Science Announcements

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.

Star Formation from Cores to Clusters

Published: 17 Oct 2016

ESO Workshop, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 6–9 March 2017

This Workshop aims to bring together astronomers pursuing a variety of strategies in answering the question: "What constitutes a prototypical low-mass star forming region from core to cluster scales?". This question refers specifically to the formation of low-mass stars, but also involves higher-mass stars, starless cores, brown dwarfs and planet formation simultaneous with low-mass star formation, and related topics. The workshop will feature observational and theoretical/simulation studies in pursuing a comprehensive understanding of low-mass star forming regions.

GRAVITY Science Verification Completed

Published: 16 Oct 2016

The VLTI K-band beam combiner instrument GRAVITY successfully completed its second run of Science Verification (SV) in September 2016 (10–18 September). Most programmes have been completed or mostly completed (i.e., the SV team assessed that sufficient data were collected to reach the proposal goal).

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