Messenger No. 152 ( 2013)

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The Organisation

2-6 (PDF)
L. Testi, J. Walsh
The Inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152....2T
Section:
The Organisation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Testi, L.; Walsh, J.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
On 13 March 2013 the official inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) took place at the Operations Support Facility in northern Chile. A report of the event and the preceding press conference is presented and the texts of the speeches by the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, and the Director General of ESO, Tim de Zeeuw, are included.
References:
Madsen, C. 2012, The Jewel on the Mountaintop – The European Southern Observatory through Fifty Years, (Weinheim: Wiley-VCH)

Telescopes and Instrumentation

8-13 (PDF)
D. Mawet et al.
High Contrast Imaging with the New Vortex Coronagraph on NACO

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152....8M
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Mawet, D.; Absil, O.; Girard, J. H.; Milli, J.; O’Neal, J.; Delacroix, C.; Baudoz, P.; Boccaletti, A.; Bourget, P.; Christiaens, V.; Forsberg, P.; Gonté, F.; Habraken, S.; Hanot, C.; Karlsson, M.; Kasper, M.; Lagrange, A.; Lizon, J.; Muzic, K.; Peña, E.; Olivier, R.; Slusarenko, N.; Tacconi-Garman, L. E.; Surdej, J.
AA(ESO) AB(Département d’Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie, Université de Liège, Belgium) AC(ESO) AD(ESO; Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France) AE(ESO) AF(Département d’Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie, Université de Liège, Belgium) AG(LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France) AH(LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France) AI(ESO) AJ(Département d’Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie, Université de Liège, Belgium) AK(Department of Engineering Sciences, Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden) AL(ESO) AM(ESO) AN(Département d’Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie, Université de Liège, Belgium) AO(Department of Engineering Sciences, Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden) AP(ESO) AQ(Institut de Planétologie et d’Astro- physique de Grenoble (IPAG), Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France) AR(ESO) AS(ESO) AT(ESO) AU(GDTech s.a., Liège Science Park, Belgium) AV(ESO) AW(ESO) AX(Département d’Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie, Université de Liège, Belgium)
Abstract:
The installation and successful commissioning of an L'-band annular groove phase mask (AGPM) coronagraph on VLT/NACO is presented. The AGPM is a vector vortex coronagraph made from diamond sub-wavelength gratings tuned to the L'-band. The vector vortex coronagraph enables high-contrast imaging at very small inner working angles (here 0.09 arcseconds, the diffraction limit of the VLT at L'), potentially opening up a new parameter space in high-resolution imaging. During technical and science verification runs, we discovered a late-type companion at two beamwidths from an F0V star, and imaged the inner regions of β Pictoris down to the previously unexplored projected radius of 1.75 astronomical units. The circumstellar disc of β Pic was also resolved from 1 to 5 arcseconds. These results showcase the potential of the NACO L'-band AGPM over a wide range of spatial scales.
References:
Beuzit, J.-L. et al. 2010, in Pathways Towards Habitable Planets, eds. Coudé du Foresto V., Gelino D. M. & Ribas. I., ASP Conf. Series, 430, 231; Boccaletti, A. et al. 2004, PASP, 116, 1061; Chauvin, G. et al. 2010, A&A, 509, A52; Crepp, J. R. & Johnson, J. A. 2011, ApJ, 733, 126; Delacroix, C. et al. 2013, accepted by A&A Girard, J. H. V. et al. 2012, Proc. SPIE, 8447; Kasper, M. et al. 2007, A&A, 472, 321; Kenworthy, M. A. et al. 2013, ApJ, 764, 7; Lagrange, A.-M. & Chauvin, G. 2012, The Messenger, 150, 39; Macintosh, B. A. et al. 2012, Proc. SPIE, 8446; Marois, C. et al. 2008, ApJ, 673, 647; Marois, C., Macintosh, B. & Veran, J.-P. 2010, Proc. SPIE, 7736, 52; Martinache, F. et al. 2012, Proc. SPIE, 8447; Mawet, D. et al. 2005, ApJ, 633, 1191; Mawet, D. et al. 2006, A&A, 448, 801; Mawet, D. et al. 2009, Optics Express, 17, 1902; Mawet, D. et al. 2012, Proc. SPIE, 8442; Mawet, D. et al. 2013, A&A, 552, 13; Oppenheimer, B. R. et al. 2013, ApJ, 768, 24; Soummer, R., Pueyo, L. & Larkin, J. 2012, ApJ, 755, L28; Spiegel, D. S. & Burrows, A. 2012, ApJ, 745, 174; Vigan, A. et al. 2012, A&A, 544, A9
14-16 (PDF)
C. Snodgrass, B. Carry
Automatic Removal of Fringes from EFOSC Images

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152...14S
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Snodgrass, C.; Carry, B.
AA(Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany) AB(Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Éphémérides (IMCCE), Observatoire de Paris, France)
Abstract:
EFOSC, in common with many instruments with older CCDs, shows a fringe pattern in images taken at red wavelengths. These fringes are difficult to remove without significant manual adjustment for each individual frame, which is a time-consuming exercise, but necessary for reliable photometry of faint objects across the whole field of view. We present a simple technique to automatically remove fringes from CCD images, and provide scripts (available on the ESO website) to apply this to EFOSC data, or to any other images.
References:
Buzzoni, B. et al. 1984, The Messenger, 38, 9; Carry, B. et al. 2012, A&A, 544, A137; Gullixson, C. A. 1992, in ASP Conference Series, Vol. 23, Astronomical CCD Observing and Reduction Techniques, ed. S. B. Howell, 130; Howell, S. B. 2006, Cambridge observing hand- books for research astronomers, Vol. 5, Handbook of CCD Astronomy, eds. R. Ellis, J. Huchra, S. Kahn, G. Rieke & P. B. Stetson, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) Howell, S. B. 2012, PASP, 124, 263; Lacerda, P. 2013, MNRAS, 428, 1818; Magnier, E. A. & Cuillandre, J.-C. 2004, PASP, 116, 449; Newberry, M. V. 1991, PASP, 103, 122; Regnault, N. et al. 2009, A&A, 506, 999; Snodgrass, C. et al. 2010, A&A, 511, A72; Snodgrass, C. et al. 2008, The Messenger, 132, 18; Valdes, F. 1988, in Instrumentation for Ground- Based Optical Astronomy, ed. L. B. Robinson, 417; Valdes, F. G. 1998, in ASPacific Conference Series, Vol. 145, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems VII, eds. R. Albrecht, R. N. Hook, & H. A. Bushouse, 53
17-21 (PDF)
M. Sarazin et al.
Precipitable Water Vapour at the ESO Observatories: The Skill of the Forecasts

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152...17S
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Sarazin, M.; Kerber, F.; De Breuck, C.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO) AC(ESO)
Abstract:
Atmospheric precipitable water vapour (PWV) above an observatory is a crucial parameter for the success and quality of submillimetre and mid-infrared science observations. High precision water vapour radiometers are deployed at the ESO observatories on Paranal (VLT) and Chajnantor (APEX and ALMA), providing continuous high time-resolution measurements of PWV. These data have been used to compare the actual conditions with the forecast delivered by the publicly available Global Forecast System provided by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The quality of these predictions has now reached a level at which it can contribute to optimising science operations.
References:
Emrich, A. et al. 2009, 20th International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology, 174; Kerber, F. et al. 2012a, Proceedings of the SPIE, 8448, 84463N Kerber, F. et al. 2012b, The Messenger, 148, 9; Otarola, A. et al. 2010, PASP, 122, 470; Querel, R. R., Naylor, D. A. & Kerber, F. 2011, PASP, 123, 222; Ricaud, P. et al. 2010, IEEE Transactions Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 48, 1365; Rose, T. et al. 2005, Atmospheric Research, 75, 183; Siringo, G. et al. 2007, A&A, 497, 954; Siringo, G. et al. 2010, The Messenger, 139, 20; Yassin, G. et al. 2013, 23rd International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology, Tokyo, in press

Astronomical Science

23-26 (PDF)
O. A. Gonzalez et al.
The Wide View of the Galactic Bulge as seen by the VVV ESO Public Survey

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152...23G
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Gonzalez, O. A.; Minniti, D.; Lucas, P.; Rejkuba, M.; Zoccali, M.; Valenti, E.; Saito, R.; Emerson, J.; Catelan, M.; Toledo, I.; Hempel, M.; Tobar, R.
AA(ESO; The Milky Way Millennium Nucleus, Santiago, Chile) AB(Departamento Astronomía y Astrofísica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; The Milky Way Millennium Nucleus, Santiago, Chile; Vatican Observatory, Vatican City State, Italy) AC(Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, United Kingdom) AD(ESO) AE(Departamento Astronomía y Astrofísica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; The Milky Way Millennium Nucleus, Santiago, Chile) AF(ESO) AG(Departamento Astronomía y Astrofísica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; Departamento de Física y Astronomía, Universidad de Valparaiso, Chile; The Milky Way Millennium Nucleus, Santiago, Chile; Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Departamento de Física, São Cristóvão, SE, Brazil) AH(School of Physics & Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom) AI(Departamento Astronomía y Astrofísica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; The Milky Way Millennium Nucleus, Santiago, Chile) AJ(ALMA Operations Support Facility, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile) AK(Departamento Astronomía y Astrofísica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; The Milky Way Millennium Nucleus, Santiago, Chile) AL(ESO)
Abstract:
The first year of observations of the Galactic Bulge in the Vista Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV), one of ESO’s public surveys with the VISTA telescope, have yielded a deep, near-infrared, multi-colour (Z,Y,J,H,Ks) photometric coverage of over 320 square degrees. Results based on this impressive dataset are presented, showing the global properties of the Bulge. Extinction has been mapped using the magnitude and colour of the red clump, revealing a large amount of small-scale structure. This extinction map has been used to de-redden the VVV stellar photometry to study the Bulge morphology from the absolute magnitude of the red clump and to derive photometric metallicities from the colour of red giant branch stars. The VVV survey continues to obtain multi-epoch data to investigate the variable stars in the Bulge.
References:
Arnaboldi, M. et al. 2007, The Messenger, 127, 28; Bensby, T. et al. 2013, A&A, 549, A147; Emerson, J. P. et al. 2004, The Messenger, 117, 27; Gerhard, O. & Martinez-Valpuesta, I. 2012, ApJ, 744, L8; Gonzalez, O. A. et al. 2011, A&A, 530, A54; Gonzalez, O. A. et al. 2012, A&A, 543, A13; Gonzalez, O. A. et al. 2013, A&A, 552, A110; Johnson, C. I. et al. 2011, ApJ, 732, 108; Martinez-Valpuesta, I. & Gerhard, O. 2013, ApJ, 766, L3; Minniti, D. et al. 2010, New Astron., 15, 433; Saito, R. K. et al. 2012, A&A, 537, A107; Saito, R. K. et al. 2010, The Messenger, 141, 24; Saito, R. K. et al. 2012, A&A, 544, 147; Schlegel, D. J., Finkbeiner, D. P. & Davis, M. 1998, ApJ, 500, 525; Shen, J. et al. 2010, ApJ, 720, L72; Stanek, K. Z. et al. 1997, ApJ, 477, 163; Valenti, E., Ferraro, F. R. & Origlia, L. 2007, AJ, 133, 1287; Zoccali, M. et al. 2008, A&A, 486, 177
27-32 (PDF)
B. James et al.
Investigating High N/O Blue Compact Galaxies with VLT-IFUs

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152...27J
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
James, B.; Tsamis, Y.; Walsh, J.; Barlow, M.; Westmoquette, M.
AA(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) AB(ESO) AC(ESO) AD(Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, United Kingdom) AE(ESO)
Abstract:
A series of publications concerning the spatially resolved chemical abundance analyses of a sample of blue compact galaxies, using VLT–FLAMES and VLT–VIMOS integral field observations, is summarised. Four out of the five galaxies observed were previously labelled as having enhanced nitrogen-to-oxygen (N/O) ratios for their metallicities. However, our analyses reveal regions of enhanced N/O in only three of these galaxies. The integral field unit observations provide maps of the physical and chemical conditions within each system, along with maps of stellar population age, star-forming rate and emission from Wolf–Rayet stars. By combining this plethora of information, we have attempted to disentangle the relationship between N-enrichment and WR stars in blue compact galaxies, and reveal that it is far from being one to one.
References:
Brinchmann, J., Kunth, D. & Durret, F. 2008, A&A, 485, 657; Izotov, Y. I. & Thuan, T. X. 1999, ApJ, 511, 639; Kunth, D. & Ostlin, G. 2000, A&AR, 10, 1; Monreal-Ibero, A., Walsh, J. R. & Vílchez, J. M. 2012, A&A, 544, A60; James, B. L. et al. 2009, MNRAS, 398, 2; James, B. L., Tsamis, Y. G. & Barlow, M. J. 2010, MNRAS, 401, 759; James, B. L. et al. 2013, MNRAS, 428, 86; James, B. L. et al. 2013, MNRAS, 430, 2097; Lopez-Sanchez, A. R. et al. 2007, ApJ, 656, 168; Peeples, M. S., Pogge, R. W. & Stanek, K. Z. 2009, ApJ, 695, 259; Pustilnik, S. et al. 2004, A&A, 419, 469; Thuan, T. X., Izotov, Y. I. & Lipovetsky, V. A. 1996, ApJ, 463, 120; Westmoquette, M. S., Smith, L. J., Gallagher, J. S. 2011, MNRAS, 414, 3719
33-36 (PDF)
L. Christensen et al.
Physical Properties of Strongly Lensed, Low-mass, High-redshift Galaxies Observed with X-shooter

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152...33C
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Christensen, L.; Richard, J.; Hjorth, J.; Grillo, C.
AA(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) AB(CRAL, Observatoire de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, France) AC(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) AD(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Abstract:
One of the science drivers for the second generation VLT instrument X-shooter is the exploration of emission-line galaxies at high redshifts. By targeting gravitationally lensed galaxies, we have demonstrated that, with the full spectral coverage and high overall sensitivity at medium spectral resolution for X-shooter, we can explore the physics of galaxies at redshifts between one and four, using the same methods as employed for local galaxies. In particular, we have determined abundances via direct temperature-sensitive methods, and have shown that galaxies at high redshifts also follow a relation between the physical properties of stellar mass, abundance and star formation rate, as seen in the local Universe.
References:
Christensen, L. et al. 2010, MNRAS, 406, 2616; Christensen, L. et al. 2012a, MNRAS, 427, 1953; Christensen, L. et al. 2012b, MNRAS, 427, 1973; Grillo, C. & Christensen, L. 2011, MNRAS, 418, 929; Kewley, L. & Ellison, S. 2008, ApJ, 681, 1183; Mannucci, F. et al. 2011, MNRAS, 414, 1263; Noeske, K. et al. 2007, ApJ, 660, 43; Pettini, M. et al. 2010, MNRAS, 402, 2335; Pilyugin, L. S. & Thuan, T. X. 2005, ApJ, 631, 231; Postman, M. et al. 2012, ApJS, 199, 25; Richard, J. et al. 2011, MNRAS, 413, 643; Tremonti, C. et al. 2004, ApJ, 613, 898; Wuyts, E. et al. 2012, ApJ, 755, 73

Astronomical News

38-42 (PDF)
H. M. J. Boffin et al.
Report on the ESO Workshop ''The Deaths of Stars and the Lives of Galaxies''

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152...38B
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Boffin, H. M. J.; Jones, D.; Wesson, R.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO) AC(ESO)
Abstract:
This five-day meeting was attended by about 100 astronomers and consisted of 16 invited and 26 contributed talks and more than 40 posters, still leaving ample time for discussions and social activities. A brief overview of the topics is presented, from mass loss in low- and high-mass stars and the ubiquitous importance of binaries, to the influence of this ejected material on galaxy evolution.
42-44 (PDF)
K. Rohlfs
ESO’s Early Seeing Expedition to South Africa

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152...42R
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Rohlfs, K.
AA(Institut für Astrophysik, Universität Bochum, Germany)
Abstract:
Site-testing for a joint European observatory in the south began in the 1950s in South Africa, following the declaration of the intent to build a large optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. First hand reflections of one of the early site-testing teams working in South Africa, based at the Boyden Station, are described. Practical problems related to seeing measurement and site assessment are discussed.
References:
Blaauw, A. 1991, ESO’s Early History – The European Southern Observatory from Concept to Reality, (Garching: ESO) Koorts, W. 2012, MNASSA, 71, 248; Madsen, C. 2012, The Jewel on the Mountaintop – The European Southern Observatory through Fifty Years, (Weinheim: Wiley-VCH)
45-46 (PDF)
Z. Wahhaj
Staff at ESO

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152...45.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Wahhaj, Z.
AA(ESO)
46-47 (PDF)
G. Brammer, C. Foster
Fellows at ESO

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152...46.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Brammer, G.; Foster, C.
AA(ESO)
48-48 (PDF)
ESO
ESO Fellowship Programme 2013/2014

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152...48.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
49-49 (PDF)
ESO
Fellows Past and Present

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152Q..49.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
49-49 (PDF)
ESO
Announcement of the ESO/NUVA/IAG Workshop ''Challenges in UV Astronomy''

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152R..49.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
50-50 (PDF)
ESO
Announcement of the Joint ESO and Observatoire de Paris Workshop ''Metal Production and Distribution in a Hierarchical Universe''

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152Q..50.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
50-50 (PDF)
ESO
Announcement of the ALMA Community Days: Preparing for Cycle 2

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152R..50.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
51-51 (PDF)
ESO
Personnel Movements

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152Q..51.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
51-51 (PDF)
ESO
Operating the Very Large Telescope

ADS BibCode:
2013Msngr.152R..51.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)