Science Announcements

Secondary Mirror of ELT Successfully Cast

Published: 13 Jun 2017

The casting of the secondary mirror blank for the ESO Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) was completed by SCHOTT at Mainz, Germany on 11 May 2017. The completed mirror will be 4.2 metres in diameter and weigh 3.5 tonnes. It will be the largest secondary mirror ever employed on an optical telescope and also the largest convex mirror ever produced. See the Release for more details.

First Stone Ceremony for ELT

Published: 13 Jun 2017

A ceremony marking the First Stone of the ESO Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) on 26 May 2017 was attended by the President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet Jeria. The event was held at Paranal Observatory in northern Chile, close to Cerro Armazones, site of the ELT. This milestone marked the beginning of the construction of the dome and main telescope structure. The occasion also marked the connection of the Paranal Observatory to the Chilean national electrical grid. See the Release for more details.

ESO Signs Contracts for the ELT Primary Mirror

Published: 13 Jun 2017

Contracts for the manufacture of the 39-metre primary mirror of the ESO Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) were signed on 30 May 2017 at a ceremony at ESO Headquarters. The German company SCHOTT will produce the blanks of the mirror segments, and the French company Safran-Reosc will polish, mount and test the segments. The contract to polish the mirror blanks is the second-largest contract for the ELT construction. See the Release for more details.

Centimetre-Sub-Millimetre Q&U (and V) European Southern Observatory Workshop (QUESO)

Published: 11 Jun 2017

ESO Workshop, Garching, Germany, 25–27 October 2017

Full polarisation observation has been routine at the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) and will become standard for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the mm and sub-mm wavelength bands (30–1000 GHz) in near future. The aim of the QUESO workshop is to bring together leading and potential science users of mm/sub-mm polarimetry, from research fields including AGN, star formation, solar observations and CMB, with observatory calibration experts and software developers.

Dispersing Elements for Astronomy: New Trends and Possibilities

Published: 11 Jun 2017

Joint Workshop: INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera and ESO
Milan City Aquarium, Italy, 9–11 October 2017

The aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers and engineers involved in the design, realization and construction of spectroscopic instrumentation, and companies and institutes that produce dispersing elements and associated optical components. The workshop provides a forum for discussing the scientific needs for future instruments and the technological challenges in developing new types of dispersing elements.

The ESO-Athena Synergy White Paper

Published: 09 Jun 2017

The Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics (Athena) is the X-ray observatory mission selected by ESA within its Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 programme to address the Hot and Energetic Universe scientific theme. The ESO-Athena Synergy Team has been tasked to single out the potential scientific synergies between Athena and optical/near-infrared (NIR) and sub/mm ground-based facilities, in particular those of ESO (i.e., the VLT and ELT, ALMA and APEX).

Report on ALMA Cycle 5 Proposal Submission

Published: 29 May 2017

The report on the ALMA Cycle 5 proposal submission statistics is now available. It provides a summary of items such as the number of submitted proposals and time requested, subscription rates, and comparisons with the number of hours requested in previous Cycles.

Revised Deadline for ALMA Cycle 5 Phase 2

Published: 28 May 2017

The deadline for ALMA PIs to submit their Phase 2 material for the approved projects has been set to 7 September 2017. Users can delegate the submission of the Phase 2 material in case of unavailability. Guidelines to PIs will be made public in July.

Fifth ALMA User Survey

Published: 27 May 2017

The fifth ALMA user survey was conducted between the 22 September and 24 October 2016. Overall, the users showed a relatively high level of satisfaction. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being best and 5 being worst), the overall satisfaction across all ALMA regions was generally rated ~2, or better, for all the topics. The complete ALMA User Satisfaction Survey is available.
The ALMA Observatory sincerely thanks all users who took the time to answer this survey and provide valuable comments.

MUSE Wide Field Mode Adaptive Optics Science Verification

Published: 18 May 2017

GALACSI is part of the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF), and associated with the Deformable Secondary Mirror (DSM) and the 4 Laser Guide Star Facility (4LGSF). It defines an AO system developed to increase the performance of the MUSE instrument in Wide Field Mode, dubbed MUSE/AOF. Commissioning is proceeding and Science Verification is planned for August 2017, for which applications are invited.

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