Science Announcements

ALMA Cycle 4 Pre-announcement

Published: 15 Dec 2015

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start the next cycle of observing (Cycle 4) in October 2016. A Call for Proposals with detailed information on Cycle 4 will be issued in March 2016, with a deadline for proposal submission of 21 April 2016. The pre-announcement highlights aspects of the Cycle 4 proposal call that are needed to plan proposals.

December 2015 Messenger available

Published: 15 Dec 2015

The December issue of the ESO Messenger is available. Contents include: a comprehensive study of the science return of the VLT based on 8414 programmes over 15 years; upgrade of the HARPS fibre link; description of the ALMA ARC network; the MUSE study of the Orion Nebula; the atmospheres of red supergiants with VLTI; and a catalogue of stellar magnetic field determinations. View contents with access to PDF.

First Release of Multi-band Source Catalogue from VST ATLAS

Published: 04 Dec 2015

The VST ATLAS Public Survey is targeting 4500 square degrees of the southern sky in five filters (u,g,r,i,z) to depths comparable to those of the SDSS. ATLAS is complemented by near-infrared data from the VISTA Hemisphere Survey (VHS) and VISTA VIKING Public Surveys. This first ATLAS catalogue release covers more than 2000 square degrees.

Science Verification for VISIR Upgrade

Published: 16 Nov 2015

An integral part of the commissioning of a new instrument at the VLT is the Science Verification (SV) phase. SV programmes include a set of typical scientific observations that should verify and demonstrate to the community the capabilities of the new instrument in the operational framework of the VLT Observatory. The VISIR Upgrade project includes new observing modes – Sparse Aperture Masking and Coronography, as well as the newly recommissioned Burst Mode. Applications for VISIR SV are invited.

ALMA Fellowships

Published: 15 Nov 2015

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is now offering postdoctoral fellowship positions to join the ALMA science operations group. Fellows will be based in the Santiago Central Office in Chile, with eventual shifts to the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) near San Pedro de Atacama for real-time interaction with the telescope. Full details here.

Resolving Planet Formation in the Era of ALMA and Extreme AO

Published: 14 Nov 2015

Joint ESO, ALMA, NAOJ, NRAO Workshop:
ESO Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 16–20 May 2016

Results from ALMA Long Baseline observations and from SPHERE, Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) and other high-contrast adaptive optics (AO) instruments have given a taste of what to expect over the next few years in the fields of protoplanetary and debris discs, and planet formation. For the first time observations of the regions where planets form are achievable. The workshop will discuss the state-of-the-art results, offering a panchromatic view, with a balance between observations and theory. Discussions will be scheduled on how facilities, such as JWST, E-ELT and TMT, and advances in modeling, will advance the field of planetary formation.

Access to Reduced Science Data via the Run Progress Report Pages

Published: 14 Nov 2015

The Run Progress Report web pages allow PIs and delegates to follow the progress of their Service Mode observations. Now they also indicate when pipeline-processed reduced data are available for download. These reduced data are automatically generated using certified master calibrations and appear within two months of the data acquisition. Please see the Run Progress Legend for more details on how to take advantage of this new service.

Response to USD User Satisfaction Survey

Published: 14 Nov 2015

The User Support Department (USD) extends its thanks to all those Principal Investigators and their Phase 2 delegates who filled in this September's on-line User Satisfaction Survey. As of mid-September, 100 responses were received from our targeted campaign. We have contacted, where possible, those respondents who provided detailed comments. A summary report of this latest User Satisfaction Survey is now available.

Report on ALMA Cycle 3 Proposal Review

Published: 07 Oct 2015

A detailed report on the outcome of the ALMA Early Science Cycle 3 Proposal Review Process is available. The report details the proposal review process, proposal statistics and regional distributions, the proposal distribution across science categories and receiver bands, as well as the anticipated observing pressure as a function of Local Sidereal Time and configuration. The accepted high priority Cycle 3 projects are listed here.

ESO Period 97 Proposal Submission Statistics

Published: 06 Oct 2015

The Call for Proposals for ESO Period 97 (1 April 2016 – 30 September 2016) closed on 1 October 2015. 1020 proposals were received (the second highest, after Period 84), including 22 for Large Programmes, 48 for Target of Opportunity and 5 for Monitoring Programmes, for a total of 2212 nights. The number of proposals received shows an increase of 6.5% over Period 96.

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