Science Announcements

ALMA Update

Published: 17 Dec 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic the European ARC Network continues to provide support for PIs and users of archival data. More specifically the European ARC Network is offering a series of topical trainings called I-TRAIN. The next appointment is on January 15th, 2021, with an online training on UVMultiFit, a versatile library for fitting models directly to visibility data. More information on this event can be found at this link and upcoming trainings will be soon advertised on the European ARC Announcements page.

Hypatia Colloquium: Programme of Talks by Early Career Scientists Available

Published: 17 Dec 2020

The ESO Office for Science is pleased to announce the beginning of the Hypatia Colloquium Series, where early career scientists will have the opportunity of describing their research to a very broad audience. The seminars were selected after a very competitive process following the reception of over 300 proposals by ESO. The detailed programme of the seminars, which are scheduled to take place online on Tuesdays at 3pm (Central European Time), is already available.

The Infrared Sky at Milli- and Microarcsecond Resolution with GRAVITY+ Online Workshop: 24-25 February 2021

Published: 16 Dec 2020

GRAVITY+ was recently recommended by the ESO Scientific and Technical Committee as the top priority instrument upgrade for the VLT/I and will start the Phase A in 2021. It will transform interferometric capabilities of the VLTI by enhancing the sensitivity to K=18mag on-axis or K=22mag off-axis with Laser Guide Stars on all UTs and will allow phase referencing over an unprecedented large field of >30" (compared to currently 2"). This will enable milliarcsecond imaging and microarcsecond astrometry in the infrared for a wide new range of Galactic and extragalactic science cases. The GRAVITY+ consortium invites interested members of the ESO science community to a two half-day online workshop on GRAVITY+ that will take place on 24-25 February 2021.

The First 60000 ARI-L Data Cubes on the ALMA Archive

Published: 15 Dec 2020

The first 60000 data cubes and continuum images generated by the Additional Representative Images for Legacy (ARI-L) ALMA development project are now available to download from the ALMA Science Archive (ASA). In addition to the primary-beam-corrected images, the released products also include the primary beams, and mask for all targets and calibrators of more than 1200 Cycle 3 and 4 datasets.

Results of the 2020 Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey

Published: 14 Dec 2020

The User Support Department again extends its thanks to all those Principal Investigators and their Phase 2 delegates who filled in this year's online Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey. A total of 139 responses were received from the targeted campaign.  As in the past, where possible, those respondents who provided detailed comments have been contacted via e-mail.  A summary report based on this latest User Satisfaction Survey is now available

Science with UV-Efficient Ground-based Spectrographs Online Workshop: 3-5 February 2021

Published: 14 Dec 2020

A broad range of fundamental science is pushing for significantly better spectroscopic sensitivity at near-UV wavelengths. The four 8.2m telescopes of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) are the world's most scientifically productive ground-based observatory at visible/infrared wavelengths. Looking to the future of the VLT there is a long-standing aspiration for an optimised ultraviolet spectrograph, culminating in plans for the Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph (CUBES). An on-line workshop on science with UV-efficient ground-based spectrographs will take place on 3-5 February 2021.

ELT News

Published: 14 Dec 2020

The ELT has recently received a 10% increase to its budget, which brings the total cost of the project to €1.3 billion. The funding boost was approved by the ESO Council, the organisation’s main governing body. An 80% of the ELT’s budget is being invested in contracts with industry in ESO member states and in Chile. The revised budget includes the procurement of components originally deferred to a second phase of the project, such as the telescope’s second prefocal station, two more laser guide star systems, a set of astronomy-relevant atmospheric monitoring equipment and a small technical building at Armazones to optimise operations and maintenance activities. The new budget includes the cost of activities needed to bring the ELT into operation as part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory.

Information on the Period 107 Telescope Schedule

Published: 14 Dec 2020

Under normal circumstances, the Period 107 telescope schedule would have been announced at this point in time. However, as previously announced, the corresponding Call for Proposals has been suspended, as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile, and a special call will be opened in the coming months. Principal Investigators whose programmes have been affected by the loss of science time in Period 105 will be contacted in January on a case-by-case basis with information on the specific plans for their observations in Period 107. Further information can be found on the COVID-19 impact FAQ webpage and on the La Silla Paranal Observatory news webpage.

New data release (DR4) from the Gaia-ESO Spectroscopic Public Survey

Published: 10 Dec 2020

The new data release from the Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey (GES) DR4 delivers about 190,000 stacked, quality-controlled, 1-d spectra (R between 18000 and 54000) of 114,500 unique stellar targets. These stars were observed with GIRAFFE and UVES from 31.12.2011 to 26.01.2018, during the entire period of execution of the survey. These targets were selected from all the major structural components of the Milky Way: bulge, thick and thin discs, halo, including open star clusters of all ages and masses. The 1-D spectra from GES DR4 augment or update the spectra published in the previous data releases, which included observations up to July 2014 (~44000 spectra for ~25000 objects).

High-Resolution MUSE Data of the Inner Region of NGC 7130 Released

Published: 10 Dec 2020

The Seyfert starburst galaxy NGC 7130 was targeted for commissioning and science verification of the MUSE Narrow Field Mode, in programmes 60.A-9100(K) and 60.A-9493(A), P.I. Marja Seidel. The reduced data cube provides an angular resolution of 0.17 arcsec across a field of view of 7.5x7.5 arcsec2 covering the spectral range between 4750 and 9300 Å with a resolution of about 2.5 to 2.7 Å.

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