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

Response to User Poll

Published: 23 Jan 2015

The "ESO in the 2020s" Working Group thanks the user community for having taken part in the ESO Community Poll Shaping ESO 2020+ Together. The poll was launched on 19 December 2014 and closed in mid January. A total of 2534 responses were received from professional astronomers, including tenured and tenure-track researchers, post-docs and graduate students. Preliminary results were presented at the workshop ESO in the 2020s (ESO-Garching, 19-22 January). The complete set of results will be made public in the coming months.

Period 95 Phase 2 Deadline for VISIR Observations

Published: 22 Jan 2015

Following successful re-commissioning of the VISIR instrument in January 2015, Phase 2 observation preparation for successful Period 95 Service Mode users will open at the end of January. The deadline for VISIR Phase 2 submission is Monday, 2 March 2015, 12:00 CET. PIs and/or their Phase 2 delegates should follow the guidelines for Phase 2 preparation. The Phase 2 deadline for all other instruments is 5 February 2015.

Recommissioning of NACO

Published: 22 Jan 2015

After the NACO instrument was decommissioned from Nasmyth B of UT4 in August 2013 to provide space for MUSE, the instrument was re-mounted on UT1 at Nasmyth A in September 2014, in place of CRIRES, which is being upgraded. Since problems with the CONICA detector's wire connections could not be recovered during recommissioning, it was decided to replace the CONICA detector with the old ISAAC long wavelength detector, which is also sensitive from 1 to 5 μm and has very similar features and noise properties. During 4–12 January 2015, engineers and astronomers were able to re-commission NACO and return it to operations. The adaptive optics performance is nominal and all offered modes for Periods 94 and 95 have been tested and validated on-sky.

Approved VIMOS Public Spectroscopic Surveys: VANDELS and LEGA-C

Published: 21 Jan 2015

The last steps of the long process of evaluation of proposals for the ESO Public Spectroscopic Surveys have been completed, and two surveys have been approved with the VIMOS instrument on the VLT. These are VANDELS – A deep VIMOS survey of the CANDELS UDS and CDFS fields (PIs Ross McLure [Edinburgh] and Laura Pentericci [INAF-Rome]) and LEGA-C – The Large Early Galaxy Astrophysics Census survey (PI: Arjen van der Wel [MPIA]) in the COSMOS field.

Period 95 Proposal Allocation

Published: 20 Jan 2015

The 95th Observing Programmes Committee met on 18–20 November 2014. A total of 1094.1 (10-hour equivalent) nights of visitor and service mode observations were allocated on the VLT, VISTA, VST, the 3.6-metre, NTT and APEX telescopes.
On the VLT the balance between visitor and service mode in Period 95 was 35.4% and 53.2% (+ 11.4% fillers). New and ongoing Large Programmes on the VLT occupy 17.4% of the allocation, while the equivalent numbers on the 3.6-metre and NTT are 49.3% and 32.5% respectively. A 19.7 night allocation to the two Public Spectroscopic Surveys with VIMOS was made (see separate announcement).

The Messenger

The Messenger No. 158 is now available. Highlights include:

  • T. de Zeeuw et al. Constructing the E-ELT
  • F. Primas et al. Fifteen Years of Service Mode Operations: Closing the Loop with the Community
  • S. Moehler et al. Flux Calibration of Medium Resolution Spectra from 300 nm to 2500 nm
  • Y.-P. Chen et al. The X-shooter Spectral Library (XSL) and its First Data Release
  • P. Rosati et al. CLASH-VLT: A VIMOS Large Programme to Map the Dark Matter Mass Distribution in Galaxy Clusters

You can subscribe to the hardcopy of The Messenger or browse the complete archive of issues.

The ESO Science Newsletter

The January 2015 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.