Science Announcements

Call for New Public Surveys with VISTA

Published: 29 Jul 2015

Following a recommendation by ESO's Scientific and Technical Committee (STC), a call for Letters of Intent for new Public Surveys with VIRCAM mounted on VISTA has been released. A Public Survey is understood as an observing programme in which the investigators commit to produce and make publicly available, within a defined time, a fully reduced and scientifically usable dataset that is likely to answer one or more major scientific questions, be of general use and broad interest to the astronomical community.

Astrobiology and Planetary Atmospheres

Published: 29 Jul 2015

Joint ESO, Universidad de Chile, Universidad Andrés Bello Workshop:
ESO Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 28 September – 02 October 2015

Astrobiology has become the meeting point for astronomers, biologists, geologists, and climatologists in solving the puzzle of how life originated in the Universe. Enormous progress has been made since the discovery of the first extra-solar planet (51 Peg b). The main aims of this workshop are: to bring together the major astrobiology groups; foster exchanges across all the major disciplines involved in the field of astrobiology, and in particular those working on climatology of Solar System planets; and include a strong parallel outreach programme.

ALMA Science Verification Data Release

Published: 28 Jul 2015

New ALMA Science Verification data have been released. The release consists of M100 observations of the CO(1-0) line in Band 3 with the 7-m Array and Total Power (TP) Array, along with an update of previously released 12-m data, demonstrating the ALMA Compact Array (ACA, 7-m and TP Arrays) and data combination capabilities.
SV observations of 3C 286 in Band 6 continuum, demonstrating ALMA's polarization capability, are also released.

ALMA Status Page

Published: 28 Jul 2015

The status of the current ALMA observations can be followed in real time from the ALMA science portal.
The array has been cycled through the most compact configurations and will remain in the C34-6/7 extended configuration (baselines to 1.5km) until the end of Cycle 2 (end of September). A status report about the Cycle 1 and 2 observations and news from extension and optimisation of capabilities will be posted soon on the ALMA science portal.

IMPRS Astrophysics Studentships for 2016

Published: 28 Jul 2015

If you wish to conduct a PhD in astronomy-astrophysics within one of the largest centres of astrophysical research in the world, which covers every subject from planets, stars, and galaxies to cosmology, you should seriously consider applying to the IMPRS studentship programme in Munich.

Processed Calibration Files for VLT instruments Now Available

Published: 27 Jul 2015

The ESO Science Archive Facility has distributed raw calibration files such as bias frames and flat field frames for many years. As an additional service, we now are also distributing certified, processed and co-added calibration frames that can be directly used for science processing, without having to run the entire data reduction chain.

New Release of Gaia-ESO Spectroscopic Public Survey Data

Published: 27 Jul 2015

New reduced data products resulting from the Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey are now available via the Phase 3 dedicated query interface at the Science Archive Facility.

Period 96 Proposal Allocation

Published: 04 Jul 2015

The 96th Observing Programmes Committee met on 19–21 May 2015. A total of 1168.4 (8-hour equivalent) nights of visitor and service mode observations were allocated on the VLT/VLTI, VISTA, VST, the 3.6-metre, NTT and APEX telescopes. The following announcement provides details of Phase 2 for Service Mode observations.

Phase 2 for Observing Period 96

Published: 03 Jul 2015

With the release of the telescope schedule for October 2015 – March 2016, preparation of Service Mode (SM) observations (Phase 2) starts. The deadline for the submission of the Phase 2 material for Period 96 observations is 6 August 2015. Detailed information on Phase 2 observation preparation can be found here.

Status of NACO

Published: 02 Jul 2015

As previously announced, NAOS-CONICA (NACO) was moved to the Nasmyth A focus of Antu and the failed CONICA detector was replaced by the long wavelength detector from the decommisisoned ISAAC instrument. Operations were resumed in January 2015 but the camera wheel axis became uncoupled in March 2015 and one of the detector quadrants failed to operate. The current status is that the camera wheel is fixed in the S13 position (13 mas pixel scale, 14x14 arcsecond field of view) and only three detector quadrants are working. Period 95 science users of NACO have all been notified.

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