Science Announcements

Period 112 Time Allocation

Published: 10 Jul 2023

The 112th Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met online during May 2023. Based on the committee's recommendations to the ESO Director General, a total of 956 (8-hour equivalent) nights of (Designated) Visitor Mode and Service Mode observations were allocated on the VLT/VLTI, the 3.6-metre, and NTT telescopes. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations is 4 August 2023; see the separate announcement for further details.

Final Data Release (5.1) of the Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey

Published: 07 Jul 2023

Utilizing the UVES and GIRAFFE instruments, this comprehensive survey has encompassed all major components of the Milky Way, systematically studying 114,916 stars. The observed robust samples have enabled detailed observations of bulge, thick and thin disks, halo components, and open star clusters of various ages and Galactocentric distances.

Introducing the 2023 ESO Fellows - Germany and Chile

Published: 04 Jul 2023

The Offices for Science are are very pleased to present the 2023 ESO Fellows. Here is an introduction to the Fellows due to start in Garching and Chile later this year.

Real Time Control for Adaptive Optics (RTC4AO) Workshop - Garching, 6-8 November 2023

Published: 04 Jul 2023

This is the 6th edition of the Real Time Control Workshop series that follows the the previos ones. The real-time control (RTC) system is a crucial component for any astronomical adaptive optics (AO) system. The computational, and  data transfer demands placed on the next generation RTCs for future extremely large telescopes (ELTs) are enormous, and even current systems require skill to implement. The main workshop goal is to gather international AO RTC specialists in order to share and exchange experience regarding the design and implementation of these systems. Such shared experience can be used to improve the design of new and proposed AO systems, increasing their performance and usability. As such, the workshop is aimed at real-time control specialists, instrument scientists and adaptive optics engineers.  Although the workshop is focused principally on astronomical AO, attendence of participants from non-astronomical areas is welcome and indeed encouraged to allow cross-discipline discussions to take place.

Submillimeter Detections of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Quasars in the ALMA Footprint

Published: 03 Jul 2023

ALMA has been observing for more than 10 years now, producing science data with an average rate of 1TB per day. This data is available in the ALMA Science Archive (ASA), an unparalleled resource for original research. Given the growing potential of the ASA, the European ARC network launched the High-Level Data Products initiative, with the aim to develop science-ready data products derived from already published datasets and go beyond the formal ALMA deliverable. As a first instance of this initiative, Wong et al. 2023 present a catalogue of 376 unique submillimeter detections of quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 14 in the ALMA footprint. The detections, at or above 3.5σ, were extracted from all ALMA data in the ASA that were outside their proprietary time by 1 November 2022. The applied workflow is automated and repeatable. In the same work, all lensed, jetted and SDSS quasars with multiple submillimeter counterparts in the ALMA footprint are provided, as well as a catalogue of all the SDSS quasars in the same area of the sky with no reliable detections above 3.5σ.

Pitch your Research to ESO Communications to Reach a Broad Audience

Published: 05 Jun 2023

Are you an author on an upcoming scientific study based on ESO data that could be relevant to journalists or the wider public? Or are you a Principal Investigator on ESO observations with potential to become stunning images like that above? If so, please consider sending your paper and/or a preview of the image(s) obtained with ESO telescopes to ESO's Media Manager Barbara Ferreira at

Metal Production and Distribution in a Hierarchical Universe - II

Published: 05 Jun 2023

Metals trace the full evolution of the Universe: from primordial Helium and Lithium in the big-bang nucleosynthesis to all heavier elements produced in stars and explosive events. Their relative abundances in different environments, and across cosmic time, reveal the underlying star formation history and gas exchange processes. We can now use metal production and distribution to test our ideas of galaxy evolution at many different hierarchical scales: from stellar clusters to clusters of galaxies. The hierarchical build up of present-day structures at different redshifts can also be followed, which goes in parallel with the build-up of stellar and metal mass. These processes are interwoven: during most of cosmic history metal production happens at stellar scales, but metal distribution is effective on spatial scales covering several orders of magnitude. Therefore simulations require exceptional computational power, and tracing metals across cosmic time needs an equivalent investment in observational facilities. Ten years later the original meeting held at Paris Observatory, the time has come to gather the scientific community and discuss the impact of the recent advent of massive spectroscopic surveys (e.g., APOGEE, LAMOST, the Gaia ESO survey, Gaia, GALAH...), the Gaia astrometric mission and the now operative James Webb Space Telescope.

MOONS Detector Systems – All Science Grade Detector Systems are Shipped

Published: 15 May 2023

All six of the final Science Grade Detector systems have now been shipped to the UK Astronomy Technology Centre to be integrated into the MOONS instrument. The MOONS Detector System work package began in 2017 with the initial design phase and procurement. A total of eleven detectors have been tested in this time, this included 7 x Teledyne H4RG-15 detectors in the latest FRSBE package with 2.5 µm cut-off material (1 x Multiplexer, 1 x Engineering Grade, 5 x Science Grade detectors) as well as 4 x LBNL fully-depleted CCDs (2 x Engineering Grades and 2 x Science Grades). At the same time, 3 new test facilities had to be designed and developed, CRISLER for H4RG detector testing, CEAT for MOONS detector cryogenic cable testing and a new test cryostat for the CCDs.

The Messenger 190 is Now Available Online-only, Subscribe to Receive it into your Inbox

Published: 15 May 2023

As previously announced, after nearly half a century in publication, ESO’s journal for science and technology, The Messenger, is making a jump into the digital world by becoming an online-only publication. As reader habits have continued to shift online along with journal publication practices, and with sustainability an ever greater focus at ESO, The Messenger has evolved accordingly. Readers will now be able to find both new and old issues of the historic journal at a new redesigned webpage, making the published articles in The Messenger more accessible, usable and traceable than before. 

Scientific and Technical Committee Meeting

Published: 15 May 2023

Under its remit to “Advise Council and the Director General on policy matters of scientific and technical importance related to the planning and operation of ESO”, the STC had its 102nd meeting on 17 and 18 April in Vitacura, Chile. The agenda included the updates on current and future ESO facilities. As always the STC was deeply impressed by the high level of activity at all of ESO’s observatories -ALMA, ELT and Paranal/La Silla.

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