ESO Science Newsletter February 2023
01 Feb 2023

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

Science Announcements

Period 111 Telescope Allocation

01 Feb 2023:

The 111th Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met online during November 2022. Based on the committee's recommendations to the ESO Director General, a total of 944 (10-hour equivalent) nights of (Designated) Visitor Mode and Service Mode observations were allocated on the VLT/VLTI, the 3.6-metre, and NTT telescopes. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations is Thursday, 2 March 2023; see the separate announcement for further details.

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P111 Phase 2: deadline and opportunity for personalised help

01 Feb 2023:

With the release of the La Silla Paranal telescope schedule, the Phase 2 preparation for runs scheduled in Service Mode begins. The deadline for the submission of the Phase 2 material for Period 111 is Thursday, 2 March 2023

The Service Mode guidelines provide detailed information about Phase 2 material preparation with the web application p2, while the instrument overview table provides quick links to user manuals, tools and p2 tutorials for individual instruments. 

The User Support Department at ESO offers assistance in the preparation of the Phase 2 material for Service Mode runs. On top of the material from previous LPO Users Workshops that include hands-on observations preparation videos, the USD staff is available to arrange individual online meetings upon requests. The goal of these meetings is to get acquainted with the Phase 2 tools, and to help you start preparing your specific Phase 2 material.

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ALMA Cycle 10 Pre-Announcement

30 Jan 2023:

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start Cycle 10 observations in October 2023. A Call for Proposals (CfP) with detailed information on Cycle 10 is anticipated to be issued in April 2023 and the deadline for proposal submission is anticipated to be on 10 May 2023.  The purpose of this pre-announcement is to highlight aspects of the CfP to assist with early planning.

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Registrations open for the 11th VLTI School

27 Jan 2023:

The European Interferometry Initiative (EII) is announcing that registrations are now open for the 11th VLTI School, funded by the Opticon/Radionet Pilot programme, with support from ESO.

The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 50. There is no registration fee. Limited funding will be available for accommodation and travel.

Applications for funding before March 1, 2023, will receive full consideration pending on merit and available budget.

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New data release of MUSE data cubes of the Fornax3D Survey

25 Jan 2023:

The Fornax3D survey is an integral field spectroscopic survey of the Fornax cluster of galaxies. This new data release contains mosaiced IFS MUSE cubes with their white lamp images for the 31 galaxies brighter than mB=15 within the virial radius of the cluster. The total data volume is 121.5 Gb. The survey was conducted under the ESO programme 296.B-5054(A), PI M. Sarzi and E. Iodice, with MUSE at the ESO VLT in wide-field mode. This instrument configuration ensures a spatial sampling of 0.2×0.2 arcsec2, a wavelength coverage from 4650 to 9300 Å with a spectral sampling of 1.25 Å/pixel, and a nominal spectral resolution of FWHM = 2.5 Å at 7000 Å. The main science goals of the survey are to understand the assembly history of the Fornax cluster and of the early-type galaxies, study the formation of substructures in galaxies and the properties of globular cluster and planetary nebulae population. For more information on the background and goals, please consult the latest paper by Sarzi, Iodice et al. in The Messenger.

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New online version of the ESO Publication Statistics

23 Jan 2023:

The ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib) is a database of refereed papers that uses data from ESO’s observing facilities. Telbib is used to compute the Basic ESO Publication Statistics (PubStats), now available on a dedicated webpage

Publication statistics are available for ESO in general, and for the VLT, VLTI, and Survey telescopes, La Silla facilities, APEX, and ALMA. The use of archival data in ESO data papers is dealt with in a dedicated section. Furthermore, a comparison with the output from other major observatories is provided. 

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The Messenger 189 is Now Available

19 Jan 2023:

The latest edition of ESO’s science and technology journal, The Messenger, is now available online. Issue 189 features a summary of the science results of the ALMA large programme ATOMIUM, describing how ALMA has been used to trace the origins of molecules in dust forming oxygen-rich M-type stars. Summary of the science results and upcoming data release of the Fornax3D project, which is a magnitude-limited study of galaxies in the Fornax Cluster with VLT/MUSE, can also be found. 

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Upcoming ESO or ESO-related workshops

MAYA 2023 is a conference targeted toward early career astronomers interested in ALMA, which will take place from 6 - 10 March 2023 and will be fully on-line. The goals of the meeting are to allow participants to present their scientific work, interact with other participants and staff working in the ARC nodes, and potentially trigger new collaborations and new projects.

Registration for audit only is still possible. For details and registration, please visit this page

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory are jointly organising a symposium with the main goal of maximising the science impact of surveys conducted by both organisation’s facilities.  The aims of the symposium are to raise awareness across the respective communities of survey capabilities and to build liaisons in preparation for synergetic surveys, as well as for multi-wavelength follow-up programs. To achieve this, the symposium will have sessions focussing on planned surveys and current and upcoming survey facilities, including SKA pathfinder and precursor instruments as well as the SKA, and ESO’s optical, near infrared and mm facilities. It will cover a variety of research areas: the Galaxy and Solar System science, galaxies and galaxy evolution, EOR and the high-redshift Universe, and transients and time-domain science. In addition, ample time will be reserved for more focussed discussion sessions to forge synergies between different teams and develop plans for collaborative surveys and cross-facility follow-up programs.

The symposium will be held at the ESO headquarters in Garching near Munich (Germany, UTC+1), from 27 February to 3 March and will allow virtual as well as in-person participation. 

Registration for remote participation is still available. Deadline is 14 February 2023.