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ESO Science Newsletter
20 December 2013
Paranal Instrumentation Changes

Science Announcements

Paranal Instrumentation Changes

20 December 2013: Due to previously unforeseen new requirements on the extended lifetime of NACO until 2018, imposed by the delay of the ERIS project, it was decided to limit the number of relocations of NACO between VLT focal stations to a single one. A careful evaluation of the scientific and technical advantages and disadvantages was discussed by the Scientific Technical ...

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Retirement of ISAAC

20 December 2013: A page of VLT history was turned last week. After 15 years of service and more than 800 scientific publications (and still counting), ISAAC the near-infrared spectro-imager took its last scientific data. With FORS1, ISAAC was one of the first two instruments on the VLT, obtaining first light in November 1998. The last astronomical observation was of SN ...

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Time Allocation for Period 93

20 December 2013: Proposers for ESO Period 93 (1 April–30 September 2014) have just been notified of their allocation of observing time on Paranal and La Silla instrumentation. The Phase 2 observation preparation now starts for Service Mode users. The P93 deadline for Phase 2 submission will be on Thursday, 6 February 2014. In order to prepare their Phase 2, we recommend users ...

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Restricted Services from 21 December to 01 January

20 December 2013: ESO-Garching Operations will provide only minimal support during the Christmas–New Year holiday period, mostly limited to core operational tasks. Full support (user) services will resume on 2 January 2014.

ALMA Cycle 2 Proposal Statistics

19 December 2013: The proposal submission deadline for ALMA Early Science Cycle 2 proposals closed on the 5 December 2013. A total of 1382 proposals were received, requesting 7314 hours of 12-metre array time and 3325 hours of Morita Array (ALMA Compact Array, ACA) time. ToO observations were requested in 24 proposals. A total of 1049 individual PIs and 3408 proposers (PIs ...

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Update from the Scientific Technical Committee

19 December 2013: The 81st Scientific Technical Committee (STC) meeting was held on 22–23 October 2013. The STC meets twice a year, is composed of representatives from the ESO member states and is the primary interface between the scientific community and the telescope and instrumentation projects. The STC also has sub-committees for the La Silla Paranal Observatory (LSP), ALMA and APEX ...

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New Version of Reflex Supports SINFONI and KMOS

19 December 2013: Version 2.5 of the ESO data reduction environment Reflex has been released. Reflex provides an easy interface to run and supervise VLT data reduction pipelines. Reflex can be installed with a self-explanatory installation script and the workflows are pre-configured to run right out of the box on demo or user data. All Reflex workflows come with a detailed ...

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Release of Additional Pipeline-processed UVES Data

19 December 2013: The collection of pipeline-processed high-resolution spectral data obtained with UVES has been significantly extended, now also including the observations that make use of the image slicers. In addition to the previously announced UVES data release, over 10 000 individual spectra, acquired 2003 - 2013, are now available from the Science Archive Facility. The data consist of extracted ...

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First Data Release of the VIKING Five-band Photometric Catalogue

19 December 2013: The VISTA Kilo-degree Infrared Galaxy Survey (VIKING), one of the 6 VISTA public surveys, is a wide area (eventually ~1500 square degrees), intermediate-depth (5-sigma detection limit J~21 [Vega]) near-infrared imaging survey, in the 5 broadband filters Z, Y, J, H, Ks. The first VIKING data release, which is based on observations until mid-February 2011, covers 226 square degrees in ...

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Messenger Section on ESO Public Surveys

19 December 2013: The December 2013 issue of The Messenger contains a section with summaries of ten of the eleven ESO public surveys, together with an introductory overview on the progress of the public surveys. The whole issue, or individual articles, can be downloaded.

Clustering Measurements of Active Galactic Nuclei — ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 14–18 July 2014

19 December 2013: Galaxies and active galactic nuclei (AGN) are not randomly distributed in the Universe. The distribution of AGN, measured by clustering, enables new insights into the physical conditions that govern the accretion onto supermassive black holes and high precision AGN clustering can provide constraints on cosmological parameters. AGN clustering measurements have gained significant interest in the last decade and upcoming large ...

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Upcoming ESO or ESO-Related Workshops

  • PIONIER Science Meeting and VLTI Community Days
    IPAG, Grenoble, 13 - 16 January 2014

    The PIONIER science meeting will be held 13-14 January 2014, followed by the VLTI community days (15-16 January), and is organised by IPAG, ESO and Eii. The spirit of the meeting is to provide a direct way for the community to exchange ideas with those at ESO who take care of the VLTI. The latest VLTI results will be presented, and there will be discussions on ongoing projects, innovative scientific use of VLTI and preparation for its future evolution. Three milestones justify this gathering: the offering of PIONIER to a wider community, the arrival of GRAVITY (in 2015) and MATISSE (in 2016).

  • Science with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX)
    Ringberg Castle, Germany, 19 - 22 January 2014

    The 2nd APEX science meeting will cover the broad range of science results from APEX, from the Solar System to distant galaxies, with particular attention given to the synergy with Herschel, ALMA and SOFIA. The meeting will also give a preview of upcoming new instrumentation at APEX. The registration deadline is 15 December 2013.

  • Exoplanet Observations with the E-ELT
    Auditorium, ESO Garching, 3 - 6 February 2014

    Exoplanet research is one of the major science drivers for the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). This community workshop will explore the science cases and the planned capabilities of the E-ELT in the field of exoplanet research. The aim is to provide a synthesis of the goals to be achieved by the E-ELT with its planned instrumentation in the field of exoplanets and the most relevant issues in exoplanet science for the next decade. Topics to be discussed include: initial conditions for planet formation; planetary populations determined from detection surveys; characterisation through resolved imaging and direct and transit spectroscopy; the search for habitable planets.

  • 3D2014 - Gas and stars in galaxies: A multi-wavelength 3D perspective
    Garching, 10 - 14 March 2014

    This workshop aims to bring together the optical/near-infrared, millimetre and radio communities working on 3-dimensional extragalactic data, following on from the similarly themed 2008 workshop. Science topics are centered on both gas and stars in galaxies and examples include dynamics, AGN and supermassive black holes, high redshift galaxies and deep fields. Tools to visualise and analyse multi-wavelength data cubes will also be discussed. In association with the workshop, three parallel user workshops on reduction and analysis of 3D data from KMOS, MUSE and ALMA will be held. Further details can be found here. The abstract and registration deadline is 1 December 2013.

  • Herbig Ae/Be Stars: The Missing Link in Star Formation
    Santiago, ESO Santiago, 7 - 11 April 2014

    Herbig Ae/Be (HAeBe) stars are a class of early-type pre-main sequence objects whose stellar mass corresponds to the transition regime between Solar-type stars and high-mass stars. They are generally bright at most wavelengths allowing a detailed view of their evolving environment and are pivotal objects for the formation of both stars and planets. The high-resolution observational and theoretical advances of the past 10 to 15 years provide the primary motivation and the evolution of the circumstellar disk material constitutes the main, but not the exclusive topic, for the workshop. Areas to be addressed include circumstellar disk structure, transition and debris disks, disk dispersal, jets and outflows, young clusters and the impact of future instrumentation.

    This workshop will commemorate the life and work of George H. Herbig (2 January 1920 - 12 October 2013). Herbig pioneered the field of star formation, especially that of young stars and their nebulous surroundings. A brief appreciation of his life and work can be found at

  • The Formation and Growth of Galaxies in the Young Universe
    Obergurgl, Austria, 26 - 30 April 2014

    It is now about 4 years since the last galaxy evolution ski conference at the University of Innsbruck Obergurgl Center. Since then several major surveys have been completed by Hubble and Herschel, wide-field near-infrared imaging has been delivered by VISTA, SCUBA2 has commenced sub-mm surveys on the JCMT, near-infrared multi-object spectrographs have commenced operation on 8-m class telescopes, and the first results have emerged from ALMA and Planck. The aim of this meeting will be to review and discuss these observational advances, alongside progress in theory/simulation, with a dual focus on galaxy/black-hole evolution at z > 2 and reionization/first-galaxies at z > 6.

    The meeting will consist of invited and contributed talks and there will space for posters. Each day will be split to allow ~4 hours for lunch/skiing/scientific discussion between 12pm and 4pm. More details here

Star Trails over the VLT in Paranal  Brand New Image of Nova Centauri 2013  Zodiacal Glow Lightens Paranal Sky  Ancient Constellations over ALMA  New Image of Comet ISON 

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