Science Announcements

Paranal Infrastructure Projects

Published: 24 Apr 2015

Two large infrastructure projects are currently taking place on Paranal. The combined Coudé room that will merge the light from the incoherent foci of the VLT is being prepared for the arrival of ESPRESSO. The other project concerns the preparation of the infrastructure of the VLT Interferometer (VLTI) for the arrival of the second generation instruments GRAVITY and MATISSE.

Data Format Specification for APEX Sub-millimetre Sky Maps and LESS Phase 3 Data Release

Published: 24 Apr 2015

Phase 3 allows users to return their reduced data for publication via the ESO Science Archive Facility. The Phase 3 data format specifications and Phase 3 validator have now been extended to astrometrically registered and flux calibrated sky maps in the submillimetre domain. This format is relevant to the Phase 3 data release for the LESS extra-galactic submillimetre survey.

Response to USD User Satisfaction Survey

Published: 24 Apr 2015

The User Support Department (USD) would like to thank all those Principal Investigators and their Phase 2 delegates who filled in the on-line User Satisfaction Survey. As of mid-March 2015, 140 responses were received from our targeted campaign. We have contacted, where possible, those respondents who provided detailed comments. A summary report of the latest User Satisfaction Survey is now available.

New Spectroscopic Pipelines for FORS and MUSE

Published: 23 Apr 2015

New versions of the available science pipelines have been have been released and are available here. The FORS pipeline has been upgraded and results in substantially improved extracted spectra compared to previous versions. The MUSE pipeline now comes with an ESO Reflex workflow that includes a python script for alignment of individual datasets, an essential step for deep exposures.

X-shooter Reference Spectra Available

Published: 22 Apr 2015

Reference spectra for six southern spectrophotometric standard stars observed with X-shooter are now available and the tables can be downloaded. The flux distribution over the full X-shooter range 3000 – 25000Å is tabulated.

Rainbows on the Southern Sky: Science and Legacy Value of the ESO Public Surveys and Large Programmes

Published: 14 Apr 2015

ESO Workshop, Garching, Germany, 5 – 9 October 2015

Since the start of VLT science operations, about 15% of science time has been allocated to Large Programmes. In the last five years, the ESO Public Surveys on VISTA, VST, VLT and NTT, have vastly increased the public data delivered by La Silla Paranal telescopes. The scientific research of these Programmes and Surveys covers all areas of observational astronomy. This workshop will focus on the scientific results achieved through these programmes and the potential for enhanced exploitation of the archival data.

The Solar System as Seen by the ELTs

Published: 13 Apr 2015

ESO Workshop, Garching, Germany, 30 November – 4 December 2015

The objective of this workshop is to prepare that part of the community interested in Solar System research for making the best use of the Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). In complement to many successful space planetary missions, ground-based observations are still essential for understanding the physico-chemical properties of Solar System objects.

Call for ALMA Proposals for Cycle 3

Published: 28 Mar 2015

The ALMA Director, on behalf of the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) and the partner organizations in East Asia, Europe, and North America, announces the ALMA Early Science Cycle 3 Call for Proposals for scientific observations that will be scheduled from October 2015 to September 2016. ALMA capabilities added for Cycle 3 include Band 10, and baselines up to 10 km for Bands 3, 4 and 6. The proposal submission deadline is 15:00 UT on 23 April 2015.

Temporary Unavailability of NACO

Published: 27 Mar 2015

Since 20 March, NACO has been unavailable on VLT Unit Telescope 1. The mechanism that controls the camera objectives suffered a connection failure and CONICA had to be warmed up in order for the problem to be fixed. Since another intervention is also planned for early April to reduce the cryostat background noise (through improved thermal shielding), NACO will only be returned to science operations after mid-April. Please check the instrument news for updates.

KMOS Achieves Major Milestone

Published: 27 Mar 2015

The K-Band Multi-Object Spectrograph (KMOS) achieved a major milestone last month with the award of Provisional Acceptance Chile (PAC). This marks the official handover of the instrument to the Observatory. A major overhaul of the KMOS robotic pickoff arms was also undertaken to eliminate the problems of premature ageing, which had been discovered during routine operations over the past 18 months.

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