Science Announcements

New Release of UltraVISTA Public Survey Data

Published: 23 Mar 2016

UltraVISTA is an ultra-deep VISTA near-infrared Public Survey of the central region of the COSMOS field. This third UltraVISTA data release (DR3) comprises stacked images in YJHKs and NB118 narrow-band filters together with a five-band merged catalogue. The principal difference with respect to the previous DR2 release is a substantial increase in exposure time in all five bands (by a factor of 1.7–4.6) in the four "ultra-deep stripes" regions, corresponding to an increase in depth of 0.4 – 0.8 mag.

Release of HARPS Laser Frequency Comb Commissioning Data

Published: 18 Mar 2016

The first commissioning run of the HARPS Laser Frequency Comb (LFC) was held from 8–17 April 2015. The HARPS LFC is described in a Messenger article (Lo Curto et al. 2012). In addition to numerous calibration measurements, spectra of 4 asteroids and 20 stars were repeatedly observed during commissioning to monitor their radial velocity variations and to compare with published data. These spectra are available for download from the Science Archive Facility. See the HARPS LFC commissioning page for details.

Call for Proposals for Period 98

Published: 29 Feb 2016

The Call for Proposals for observations at ESO telescopes in Period 98 (1 October 2016 - 31 March 2017) has been released. Please consult the Call for Proposals document PDF for the main news items and policies related to applying for time on ESO telescopes. All technical information about the offered instruments and facilities is contained on ESO webpages that are linked from the Call.
The deadline for proposals is 12:00 CEST 31 March 2016.

Revised Acknowledgement for Publications Based on ESO Data

Published: 29 Feb 2016

When findings based on ESO data are published, acknowledgement is requested through a specific statement, to be found here. In order to provide an acknowledgement which authors can easily cut and paste into their manuscripts, this statement has recently been revised and shortened to:

    "Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programme(s) PPP.C-NNNN(R)."

Call for GRAVITY Science Verification Proposals

Published: 28 Feb 2016

The Science Verification (SV) for the VLTI - GRAVITY spectro-interferometric combiner with the Auxilliary Telescopes (ATs) will take place on the nights of 15–23 June and 15–23 September 2016. All community astronomers are kindly invited to participate in this opportunity to obtain early science with GRAVITY and thus demonstrate the scientific capability of this unique instrument. Details of the SV Call can be found here; the deadline is 18:00 CET 25 March 2016.

Upgrade of SINFONI

Published: 28 Feb 2016

SINFONI was dismounted from UT4 on 20 December 2015 and upgraded during January 2016. The upgrade included a new pre-optics collimator, new J, H and K filters, a new baffle at the entrance focal plane, and new collimator mirrors. In addition, the membrane mirror of the MACAO adaptive optics system was replaced. SINFONI re-commenced routine observations at the end of January 2016.

VLTI Fringes with Four UTs and STS

Published: 27 Feb 2016

An important milestone for VLTI, first fringes using the four VLT Unit Telescopes (UTs) equipped with the Star Separator (STS) systems, was achieved on 10–11 February 2016. This is the configuration to be offered for Observing Period 97 (from 1 April 2016). The tests are an important step towards operating GRAVITY with four UTs, necessary for micro-arcsecond astrometry observations of the Galactic Centre.

Call for Ideas: Public Deep Field with MUSE (Reminder)

Published: 18 Feb 2016

The ESO Director General proposes to dedicate up to 60 nights of Director's Discretionary Time in four forthcoming observing periods to a Public Deep Field using MUSE. This project will be carried out towards the end of 2017 with enhanced seeing capabilities provided by GALACSI – the wide-field Ground Layer Adaptive Optics (GLAO) unit of the quad-laser Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF) on VLT UT4.

Call for Proposals for SEPIA Band 9 Science Verification

Published: 17 Feb 2016

A new Band 9 receiver was installed inside the Swedish ESO PI receiver for Apex (SEPIA) at APEX in early February. This receiver, built by NOVA, is a copy of the ALMA Band 9 receiver, and covers frequencies from 600 to 722 GHz. After on-sky commissioning in late March, Science Verification (SV) observations are planned. Ideas for SV, which will allow testing of a large variety of observing modes for this new receiver, are encouraged. The Call for Proposals for SEPIA Band 9 SV can be found here and the deadline is 12:00 CET, Friday 11 March 2016.

ESA Announcement of Opportunity for New Science Ideas

Published: 15 Feb 2016

ESA has recently issued an announcement of opportunity for new science ideas in the Science Programme. The ESA Director of Science solicits from the broad scientific community proposals for the competitive selection of new "Science Ideas", to be investigated in terms of feasibility and needed technology developments. Full details can be found here. The deadline for submission of letters of intent is 9 May 2016 12:00 CEST.
Since last year, ESO and ESA have agreed closer co-ordination (see the ESO public announcement).

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