Science Announcements

Workshop: The Extragalactic Explosive Universe

Published: 18 Apr 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 16–19 September 2019 

At the turn of this decade, a number of moderate-sized telescopes were equipped with digital cameras of around 10 square degrees. The relative cost of detectors and computing had reduced to a level where rapid, real-time processing of the imaging data provided monitoring of large sky areas every few days. This revolutionised the field of time domain astronomical surveys and we have witnessed a vast array of new discoveries.  The global community have mapped the solar system, star forming regions in our galaxy, local group galaxies, and the local and high-redshift Universe leading to the discovery of new types of transients. We have discovered low luminosity stellar explosions in nearby galaxies and the most luminous supernovae beyond a redshift of 3, exotic transients in the nuclei of galaxies including tidal disruption events, stellar mergers, unusual novae and previously unknown species of stellar outbursts. The diversity in the explosive Universe is remarkable.

ALMA2019: Second Announcement

Published: 17 Apr 2019

Cagliari, Italy 14–18 October 2019

Registration has now opened for the next ALMA-wide science conference and the list of invited speakers has been published at the meeting website.
ALMA is the world’s most sensitive facility for millimetre/submillimetre 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. Science topics at this conference will include all fields of astronomy, from cosmology and galaxies in the distant Universe, nearby galaxies and the Galactic Center, interstellar medium and star formation in our Galaxy, astrochemistry, circumstellar disks, exoplanets, solar system, stellar evolution, and the Sun. As in previous editions of the conference series, we expect to discuss the scientific priorities for the implementation of the ALMA Development Roadmap.

Workshop: ESA/ESO SCIOPS 2019 - Working Together in Support of Science

Published: 15 Apr 2019

ESAC, Madrid, Spain, 19–22 November 2019 

ESA/ESO SCIOPS WORKSHOP 2019 – Working Together in Support of Science – Cross Facilities Collaboration in the Multi Messenger Era

The upcoming ESA/ESO SCIOPS 2019 Workshop will take place at ESAC and will address the following areas:

  • collaboration between large scientific teams in the multi-messenger era;
  • how space- and ground-based observatories communicate their transient and observational capabilities, and can prepare and adapt them to provide scientists with access to time and data for multi-messenger programmes;
  • cultural and policy changes needed to enable multi-facility time allocation, prioritisation of observations, publication of information on upcoming observations and data sharing;
  • tools, services and standards to support coordination between facilities for the selection and publication of targets by survey facilities, coordination and publication of follow-up observations among observatories, as well as for publishing, searching, analysing and visualising data;
  • tools and services to support collaboration between teams.

New Feature for the ESO Archive Science Portal: Searching by Target Lists

Published: 14 Apr 2019

The ESO Archive Science Portal (ASP) provides the primary entry point for interactive searching and browsing of the ESO Science Archive in terms of processed datasets. Until recently, the ASP supported searching for only one target at a time. Because many users have requested it, the possibility of searching by a user-provided list of targets has now been added. In the first implementation of this feature the list may contain up to 1000 target names or coordinates (J2000 or Galactic). The power of the existing graphical user interface remains fully available in the list search mode, including the option of adding and adjusting any of the seventeen non-positional search parameters. The new software release also features a refurbished download menu to accommodate downloading the results of the list search and it includes several bug fixes.

2019 Release of VLT/VLTI Instrument Data Reduction Software Packages

Published: 13 Apr 2019

The annual public release of ESO VLT/VLTI instruments data reduction software packages is scheduled for the end of May 2019. Please note that the new pipeline packages will be released for the following operating systems: Fedora 26–29CentOS 7Scientific Linux 7 and macOS 10.11–10.14. In addition to the release of data reduction pipelines in May, some instruments with pipelines under active development have intermediate releases throughout the year. To get announcements of new pipeline releases, please send an e-mail or visit the VLT Instrument Pipelines webpage.

ESO Phase 2 Preparation Tools Update

Published: 12 Apr 2019

The ESO Phase 2 Proposal Preparation version 3 (P2PP3) software used for the preparation of observations with the Paranal telescopes has now been officially decommissioned. Since Period 102, P2PP3 has been replaced by the p2 web application. Users can familiarise themselves with the application using the p2 demo site, and also test programmatic preparation of observations using the Phase 2 Application Programming Interface (API) (p2API). If you have developed a script or utility that makes use of the p2API, and you would like to share it please read the API contributed software webpage and e-mail the User Support Department.  

ALMA Cycle 7 Call for Proposals

Published: 25 Mar 2019

The ALMA Cycle 7 Call for Proposals for scientific observations is open for submissions. ALMA Cycle 7 is currently scheduled from October 2019 to September 2020. Users of any nationality or affiliation are invited to to submit proposals before the deadline at 15:00 UT on 17 April 2019. It is anticipated that 4300 hours will be available on the 12-metre array time and 3750 hours on the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) (also known as the Morita Array), including a supplementary call. Proposals must be prepared and submitted using the ALMA Observing Tool (OT), which is available for download from the ALMA Science Portal. Proposals will be assessed by competitive peer review by a single international review committee.

Vacancy for Data Scientist at ESO

Published: 24 Mar 2019

A new position for a Data Scientist is open for applications until 31 March. The role of the Data Scientist will will be to develop and apply innovative deep learning techniques to object classification in the ESO and ALMA Science Archives. With a user base of thousands of scientists, the archives are a rich and powerful resource for the astronomical community worldwide. The Data Scientist will be responsible for designing, building and training a system based on deep learning object classification techniques with the goal to automatically classify astronomical images and spectra to open up innovative ways for scientists to use the data.

Users Committee Meeting 2019

Published: 24 Mar 2019

The Users Committee (UC) represents ESO's astronomical community at large and acts as an advisory body to the ESO Director General on matters related to the performance, scientific access, operation and user interfaces to the La Silla Paranal Observatory and ALMA. The annual meeting of the UC is scheduled at ESO Headquarters on 29-30 April 2019. During the UC meeting updates from ESO and feedback from the user community are exchanged and openly discussed. Each year, the UC meeting has one session dedicated to a special topic – in 2019 the special topic is on the community use of Public Surveys data. The meeting webpage includes a record of the last meeting with recommendations that will be discussed in April.  

ESO Publication Statistics 2018

Published: 23 Mar 2019

In 2018, for the second time in a row, the total number of data papers published by the ESO users community exceeded the 1000 mark, almost exactly matching the record high of the previous year  (2017: 1090; 2018: 1093). In total, over 15 000 data papers have been published since 1996 (the year the ESO Telescope Bibliography started). In 2018, the number of papers using data from the VLT/VLTI, the ESO survey telescopes VISTA and VST, as well well as APEX were slightly below those of 2017, while data from the La Silla observing site led to even more data papers than in recent years*. The largest increase occurred for ALMA (taking into consideration only data obtained during European observing time), which generated 24% more papers than in 2017.

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