop with the Community The Eta Carinae Homunculus in Full 3D with X-shooter and Shape STREGA: STRucture and Evolution of the GAlaxy with the VST CLASH-VLT: A VIMOS Large Programme to Map the Dark Matter Mass Distribution in Galaxy Clusters and Probe Distant Lensed Galaxies Download The Messenger in PDF format or visit The Messenger website to subscribe and receive a free printed copy. Please note that subscribers to the print version of The Messenger must confirm their subscription. Without confirmation this will be the last print edition of The Messenger you will receive. If you ...
ann14092 — Mededeling
CAPjournal Issue 16 Now Available
4 december 2014: The 16th issue of Communicating Astronomy with the Public journal is out now! In this issue you will find articles discussing the value of science communication training for scientists, the best practices when looking for crowdfunding, the process of capturing the night sky in Ultra HD and the logic, or lack thereof, behind stripping astronomy engagement of its maths. Plus, a column article describes the process behind writing a book that explains the physics of the Universe using only the most common thousand words in the English language. There is all this, and more, in this free, peer-reviewed journal for astronomy communicators — now available for download
ann14091 — Mededeling
ESOcast 70 — Green Light for E-ELT Construction
4 december 2014: In early December 2014, ESO’s main governing body, the Council, gave the green light for the construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in two phases. Spending of around one billion euros has been authorised for the first phase, which will cover the construction costs of a fully working telescope with a suite of powerful instruments and first light targeted in ten years time. This ESOcast looks more closely at the telescope and at what it means for astronomy to have a 39-metre telescope equipped with advanced adaptive optics. 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. Credit: ESOVisual design and editing: Martin Kornmesser and Luis Calçada.Editing: Herbert Zodet. Web and technical support: Mathias André and Raquel Yumi Shida. Written by: Mathias Jäger, Herbert Zodet and Richard Hook.Narration: Joe Liske (Dr. ...
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