Science Users Information

These pages are aimed at ESO community astronomers and contain all the information required in order to prepare, execute, process and exploit observations with ESO facilities. They also provide information on the scientific activities taking place at ESO. Details can be accessed via the navigation menu.


ESO Science Announcements

Minimal Science Operations at Paranal and reopening of the Director's Discretionary Time

Published: 18 Sep 2020

The exceptional circumstances imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic led to the suspension of science operations at the La Silla and Paranal observatories, as well as at the APEX telescope, since the end of March. ESO has been closely monitoring the constraints imposed by the pandemic in Chile and has developed plans for a safe and progressive resumption of science operations at the observatories as soon as circumstances allow. Following a detailed assessment of the current situation and the logistic, technical, and safety constraints, as well as the capacity to guarantee the compliance with all measures needed to protect the health of its staff at all times, ESO is re-establishing a minimum level of science operations at the observatory sites. In addition, Director's Discretionary Time proposals can now be submitted again for the FORS2 and UVES instruments at the VLT.

ALMA Redesigns its User Experience

Published: 09 Sep 2020

While ALMA antennas are taking an unanticipated break - and while users are mining the ALMA archive, thinking of new projects and evaluating their past experiences with ALMA data and services offered since Cycle 0 - ALMA is launching a new global project to Redesign the User eXperience (RedUX). As part of RedUX, focus groups will be established to discuss specific aspects of the ALMA user experience. By volunteering to join a focus group, users can help shape the future of ALMA. Anyone interested in contributing to RedUX (and in receiving a small gift at the end of the exercise, as a token of appreciation for their contribution), can fill in this form.

ALMA Update

Published: 09 Sep 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic still continues to impact our lives in many ways around the world. The situation in Chile has slightly improved in the Santiago area but not yet improved in the northern area where the ALMA telescope is located. ALMA operations thus remain suspended and the timeline of resuming observations unfortunately remains uncertain. Detailed plans for the safe return to operations have been developed and regular reviews to consider starting the re-opening process of the Observatory have now started. ALMA is currently still in the Caretaker phase with small teams maintaining the safety of the ALMA equipment and infrastructure. As always, the top priority is the health and safety of all our staff.

ESPRESSO Commissioning Data Release

Published: 07 Sep 2020

The commissioning runs of ESPRESSO both in 1UT mode and in 4UT mode took place at the VLT between November 2017 and July 2019, addressing all the modes of the instrument and the outcome of the three scheduled technical interventions. The commissioning data have been released to illustrate the capabilities of the instrument. They include observations in the 4UT mode, exhibiting the power of the spectrograph with an equivalent collecting area of approximately 16m in diameter. The details of the observations are available at the ESPRESSO Commissioning webpage, which also provides access to the data.

Minimal Science Operations to be Resumed at Paranal, APEX and La Silla

Published: 28 Aug 2020

The exceptional circumstances imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic led to the suspension of science operations at the La Silla and Paranal observatories, as well as at the APEX telescope, since the end of March. ESO has been closely monitoring the constraints imposed by the pandemic in Chile and has developed plans for a safe and progressive resumption of science operations at the observatories as soon as circumstances allow. Following a detailed assessment of the current situation and the logistic, technical, and safety constraints, as well as the capacity to guarantee the compliance with all measures needed to protect the health of its staff at all times, ESO has concluded that it will be able to re-establish a minimum level of science operations at the observatory sites in the coming weeks.

The Messenger

The Messenger 180 is now available. Highlights include:

  • Ferrini & Wild: The Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory Comes of Age
  • Cirasuolo et al.: MOONS: The New Multi-Object Spectrograph for the VLT
  • Gonzalez et al.: MOONS Surveys of the Milky Way and its Satellites
  • Maiolino et al.: MOONRISE: The Main MOONS GTO Extragalactic Survey
  • Béthermin et al.: The ALPINE–ALMA [CII] Survey: Exploring the Dark Side of Normal Galaxies at the End of Reionisation

You can subscribe to the hardcopy of The Messenger or browse the complete archive of issues. Subscribers to the print edition are asked to confirm their subscriptions and update their postal addresses. Please hold on to your envelope which contains your personalised confirmation code – see the back page of The Messenger 180 for further details.


The ESO Science Newsletter

The August 2020 issue is now available.

The ESO Science Newsletter, mailed approximately once per month, presents the most recent announcements. Subscription is controlled through the Manage Profile link on the User Portal. Back issues (2013-) are archived.