Science Announcements

Data Release of X-shooter Spectra of 100 3.5 < z < 4.5 QSOs

Published: 31 Jul 2016

High-quality echelle spectra of a homogeneous sample of 100 QSOs with redshifts between 3.5 and 4.5, covering the spectral range from 315 to 2500 nm, have been obtained in the course of the ESO observing programme "Quasars and their absorption lines: a legacy survey of the high-redshift Universe with VLT/X-shooter" (Programme 189.A-0424; PI Sebastien Lopez). This dataset represents the largest spectroscopic survey of high-redshift QSOs with simultaneous rest-frame UV/optical coverage to date, enabling a wide range of research topics, including intergalactic medium, active galactic nuclei and cosmology (Lopez et al. 2016).

E-ELT News

Published: 07 Jul 2016

In June 2016, ESO Council decided to bring forward the first light of E-ELT Phase 1 from 2026 to 2024, even in the eventuality that Brazil does not join and a loan is required in the future to balance possible cash-flow.

Phase 2 for Observing Period 98

Published: 06 Jul 2016

With the release of the telescope schedule, preparation of Service Mode (SM) observations (Phase 2) starts. The deadline for the submission of the Phase 2 material for Period 98 observations is 4 August 2016.

Period 98 Telescope Allocation

Published: 06 Jul 2016

The 98th Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met on 18–20 May 2016. A total of 1140 (8-hour equivalent) nights of Visitor Mode and Service Mode observations were allocated on the VLT/VLTI, VISTA, VST, the 3.6-metre and NTT and APEX telescopes. Of these, 165 nights were allocated to filler programmes. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations is 4 August 2016; see separate announcement.

VLT Adaptive Optics Community Days

Published: 02 Jul 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.

Removal of Sky Residuals from MUSE Data Cubes

Published: 01 Jul 2016

The MUSE processed data cubes downloaded from the ESO Science Archive Facility (see announcement) are sky subtracted but may still include residuals of sky emission lines redward of λ > 7000Å. These residuals can be further reduced using a dedicated ESO Reflex interactive workflow, to be applied directly to the MUSE science data products.

Release of Pipeline-processed MUSE 3D Data Cubes

Published: 01 Jul 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.

ESO Annual Report 2015

Published: 30 Jun 2016

The 2015 ESO Annual Report is now available, as full sized or small PDF. The Annual Report describes some science highlights from 2015 and provides a summary of last year's activities covering all aspects of the Organisation, including ALMA and the E-ELT.


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).

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