Science Announcements

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.

Upgrade of the Paranal Astronomical Site Monitor

Published: 06 Apr 2016

The ESO astronomical site monitor (ASM) system on Paranal has undergone a major overhaul. This upgrade was required due to hardware and software obsolescence and the demands of the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF) to measure additional atmospheric properties (altitude of atmospheric turbulence along the observing path). This upgrade also includes a new display tool of the ambient conditions.

MOONS passes Its Preliminary Design Review

Published: 05 Apr 2016

The Multi-Object Optical and Near-Infrared Spectrograph (MOONS), has officially passed the major milestone of Preliminary Design Review (PDR). MOONS will be able to deploy ~1000 fibres over a field of view of ~500 square arcminutes, the largest patrol field offered at VLT Nasmyth focus. Total wavelength coverage is 0.6–1.8 μm in the medium resolution (4000–6000) mode; higher (R~9000) resolution will be available for the Ca II triplet (~0.85 μm) region and one region at R~20000 in H-band.

Scheduled Upgrade of the ESO Phase 3 System until 11 April 2016

Published: 31 Mar 2016

Starting on Friday, 1 April 2016, the ESO Phase 3 services, including the dedicated FTP server, the release manager, and the delegation service, will be unavailable due to a scheduled software upgrade. All services are planned to be again up and running by Monday, 11 April 2016.

The Archive Science Group apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to Phase 3 users!

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