Science Announcements

Commissioning Data from NEAR Search for Planets Around Alpha Cen

Published: 05 Jun 2019

The instrument VISIR has been moved to UT4 and modified to search for planets around Alpha Cen as part of the experiment called New Earths in the Alpha Cen Region (NEAR; see Kasper et al., 2017). The first data of alpha Cen from NEAR commissioning have been released and are available. Please see the commissioning page for more details. This programme is being supported by the Breakthrough Initiatives, see this recent press release for more details.


Workshop: Extragalactic Spectroscopic Surveys - GALSPEC2019

Published: 03 Jun 2019

ESO, Santiago, Chile, 25–29 November 2019 

VIMOS, the VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph, was decommissioned in March 2018. After 15 years of operations, VIMOS has amassed over 9700 hours of science data, mostly devoted to spectroscopic surveys of galaxies across cosmic time. To commemorate this milestone, a  five-day workshop is being held to review past and current spectroscopic surveys on galaxy evolution (both with ESO and non-ESO instruments), as well as to explore future surveys that will be soon enabled by new MOS and IFU facilities. The workshop will bring together the low- and high-z extragalactic communities to review progress and prepare for the challenges ahead.

Call for Proposals for an ESA-ESO Joint International Conference in 2020

Published: 25 Apr 2019

As part of ESA and ESO's ongoing efforts to foster ideas and collaboration, they are releasing a new Call inviting astronomers to submit proposals for an ESA-ESO conference to be held in 2020 at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Spain. The deadline for proposals is 5 June 2019. Detailed information, including instructions for preparing and submitting proposals, can be found on the webpage for the Call.


2019 ESO Studentships

Published: 24 Apr 2019

The ESO research studentship programme provides an outstanding opportunity for PhD students to experience the exciting scientific environment at one of the world's leading observatories. ESO's studentship positions are open to students enrolled in a university PhD programme in astronomy or related fields. Students accepted into the programme work on their doctoral project under the formal supervision of their home university, but they come to ESO to work and study under the co-supervision of an ESO staff astronomer for a period of between one and two years.

Memorial Symposium to Honor Riccardo Giacconi: Registration Open

Published: 23 Apr 2019

Washington D.C., USA 29–30 May 2019

The Space Telescope Science Institute, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Johns Hopkins University, ESO and Associated Universities, Inc. are organising a Memorial Symposium to celebrate the life and work of Riccardo Giacconi. The symposium will cover the various phases of Riccardo’s career and achievements. It will be held in Washington, D.C. at the National Academy of Sciences. The meeting website provides information on the programme, top-level schedule, Science Organising Committee members, lodging options, and other details. The website is now open for registration and provides instructions for submitting requests to give talks. The registration deadline is 29 April 2019.

Workshop: High-Resolution Spectroscopy in the Era of ALMA, JWST and ELT

Published: 22 Apr 2019

Sexten, Italy, 22–26 July 2019 

This workshop will bring together researchers working with one of the leading facilities available today (ALMA) in order to plan for the next generation (JWST, ELT). Key to the motivation for this workshop is that astronomers must harness the high spatial resolution spectroscopic capabilities of each of these facilities, in a multi-wavelength approach, in order to reach their scientific goals.  

Workshop: The Very Large Telescope in 2030 - Second Announcement

Published: 21 Apr 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 17–21 June 2019 

ESO is organising a special workshop to discuss the future science uses of the VLT when the ELT will be operational. The workshop will consist of invited reviews and contributed talks to discuss potential development paths for VLT and VLTI. Discussion topics will include new and improved VLT and VLTI instrumentation, potential modifications or upgrades to the facilities, changes in the operations model and synergies with other facilities. We encourage presentations of this nature and will schedule ample time for contributed talks.

Conference: Extremely Big Eyes on the Early Universe

Published: 20 Apr 2019

Rome, Italy, 9–13 September 2019 

Over the next decade, the commissioning of ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), as well as of the GMT and TMT will allow us to see the high-redshift Universe using new "eyes" with unprecedented power. By themselves or in combination with other facilities, these new eyes will have the potential to transform our understanding of the formation and early evolution of galaxies and black holes, first light and cosmic reionisation, as well as the evolution of the intergalactic and circumgalactic media. This conference will bring together an international group of experts to review the current state of the art in the study of the high-redshift universe and discuss how best to use giant telescopes to learn about it.  

Workshop: A Synoptic View of the Magellanic Clouds - VMC, Gaia and Beyond

Published: 19 Apr 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 9–13 September 2019 

More than 60 years ago, the Magellanic Clouds provided crucial impetus for the construction of large telescopes in the Southern hemisphere and the foundation of ESO. This workshop will provide a fertile forum for shaping the future of research related to the Magellanic Clouds by showcasing state-of-the-art results based on advanced observational programmes as well as discussions of expectations and projections in anticipation of highly multiplexed wide-field spectroscopic surveys (e.g., 4MOST, MOONS) which will come online in the 2020s. This conference also marks the quincentenary of Ferdinand Magellan's arrival in the southern hemisphere during his circumnavigation of the Earth. Very recently, in 2018, there was also Henrietta Leavitt's 150th birthday and the 110th anniversary of her discovery of the period-luminosity relation among Magellanic Cloud Cepheids.

School: 2019 European Radio Interferometry School

Published: 18 Apr 2019

Gothenburg, Sweden, 7–11 October 2019 

The 8th European Radio Interferometry School (ERIS) at Gothenberg will provide a week of lectures and tutorials on how to achieve scientific results from radio interferometry. Please register via the school website by 3 May. The topics covered by the lectures/tutorials will include the following:


  • Calibration and imaging of continuum, spectral line, and polarisation data.
  • Observing techniques for low frequencies (e.g., LOFAR), intermediate frequencies (e.g., VLA and e-MERLIN), high frequencies (e.g., ALMA and NOEMA), and VLBI (e.g., EVN).
  • Extracting the information from astronomical data and interpreting the results.
  • Choosing the most suitable array and observing plan for your project.  
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