Science Announcements

Decommissioning of ISAAC

Published: 28 Jun 2013

In order to provide sufficient time for the preparation of the arrival of SPHERE at UT3, the activities to decommission ISAAC  will start on 10 December 2013. As of that date the instrument will no longer be available for science operations.

Start of MUSE Installation and Dismounting of NACO from UT4

Published: 28 Jun 2013

On account of the activities related to the installation of MUSE, NACO will be dismounted from the Nasmyth platform of UT4 and unavailable from 2 September 2013.  At the time of releasing the Call for Proposals the exact timeline of MUSE arrival was not finalised and it was anticipated that NACO would be removed during Period 92. The MUSE Consortium and ESO Instrumentation have now confirmed that the installation and commissioning activities will start towards the end of January 2014. To allow the required modifications of the Nasmyth platform of UT4, NACO will be disconnected at the end of Period 91 and it will therefore be unavailable for the whole duration of Period 92. The instrument will be stored for future re-use.

Portugal Confirms Participation in E-ELT

Published: 23 May 2013

Portugal confirmed that it will join the list of participants in the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) programme. Thirteen ESO Member States have now confirmed their full participation in the project. More details.

Completion of Atacama Compact Array

Published: 23 May 2013

The last 7-metre antenna forming the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) has been delivered to the ALMA high site. The ACA is a subset of 16 closely separated antennas, four 12-metre and twelve 7-metre antennas, produced in and delivered by Japan. The ACA is crucial for filling in the short spacings in the uv-plane coverage of ALMA and for total power measurements. The ACA has been named the Morita Array after Professor Koh-ichiro Morita, who died in 2012 and was closely associated with the development of ALMA. Read more.

New APEX Helpdesk

Published: 23 May 2013

A new email address for all questions related to the ESO use of the APEX telescope has been set up: All questions regarding APEX Phases 1 and 2 and the content of data deliveries should be directed to this new address. Technical questions regarding the downloading of APEX data from the ESO archive should be directed to

Phase 3 for Public Surveys

Published: 23 May 2013

A revised version of the Phase 3 policies has been published, and this now includes specific information on VST, spectroscopic surveys and catalogue information, and VISTA public survey policies. The list of frequently asked questions has also been updated.

ESO Studentships

Published: 23 May 2013

The research studentship programme provides an outstanding opportunity for Ph.D. students to experience the exciting scientific environment, at one of the world's leading observatories, for a period of up to two years.

ESO's studentship positions are open to students enrolled in a university Ph.D. programme in astronomy or related fields. Students accepted into the programme work on their doctoral project under the formal supervision of their home university but, for a period of between one and two years, they come to ESO to work and study under the co-supervision of an ESO staff astronomer.

Massimo Tarenghi Awarded Tycho Brahe Prize

Published: 17 Apr 2013

The European Astronomical Society has awarded the 2013 Tycho Brahe Prize to Massimo Tarenghi, in recognition of his central role in the development of ESO facilities, most notably the NTT, VLT and ALMA. More details.

Description of End-to-End Operations

Published: 17 Apr 2013

A succinct description of the ESO end-to-end science operations process, Operating the Very Large Telescope, has recently been released. The six-page PDF summarises observing time allocation, observations, data taking and archiving. More details.

United Kingdom and Denmark Confirm Participation in E-ELT

Published: 17 Apr 2013

Representatives of the United Kingdom and Denmark have confirmed that their countries will participate in the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) programme. Twelve ESO Member States have now joined the E-ELT programme.

Construction of the E-ELT is expected to start later in 2013, with first light to come early in the next decade.

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