Science Announcements

Call for VIMOS Public Spectroscopic Surveys

Published: 19 Jul 2013

A call for letters of intent for VIMOS Public Spectroscopic Surveys has been issued. A public spectroscopic survey constitutes a commitment to a massive observing programme with up to 300 (visitor mode) nights devoted to answering a major scientific question. Fully reduced data must be made publicly available within a defined time period.

Annual Report 2012

Published: 28 Jun 2013

The ESO Annual Report for 2012 has been approved by the ESO Council and issued. The report carries news of research highlights and technical developments, summaries of the work of all the ESO Departments, digests of Committee meetings, and much more. The Annual Report is available in PDF from here.

Future VLT Instruments: ERIS

Published: 28 Jun 2013

ERIS, the Enhanced Resolution Imager and Spectrograph, is a 1-5 µm instrument for the Cassegrain focus of UT4 at the VLT. It will benefit from the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF), including the deformable secondary mirror (DSM).

ALMA Early Science Cycles 1 and 2 Timelines

Published: 28 Jun 2013

Cycle 1 Early Science observing resumed at nominal priority in June 2013 after development work on the array and infrastructure. To ensure sufficient time to complete many Cycle 1 high priority programmes, Cycle 1 has been extended until the end of May 2014 and Cycle 1 DDT proposals will be accepted until that date.

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.

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