Science Announcements

VLT MAVIS Instrument Passes Preliminary Design Review

Published: 10 May 2023

MAVIS (MCAO-Assisted Visible Imager and Spectrograph) successfully passed its preliminary design review at the end of March. MAVIS is intended to be installed at the Nasmyth A focus of the VLT UT4 in 2030 (replacing Hawk-I/GRAAL), and is made of two main parts: an Adaptive Optics (AO) system that cancels the image blurring induced by atmospheric turbulence, and its post focal instrumentation, an imager and an IFU spectrograph, both covering the visible part of the light spectrum.

ALMA at 10 Years: Past, Present and Future

Published: 08 May 2023

The ALMA partnership is organizing a conference to commemorate its first decade of science operations. The conference will take a look back at the observatory accomplishments, highlight its latest results and look forward to future technical developments. It will take place from 4 to 8 December 2023 in Puerto Varas, Chile. Abstract submission and registration for the conference is now open at the conference webpage with a deadline for abstract submission on the 31st of May 2023. 

Fifth Release of UltraVISTA Public Survey Data

Published: 05 May 2023

UltraVISTA is an ultra-deep near-infrared survey of the central region of the COSMOS field. The fifth 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 December 2009 to mid 2019, corresponding to 81125 individual images. This is three years more than DR4. The additional data have almost homogenised the exposure time in the “deep” and “ultra-deep” stripes in the J, H and Ks filters, which now reach the same depths to ∼0.15 mag.

“Two in a Million” - The Interplay between Binaries and Star Clusters: Second Announcement

Published: 04 May 2023

The conference “Two in a million” - The interplay between binaries and star clusters will be held at ESO Garching, Germany, between 11-15 September 2023. Both in-person and online participation will be possible. Please note that the list of invited speakers has been updated.

A Decade of ESO Wide-field Imaging Surveys - Second Announcement

Published: 02 May 2023

The deadline for submission of abstracts has been postponed to Monday, 1st June 2023 and the organisers are welcoming contributed talks from researchers who have used ESO imaging survey datasets, but also broader community working on imaging surveys that put the legacy of VIRCAM and OmegaCAM surveys in perspective. Furthermore, the current list of invited speakers as well as the registration fees for in-person participants are now available on the workshop’s website.

Data Release of the MUSE Hubble Ultra-Deep Field Surveys (AMUSED) Mosaic Cubes and Catalogue

Published: 13 Apr 2023

The release of the MUSE Hubble Ultra-Deep Field survey (Programmes 094.A-0289(B), 095.A-0010(A), 096.A-0045(A), 096.A-0045(B) and 1101.A-0127, PI R. Bacon) includes the deepest spectroscopic survey ever performed. The MUSE mosaic data cubes, with their 3D content, amazing depth, wide spectral range, and excellent spatial and medium spectral resolution, are rich in information. The 3σ point-source flux limit of an unresolved emission line reaches 3.1×10-19 and 6.3×10-20 erg s-1 cm-2 at 10- and 141-hour depths, respectively. The redshifts of 2221 sources have securely been identified and measured. With the exception of eight stars, the collected sample consists of 25 nearby galaxies (z < 0.25), 677 [O ii] emitters (z = 0.25 - 1.5), 201 galaxies in the MUSE redshift desert range (z = 1.5 - 2.8) and 1308 Lyα emitters (z = 2.8 - 6.7). This represents an order of magnitude more than the collection of all spectroscopic redshifts obtained before MUSE in the Hubble ultra-deep field area (i.e., 2221 versus 292). At high redshift (z > 3), the difference is even more striking, with a factor of 65 increase (1308 versus 20).

NIRPS Successfully Starts Operations

Published: 04 Apr 2023

The NIRPS instrument, a cryogenic adaptive-optics equipped high-resolution (R=80,000) spectrograph newly installed on La Silla 3.6-m telescope has successfully entered operation at the start of the new period, on April 1st. The instrument is equipped with a stabilized Fabry-Perot calibration source ensuring high radial velocity precision, with a goal of reaching 1m/s. NIRPS targets M-dwarfs since their so-called habitable zones are closer than for stars like our Sun, and so the orbital periods of planets are shorter than the orbital period of Earth, on the order of weeks instead of a year.

ESO Data Papers Published in 2022

Published: 03 Apr 2023

In 2022, the ESO community once again published more than 1,000 papers, for the 6th consecutive year. The total number of data papers included in the ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib) published between 1996 and 2022 has risen to over 19,500. Despite the fact that ESO's facilities were not operating at the beginning of the pandemic, and then were operating with reduced capacity for several months, the number of refereed data papers remained remarkably stable.

GRA4MAT Narrow Off-Axis Mode / First Observations of Beta Pic b

Published: 03 Apr 2023

The Beta Pic dataset was obtained on 3 February 2023, in the course of the ESO-led development of a new GRA4MAT narrow off-axis mode. This new mode allows an observer to specify small offsets where to point MATISSE, with respect to the fringe tracking target. This mode is very similar to the dual on-axis mode of GRAVITY that was successfully applied to exoplanet spectroscopy. It will be offered to the community in the Call for Proposals for Period 112.

2023 Users Committee Meeting and Poll

Published: 31 Mar 2023

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 on 20 and 21 April 2023. During the UC meeting updates from ESO and feedback from the user community are exchanged and openly discussed. Each year one topic is explored in more detail and this year the Special Topic session is dedicated to Archive Science.

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