Science Announcements

New Release of Images and Photometric Catalogues from VMC Survey

Published: 20 Jan 2015

The VISTA Magellanic Survey (VMC) – one of the six public surveys current at the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) – aims at determining the spatially resolved star formation history and 3D geometry of the Magellanic system. The VMC survey is designed to reach stars below the oldest main-sequence turn-off and the multi-epoch strategy enables determination of accurate Ks mean magnitudes for variable stars. This release contains five new images for VMC tiles, two re-processed tiles and band-merged and multi-epoch photometric catalogues, as well as catalogues of known Cepheid stars and eclipsing binaries.

Shaping ESO2020+ Together: Users Poll

Published: 19 Dec 2014

The ESO Science Prioritisation Working Group has been tasked with reviewing the ESO programme from a scientific perspective. To tension the current and planned programme against new possibilities, the Working Group has today launched a poll, so that you can share with us your scientific priorities.

Phase 2 for Period 95

Published: 18 Dec 2014

The allocation of ESO telescope time for Period 95 is expected to be emailed on 22 December 2014. With the release of the telescope schedule, preparation of Service Mode (SM) observations (Phase 2) starts. The deadline for the submission of the Phase 2 material for Period 95 observations is 5 February 2015 for all instruments except VISIR.

SPHERE Science Verification

Published: 17 Dec 2014

SPHERE Science Verification (SV) took place from 4 to 11 December 2014 on VLT UT3. Out of 67 submitted proposals, 40 programmes were scheduled for a total of 88.4 hours of observations. Nineteen programmes were completed, with an additional 9 programmes receiving partial data sets. Some more SV time is planned in February 2015 and it is hoped to undertake some of the remaining 12 observing programmes.

E-ELT Two-Phase Construction

Published: 17 Dec 2014

As announced in the Organisation Release eso1440, the ESO Council has approved the construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in two phases and authorised spending of around one billion euros for the first phase. This first phase will cover the construction costs of a fully working telescope with a suite of powerful instruments and first light targeted in ten years. The context for this decision is reported in an article (PDF) in the December issue of The Messenger.

Exchange of FORS2 Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector

Published: 16 Dec 2014

The coatings of the FORS2 linear atmospheric dispersion corrector (LADC) prisms have degraded, so it was decided to replace them with the uncoated prisms of the twin FORS1 LADC. The exchange took place on 10 November 2014 and the performance of the prisms has been extensively tested.

ESO GOODS Data Products Now Entirely Served by Phase 3

Published: 15 Dec 2014

The ESO GOODS advanced data products are now available via the Science Data Product query forms of the ESO Archive Facility.

MUSE Pipeline Version 1.0 Available

Published: 15 Dec 2014

The MUSE pipeline recipes version 1.0 are available and can be obtained here. With respect to the previous release, many aspects have been significantly enhanced based on analysis of commissioning data. The V1.0 pipeline includes improvements to the bias subtraction and cosmic ray rejection, better smoothing of the response function, redesign of the twilight flatfield handling and a per slice illumination correction to take into account thermal effects. A detailed Cookbook is also available.

Supercam Installed on APEX

Published: 14 Dec 2014

After an intensive installation campaign, the Supercam visiting instrument has been successfully installed in the Cassegrain cabin of APEX. Supercam is a 64-pixel 345 GHz heterodyne array built by the University of Arizona

ALMA Cycle 3 Pre-announcement

Published: 14 Dec 2014

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start the next cycle of observing (Cycle 3) in October 2015. A Call for Proposals will be issued on 24 March 2015, with an anticipated deadline for proposal submission on 23 April 2015. Cycle 3 operations will include standard and nonstandard modes, with non-standard mode observations being conducted on a best-effort basis similar to previous Cycles. More details here.

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