Science Announcements

ESO Period 106 Submission Statistics

Published: 01 May 2020

The deadline for proposal submission for Period 106 (1 October 2020 - 31 March 2021) was 23 April, 2020, after an extension of four weeks due to the COVID-19 crisis. 1070 valid proposals were submitted, including 47 Large Programmes, which is the largest number of Large Programme proposals ever submitted in a single period. On the VLT the most requested ESO instrument was MUSE with a request of 486 nights, followed by X-shooter with 364 nights. HARPS on the ESO 3.6-metre telescope was the most demanded instrument at La Silla, with 396 nights.

ALMA Band 2 Contracts Signed

Published: 29 Apr 2020

The contract has been signed for the production of the final set of receivers to be installed on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Of the originally foreseen ten receiver bands, eight have already been installed, and the ninth, Band 1, is currently in production in East-Asia. Now, contracts have been signed to start the production of the final band in the original ALMA definition —  Band 2 (67-116 GHz), led by ESO. Exceeding the originally defined frequency range for this Band (69-90 GHz), the proposed receiver will operate over the full 67-116 GHz frequency window. The hugely successful Band 3 receiver already opened up the 86-116 GHz frequency range years ago, but the new Band 2 will allow for observations across the entire 67-116 GHz atmospheric window using a single receiver. The ALMA board approved pre-production of a series of six cartridges, with the goal of moving into production of the full set, one for each ALMA antenna.

ALMA and La Silla Paranal Data Jointly Accessible from the ESO Archive Science Portal

Published: 28 Apr 2020

ALMA data products have been integrated into the ESO Archive Science Portal along with data products from the La Silla Paranal Observatory (including APEX). Millions of datasets can be browsed jointly through a uniform set of query items, providing a unique integrated panchromatic view of the southern hemisphere extending from the near-ultraviolet to millimetre wavelengths. Queries can be carried out interactively through a web application which presents the results on the celestial sphere and provides aggregate and detailed individual information, or via direct database and Virtual Observatory access for programmatic, recurring and/or massive queries. The selected data can then be downloaded from the respective portals for ALMA and ESO. In this initial phase content from the ALMA Archive Interface is synchronised every two weeks, with the cadence progressively increasing with time.

Online Conference: Assessing Uncertainties in Hubble's Constant Across the Universe

Published: 25 Apr 2020

Online, 22–26 June 2020, daily from 12:50 - 15:10 UTC

What's lurking behind the discord in the Hubble constant? This conference will discuss a wide range of observational methods, how to improve their systematics, and what H0 and other cosmological tensions tell us about cosmology and possible new physics beyond the Lambda-CDM model. The registration deadline is 29 May. Please see the conference webpage for more information.

Conference Galaxy Cluster Formation (GCF) 2020 Postponed

Published: 24 Apr 2020

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany (postponed)

The aim of GCF2020 is to discuss cluster formation over the last roughly ten billion years, from its beginnings to the present day, with a particular focus on the progress and developments since our first GCF meeting in 2017. Given the rapidly evolving and highly uncertain situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the second installment of the Galaxy Cluster Formation Workshop series is postponed until 2021. The workshop will most likely take place in summer 2021, although the month and dates have not been decided. Those who have already submitted an abstract will have the chance to update and resubmit. For updates and revised deadlines, please follow the workshop website.

New Issue of The Messenger Online

Published: 23 Apr 2020

The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. In issue 179, highlights include an article on the 2018 Visiting Committee report, imaging main belt asteroids using SPHERE, the ASPECS survey which is an ALMA Large Programme Targeting the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field. In addition, all subscribers to the print edition are asked to confirm their subscriptions and update their postal addresses. Please hold on to your envelope which contains your personalised confirmation code – see the back page of The Messenger 179 for further details.

ESO Archive Science Portal 2.0 released

Published: 23 Apr 2020

The ESO Archive Science Portal allows browsing and exploration of archive content using an intuitive interactive user interface that supports iterative queries or by direct database and Virtual Observatory (VO) access using user scripts and VO-aware tools. The latest version, released on 23 April 2020, provides the features and improvements listed below.

2020 Release of VLT/VLTI Instrument Data Reduction Software Packages

Published: 16 Apr 2020

The annual public release of ESO VLT/VLTI instruments data reduction software packages is scheduled for the beginning of June 2020. Please note that the new pipeline packages will be released for the following operating systems: Fedora 28-31, CentOS 7 and macOS 10.11–10.14. For macOS version 10.15 we recommend using MacPorts. We expect pipelines will build and install from source in macOS 10.15, thus installations will take a bit longer than for those OS versions that are supported with binary packages. We are working toward full support for macOS 10.15, but for the time being we cannot say when we will provide MacPorts packages for the pipelines on 10.15.

Impact of COVID-19 on ESO Proposal Submission Deadline

Published: 20 Mar 2020

Given ongoing developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESO is doing its best to guarantee that the proposal submission and review processes remain optimal within the restrictions imposed by this crisis. Since containment measures deployed in some of ESO’s Member States have disrupted scientific activities in those countries, the proposal submission deadline has been postponed from 26 March to 23 April 12:00 CEST. ESO will continue to follow developments closely and may provide additional updates regarding Phase 1 in the next weeks.

ALMA Cycle 8 Call for Proposals Deadline Delayed Due to COVID-19

Published: 19 Mar 2020

The ALMA Director, on behalf of the Joint ALMA Observatory and the partner organisations in East Asia, Europe, and North America, is pleased to announce that the ALMA Cycle 8 Call for Proposals for scientific observations opened on March 17. Users of any nationality or affiliation are invited to submit proposals. Please note that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the original deadline of 15:00 UT on 15 April 2020 has now been delayed to no earlier than 15:00 UT on 19 May 2020. As ALMA continues to monitor the conditions worldwide, it will assess the feasibility of this deadline and provide additional updates to the community as needed. The next update to the community will be provided no later than 21 April 2020 on the status of the call and the support for the scientific community.

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