Science Announcements

New Issue of The Messenger Online

Published: 03 Jul 2019

The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. In issue 176 you will find out about Astronomy in Ireland, the work of the ESO Users Committee, Science Verification results using MUSE's Narrow Field Mode, and how KMOS is being used to study low-mass galaxies across several epochs of cosmic time. This issue also contains articles presenting science highlights from ALMA, an article from ESO fellows and students outlining their development of an outreach programme, reports from workshops, and a tribute to Gustav Tammann.

Data Release: The VVV Infrared Astrometric Catalogue (VIRAC) - version 1

Published: 01 Jul 2019

With this data release, the VISTA VVV survey (179.B-2002) publishes the VVV near-infrared Astrometric Catalogue (called VIRAC). This contains proper motions of stars measured during five years of observations (from 2010 to 2015). The catalogue contains ZYJHKs band-merged magnitudes (single epoch, wherein the Ks magnitude is a mean value) and proper motion measurements for 312 587 642 unique sources detected in the multi-epoch imaging campaign covering 560 deg2 of the Milky Way bulge and southern disc. VIRAC includes 119 million high quality proper motion measurements, out of which 47 million have statistical uncertainties below 1 milliarcsecond yr-1. The VIRAC photometric calibration and astrometric reference frame are both derived from the 2MASS Point Source Catalogue.

Call for Science Verification Proposals for ESPRESSO in 4-UT Mode

Published: 14 Jun 2019

The ESPRESSO 4-UT mode is a new capability offered at the VLT. The commissioning of this instrument mode is nearing completion, and an integral part of this process is Science Verification (SV). SV programmes include a set of typical scientific observations that should verify and demonstrate to the community the capabilities of the new instrument in the operational framework of the VLT Observatory. ESO encourages the community to submit highly challenging or risky science observations that will push ESPRESSO in 4-UT mode to its limits in order to better understand the performance parameter space and its constraints.

Introducing the 2019 ESO Fellows - Germany

Published: 12 Jun 2019

The Offices for Science and the Astronomy Faculty are very pleased to present the 2019 ESO Fellows. Here is an introduction to the Fellows due to start in Garching, Germany later this year.

Introducing the 2019 ESO Fellows - Chile

Published: 12 Jun 2019

The Offices for Science and the Astronomy Faculty are very pleased to present the 2019 ESO Fellows. Here is an introduction to the Fellows due to start in Chile later this year.

ESO Annual Report 2018

Published: 11 Jun 2019

The ESO Annual Report 2018 is now available. It presents a summary of ESO’s activities throughout the year, outlining progress on the design, construction and operation of ground-based astronomical facilities, as well as various initiatives to promote and organise astronomical research.

Data Release 4: VST ATLAS Public Survey - New Imaging and Multi-Band Catalogue Data

Published: 09 Jun 2019

The ESO Public Survey ATLAS with VST (ESO programme ID: 177.A-3011; PI: Tom Shanks) is targeting 4700 square degrees of the southern sky in u,g,r,i and z bands to depths comparable to those of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey SDSS (r ~ 22). Its wide wavelength coverage, from the u to z band, complements the VISTA, VHS and VIKING Surveys in YJHK bands. This fourth data release (DR4) provides new stacked reduced images and associated source lists for the period Oct 2014 to July 2017 and reprocessed stacked reduced images, associated source lists and the band-merged catalogue from the beginning of observations in August 2011 to July 2017. DR4 data contain a global photometric calibration based on Gaia. The basic data reduction of the VST imaging was carried out at the Cambridge Astronomical Surveys Unit (CASU), while the band-merged catalogue was produced by the Wide Field Astronomy Unit (WFAU) at Edinburgh.

Data Release 2: Large Programme Dissecting GAs Stripping Phenomena in Galaxies

Published: 07 Jun 2019

This is the second data release from the ESO Large Programme Dissecting GAs Stripping Phenomena in galaxies (GASP; 196.B-0578; Principal Investigator: B. Poggianti). This completes the release for this programme and provides deep MUSE 3D cubes observed in wide field mode and natural seeing plus ancillary products, comprising the observations taken from Periods 99 to 101. The scientific goal of the large programme is to study galaxies at z = 0.04-0.07 in different environments. For each target galaxy, the released science data products are the reduced and combined MUSE 3D data cubes that can be queried and downloaded via the Archive Science Portal here.

Commissioning Data from NEAR Search for Planets Around Alpha Cen

Published: 05 Jun 2019

The instrument VISIR has been moved to UT4 and modified to search for planets around Alpha Cen as part of the experiment called New Earths in the Alpha Cen Region (NEAR; see Kasper et al., 2017). The first data of alpha Cen from NEAR commissioning have been released and are available. Please see the commissioning page for more details. This programme is being supported by the Breakthrough Initiatives, see this recent press release for more details.


Workshop: Extragalactic Spectroscopic Surveys - GALSPEC2019

Published: 03 Jun 2019

ESO, Santiago, Chile, 25–29 November 2019 

VIMOS, the VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph, was decommissioned in March 2018. After 15 years of operations, VIMOS has amassed over 9700 hours of science data, mostly devoted to spectroscopic surveys of galaxies across cosmic time. To commemorate this milestone, a  five-day workshop is being held to review past and current spectroscopic surveys on galaxy evolution (both with ESO and non-ESO instruments), as well as to explore future surveys that will be soon enabled by new MOS and IFU facilities. The workshop will bring together the low- and high-z extragalactic communities to review progress and prepare for the challenges ahead.

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