Science Announcements

Workshop: ALMA Development Studies

Published: 19 Feb 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany 3–5 June 2019

Registration is now open for the ESO ALMA Development workshop. This workshop aims to bring together a wide range of groups working on the continued development of ALMA in order to optimally coordinate these activities in light of the three-yearly ESO call for development studies, which is expected to be issued before the workshop. A particular emphasis will be given on presenting the ALMA 2030 development roadmap. Further details, including an outline of the programme can be found on the workshop webpage. The registration deadline is 2 May 2019.

ALMA2019: Science Results and Cross-Facility Synergies

Published: 15 Feb 2019

Cagliari, Italy 14–18 October 2019

The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is the world’s most sensitive facility for millimeter/submillimeter astronomical observations, and will soon be fully operational in all of the originally planned bands. Since its first observations, ALMA has routinely delivered groundbreaking scientific results that span nearly all areas of astrophysics. Following conferences in Puerto Varas (Chile, 2012), Tokyo (Japan, 2014), and Indian Wells (USA, 2016), the ALMA partnership is organising the next ALMA Science Conference in Cagliari this October. Registration will open in the second week of March.

Data Release: VVVX Public Survey First Data Release

Published: 13 Feb 2019

VVVX is an ESO Public Survey that was approved as part of the second cycle of Public Surveys with VISTA. This project extends the VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) survey parameter space both in area coverage and time. Primarily, VVVX includes portions of the southern galactic plane that were not covered by VVV. Furthermore, it will provide additional epochs to the VVV area in order to improve proper motion precision and keep monitoring the long term variable stars.

Data Release: Kilo-Degree Survey Data Release 4

Published: 12 Feb 2019

The Kilo-Degree Survey KiDS is one of the ESO Public Surveys carried out with OmegaCAM at the VST. Once complete, it will have observed 1350 square degrees in four filters (u, g, r, i). Designed to be a weak-lensing shear tomography survey, it will also map the large-scale matter distribution in the universe and constrain the equation of state of dark energy. Its secondary science cases include galaxy evolution to Milky Way structure and from the detection of white dwarfs to high-redshift quasars. This data release covers 1107 square-degrees and more than doubles the sky area covered by the previous three releases combined.

Data Release: Stacked 1D spectra Added to the FLAMES/GIRAFFE Stream

Published: 12 Feb 2019

All qualifying GIRAFFE Medusa data have now been processed into stacked 1D spectra, whenever the observing block that created the raw products contains more than one SCIENCE exposure. Backwards processing of stacks for the historical part is also completed such that more than 360 000 1D spectra products are available as processed in-house products from the Archive Science portal. Single-exposure 1D spectra are also produced and can be found as associated ancillary files or as science products, if originating observing block contains a single exposure only.

Large Programmes (including VISTA) Offered Once per Year from Period 104

Published: 11 Feb 2019

In February 2018 ESO announced that, starting from Period 104, Large Programmes will only be offered in even periods, i.e., periods with a proposal submission deadline at the end of March or early April. ESO takes this opportunity to encourage the community to submit Large Programmes that extend over the minimum number of periods that are required scientifically. From Period 104 onwards ESO will strive to execute Large Programmes more quickly (aiming for two semesters by default).

Large Programme proposals will also be accepted for VISTA (and VST) without restrictions. Both VIRCAM on VISTA and OmegaCAM on VST are expected to be scheduled until late 2021.

Workshop: The La Silla Observatory - From the Inauguration to the Future

Published: 10 Feb 2019

La Serena, Chile, 25–29 March 2019

The La Silla Observatory was officially inaugurated on 25 March 1969. This event marked the culmination of the vision of European astronomers to create a major observatory in the Southern Hemisphere. In the following decades, La Silla served as the test-bed for developing technical and scientific expertise in the European astronomical community, establishing communications channels with the public at large and the interaction of an inter-governmental organisation and its host country, Chile. Relations with other astronomical facilities in the Andes mountains are also part of its history. La Silla has served as a superb site where national communities of ESO member states could install their experiments; some of these facilities regularly put the La Silla Observatory in the news. This conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of La Silla. We will review the significance of its history in all aspects and discuss possible future scenarios. The history of the Observatory including all of its many facets, and the research areas where La Silla telescopes have made important contributions will be reviewed.

The First ESO Summer Research Programme

Published: 10 Feb 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany 1 July–9 August 2019

The first ever ESO Summer Research Programme will provide a unique opportunity to students who are not yet enrolled in  PhD programmes to carry out a six-week long research project at the ESO Headquarters in Garching. This fully-funded programme will allow participants to choose between a wide range of research projects, covering many areas of astronomy from comets to cosmology. The ESO Summer Research Programme will also provide opportunities beyond research, including lectures, a mini-workshop, and many social activities.

Workshop: The Very Large Telescope in 2030 - Registration Open

Published: 09 Feb 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 17–21 June 2019  

The VLT provides a powerful suite of visible and infrared instruments, including unique capabilities like coherent and incoherent combinations of the four 8-metre Unit Telescopes and a multi-laser guided adaptive optics system.  In combination with ALMA, it represents comprehensive coverage across  the full parameter space encompassing ground-based observations in visible, infrared and sub-mm wavelengths. With the advent of ESO's Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) the VLT will take on a new role. It will still serve a large community and will continue to provide unique data. Its strengths will include a suite of versatile instrumentation on four 8-metre telescopes, the spatial resolution achievable by interferometry and a flexible operations model. The VLT, VLTI and the instrumentation have been maintained at peak performance and new capabilities have been developed.

A discussion of future science served by the VLT should be the basis for its development in the ELT era. The ELT, VLT in its many functions and the ESO 4-metre telescopes will form a powerful astrophysics resource. The new role of the VLT needs to be defined and this workshop will provide a discussion forum aimed at shaping the VLT's future.

Preliminary Announcement: Memorial Symposium to Honor Riccardo Giacconi

Published: 09 Feb 2019

Washington D.C., USA 29–30 May 2019

The Space Telescope Science Institute, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics , the Johns Hopkins University, ESO and Associated Universities, Inc. are organising a Memorial Symposium to celebrate the life and work of Riccardo Giacconi. The symposium will cover the various phases of Riccardo’s career and achievements. It will be held in Washington, D.C. at the National Academy of Sciences. A Science Organising Committee is being established to develop the programme and invite speakers. Interested participants are requested to contact the organisers via this email address before 28 February 2019 in order to facilitate planning as there will be a limit to the number of attendees.

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