Science Announcements

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.

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.

Phase 2 Ephermerides Generation for Moving Targets

Published: 29 Apr 2016

A new version of the Phase 2 page dedicated to the observation of moving targets has been released. This page offers a new web form for generation of ephemerides files directly in parameter file format (PAF) ready to be attached to an Observation Block (OB). The new ephemerides file generator in PAF format was developed at IMCCE in Paris, who kindly offered to host the web form for ESO Phase 2 observation preparation.

Period 97 Instrument Pipeline Packages Released

Published: 28 Apr 2016

From the start of Period 97 (1 April 2016), updated versions of all VLT/VLTI data reduction pipelines are publicly available. The pipelines are available on the VLT instrument pipelines page.

A mailing list has also been created so that users can subscribe to receive announcements of new pipeline releases. To join this mailing list, please send an e-mail to eso-pipelines-announce-join.

ESO Reflex Available on Paranal Workstations

Published: 27 Apr 2016

In order to support data reduction by visiting astronomers and instrument scientists, ESO Reflex, the workflow environment for VLT/VLTI pipelines, has been installed on all offline workstations on Paranal. ESO Reflex, and the pipeline workflows that are supported by ESO Reflex (listed here), have been made available in Paranal from April 2016 as part of the change of Observing Period (P97).


ESO Period 98 Proposal Submission Statistics

Published: 06 Apr 2016

The Call for Proposals for ESO Period 98 (1 October 2016 – 31 March 2017) closed on 31 March 2016. A total of 901 proposals were received, a significant drop with respect to Period 97 and returning to the levels of Periods 91–94. Included were also 26 proposals for Large Programmes and 7 for Public Surveys.

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