Science Announcements

First Light for GRAVITY

Published: 13 Jan 2016

The first stage of commissioning of the new VLTI instrument GRAVITY has been completed with the successful combination of light from the four VLT Auxiliary Telescopes. During the commissioning, the Trapezium star cluster in Orion (M42) was observed and ϑ1 Orionis F was discovered to be a binary. See Release eso1601 for more details.

Period 97 Telescope Allocation

Published: 13 Jan 2016

The 97th Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met on 17–19 November 2015. A total of 1093 (10-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. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations is 4 February 2016; see separate announcement.

CRIRES+ Passes PDR and Optical FDR

Published: 17 Dec 2015

The Cryogenic high-resolution InfraRed Echelle Spectrograph (CRIRES) is currently undergoing a major upgrade led by ESO in collaboration with a consortium. The upgrade project (CRIRES+), which will significantly expand the scientific capabilities of CRIRES, recently achieved two major milestones: optical Final Design Review (FDR) in June 2015 and Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in September 2015. The current schedule foresees commissioning of CRIRES+ in Q1 2018.

Phase 2 for Observing Period 97

Published: 17 Dec 2015

The allocation of ESO telescope time for Period 97 (1 April – 30 September 2016) is expected to be emailed in the week beginning 21 December 2015. 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 97 observations is 4 February 2016.

ESO/OPTICON School on Use and Data Reduction of X-shooter and KMOS

Published: 16 Dec 2015

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 9–13 May 2016

The NEON Archive School on proposal preparation and data reduction for X-shooter and KMOS is open for registration. The School is preferentially targeted to PhD students, but advanced MSc's, postdocs and senior researchers may also apply. Introduction to Phase 1 and 2 for both instruments and hands-on experience with data reduction tools will be provided. Details can be found here. The number of participants is limited to 25 and registration closes on 15 February 2016.

Active Galactic Nuclei: What's in a name

Published: 16 Dec 2015

ESO Workshop, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 27 June – 1 July, 2016

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are being discovered in ever-larger numbers over the whole electromagnetic spectrum (radio, infrared, optical/UV, X-ray and γ-ray), providing different windows on AGN physics. The main goal of the Workshop is to paint the AGN “big picture”, which comes out of the multi-wavelength surveys, and understand the intrinsic and fundamental properties of AGN and the physics behind them. Abstract submission deadline is 26 March 2016.

ALMA Cycle 4 Pre-announcement

Published: 15 Dec 2015

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start the next cycle of observing (Cycle 4) in October 2016. A Call for Proposals with detailed information on Cycle 4 will be issued in March 2016, with a deadline for proposal submission of 21 April 2016. The pre-announcement highlights aspects of the Cycle 4 proposal call that are needed to plan proposals.

December 2015 Messenger available

Published: 15 Dec 2015

The December issue of the ESO Messenger is available. Contents include: a comprehensive study of the science return of the VLT based on 8414 programmes over 15 years; upgrade of the HARPS fibre link; description of the ALMA ARC network; the MUSE study of the Orion Nebula; the atmospheres of red supergiants with VLTI; and a catalogue of stellar magnetic field determinations. View contents with access to PDF.

First Release of Multi-band Source Catalogue from VST ATLAS

Published: 04 Dec 2015

The VST ATLAS Public Survey is targeting 4500 square degrees of the southern sky in five filters (u,g,r,i,z) to depths comparable to those of the SDSS. ATLAS is complemented by near-infrared data from the VISTA Hemisphere Survey (VHS) and VISTA VIKING Public Surveys. This first ATLAS catalogue release covers more than 2000 square degrees.

Science Verification for VISIR Upgrade

Published: 16 Nov 2015

An integral part of the commissioning of a new instrument at the VLT is the Science Verification (SV) phase. SV programmes include a set of typical scientific observations that should verify and demonstrate to the community the capabilities of the new instrument in the operational framework of the VLT Observatory. The VISIR Upgrade project includes new observing modes – Sparse Aperture Masking and Coronography, as well as the newly recommissioned Burst Mode. Applications for VISIR SV are invited.

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