Announcements 2013

ann13062-en-gb — Announcement
ESO releases The Messenger No. 152
5 July 2013: 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: A report on the ALMA inauguration A review on the commissioning of the AGPM vector vortex coronagraph An article entitled The Wide View of the Galactic Bulge as seen by the VVV ESO Public Survey An account of ESO’s Early Seeing Expedition to South Africa in the 1950s Download The Messenger in PDF format or visit The Messenger website to subscribe and receive a free printed copy.
ann13061-en-gb — Announcement
Café & Kosmos 9 July 2013
5 July 2013: With Dr Jörg Dietrich (Universitäts-Sternwarte der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität) Astronomers believe that all the matter we know of, in the whole Universe, has been accumulating on an invisible scaffold made of dark matter over the history of the Cosmos. Stars and galaxies have formed over billions of years on the invisible threads of this network. Attracted by the nodes of the scaffold, they have clumped together to form galaxy clusters and superclusters. However, until now, the dark matter has escaped direct observation. All we know about the structure of this invisible scaffold is through the distribution of the ordinary matter that we can see and measure. An international research group from Observatory of the Ludwig-Maximilians University has recently succeeded, for the first time, in detecting a thread of this invisible cosmic scaffold between the adjacent clusters of galaxies Abell 222 and Abell 223. Dr. Jörg Dietrich, the leader of the team which ...
ann13060-en-gb — Announcement
SAURON Receives 2013 Group Achievement Award of the Royal Astronomical Society
4 July 2013: The Royal Astronomical Society (UK) has awarded the 2013 RAS "A" Group award to the SAURON team, including Tim de Zeeuw, Harald Kuntschner and Eric Emsellem from ESO, as well as Davor Krajnović, a recent ESO fellow. This prize honours groups that have made an outstanding contribution to astronomy. The prize was presented at the 2013 UK National Astronomy Meeting, in St Andrews, Scotland on 3 July 2013. SAURON is an integral field spectrograph with a 33 x 44 arcsecond field of view, custom-built at the Observatoire de Lyon for the 4.2-metre William Herschel Telescope on the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma, Spain. The particular science focus of the team that set up the SAURON project was to understand the evolution of elliptical galaxies by making detailed observations of samples of nearby objects. The SAURON initiative combines an optimised instrument design, refined analysis and modelling methods to ...
ann13059-en-gb — Announcement
Win Tickets for the Hidden Universe IMAX® Movie in Copenhagen and Cleveland
4 July 2013: ESO, in collaboration with MacGillivray Freeman Films, the Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, is organising a competition that gives Twitter users the chance to win free entrance tickets for themselves and their family or friends to the IMAX® production Hidden Universe. Winners can see the movie in 2D at Great Lakes Science Center and at the Tycho Brahe Planetarium. Released in IMAX® theatres and giant-screen cinemas around the globe, the film shows the workings of ESO’s state-of-the-art telescopes in high resolution time-lapse, as well as mesmerising celestial structures and a simulation of the Universe. Narrated by Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-winning British actress, Miranda Richardson, the movie is produced by Australia’s award-winning production company December Media in association with ESO, Film Victoria, Swinburne University of Technology and MacGillivray Freeman Films. Read more about the movie here. The competition runs from ...
ann13058-en-gb — Announcement
ESA Astronaut Pedro Duque visits ESO's Headquarters
27 June 2013: On 27 June 2013, one of ESA’s astronauts, Pedro Duque, visited ESO Headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany. He was received on his arrival by ESO’s Director General, Tim de Zeeuw. Duque is a member of ESA’s European Astronaut Corps, and currently is head of the Flight Operations Office located at the Columbus Control Centre near Munich. During the visit, Mr Duque was briefed about ESO’s programme and had the chance to tour the facilities at ESO Headquarters and see some of the instrumentation being developed in house, including hardware for the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). After lunch with ESO representatives, Duque addressed a large audience of ESO staff and students about his experiences as an astronaut and his current work. As an ESA astronaut, Duque took part in two space missions. First as Mission Specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-95 mission, in 1998, and later in ...
ann13057-en-gb — Announcement
Senior Chilean Delegation Visits ESO Headquarters
24 June 2013: Today, 24 June 2013, a delegation of Chilean representatives visited ESO’s Headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany. It was led by the Chilean Minister for Economy, Mr. Félix de Vicente, and included the Chilean ambassador to Germany, Mr. Jorge O’Ryan Schütz. The Chilean Delegation also included the Director of ProChile Germany, Ms Bettina Stengel, the Vice-President of the Committee of Foreign Investments, Mr Matías Mori, and the Head of Cabinet of the Minister of Economy, Juan José Bouchon. Following their visit to ESO, the Chilean Delegation will also participate in an event entitled “Chile neu entdecken” organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria. ESO enjoys excellent relations with Chile and has a long and fruitful history of collaboration with Chile's government, universities and industry. Chile is a crucial partner in ESO’s activities, hosting all of ESO’s observatories and the ESO premises in Santiago de ...
ann13056-en-gb — Announcement
ESO Annual Report 2012 Now Available
10 June 2013: The ESO Annual Report 2012 is now available. It presents the many activities of the European Southern Observatory during the year, including: Research highlights from ESO facilities, with the latest results from fields covering aspects of astronomy stretching from observations of the Solar System out to the study of the early Universe. A summary of the activities of ESO’s telescopes. The status of the astronomical instruments at the La Silla Paranal Observatory, describing in detail new instruments and upgrades.  
ann13055-en-gb — Announcement
Café & Kosmos 18 June 2013
10 June 2013: With Dr Sandra Kortner (Max Planck Institute for Physics) Theoreticians conceived the Higgs boson almost 50 years ago, to explain how elementary particles such as electrons and quarks get their mass. They required this ultimate building block of matter, otherwise the world as we know it today would not exist — no Universe, no galaxies and stars, no Earth, and … no humans. Last summer, CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research — announced the discovery of a new particle. Additional research then confirmed this was indeed the historical discovery of the long-sought Higgs boson. This scientific breakthrough, that some have compared to the Moon-landing for particle physics, was the culmination of a long, carefully-planned manhunt, tracking the tiniest evidences that the boson left in the most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). But where do we go from here? Could it be that we have finally ...
ann13054-en-gb — Announcement
ERIS Project Starts
10 June 2013: ESO has taken a step towards the construction of a powerful new instrument — the Enhanced Resolution Imager and Spectrograph (ERIS) — to be installed on Unit Telescope 4 of ESO’s Very Large Telescope at Cerro Paranal in northern Chile. Following the conclusion of the call for proposals, the project will be carried out by ESO in partnership with the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (Garching, Germany, with contributions from ETH Zürich, Switzerland) and the INAF Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (Florence, Italy). ESO has given the go-ahead for the two collaborating institutes to start work and the project aims to achieve first light in late 2017. ERIS — which will be active for at least ten years after it is installed — will benefit from the Adaptive Optics Facility that corrects for the blurring effects of the Earth’s atmosphere. It aims to take the sharpest direct images so far obtained ...
ann13053-en-gb — Announcement
Visions of the Universe Exhibition Opens its Doors
7 June 2013: A new temporary astronomy exhibition named Visions of the Universe will open its doors on 7 June 2013 at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, UK. The exhibition will tell the history of astronomical imaging, from the early hand-drawn work of the first astronomers to the latest images captured by world-class telescopes. Visions of the Universe will feature photographs from ESO’s telescopes, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NASA, the Russian space program and more, ranging from ethereal images of deep space objects to close-up views of our planetary neighbours and the martian landscape. The exhibition is open to the public until 15 September 2013. More information is available on the Visions of the Universe website. Just a stone’s throw away, the Royal Observatory, an ESO outreach partner organisation, is accepting entries for the 2013  Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. The completion closes on 13 June 2013 and an exhibition ...
ann13052-en-gb — Announcement
ESOcast 58: ALMA Discovers Comet Factory
6 June 2013: ESOcast number 58 will lead you straight into a trap. Astronomers using the new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have, for the first time, clearly imaged a dust trap — a region around a young star where dust particles can grow by clumping together. This detection helps solve a long-standing mystery: how dust particles around stars stick together to form planets, comets, and other rocky bodies. ESOcast 58 goes deep into the dust trap to explore how this comet factory works. Join your host, Dr J, and discover more about the secrets of the Universe. To see this latest exciting result from ALMA, follow the link to ESOcast 58. More Information The ESOcast is a video podcast series dedicated to bringing you the latest news and research from ESO — the European Southern Observatory. Subscribe to our video podcast now to keep up with the latest news from ESO: the ...
ann13051-en-gb — Announcement
ALMA Early Science Period Extended
6 June 2013: Following the very busy period of the ALMA inauguration in March 2013, and as part of the activities towards the completion of the observatory later this year, the ALMA team has been engaged in a process of fine tuning and optimising ALMA for smoother science operations.  Excellent progress has been made both with verification of the scientific performance of some of the advanced science observing modes, as well as with array stability and infrastructure enhancements. It has now been decided to resume Early Science observations at the end of June in order to deliver more data to the astronomers and further test the telescope’s performance. Observations made in this Early Science mode have already delivered outstanding discoveries [1], showing the unprecedented power of ALMA, even when still working at a fraction of its final capacity. Before starting the next cycle of Early Science observations (Cycle 2), it has been decided to extend ...
ann13050-en-gb — Announcement
European Astronomy Journalism Prize Expanded
3 June 2013: The European Astronomy Journalism Prize 2013 is launched today and this year has been expanded to now include entries from Europe and South America. The competition is run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in the United Kingdom and ESO, in conjunction with the Association of British Science Writers and the Royal Astronomical Society. "Astronomy is a global research discipline, and excites and inspires millions of people every day around the world, so we believe it's appropriate to expand the prize to recognise a broader range of inspirational coverage of astronomy," ESO's Head of Education and Public Outreach, Lars Lindberg Christensen, said today. STFC Head of Communications Terry O'Connor said the inaugural competition in 2012 was open only to entries published or broadcast in English in the United Kingdom, but has now been extended to entries in English from any ESO Member State. "We're delighted to work with ...
ann13049-en-gb — Announcement
Consultancy Contract for E-ELT Dome and Main Structure Awarded
31 May 2013: On 30 May 2013 ESO signed a contract with the Danish company Ramboll for consultancy services to support ESO during the procurement and construction of the dome and main structure of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The actual dome and main structure contract itself will be the largest ever placed by ESO, and will cover not only the giant telescope enclosure, which is almost 100 metres in diameter (the size of the Colosseum in Rome), but also the massive precision components that form the telescope’s mounting and tube. This big contract to build the dome and main structure is expected to be awarded towards the end of 2014. To supplement ESO’s own in-house efforts and provide expert advice for this contract over a wide range of disciplines, Ramboll will follow the dome and main structure contract alongside ESO. “This is an extremely ambitious project with colossal challenges, both technically and ...
ann13048-en-gb — Announcement
Bavarian Minister of Sciences, Research and the Arts visits Paranal
27 May 2013: The Bavarian State Minister of Sciences, Research and the Arts, Dr Wolfgang Heubisch, made a special visit to ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile on 24–25 May 2013 at the end of an official trip that included working visits to institutions in Chile and other Southern American countries. Minister Heubisch was accompanied by a delegation of Bavarian academic authorities. ESO’s Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, accompanied by the Director of Operations, Andreas Kaufer, ESO’s Representative in Chile, Fernando Comerón, and Head of Administration, Patrick Geeraert, welcomed Dr Heubisch to the observatory and acted as host for the Minister and his delegation. After a presentation on ESO by the Director General and a discussion on ESO activities, Minister Heubisch and his delegation were taken for a visit to the support facilities at the Paranal base camp. Later, they visited the telescope platform of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) — the most advanced ...
ann13047-en-gb — Announcement
ESOcast 57: ESO’s VLT Celebrates 15 Years of Success
24 May 2013: Our new ESOcast celebrates the 15th anniversary of ESO’s flagship facility, the Very Large Telescope, with a spectacular visual review of some of the most impressive images from its years of operation. This anniversary marks an important milestone for the Very Large Telescope — the first light of the first of its four Unit Telescopes, on 25 May 1998. Since then the four original giant telescopes have been joined by the four small Auxiliary Telescopes that form part of the VLT Interferometer (VLTI). The VLT is the world’s most advanced optical instrument and one of the most powerful and productive ground-based astronomical facilities. More than 600 refereed science papers based in VLT or VLTI data were published in 2012 alone, and it keeps producing discoveries at an impressive pace. To watch this review of the images of the VLT, follow the link to ESOcast 57. More Information The ESOcast is ...
ann13046-en-gb — Announcement
Start Receiving The ESO Media Newsletter in your Language
22 May 2013: Present and future journalists who subscribe to The ESO Media Newsletter can now receive this weekly newsletter in their native language. Current subscribers are invited to visit their Subscription Preferences, which can be found as highlighted in the images above, and choose a preferred language. New subscribers can choose their favourite language when they sign up (media only). We appreciate that some languages are officially spoken in more than one country. Subscribers will find an indication of both language and country in these cases. For example, in the preferred language dropdown menu, subscribers will find the options: German, German/Austria, German/Belgium and German/Switzerland. We recommend taking the country into account, because translated newsletters may also contain additional local announcements and events that are only relevant for that country. Aimed exclusively at media representatives — traditional media outlets, bloggers, freelance journalists, TV broadcasters, researchers and movie producers — The ESO Media Newsletter ...
ann13045-en-gb — Announcement
Massimo Tarenghi Awarded Grand Cross by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs
16 May 2013: The former ESO representative in Chile, Massimo Tarenghi, was awarded the Grand Cross, highest rank of the Bernardo O'Higgins Order, by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a ceremony in Santiago on 10 May 2013. In the presence of government officials and representatives of the diplomatic corps, the Foreign Minister, Alfredo Moreno, granted Tarenghi this decoration in recognition of his 35 years devoted to the construction of major telescopes in Chile. "Massimo is not only a scientist, an outstanding professional and an entrepreneur, but also a friend who, over the years, has become a great promoter of our country. With his energy, experience and hard work, he has contributed to the process of making public the virtues of Chile," said Minister Moreno during the event. Since 1979, Tarenghi has been in charge of the construction and operation of several of the most important ESO telescopes in Chile, including the ...
ann13044-en-gb — Announcement
ESO Astronomy Camp for Secondary School Students
13 May 2013: The European Southern Observatory (ESO) and its Science Outreach Network is collaborating with the science communication event organiser Sterrenlab to arrange the first ESO Astronomy Camp. The camp will take place from 26-31 December 2013 at the Astronomical Observatory of the Aosta Valley, located in Saint-Barthelemy, Nus, Italy. Several partners, including ESO, are providing for a total of, so far, five bursaries that will be awarded to the winning applicants. The camp will explore the theme of the visible and the invisible Universe through lectures, hands-on activities, and nighttime observations with the telescopes and instruments at the observatory. Social activities, winter sports, and excursions will contribute to making the camp a memorable experience for the participants. ESO will be responsible for the scientific programme for the ESO Astronomy Camp, and will, together with other partners, provide lecturers and material. Sterrenlab specialises in the organisation of international science camps for children ...
ann13043-en-gb — Announcement
Challenges in Communication of Astronomy and Space Exploration
13 May 2013: The 2013 Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP) Conference will take place in Warsaw, Poland, between 14–18 October. Public information officers, communicators, journalists and formal and informal educators are invited to debate the latest challenges in communicating astronomy and share their success stories and lessons learnt. CAP2013 will expand the discussion topics to include space exploration, space tourism and commercial involvement in space-related activities. As the venue is a modern planetarium, special attention will also be given to audiovisual and multimedia communications in the widest sense. Popular topics from previous CAP conferences continue to be on the agenda. Interested participants are invited to submit abstracts before 21 June 2013 under the following major themes: Social media for astronomy outreach Media relations Multimedia communication, including tools and techniques Crowdsourcing and citizen science projects Alternative ways for communicating astronomy with the public Using astronomy outreach to thrill children with science and technology ...
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