ESO Science Newsletter April 2017
06 Apr 2017
NTT image of M98 (NGC 4192)

This newsletter is a summary of recent ESO Science Announcement items. Follow the links or visit ESO Science Announcements to read more.

Science Announcements

Supplemental Call for Proposals to use the ALMA 7-m Array in Cycle 4

06 Apr 2017:

The ALMA Director announces that the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will accept observing proposals that request to use the 7-m Array in the remainder of Cycle 4, which ends on 30 September 2017. This proposal call enables the community to propose projects that will fill in undersubscribed regions of the observing queue for the 7-m Array. Up to 800 hours on the 7-m Array will be allocated through this opportunity.

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Period 99 Delta Call for VLTI Proposals

06 Apr 2017:

ESO is issuing a Delta Call, inviting proposals for VLTI time in July–September (Period 99B) with the Auxiliary Telescopes. Owing to a combination of circumstances, approximately 150 hours have become available for specific baselines in the date range 14 July – 23 September 2017 (see accompanying table).

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ESO Period 100 Proposal Submission Statistics

05 Apr 2017:

The deadline for proposal submission for Period 100 (1 October 2017 – 1 April 2018) was 30 March 2017. 895 valid proposals were submitted, including 16 Large Programmes, of which one is a GTO Large Programme. The number of proposals for P100 is very similar to that of periods 91 (893), 92 (892), 93 (898), 94 (901), 98 (901) and 99 (887). This indicates a return to a steady situation following the peak observed in periods 95 (934), 96 (960) and 97 (1024), corresponding to the deployment of MUSE and SPHERE. The total time request also remained very similar to the steady state, with the total number of distinct scientists exceeding 3500.

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Release of Pipeline-Processed PIONIER Data

04 Apr 2017:

As part of the agreement between ESO and Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) to offer the VLTI PIONIER instrument in Service and Visitor Modes for Periods 96 to 99, IPAG has committed to process the raw data and deliver calibrated visibility data (squared visibility amplitudes and closure phases) to the ESO Science Archive Facility.

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VISTA Magellanic Survey Data Release 4

02 Apr 2017:

The VISTA Magellanic Survey (VMC) aims at the determination of the spatially resolved star formation history and three-dimensional geometry of the Magellanic system, reaching sources below the oldest main-sequence turn-off with multi-epoch Ks mean magnitudes for pulsating variable stars. This new data release (DR4) is based on observations of twelve survey fields covering a total of about 18 square degrees, acquired between November 2009 and August 2013, with at least three visits per field in Y and J filters and 12 in Ks.

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Upcoming ESO or ESO-Related Workshops

  • EWASS Special Session on ALMA
    EWASS, Prague, 26–30 June 2017

    The European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) Special Session No. 20, will be devoted to the three modes of observing with ALMA that demonstrate its unique capabilities: High-Frequency Observations (specifically in Bands 8, 9 and 10); High-Angular-Resolution Observations with baselines up to 16 km; Solar Observations. Further details on the SS20 site.

  • The Impact of Binaries on Stellar Evolution (ImBaSE2017)
    ESO Workshop, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 3–7 July 2017

    Stars are mostly found in binary and multiple systems: at least 50% of all solar-like stars have companions and that fraction approaches 100% for the most massive stars. A large fraction of these systems will interact in some way and alter the structure and evolution of the components, leading to the production of exotic objects. This workshop will examine in detail the impact of binaries on stellar evolution from observational and theoretical viewpoints. Full details on the ImBaSE2017 webpage.

  • Early Stages of Galaxy Cluster Formation (GCF2017)
    Mergers, Proto-clusters, and Star Formation in Overdense Environments
    ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 17–21 July 2017

    Proto-clusters, high redshift galaxy clusters and merging clusters represent the initial stages in the formation of largest gravitationally-bound structures in the Universe. (Proto-)cluster assembly via mergers and accretion has a decisive impact on the subsequent cluster evolution, and is thus an important process to understand. The aim of GCF2017 is to discuss cluster formation over the last ten billion years, from its beginnings to the present day. This is truly a multi-wavelength topic and participants with expertise across the electromagnetic spectrum are encouraged. Further details can be found on the workshop webpage.

  • The Galaxy Ecosystem. Flow of Baryons Through Galaxies
    ESO and Excellence Cluster Universe Workshop, ESO Headquarters, Garching Germany, 24–28 July 2017

    The fate of a galaxy is governed by an intricate ballet of gas flows: flow of cool gas into the system, conversion of baryons into stars and ejection of gas enriched with heavy elements. Determining what rules and mutually relates these three aspects still remains a critical and very complex problem in cosmology. The conference aims at addressing this core topic from many observational and theoretical viewpoints. Full details on the workshop webpage.

  • Cosmology and Fundamental Physics with Current and Future ESO Facilities
    3rd Azores School on Observational Cosmology; 5th Azores International Advanced School in Space Sciences; Angra do Heroísmo, Azores, Portugal, 27 August – 2 September 2017

    A range of planned ground- and space-based facilities will gather an unprecedented amount of data in observational astrophysics and cosmology, allowing open problems to be tackled, some of which require new physics. The aim of the school is to prepare the next generation of astrophysicists for this exciting quest, in the context of current and forthcoming ESO facilities, in particular the ELT. The School will feature a range of lectures and hands-on tutorials. More information and application conditions on the School website or by email.

  • Reaching New Heights in Astronomy
    Celebrating ESO's achievements and perspectives from 10 years of Tim de Zeeuw as Director General ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 28–30 August 2017

    Planning is underway for a conference to mark the decade of Tim de Zeeuw as Director General on the occasion of his departure from ESO. The conference will feature mostly invited talks and will extend from Monday afternoon until Wednesday midday. Full details and registration information will be available soon on the conferences and workshops page.