Science Announcements

ALMA Cycle 5 Pre-announcement

Published: 17 Dec 2016

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start the next cycle of observing (Cycle 5) in October 2017. A Call for Proposals with detailed information on Cycle 5 will be issued in March 2017, with a deadline for proposal submission in April 2017. The pre-announcement highlights aspects of the Cycle 5 proposal Call that are needed to plan proposals.

 

ALMA Cycles 1 and 2 Summary and Cycle 4 Progress

Published: 16 Dec 2016

A report on ALMA Cycles 1 & 2 with observing and completion statistics, data reduction and delivery, and publication statistics is available.
Cycle 4 started on 30 September 2016 and continues with the array in the more compact configurations transitioning from C40-4 (0.93” beam at 100 GHz; 704 m longest baseline) to C40-3 (1.3” beam at 100 GHz; 460 m longest baseline) as austral summer begins. The very good weather has allowed high frequency observations (above 400 GHz). Data processing and delivery is proceeding smoothly using the Cycle 4 calibration and newly commissioned imaging pipelines and the Cycle 3 backlog is shrinking. Deliveries of Cycle 3 and Cycle 4 data products continue.

New Release of ALMA Science Verification Data

Published: 16 Dec 2016

A new installment of Science Verification (SV) data is available. This release contains data on the following SV targets:

  • Arp 220 spectral line observations in Band 5 (H2O, CS, HNC) with the 12-m Array
  • Sgr B2(N) spectral scan observations across most of the Band 5 tuning range with a hybrid of the 12-m Array and the 7-m Array
  • VY CMa spectral line polarization observations of SiO and water lines in Band 5 with the 12-m Array.

 

PESSTO Third Data Release

Published: 16 Dec 2016

A new release of the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey for Transient Objects (PESSTO) is available. This release adds 1350 spectra and 383 images to the previously published PESSTO data. All the EFOSC2 (2851) and SOFI (226) spectra, and all the reduced SOFI images (775), obtained during the first four years (April 2012–April 2016) of PESSTO operations covering 1168 distinct transient objects, are available via the Phase 3 query interface at the Science Archive Facility.

E-ELT News

Published: 16 Nov 2016

On 26 October 2016, the ESO Finance Committee approved several major contracts for optical components as part of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) construction phase. This marks another key milestone towards first light in 2024 of the world's largest optical/near-infrared telescope.

ESO Engineering and Technology Research Fellowships – 2017

Published: 15 Nov 2016

A strong Research and Development (R&D) programme is at the core of ESO's mission to build and operate state-of-the-art facilities for the advancement of astronomical research. Following the framework of the prestigious Fellowship Programme, ESO is awarding one postdoctoral fellowship to an outstanding early-career young researcher in engineering or technical disciplines to further develop her/his independent research programme by joining one of the on-going projects.

Results of the Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey

Published: 14 Nov 2016

The User Support Department (USD) again extends its thanks to all those Principal Investigators and their Phase 2 delegates who filled in this September's on-line Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey. A total of 187 responses were received from our targeted campaign. We have contacted, where possible, those respondents who provided detailed comments. A summary report of this latest User Satisfaction Survey is now available.

Release of FEROS Science Data Products

Published: 07 Nov 2016

Pipeline processed FEROS echelle data, covering the period November 2003 to the present, are now available as Science Data Products via the Phase 3 main and spectral query forms. The data consist of extracted 1D spectra in the ESO/SDP format and tar files containing the output of the FEROS pipeline.

ESO Period 99 Proposal Submission Statistics

Published: 19 Oct 2016

The deadline for proposal submission for Period 99 (1 April – 1 October 2017) was 29 September 2016. 883 valid proposals were submitted, including 22 Large Programmes, of which one is a GTO Large Programme. The number of proposals for P99 is the lowest received in the last 7 periods. The time request also went down, while the number of proposals per PI remained constant. The number of normal proposals is slightly increased from P98, while Large and GTO proposals decreased. The time request decreased for almost all telescopes.

Getting Ready for ALMA Band 5 – Synergy with APEX/SEPIA

Published: 18 Oct 2016

ESO Workshop, Garching, Germany, 1–3 February 2017

The frequency range from 160 to 210 GHz covered by ALMA Band 5 is one of the least explored to date. This band is expected to be offered in ALMA Cycle 5, but has already been extensively used in the SEPIA instrument on APEX since 2015. Important science topics covered by Band 5 include the 183 GHz H2O line, a wide range of dense molecular gas tracers (HCN(2-1), HNC(2-1), HCO+(2-1), etc), CO(2-1) at 0.077<z<0.414, [C I] and high-J CO lines in high redshift objects, and eventually the [C II] line at z>8.

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