Science Announcements

Improvement to FLAMES Spectral Resolution and Sensitivity

Published: 25 Feb 2015

The FLAMES GIRAFFE spectrograph is not kept at a controlled temperature, and thus, at the beginning of every observing block, GIRAFFE is re-focussed to take account of collimator temperature. The best focus position depends on temperature, grating and wavelength setting. The FLAMES Instrument Operation Team discovered that the software coefficients used to set the focus of GIRAFFE have changed since commissioning – presumably because of aging effects in the optics – and have measured and updated these coefficients. The updated values lead to a substantial increase in spectral resolution and sensitivity across all settings, particularly for the high resolution (HR) settings.

ESO Library: Responsive Web Design of Essential Interfaces

Published: 25 Feb 2015

The ESO Library develops and maintains two major information resources: the telescope bibliography (telbib), a database of refereed articles that use observational data from ESO facilities, and the library catalogue. In order to provide an optimal viewing experience from a large number of devices, the web interfaces of both tools have been adjusted using the Responsive Web Design (RWD) approach. This assures that users can search and navigate both sites from various screens, including desktop computers, tablets and smartphones, with minimal resizing and scrolling. Please try these resources from your favourite device.

ALMA Cycle 3 ARC Community Events

Published: 24 Feb 2015

The European ARC network is organising a series of community events in preparation for ALMA Cycle 3 (expected deadline 23 April 2015). The purpose of these events is to introduce the new ALMA capabilities to the community, help ALMA users with their proposal preparation, and trigger new ideas for an even more efficient use of the ALMA facility.

Release of ALMA Long Baseline Campaign Science Verification Data

Published: 24 Feb 2015

A new installment of ALMA Science Verification (SV) data is available. This release contains several new datasets corresponding to four targets observed as part of the 2014 ALMA Long Baseline Campaign in order to demonstrate the long baseline (~10 km), high angular resolution, capability of ALMA. Maximum baselines used ranged from 12.2 to 14.9 km.

IRAF Support for ESO Tabular FITS Format 1D Spectra

Published: 23 Feb 2015

ESO one-dimensional (1D) spectra in tabular FITS format can now be displayed and processed with IRAF using the external package SPTABLE, thanks to a close collaboration between ESO and the IRAF developers. The popular IRAF ONEDSPEC package, including SPLOT, and the IRAF RV package are now able to process the 1D spectra from the spectroscopic ESO Public Surveys (PESSTO and Gaia-ESO), Large Programmes (ESSENCE, GOODS FORS2+VIMOS, and zCOSMOS) and internal data products (UVES ECHELLE, XSHOOTER ECHELLE and HARPS).

New Catalogue Release from the VISTA Magellanic Survey

Published: 18 Feb 2015

The VISTA Magellanic Survey (VMC) is releasing a new catalogue based on the Point Spread Function (PSF) photometry in three bands Y, J and Ks, in addition to the aperture matched catalogue, VMC Catalogue DR2, available since 7 January 2015. The PSF photometry catalogue is extracted from the deep tile images completed before October 2012. The VMC-PSF catalogue contains 12.7 million sources and covers an area of 7.5 square degrees in the LMC and 3.5 square degrees in the SMC. An extensive release description is available.

New VIDEO Survey Data Release in the XMM-LSS Field

Published: 18 Feb 2015

VISTA Deep Extragalactic Observations (VIDEO) is a deep near-infrared Public Survey which targets ~12 square degrees over the ELAIS-S1, the XMM-Newton Large Scale Structure (XMM LSS) and Extended Chandra Deep Field South (ECDFS) extragalactic fields. In this release (VIDEO-XMM DR3) a total of 560 individual single-OB tile images and the associated single-band source lists in the XMM LSS field are available, which have been reprocessed using version 1.3 of the VISTA reduction pipeline.

New Releases of Images and Catalogues from the VIKING and KiDS Surveys

Published: 17 Feb 2015

Both the VISTA Kilo-degree Infrared Galaxy Survey (VIKING) and the VST Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS) are making their second data releases. The VIKING release covers all the highest quality data (images, weightmaps, single-band source lists) taken since the start of the survey in November 2009 up to September 2013. The KiDS release consists of coadded images, weight maps, masks and single-band source lists for 98 tiles that were completed between October 2012 and September 2013. The release also contains the associated multi-band source VIKING + KiDS catalogue of 17 million sources.

Response to User Poll

Published: 23 Jan 2015

The "ESO in the 2020s" Working Group thanks the user community for having taken part in the ESO Community Poll Shaping ESO 2020+ Together. The poll was launched on 19 December 2014 and closed in mid January. A total of 2534 responses were received from professional astronomers, including tenured and tenure-track researchers, post-docs and graduate students. Preliminary results were presented at the workshop ESO in the 2020s (ESO-Garching, 19-22 January). The complete set of results will be made public in the coming months.

Period 95 Phase 2 Deadline for VISIR Observations

Published: 22 Jan 2015

Following successful re-commissioning of the VISIR instrument in January 2015, Phase 2 observation preparation for successful Period 95 Service Mode users will open at the end of January. The deadline for VISIR Phase 2 submission is Monday, 2 March 2015, 12:00 CET. PIs and/or their Phase 2 delegates should follow the guidelines for Phase 2 preparation. The Phase 2 deadline for all other instruments is 5 February 2015.

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