Science Announcements

Messenger 175: The 4MOST Issue

Published: 22 Mar 2019

The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. Issue 175 is dedicated to 4MOST. 4MOST is a wide-field spectroscopic survey facility that is under development for VISTA at Paranal and which will be able to simultaneously obtain spectra of ~2400 objects distributed over an hexagonal field-of-view of 4 square degrees. This issue of The Messenger contains important information about the facility itself, its scientific operations and survey strategy, which will be particularly useful to teams preparing to submit survey proposals for the facility. In addition, there are articles outlining the strategies and science goals for each of the ten 4MOST Consortium Surveys targeting both Galactic and extragalactic science.

Workshop: Preparing for 4MOST - Registration Open

Published: 20 Mar 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 6–8 May 2019

4MOST is a state-of-the-art, high-multiplex, optical spectroscopic survey facility currently under construction for ESO’s 4-metre VISTA telescope. During the first five years of operations 4MOST will be used to execute a comprehensive programme of both Galactic and extragalactic Public Surveys, and 30% of the observing time during this period will be available to the community. The process of selecting Community Public Surveys will be initiated by a Call for Letters of Intent for Public Spectroscopic Surveys, to be issued by ESO in mid-2019. In preparation of this Call, ESO and the 4MOST Consortium are jointly organising a workshop to prepare the ESO community for this exciting scientific opportunity, to assist potential PIs in successfully responding to the Call, and to foster scientific collaborations between the community and the 4MOST Consortium.  

Workshop: Artificial Intelligence in Astronomy

Published: 17 Mar 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 22–26 July 2019 

It is certainly an understatement that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken the world by storm, with breakthroughs appearing almost daily in the news. The sheer volume of astronomical data (which increases exponentially) necessitates a new paradigmatic approach – AI – which must be, to a large extent, automated and made much more efficient. This workshop has two aims: to present the current landscape of methods and applications in astronomy and to prepare the next generations of astronomers to embark on these fields. Artificial intelligence covers a wide range of algorithms and the first thing is to provide a clear map to navigate in this jungle and show which techniques are used for which kind of science. Thus, we aim at having a few invited talks by prominent speakers to set the scene. This will be complemented by a series of contributed talks in order to provide a clear panorama of the current use of AI in astronomy. We also expect to have many posters showing various applications of AI in astronomy. In addition, we will offer several 3-hour tutorials and hands-on sessions to allow the participants to dig into the techniques.

MIAPP Topical Workshop: Nine Billion Years of Neutral Gas Evolution

Published: 16 Mar 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 29–31 July 2019 

The next MIAPP topical workshop "Nine Billion Years of Neutral Gas Evolution" will be hosted at ESO headquarters. It aims to forge connections across wavelengths, among different ISM and IGM phases, and between observation and theory. Only a limited number of invited speakers have been selected up-front – most of the programme will be filled with speakers who volunteer to give talks addressing topics that will be highlighted by a "wish list" for the oral programme, or who propose their own topics related to the workshop’s theme. The deadline for submitting an abstract for an oral contribution is 1 April. See the meeting webpage for further details.

Data Release 1: VISIONS Public Survey

Published: 10 Mar 2019

VISIONS is a sub-arcsec near-infrared atlas of the nearby (d < 500 pc) star-forming complexes accessible from the southern hemisphere. The atlas will contain tens of thousands of young stars (0.1-10 Myr), sensitive to objects down to a few Jupiter masses, and reach spatial resolutions of 100-250 au. This first release includes excellent quality J, H and Ks band observations of the dense field of the Ophiuchus star-forming region. Images, confidence maps and source lists, together with band-merged catalogues associated to each individual tile, are accessible via the Science Portal or via the Programmatic Access Service. The sky area observed is 7.5 square degrees, for which 1134 datasets are provided. Including the associated products the total volume of the release is 350 Gb.

Data Release 4: UltraVISTA Public Survey

Published: 10 Mar 2019

UltraVISTA is an ultra-deep near-infrared survey of the central region of the COSMOS field. The fourth UltraVISTA data release comprises stacked images in YJHKs and NB118 narrow-band filters, as well as single-band and dual-mode source lists. The data release also contains a five-band merged catalogue, created from the individual Ks-selected source lists. The release is based on the observations carried out from 4 December 2009 to 29 June 2016, corresponding to 58138 individual images.  

Data Release 1: The UVES Spectral Quasar Absorption Database (SQUAD)

Published: 08 Mar 2019

The UVES SQUAD DR1 comprises fully reduced, continuum-fitted high-resolution spectra of quasars with redshifts z = 0–5, with the primary goal of enabling statistical studies of large quasar and absorber samples at high resolution. DR1 includes 467 quasar spectra from the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) on the ESO-VLT. These quasars have at least one exposure in the ESO UVES archive (longer than 100 sec) that was observed before 30th June 2008. All exposures longer than 100 sec observed before 17th November 2016 for these quasars were then included in the final, combined spectra in DR1. In total, 3088 exposures were selected and successfully processed, with a total exposure time of 10 million seconds (2803 hrs; an average of 5.9 hrs per quasar).

Call for Proposals for Period 104

Published: 28 Feb 2019

The Call for Proposals for observations at ESO telescopes in Period 104 (1 October 2019 – 31 March 2020) has been released. Please consult the Period 104 document for the main news items and policies related to applying for time on ESO telescopes. All technical information about the offered instruments and facilities is contained on ESO webpages that are linked from the Call. The proposal submission deadline is 12:00 CET 28 March 2019.

The New ESO Phase 1 System

Published: 27 Feb 2019

ESO announces the forthcoming deployment of its new tool for the preparation and submission of observing proposals. This represents the first part of a broader overhaul of the ESO Phase 1 system (p1) that, in the near future, will also entail a significant modernisation of the Observing Programmes Committee refereeing process and related tools. ESO will start to offer the new p1 system during Period 103 for the submission of DDT proposals. A demo version where users can experiment with the new system will soon be available. Further announcements will be made via the usual ESO communication channels.

Call for Proposals for ESO Workshops 2020

Published: 26 Feb 2019

Science workshops are an essential component of ESO's programmes and represent a unique opportunity to promote and foster ideas and collaborations within the scientific community. Every year, through the Directorate for Science, ESO provides support and funding to organise two workshops in Santiago and four in Garching, as well as co-funding some external workshops (see ESO Workshops calendar).

A new Call has been issued inviting community astronomers to team up with ESO staff and fellows in Chile and/or in Germany to submit proposals for ESO workshops to be held in 2020. Note that ESO has implemented a Code of Conduct for Workshops and Conferences, which applies to all meetings held at ESO premises. ESO-funded workshops that are held outside ESO premises are required to adopt their own codes of conduct.

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