Announcements 2014

ann14093-en-us — Announcement
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-en-us — Announcement
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-en-us — Announcement
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. ...
ann14090-en-us — Announcement
Connect with ESO in your Language
1 December 2014: Friends of ESO can now connect with the organisation on social media platforms available in their native language. Together with volunteers, ESO has started making ESO’s latest news available in several languages on Facebook and Twitter. The news items from ESO are already translated into more than 18 languages thanks to the ESO Science Outreach Network (ESON). The network has also translated important parts of ESO’s website, as well as the ESO News weekly newsletter (subscribe here). Now, with the help of volunteers the aim is to offer as many people as possible the chance to read ESO’s astronomical news on social media across language barriers. Those who wish to contribute translations for ESO local social media accounts which are still missing translations are invited to submit this form.
ann14089-en-us — Announcement
Catch a Star 2015 Contest Now Open
28 November 2014: School students from around the world are invited to take part in the European astronomy contest Catch a Star. To participate students must submit a written report on an astronomical topic of their choice — for example an astronomical object, phenomenon, observation, scientific problem or theory. These reports should be no longer than 5000 words and must be written in English. They can be completed by groups of up to three students plus a group leader who is not a student. The deadline for all entries is 17:00 CET on 20 June 2015. Submissions are completed by emailing a copy of the report as a PDF file to astro.edu@gmail.com. Catch a Star is a contest organised as a collaboration between the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) and ESO. Its goal is to stimulate the creativity and independent work of students, to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and skills. ...
ann14088-en-us — Announcement
Journey to the Centre of the Milky Way
26 November 2014: ESO is pleased to present Journey to the Centre of the Milky Way, its first short fulldome planetarium mini-show produced in-house. The mini-show is available for previewing and as a series of fulldome frames for free download (lightly compressed jpegs, 98 GB). The seven-minute mini-show in 4k resolution starts in the dry and empty Atacama Desert in Chile, home of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). Thanks to the extraordinary air conditions, in combination with the technological power of the VLT, we can take the beautiful images that make up this show, which leads us into the very centre of the Milky Way, where the view is mostly blocked by dust and gas. By observing the heart of the galaxy over a period of twenty years the VLT and the Keck telescopes were able to observe the motion of more than 100 stars and identify the exact position of an otherwise ...
ann14087-en-us — Announcement
Tim de Zeeuw Receives Honorary Degree
25 November 2014: On 24 November 2014, ESO’s Director General Tim de Zeeuw [1] received an honorary degree in astronomy at a ceremony in the Aula Magna of the University of Padova in Italy. During the event he gave a presentation with the title “Exploring the Universe”. Tim de Zeeuw is an expert in the formation, structure and dynamics of galaxies including the Milky Way. With this distinction, Tim de Zeeuw joins a line of outstanding astronomers, including former ESO Director General Riccardo Giacconi, who laid the foundations for X-ray astronomy, Ivan King, a world authority on globular star clusters, and Bruno Rossi, who made major contributions to the study of cosmic rays. Notes [1] Tim de Zeeuw completed his PhD at Leiden University in 1984 and became a Professor of Theoretical Astronomy at the university in 1990. He is the founder of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) and has been ...
ann14086-en-us — Announcement
Astronomical Art in Santiago
18 November 2014: From 28 November 2014 until 18 January 2015, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago in Chile will display the exhibition “Bajo Presión” — Under Pressure. Eight international artists will present works that reflect the condition of contemporary society. One of these artist is the Austrian astronomer and visual artist Ulrike Kuchner. In her art, Kuchner combines the languages of two worlds, art and science. The images of her collection “Measuring Mistakes” are part of her astronomical work and were taken with the VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph (VIMOS), an integral field spectrograph mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). The pieces chosen for this exhibition consist of 15 individually treated enlargements of calibration data which are taken apart and rearranged. The collection has been exhibited before at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) and at the Kunsthalle in Vienna. Scientifically she used these data to answer questions about active nuclei of ...
ann14085-en-us — Announcement
Winners of Second ESO Astronomy Camp Bursaries Announced
14 November 2014: The second ESO Astronomy Camp will take place from 26 December 2014 to 1 January 2015 at the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley, located in Saint-Barthelemy, Nus, Italy. The camp is organised by Sterrenlab in collaboration with ESO and its science outreach network. The camp will explore the theme of distances in astronomy through lectures, hands-on activities, and nighttime observations with the telescopes and instruments at the observatory. Social activities, winter sports, and excursions will also be organised for the participants. Registration for secondary school students has now closed. More than 250 applications from 24 countries were submitted and the winners of the bursaries offered by ESO and the national partners have now been selected. The camp will accommodate around 50 secondary school students aged between 16 and 18. From these, the following were selected to receive either a full bursary that covers the complete ...
ann14084-en-us — Announcement
ESO Staff Share 2015 Breakthrough Prize
11 November 2014: ESO staff members are part of two teams that have been awarded the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for their discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe. On 9 November 2014 the 2015 Breakthrough Prize [1] in Fundamental Physics was awarded to the Supernova Cosmology Project and the High-z Supernova Project. The scientists are honoured “for the most unexpected discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, rather than slowing as had been long assumed”. This discovery was the climactic moment of twentieth-century cosmology, and has mapped the terrain for the current era of exploration. The prize consists of a cash award of three million US dollars that will be shared between the team members. The Nobel Laureates Saul Perlmutter from the University of California, Berkley and the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, Brian P. Schmidt from the Australian National University and Adam Riess from Johns Hopkins University ...
ann14083-en-us — Announcement
ESOcast 69: Revolutionary ALMA Image Reveals Planetary Genesis
6 November 2014: ESOcast 69 presents the result of the latest ALMA observations, which reveal extraordinarily fine detail that has never been seen before in the planet-forming disc around the young star HL Tauri. This revolutionary image is the result of the first observations that have used ALMA with its antennas at close to the widest configuration possible. As a result, it is the sharpest picture ever made at submillimetre wavelengths. 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: Sara Mendes da Costa.Music: Johan B. Monell (www.johanmonell.com)Footage and photos: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NASA, ESA, Digitized Sky Survey 2, N. Risinger (skysurvey.org), L. Calçada, M. Kornmesser, Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO, and Christoph Malin (christophmalin.com).Directed by: Herbert ...
ann14082-en-us — Announcement
ESOcast 68: ESO Opens its Doors
24 October 2014: On 11 October 2014 the ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany, once more opened their doors to the public. Some 3300 people used this special opportunity of the Open House Day to visit the centre of the world's foremost astronomical organisation. ESOcast 68 gives impressions of different activities offered by the ESO staff at this event. The stations covered a range of topics from engineering to observation and even offered the experience of a planetarium as well as a live comet cooking show. This episode of the ESOcast is a great opportunity for visitors to relive their experiences at Open House Day and for those who were not able to join this year, to get an impression what to expect next time. 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 ...
ann14081-en-us — Announcement
ESO Calendar 2015 Now Available
24 October 2014: One of our most popular products, the ESO calendar for 2015 is now available for pre-ordering in the ESO online shop. The calendar’s cover features a spectacular image of several ALMA antennas below the brilliant night sky and the Milky Way. The calendar itself is packed with images of the cosmos as well as pictures of the ESO telescopes in the barren landscapes of northern Chile. Highlights include a picture of the Auxiliary Telescopes at the Paranal Observatory and the irregular nebula Gum 15, birthplace of hot young stars. Each month also marks the dates of lunar phases. The individual pages of the calendar can be viewed here. The calendar measures 42 x 42 centimetres and has 14 pages, with a cardboard back. The calendar is sold for 9.99 Euros in the ESOshop. Stock is limited — don’t wait too long! The delivery is scheduled for mid-November.
ann14080-en-us — 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-us — 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-us — 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-us — 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-us — 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-us — 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-us — 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 ...
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