Science Announcements

Release of Pipeline-processed MUSE 3D Data Cubes

Published: 28 Jun 2016

All spectra obtained with the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) integral field unit, in the wide field mode, from November 2014 to May 2015 are now published via the ESO Science Archive as reduced data. The MUSE science data cubes have their instrumental signature removed, and are astrometrically calibrated, sky-subtracted, wavelength and flux calibrated, using the MUSE pipeline, version muse-1.4 and higher.

VIMOS to be Decommissioned in 2018

Published: 16 Jun 2016

The planning for the near future of the VLT instrumentation was discussed at the Scientific Technical Committee (STC) meeting in April 2016. With the return of CRIRES+ currently planned for the first quarter of 2018, a VLT Nasmyth focus needs to be freed. ESO has investigated the available options, which essentially come down to FLAMES, UVES and VIMOS.

UT4 Unavailable October – December 2016

Published: 15 Jun 2016

As announced in the Call for Proposals for Period 98, no science observations on VLT UT4 are foreseen from early October to late December 2016. This is due to the extensive installation and commissioning activities of the Deformable Secondary Mirror (DSM), a key component of the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF).

First Dual Band Light with ArTéMiS at APEX

Published: 14 Jun 2016

The upgraded version of the ArTéMiS instrument was successfully installed at APEX between 25 May and 1 June 2016. The bolometer camera can now observe simultaneously at 350μm and 450μm. Despite mediocre weather conditions, with a precipitable water vapour around 1.5mm, ArTéMiS successfully obtained first light images on the molecular cloud Sgr B2 near the Galactic Centre. The commissioning of the instrument will continue with the aim to offer the dual band capabilities in the Period 99 Call for Proposals (observing Apr.–Sep. 2017).

E-ELT News

Published: 14 Jun 2016

The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) is the flagship ESO Programme to build the world's largest optical/infrared telescope. The construction programme is now well underway with planned first light in 2024 and we felt it important to share with the scientific community the progress and achievements of the Programme.
Therefore, starting from this issue of the ESO Science Newsletter we will provide regular updates on the status of the Programme and important news regarding the E-ELT.

VLT Adaptive Optics Community Days

Published: 09 Jun 2016

20–21 September 2016, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany

ESO is considering building an adaptive optics (AO) instrument to make best use of the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF) which is being commissioned during the coming years. The first AO Community Days are an opportunity to discuss the science cases of future AO instrumentation at ESO with a goal of developing the case for a future VLT instrument to become operational before 2025.

Phase 3 Release of Ultra-Deep Ks-band Imaging Data of Hubble Frontier Fields

Published: 08 Jun 2016

This release provides reduced Ks-band mosaics of the Hubble Frontier Fields obtained with HAWK-I at VLT UT4. The first two fields, Abell 2744 and MACS-0416, were observed with HAWK-I in Period 92 and the second two fields, Abell S1063 and Abell 370, in Period 95 (PI: Gabriel Brammer).

Survey on Non-Publishing ESO Programmes (SNPP)

Published: 04 May 2016

A recent study by Sterzik et al. 2015 (Messenger article) has revealed that the number of ESO observing programmes not leading to refereed publications is significant, exceeding 50%. This return rate applies also to highly ranked, fully completed programmes. Although this fraction is comparable to those measured at other large ground-based astronomical facilities, it is very important for ESO to identify the underlying reasons, in order to investigate possible avenues to increase the scientific return of its facilities.

First Light for the 4LGSF

Published: 02 May 2016

First light for the Four Laser Guide Star Facility (4LGSF) was achieved on 26 April 2016 (see the Release). The four 22-watt laser beams excite sodium atoms in the upper atmosphere to provide four point sources for adaptive optics systems to compensate the atmospheric turbulence. 4LGSF is an integral part of the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF), which includes a deformable secondary mirror (DSM) and the GALACSI and GRAAL modules. The complete facility will gradually be commissioned over the next year and a half.

 

Application for ESO Studentships

Published: 29 Apr 2016

The ESO research studentship programme provides an outstanding opportunity for Ph.D. students to experience the exciting scientific environment at one of the world's leading observatories for a period of up to two years.

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