Science Announcements

Second data release of the XSHOOTER spectra from the Large Programme INSPIRE published

Published: 14 Feb 2023

This second data release (DR2) of the X-Shooter ESO Large Program 1104.B-0370, "INvestigating Stellar Population In Relics", INSPIRE, PI C. Spiniello, provides 1-D spectra for 21 new systems and new versions for the spectra of the 19 ultra-compact massive galaxies already released in DR1, to which the NIR band spectra have been added.

Period 111 Telescope Allocation

Published: 01 Feb 2023

The 111th Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met online during November 2022. Based on the committee's recommendations to the ESO Director General, a total of 944 (10-hour equivalent) nights of (Designated) Visitor Mode and Service Mode observations were allocated on the VLT/VLTI, the 3.6-metre, and NTT telescopes. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations is Thursday, 2 March 2023; see the separate announcement for further details.

P111 Phase 2: deadline and opportunity for personalised help

Published: 01 Feb 2023

With the release of the La Silla Paranal telescope schedule, the Phase 2 preparation for runs scheduled in Service Mode begins. The deadline for the submission of the Phase 2 material for Period 111 is Thursday, 2 March 2023

The Service Mode guidelines provide detailed information about Phase 2 material preparation with the web application p2, while the instrument overview table provides quick links to user manuals, tools and p2 tutorials for individual instruments. 

The User Support Department at ESO offers assistance in the preparation of the Phase 2 material for Service Mode runs. On top of the material from previous LPO Users Workshops that include hands-on observations preparation videos, the USD staff is available to arrange individual online meetings upon requests. The goal of these meetings is to get acquainted with the Phase 2 tools, and to help you start preparing your specific Phase 2 material.

ALMA Cycle 10 Pre-Announcement

Published: 30 Jan 2023

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start Cycle 10 observations in October 2023. A Call for Proposals (CfP) with detailed information on Cycle 10 is anticipated to be issued in April 2023 and the deadline for proposal submission is anticipated to be on 10 May 2023.  The purpose of this pre-announcement is to highlight aspects of the CfP to assist with early planning.

Registrations open for the 11th VLTI School

Published: 27 Jan 2023

The European Interferometry Initiative (EII) is announcing that registrations are now open for the 11th VLTI School, funded by the Opticon/Radionet Pilot programme, with support from ESO.

The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 50. There is no registration fee. Limited funding will be available for accommodation and travel.

Applications for funding before March 1, 2023, will receive full consideration pending on merit and available budget.

New data release of MUSE data cubes of the Fornax3D Survey

Published: 25 Jan 2023

The Fornax3D survey is an integral field spectroscopic survey of the Fornax cluster of galaxies. This new data release contains mosaiced IFS MUSE cubes with their white lamp images for the 31 galaxies brighter than mB=15 within the virial radius of the cluster. The total data volume is 121.5 Gb. The survey was conducted under the ESO programme 296.B-5054(A), PI M. Sarzi and E. Iodice, with MUSE at the ESO VLT in wide-field mode. This instrument configuration ensures a spatial sampling of 0.2×0.2 arcsec2, a wavelength coverage from 4650 to 9300 Å with a spectral sampling of 1.25 Å/pixel, and a nominal spectral resolution of FWHM = 2.5 Å at 7000 Å. The main science goals of the survey are to understand the assembly history of the Fornax cluster and of the early-type galaxies, study the formation of substructures in galaxies and the properties of globular cluster and planetary nebulae population. For more information on the background and goals, please consult the latest paper by Sarzi, Iodice et al. in The Messenger.

New online version of the ESO Publication Statistics

Published: 23 Jan 2023

The ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib) is a database of refereed papers that uses data from ESO’s observing facilities. Telbib is used to compute the Basic ESO Publication Statistics (PubStats), now available on a dedicated webpage

Publication statistics are available for ESO in general, and for the VLT, VLTI, and Survey telescopes, La Silla facilities, APEX, and ALMA. The use of archival data in ESO data papers is dealt with in a dedicated section. Furthermore, a comparison with the output from other major observatories is provided. 

The Messenger 189 is Now Available

Published: 19 Jan 2023

The latest edition of ESO’s science and technology journal, The Messenger, is now available online. Issue 189 features a summary of the science results of the ALMA large programme ATOMIUM, describing how ALMA has been used to trace the origins of molecules in dust forming oxygen-rich M-type stars. Summary of the science results and upcoming data release of the Fornax3D project, which is a magnitude-limited study of galaxies in the Fornax Cluster with VLT/MUSE, can also be found. 

Joint VLT-ALMA Proposals to be offered in P112 and ALMA Cycle 10

Published: 20 Dec 2022

With the aim of taking full advantage of the complementarity of optical-NIR and sub-millimetre observing facilities, ESO and ALMA have entered into a Joint Proposal agreement, to enable those science cases that require observations with both ALMA and VLT(I) telescopes to have their goals fulfilled.

In this framework, ESO is glad to announce that Joint VLT-ALMA Proposals will be offered as of Period 112 and ALMA Cycle 10, with the formal ESO call to be published at the end of February 2023. By agreement with the ALMA Observatory, ESO may award a maximum of 50 hours of ALMA observing time on each of its arrays to Joint Proposals per year. Similarly, ALMA will be able to allocate up to 50 hours per cycle on the VLT(I) in the yearly ALMA Call for Proposals.

Restart of ALMA Cycle 9 observations

Published: 19 Dec 2022

ALMA has resumed performing PI science observations following the cyber-attack. The end-to-end data acquisition and processing workflow and software were successfully re-tested prior to the restart. ALMA is currently taking observations in configuration C-3. User services are also now back online, including access to ALMA user profiles, SnooPI, and the Cycle 9 DDT submission server. As previously announced, ALMA’s most compact configurations (C-1 and C-2) will not be visited again in Cycle 9.

Some Scheduling Blocks (SBs) requiring configuration C-2 were already observed in the days prior to the cyber-attack. Projects with SBs in nominal configurations C-1 and C-2 that can still be observed in configuration C-3 will remain in the observing queue. As per usual ALMA policy, incomplete Cycle 9 Grade A projects will carry over into Cycle 10.

Regarding Cycle 10, due to the disruption caused by the cyber-attack, the Cycle 10 pre-announcement will now be issued in the week of 16th January.

For any comments or concerns, please contact your local ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) via the ALMA Helpdesk at

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