Messenger No. 99 (March 2000)

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1-1 (PDF)
ESO
Successful Commissioning of UVES at Kueyen

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99....1.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Finally, we are there: as of April 1, 2000, UVES, the UV-Visual Echelle Spectrograph built by ESO, will start operation at the Nasmyth focus of the VLT telescope Kueyen. The instrument commissioning has been completed in December 1999, eight years after the first proposal to build a high-resolution spectrograph for the VLT was circulated and in perfect schedule with the first detailed VLT planning dated March 1994. UVES will be the third instrument after FORS1 and ISAAC to enter into regular use at the VLT. The second version of FORS, FORS2, will start operating at the same date at the Cassegrain focus of the telescope.

Telescopes and Instrumentation

2-6 (PDF)
S. D'Odorico
UVES at Kueyen: bright prospects for high-resolution spectroscopy at the VLT.

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99....2D
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
D'Odorico, S.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
After the successful completion of the commissioning period, the UV-Visual Echelle Spectrograph starts regular operation at the Paranal Observatory.
6-11 (PDF)
R. Hanuschik, P. Amico
VLT pipeline operation and quality control: FORS1 and ISAAC.

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99....6H
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hanuschik, R.; Amico, P.
AA(Quality Control, ESO) AB(Quality Control, ESO)
Abstract:
It is well known in the community that April 1, 1999, marked the beginning of operations for ANTU, the first VLT telescope. It is less well known, however, that this date also marked the beginning of real life for VLT data-flow operations (DFO) at ESO Headquarters in Garching. Forming the back end of the Data-Flow life cycle, DFO has to act as data-production, data-distribution and data-storage machine. All these functions form what is called Quality Control (QC). For achieving data products of the highest possible quality, all components have to perform well and collaborate closely.
12-13 (PDF)
B. Leibundgut et al.
Access to VLT Data in the ESO Archive

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...12L
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Leibundgut, B.; Pirenne, B.; Albrecht, M.; Wicenec, A.; Gorski, K.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO) AC(ESO) AD(ESO) AE(ESO)
Abstract:
Not long ago (The Messenger 97, September 99), climate change was identified as the main responsible for the degradation of observing conditions (seeing) at Paranal. It was pointed out in particular that the weakening of the traditional westerly wind pattern was more frequently allowing turbulent air from inland to blow over the coastal cordillera.
13-14 (PDF)
M. Sarazin
Chile Astroclimate, a Biannual Update

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...13S
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Sarazin, M.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Not long ago (The Messenger 97, September 99), climate change was identified as the main responsible for the degradation of observing conditions (seeing) at Paranal. It was pointed out in particular that the weakening of the traditional westerly wind pattern was more frequently allowing turbulent air from inland to blow over the coastal cordillera.
14-14 (PDF)
R. Heald, R. Karban
ESO Demonstration Project with the NRAO 12-m Antenna

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...14H
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Heald, R.; Karban, R.
AA(NRAO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
During the months of September through November 1999, an ALMA joint demonstration project between the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) was carried out in Socorro/New Mexico. During this period, Robert Karban (ESO) and Ron Heald (NRAO) worked together on the ESO Demonstration Project. The project integrated ESO software and existing NRAO software (a prototype for the future ALMA control software) to control the motion of the Kitt Peak 12-m antenna. ESO software from the VLT provided the operator interface and coordinate transformation software, while Pat Wallace’s TPOINT provided the pointing- model software.
15-15 (PDF)
ESO
New Pictures from Paranal Observatory

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...15.
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
New Pictures from Paranal Observatory
15-15 (PDF)
O. Hainaut
News from the NTT

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...15H
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hainaut, O.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Since the last article in this series, the NTT has been through a complete rejuvenation process: during a period of 5 technical nights in December 1999, the main mirror has been re-aluminised and the telescope, the walls of the telescope room, and the main parking lot have been painted. The NTT looks brand new, while it has just passed its 10th anniversary.

Reports from Observers

16-20 (PDF)
E. Tolstoy et al.
Imaging with UT1/FORS1: the fossil record of star-formation in nearby dwarf galaxies.

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...16T
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Tolstoy, E.; Gallagher, J.; Greggio, L.; Tosi, M.; de Marchi, G.; Romaniello, M.; Minniti, D.; Zijlstra, A.
AA(ESO) AB(University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA) AC(Bologna Observatory, Italy) AD(Bologna Observatory, Italy) AE(ESO) AF(ESO) AG(Universidad Católica, Santiago, Chile) AH(UMIST, Manchester, United Kingdom)
Abstract:
In August 1999 the authors used FORS1 on UT1 in excellent seeing conditions over three nights to image several nearby galaxies through the B and R broadband filters. In the galaxies observed, Cetus, Aquarius (DDO 210) and Phoenix, the authors detected red clump and/or horizontal branch populations in these galaxies, which reveal the presence of intermediate and old stellar populations.
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20-22 (PDF)
M. Franx et al.
FIRES at the VLT: the Faint InfraRed Extragalactic Survey.

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...20F
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Franx, M.; Moorwood, A.; Rix, H.-W.; Kuijken, K.; Röttgering, H.; van der Werf, P.; van Dokkum, P.; Labbe, I.; Rudnick, G.
AA(Leiden Observatory) AB(ESO) AC(MPIA) AD(University of Groningen) AE(Leiden Observatory) AF(Leiden Observatory) AG(Leiden Observatory) AH(Leiden Observatory) AI(MPIA)
Abstract:
One of the unique capabilities of the VLT is the near-infrared imaging mode of ISAAC. The authors have proposed a non-proprietary, deep imaging survey. The survey is aimed at the study of distant galaxies, although many other applications will be possible.
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22-26 (PDF)
R. P. Mignani et al.
Optical observations of pulsars: the ESO contribution.

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...22M
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Mignani, R. P.; Caraveo, P. A.; Bignami, G. F.
AA(ST-ECF, rmignani@eso.org) AB(IFC-CNR, pat@ifctr.mi.cnr.it) AC(ASI, bignami@asi.it)
Abstract:
The knowledge of the optical emission properties of neutron stars has been remarkably improved by the results obtained during the last 15 years.
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26-30 (PDF)
P. Rosati et al.
The ROSAT Deep Cluster Survey: probing the galaxy cluster population out to z = 1.3.

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...26R
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Rosati, P.; Lidman, C.; Della Ceca, R.; Borgani, S.; Lombardi, M.; Stanford, S. A.; Eisenhardt, P. R.; Squires, G.; Giacconi, R.; Norman, C.
AA(European Southern Observatory) AB(European Southern Observatory) AC(Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Milano) AD(INFN, Sezione di Trieste) AE(European Southern Observatory) AF(Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) AG(Jet Propulsion Laboratory) AH(California Institute of Technology) AI(Johns Hopkins University) AJ(Johns Hopkins University)
Abstract:
The authors embarked in 1994 on the ROSAT Deep Cluster Survey with the aim of constructing a large, X-ray flux-limited sample of distant galaxy clusters. In the period 1995 - 1998 they engaged in an intense optical identification programme, a substantial fraction of which was carried out with the EFOSC spectrograph at the 3.6-m at La Silla. Over the last two years, their efforts have shifted to the near IR study of the most distant candidates and, most recently, to spectroscopic follow-up of these systems with the VLT. This observational effort has produced the largest sample of spectroscopically-confirmed distant clusters to date, with four clusters confirmed beyond redshift one. The authors summarise here some results and highlights from the entire survey.
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31-33 (PDF)
P. Moller
Spectral PSF subtraction I: the SPSF look-up-table method

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...31M
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Moller, P.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Introduction: Why Spectral PSF Subtraction? The first FORS follow-up run of the STIS/NICMOS survey for Damped Lya (DLA) galaxies was completed in August 1999. The purpose of the FORS spectroscopy is to search for Lya emission lines from candidate DLA galaxies with projected distances from the underlying quasars as small as 0.30 arcsec. The candidate DLA galaxies are typically some 8–10 magnitudes fainter than the underlying quasars.
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33-35 (PDF)
P. Møller et al.
SPSF subtraction II: The extended Lyα emission of a radio quiet QSO.

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...33M
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Møller, P.; Warren, S. J.; Fall, S. M.; Jakobsen, P.; Fynbo, J. U.
AA(ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, Garching, Germany) AB(Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK) AC(Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA) AD(Astrophysics Division, Space Science Department of ESA, ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands) AE(Institute of Physics and Astronomy, University of Århus, Århus, Denmark)
Abstract:
The authors report the serendipitous discovery of extended Lyα emission from the host galaxy of the radio quiet z = 2.559 QSO Q2206-199.
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36-38 (PDF)
B. Leibundgut et al.
The late phase of SN 1998bw.

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...36L
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Leibundgut, B.; Sollerman, J.; Kozma, C.; Fransson, C.; Lundqvist, P.; Ryde, F.; Woudt, P.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO & Stockholm University) AC(Stockholm University) AD(Stockholm University) AE(Stockholm University) AF(Stockholm University) AG(ESO)
Abstract:
SN 1998bw is of exceptional interest. The time and position coincidence between the explosion of the SN and the explosion of GRB 980435 makes it likely that the two phenomena are related. The SN evolution has been extensively studied first with the 3.6-m/EFOSC2 during the first year, then was monitored with the VLT/FORS1 during the second year when the object became fainter than mV = 21. We report here on the late phase of SN 1998bw.
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38-45 (PDF)
J.-M. Conan et al.
MISTRAL: Myopic deconvolution method applied to ADONIS and to simulated VLT-NAOS images

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...38C
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Conan, J.-M.; Fusco, T.; Mugnier, L. M.; Marchis, F.
AA(ONERA, Departement d'Optique Theorique et Appliquée, France), AB(ONERA, Departement d'Optique Theorique et Appliquée, France), AC(ONERA, Departement d'Optique Theorique et Appliquée, France), AD(European Southern Observatory, Santiago, Chile)
Abstract:
The performance of high-resolution imaging with large astronomical telescopes is severely limited by the atmospheric turbulence. Adaptive optics [1, 2, 3] (AO) offers a real-time compensation of the turbulence. The correction is however only partial [2, 4, 5, 6, 7] and the long-exposure images must be deconvolved to restore the fine details of the object. Great care must be taken in the deconvolution process if one wants to obtain a reliable restoration with good photometric precision. Two aspects add to the difficulty: the fact that the residual point spread function (PSF) is usually not perfectly known [8, 9, 10], and the fact that astronomical objects are usually a mix of sharp structures and smooth areas. “MISTRAL” (Myopic Iterative STep Preserving ALgorithm) [11, 8] has been developed to account for these two points. It is based on a rigorous Bayesian approach which allows us to easily account for the noise in the image, the imprecise knowledge of the PSF, and the available a priori information on the object (spatial structure, positivity…). A specific edge preserving object prior is proposed, which is in particular well adapted for planetary-like objects. The notion of AO partial correction is first discussed in Section 2. The principle of our deconvolution technique is briefly summarised in Section 3. In Section 4, the photometric accuracy of MISTRAL is first demonstrated on simulated AO images. The simulation parameters correspond to NAOS, the AO system of the VLT. MISTRAL is then applied to ADONIS images of Io taken at thermal wavelengths using the COMIC camera. This allows an accurate mapping of Io’s surface volcanic activity. We also used our deconvolution method on broadband filter (J, H, K) images of Uranus taken with SHARPII+. The structures of the rings and its innermost satellites have been successfully detected.
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45-45 (PDF)
ESO
A New Look at the Sombrero Galaxy

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99...45.
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)

Announcements

46-46 (PDF)
ESO
ALMA Science Advisory Committee

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99Q..46.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) project has formed a new committee to provide scientific advice to the project and outreach to the wider community. The committee holds monthly teleconferences and other meetings at regular intervals. The minutes of the teleconferences and reports from the meetings are placed on the following web site.
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ESO
CERN, ESA and ESO Launch “Physics On Stage”

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99R..46.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Physics is everywhere. The laws of physics govern the Universe, the Sun, the Earth and even our own lives. In today’s rapidly developing society, we are becoming increasingly dependent on high technology. Computers, transport, and communication are just some of the key areas that are the result of discoveries by scientists working in physics.
47-48 (PDF)
ESO
Scientific Preprints (October 1999 – February 2000)

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99Q..47.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
1341. C.J. Cesarsky and M. Sauvage: A Mid and Far Infrared View of Galaxies. In: “Toward a New Millennium in Galaxy Morphology”, edited by D. L. Block, I. Puerari, A. Stockton and D. Ferreira (Kluwer, Dordrecht).
47-47 (PDF)
ESO
Personnel Movements

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99R..47.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
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AA(ESO)
47-47 (PDF)
ESO
ESO Studentship Programme

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99S..47.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The European Southern Observatory research student programme aims at providing the opportunities and the facilities to enhance the post-graduate programmes of ESO member-state universities by bringing young scientists into close contact with the instruments, activities, and people at one of the world’s foremost observatories.

48-48 (PDF)
ESO
Contents

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99Q..48.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
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AA(ESO)
48-48 (PDF)
ESO
New ESO Proceedings Available - The Procedings of the Bäckaskog Workshop on - Extremely Large Telescopes (ESO Conference and Workshop Proceedings No. 57)

ADS BibCode:
2000Msngr..99R..48.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)