Messenger No. 98 (December 1999)

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1-1 (PDF)
First Scientific Results with the VLT in Visitor and Service Modes

ADS BibCode:

Telescopes and Instrumentation

2-7 (PDF)
A. Glindemann et al.
The VLTI - the observatory of the 21st century

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Glindemann, A.; Abuter, R.; Carbognani, F.; Delplancke, F.; Derie, F.; Gennai, A.; Gitton, P.; Kervella, P.; Koehler, B.; Léve^Que, S.; de Marchi, G.; Menardi, S.; Michel, A.; Paresce, F.; Phan Duc, T.; Schöller, M.; Tarenghi, M.; Wilhelm, R.
AA(European Southern Observatory) AB(European Southern Observatory) AC(European Southern Observatory) AD(European Southern Observatory) AE(European Southern Observatory) AF(European Southern Observatory) AG(European Southern Observatory) AH(European Southern Observatory) AI(European Southern Observatory) AJ(European Southern Observatory) AK(European Southern Observatory) AL(European Southern Observatory) AM(European Southern Observatory) AN(European Southern Observatory) AO(European Southern Observatory) AP(European Southern Observatory) AQ(European Southern Observatory) AR(European Southern Observatory)
After several years on a bumpy road, the support for the VLT Interferometer project has increased dramatically over the last year. The authors give a report on the status of the project and describe the strategy for making the VLTI the observatory of the 21st century.
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1996, Integrated Optics For Astronomical
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F. Malbet eds., 110–125.
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1999, The Messenger 97, 12–13.
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97, 11.
[5] Glindemann, A. and Lévêque, S. 1999
VLT Opening Symposium, in press.
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Traub, W. A. and Lacasse, M.G.1999,
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87, 8-14.
8-14 (PDF)
D. Bonaccini et al.
Laser Guide Star Facility for the ESO VLT

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Bonaccini, D.; Hackenberg, W.; Cullum, M.; Quattri, M.; Brunetto, E.; Quentin, J.; Koch, F.; Allaert, E.; van Kesteren, A.
AA(European Southern Observatory) AB(European Southern Observatory) AC(European Southern Observatory) AD(European Southern Observatory) AE(European Southern Observatory) AF(European Southern Observatory) AG(European Southern Observatory) AH(European Southern Observatory) AI(European Southern Observatory)
ESO has been studying the possibility of introducing a Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF) for the VLT to serve the adaptive optics instruments foreseen on the UT3 telescope of the Paranal Observatory: NAOS-CONICA and SINFONI. The definition of the LGSF is at the conceptual design stage, with a solid baseline solution explored in detail and two open options: the final choice for the laser, and the use of a fibre relay for the laser beam instead of a mirror system. This article gives an overview of the conceptual design the authors are currently working on.
Ageorges N., Delplancke F., Hubin N., Redfern
M. and Davies R.: “Monitoring of laser
guide star and light pollution”, SPIE Proceedings
3763, in press, 1999.
Avicola et al.: ‘Sodium Layer guide-star Experimental
Results’, JOSA A, Vol.11,
825–831, 1994.
Bonaccini, D: ‘Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics
Performance Analysis’, ESO Technical
Report VLT-TRE-ESO-11630-1202, 1996.
Christou, J.C., Bonaccini, D., Ageorges, N. and
Marchis, F: ‘Myopic Deconvolution of Adaptive
Optics Images’, The Messenger No. 97,
14, Sept. 1999.
Conan, J.M., Fusco, T., Mugnier, L.M., Kersale,
E. and Michau, V: ‘Deconvolution of Adaptive
Optics Images with imprecise knowledge
of the point spread function: results
on astronomical objects’, in ESO/OSATopical
meeting on Astronomy with Adaptive
Optics: Present Results and Future Programs,
p. 121, D.Bonaccini ed., 1998.
Davies,R, Hackenberg, W., Eckart, A., Ott, T.,
Butler, D., and Casper, M: ‘The ALFA Laser
Guide Star operation and results, accepted
for publication in Experimental Astronomy.
Delplancke F., Ageorges N., Hubin N., O’Sullivan
C.: “LGS light pollution investigation
in Calar ALto” Proceedings of the ESO/OSA
topical meeting on Astronomy with Adaptive
Optics, Present Results and Future Programs
– Sonthofen, September 1998.
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E., Piotto, G., Ragazzoni, R. and Richichi,
A: ‘Adaptive Optics for the Telescopio
Nazionale Galileo’, Technical Report No. 41,
Astronomical Observatory of Padua-Asiago,
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277, 1994.
Le Louarn, M., Foy, R., Hubin, N. and Tallon,
M.: ‘Laser Guide Star for 3.6 and 8m
telescopes: performance and astrophysical
implications’, MNRAS 295, 756,
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M: ‘Sky coverage and PSF shape with LGSAO
on 8m telescopes’, SPIE Proceedings
Vol. 3353, 364, 1998.
Milonni, P. W. and Fugate, R.Q.: ‘Analysis of
measured photon returns from Sodium
Guide Stars’, in Proceedings of the ESO
Workshop on Laser Technology for Laser
Guide Star Adaptive Optics Astronomy, N.
Hubin ed., p. 77, 1997.
Milonni, P.W., Fugate R.Q. and Telle, J.M.:
‘Analysis of Measured Photon Returns from
Sodium Beacons’, JOSA A, Vol. 15, p.
217–233, 1998.
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Bonaccini, D.: ‘Fiber Raman laser for
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Hartmann wavefront sensor performances”,
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Viard E., Delplancke F., Hubin N., Ageorges
N. and Davies R.: “Rayleigh Scattering and
laser spot elongation problems at ALFA”, accepted
for publication in Experimental Astronomy.
14-19 (PDF)
W. Hackenberg et al.
VLT Laser Guide Star Facility subsystems design. Part I: Fibre relay module

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Hackenberg, W.; Bonaccini, D.; Avila, G.
The advantages of the LGSF fibre relay approach are twofold: (1) one avoids the cumbersome optomechanical relay, and (2) transfers a diffraction limited beam. The authors have domonstrated that a fibre relay module is feasible. The experimental results agree well with the theoretical model. Further work on an optimised, end-face-protected, 30-m-long single-mode fibre is in progress and the first experiments will be carried out in Garching.
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Scattering during Transmission of Highpower
narrow-band laser light in monomode
fibre’, Electronics Letters, Vol. 18, No. 15,
p. 638–640, 1982.
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of Low Loss Optical Fibres Determined by
Stimulated Raman and Brillouin Scattering’,
Applied Optics, Vol. 11, p. 2489, 1992.
Tsubokawa, M, Seikai, S., Nakashima, T., Shibata,
N.: ‘Suppression of Stimulated Brillouin
Scattering in a Single Mode fibre
by an Acousto-Optic Modulation’, Electronics
Letters, Vo. 22, No. 9, p. 473–475,
19-19 (PDF)
New pictures from the VLT

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
20-20 (PDF)
First images from FORS2 at VLT KUEYEN on Paranal

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
21-24 (PDF)
J. Spyromilio et al.
Commissioning of the Unit Telescopes of the VLT

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Spyromilio, J.; Wallander, A.; Tarenghi, M.
In the June 1998 issue of The Messenger (No. 92) there was an article describing the hectic days and months before the first light for UT1. First light was a great public event and of great significance for the project and the organisation. From a technical point of view however, it was a non-event. The telescope had met all specifications for first light ahead of time and the weeks before the official announcement were more a sit tight, don’t tell and don’t break it time. Following the big event we were free again to work on the machine. For those with keen eyes looking back at the beautiful images taken for the first light, flaws could easily be found. In fact a number of messages and private comments arrived at Paranal describing in great detail what we already knew. A lot of work lay ahead of us.
24-27 (PDF)
A. Renzini, P. Rosati
The Science Verification Plan for FORS2 and UVES at UT2/Kuyen

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Renzini, A.; Rosati, P.
The Science Verification (SV) observations for FORS2 and UVES at Kueyen (UT2) will follow the same approach and policy as already described for the SV of Antu (UT1) and its instruments (
25-27 (PDF)
R. Gilmozzi
The first six months of VLT science operations

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Gilmozzi, R.
Science Operations started at UT1 Antu on April 1, 1999. This article is a brief account of the first six months (Period 63). As the statistics below will show, operations have been fairly successful. Visitor and Service modes were intermixed during P63, in a 50/50 ratio for the available time (i.e. discounting Guaranteed time, which is by definition in Visitor mode): we had 62 nights in Visitor, and 60 in Service. To this one should add 10 Service nights for the Calibration Plans, and any time allocated but not used for technical time, target of opportunity time and director discretionary time (so that in the end, more than 85 nights were devoted to Service Mode observations and calibrations).
27-29 (PDF)
F. Carbognani et al.
Configuration management of the Very Large Telescope control software

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Carbognani, F.; Filippi, G.; Sivera, P.
AA(ESO, Garching) AB(ESO, Garching) AC(ESO, Garching)
One of the elements of the success of the development, integration and commissioning of NTT, VLT and the attached Instruments has been the Configuration Management of the related Control Software. It has been based on the Code Archive and the VLT Software Problem Report (VLTSPR) procedure.
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ESO’s VLT project”, ICALEPCS 93.
[2] G. Filippi, F. Carbognani, “Software practices
used in the ESO Very Large Telescope
Control Software”, ICALEPCS 99.
30-32 (PDF)
M. Dolensky et al.
Java for astronomy: software development at ESO/ST-ECF

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Dolensky, M.; Albrecht, M.; Albrecht, R.; Ballester, P.; Boarotto, C.; Brighton, A.; Canavan, T.; Chavan, M.; Chiozzi, G.; Disaro, A.; Kemp, B.
The first part of this article discusses the Java computing language and a number of concepts based on it. After learning why Java is best suited for many applications in astronomy including ESO’s JSky initiative and certain Web services there is a second part containing a collection of application briefs from software projects at ESO and ST-ECF. Appended is a list of contact points in house (Table 1) and an applet gallery (Table 2).
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Bible”, IDG Books Worldwide Inc, p. 7–18.
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J.A.Pizarro de la Iglesia, “The VLT
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96, p. 19.
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Implemented in Java”, The Messenger
93, 26.
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the WFPC2 Association Project and Enhances
FOS Calibration Accuracy”, The
Messenger 93, 23.
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in ASP Conf. Ser., ADASS 99, in press.
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EIS – The ESO Imaging Survey

33-36 (PDF)
A. Renzini, L. da Costa
The ESO Public Imaging Survey

ADS BibCode:
EIS – The ESO Imaging Survey
Renzini, A.; da Costa, L.
The main objectives of the ESO Imaging Survey (EIS) were to conduct a public optical-IR imaging survey at the NTT, to reduce the data, construct object catalogues, and select from them special classes of objects of potential interest for VLT programmes.
36-45 (PDF)
L. da Costa et al.
ESO Imaging Survey: past activities and future prospects

ADS BibCode:
EIS – The ESO Imaging Survey
da Costa, L.; Arnouts, S.; Benoist, C.; Deul, E.; Hook, R.; Kim, Y.-S.; Nonino, M.; Pancino, E.; Rengelink, R.; Slijkhuis, R.; Wicenec, A.; Zaggia, S.
AA(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany) AB(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany) AC(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany) AD(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany;Leiden Observatory, Leiden, The Netherlands) AE(Space Telescope – European Coordinating Facility, Garching b. München, Germany) AF(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany) AG(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany;Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Italy) AH(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany;Dipartimento di Astronomia, Universtà di Padova, Italy) AI(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany ;Leiden Observatory, Leiden, The Netherlands) AJ(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany) AK(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany) AL(European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany)
The ESO Imaging Survey (EIS) project is an ongoing effort to carry out public imaging surveys in support of VLT programmes. The purpose of this contribution is to briefly review the results of the original EIS and to give an update of the results obtained from the observations carried out as part of the Pilot Survey.
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Zaggia, S. et al. 1999, A&A Supp., 137, 75.

Observers with the VLT

46-49 (PDF)
B. Brandl et al.
VLT/ISAAC and HST/WFPC2 observations of NGC 3603

ADS BibCode:
Observers with the VLT
Brandl, B.; Brandner, W.; Grebel, E. K.; Zinnecker, H.
AA(Cornell University, Ithaca) AB(University of Hawaii, Honolulu) AC(University of Washington at Seattle) AD(Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam)
The authors have studied NGC 3603, the most massive visible H II region in the Galaxy, with VLT/ISAAC in the near-infrared (NIR) Js, H, and Ks-bands and HST/WFPC2 at Hα and [N II] wavelengths. The authors describe the data analysis and some first results from both their complementary observations.
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50-52 (PDF)
R. P. Kudritzki et al.
From intracluster planetary nebulae to high-redshift Lyα emitters

ADS BibCode:
Observers with the VLT
Kudritzki, R. P.; Méndez, R. H.; Feldmeier, J. J.; Ciardullo, R.; Jacoby, G. H.; Freeman, K. C.; Arnaboldi, M.; Capaccioli, M.; Gerhard, O.; Ford, H. C.
AA(Munich University Observatory) AB(Munich University Observatory) AC(Dept. of Astron. and Astrophys., Penn State University) AD(Dept. of Astron. and Astrophys., Penn State University) AE(Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson) AF(Mt. Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories) AG(Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Napoli) AH(Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Napoli) AI(Astronomisches Institut, Universität Basel) AJ(Physics and Astronomy Dept., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore)
The fact that the spectra of planetary nebulae (PNs) are dominated by strong emission lines, with a very weak continuum, has two interesting consequences for extragalactic work. First, PNs in other galaxies are easily detectable: we need two images of a galaxy, one taken through a narrow-band filter transmitting a strong nebular emission (e.g. [O III] 5007) and another taken through an off-band filter which does not transmit any strong nebular line. In the on-band image the PN appears as a point source. Since the nebular continuum is so weak, the point source should be invisible in the off-band image. By blinking the two images, and provided that the off-band image is deep enough, it is easy to identify the PNs. Second, for each detected PN we can measure an accurate radial velocity, because all the flux we have detected is concentrated at the redshifted wavelength of the emission line. Thus we can take a good spectrogram in an exposure time not much longer than what we need for the imaging. Since PNs are preferentially discovered in the outskirts of galaxies, where the surface brightness is lower, this means that PNs are ideal test particles for studies of rotation and mass distribution in the halos of the corresponding galaxies. Typical examples of such studies are Hui et al. (1995) on NGC 5128, and Arnaboldi et al. (1996) on the Virgo cluster galaxy NGC 4406. Here begins an unusual chain of unexpected results.
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52-53 (PDF)
C. De Breuck et al.
VLT spectroscopy of the z = 4.11 radio galaxy TN J1338-1942

ADS BibCode:
Observers with the VLT
De Breuck, C.; van Breugel, W.; Minniti, D.; Miley, G.; Röttgering, H.; Stanford, S. A.; Carilli, C.
AA(Sterrewacht Leiden, The Netherlands (debreuck,miley, ;Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, U.S.A. (wil, AB(Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, U.S.A. (wil, AC(Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, U.S.A. (wil,;P. Universidad Católica, Santiago, Chile ( AD(Sterrewacht Leiden, The Netherlands (debreuck,miley, AE(Sterrewacht Leiden, The Netherlands (debreuck,miley, AF(Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, U.S.A. (wil, AG(National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Socorro, USA (
High-redshift radio galaxies (HzRGs) play an important role in cosmology. They are likely to be some of the oldest and most massive galaxies at high redshifts, and can therefore constrain the epoch at which the first generation of stars were formed.
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H.J.A. 1998, MNRAS, 295, 549.
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Springer), p. 246.
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D., Miley, G., Röttgering, H., Stanford, S.
A., & Carilli, C. 1999 A&A, 1999b, 352,
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H., & Miley, G.2000, A&AS, submitted.
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Lehnert (Amsterdam: KNAW), p. 19.
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54-55 (PDF)
S. White
Weighing Young Galaxies – An Occasional Observer Goes to Paranal

ADS BibCode:
Observers with the VLT
White, S.
AA(Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching)
“The VLT is Europe’s great leap forward, heralded as a new window on the distant universe. Surely we can think of some joint projects that will turn the Americans green!” Trying to rally the troops at the annual meeting of our ECfunded “Galaxy Formation” network forced me to think about where the VLT pay-off might really come. A talk from Alan Moorwood provided some valuable ideas. The first efficient near-IR spectrograph on an 8-metre telescope could detect Ha past redshift 2 and [OII] 3727 to redshift 5. How about getting kinematics for distant galaxies like those in the Hubble Deep Fields or the infamous “Steidel” objects? This would have to clarify their relation to nearer, dearer, but (perhaps) more boring galaxies. Of course, I’d never taken an infrared spectrum of anything, but why not start now?

Other Astronomical News

56-56 (PDF)
C. Madsen
Science with the Atacama Millimetre Array

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Other Astronomical News
Science with the Atacama Large Millimetre Array


57-57 (PDF)
Personnel Movements (1st October – 30th November 1999)

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57-57 (PDF)
M. Dennefeld
The NEON Observing School

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AA(Co-ordinator of the NEON school)
57-57 (PDF)
B. Nordström
The La Silla 2000+ Report Now Available

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AA(Chair, ESO Users Committee and the WG “La Silla 2000+”)
The La Silla 2000+ Report Now Available

Messenger Index

58-59 (PDF)
Subject Index 1999 (Nos. 95–98)

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Messenger Index
59-60 (PDF)
Author Index 1999 (Nos. 95–98)

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Messenger Index

60-60 (PDF)

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