ESO Science Newsletter November 2015
18 Nov 2015
SPHERE and HST image sequence of ripples in AU Mic circumstellar disc

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

Science Announcements

Science Verification for VISIR Upgrade

16 Nov 2015:

An integral part of the commissioning of a new instrument at the VLT is the Science Verification (SV) phase. SV programmes include a set of typical scientific observations that should verify and demonstrate to the community the capabilities of the new instrument in the operational framework of the VLT Observatory. The VISIR Upgrade project includes new observing modes – Sparse Aperture Masking and Coronography, as well as the newly recommissioned Burst Mode. Applications for VISIR SV are invited.

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ALMA Fellowships

15 Nov 2015:

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is now offering postdoctoral fellowship positions to join the ALMA science operations group. Fellows will be based in the Santiago Central Office in Chile, with eventual shifts to the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) near San Pedro de Atacama for real-time interaction with the telescope. Full details here.

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Resolving Planet Formation in the Era of ALMA and Extreme AO

14 Nov 2015:

Joint ESO, ALMA, NAOJ, NRAO Workshop:
ESO Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 16–20 May 2016

Results from ALMA Long Baseline observations and from SPHERE, Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) and other high-contrast adaptive optics (AO) instruments have given a taste of what to expect over the next few years in the fields of protoplanetary and debris discs, and planet formation. For the first time observations of the regions where planets form are achievable. The workshop will discuss the state-of-the-art results, offering a panchromatic view, with a balance between observations and theory. Discussions will be scheduled on how facilities, such as JWST, E-ELT and TMT, and advances in modeling, will advance the field of planetary formation.

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Access to Reduced Science Data via the Run Progress Report Pages

14 Nov 2015:

The Run Progress Report web pages allow PIs and delegates to follow the progress of their Service Mode observations. Now they also indicate when pipeline-processed reduced data are available for download. These reduced data are automatically generated using certified master calibrations and appear within two months of the data acquisition. Please see the Run Progress Legend for more details on how to take advantage of this new service.

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Response to USD User Satisfaction Survey

14 Nov 2015:

The User Support Department (USD) extends its thanks to all those Principal Investigators and their Phase 2 delegates who filled in this September's on-line User Satisfaction Survey. As of mid-September, 100 responses were received from our targeted campaign. We have contacted, where possible, those respondents who provided detailed comments. A summary report of this latest User Satisfaction Survey is now available.

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aUpcoming ESO or ESO-Related Workshops

  • Science Operations 2015: Science Data Management
    ESO/ESA Workshop, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 24–27 November 2015

    The objective of the workshop is to present and discuss the various approaches to science data management in spacecraft missions and ground-based facilities for astronomy. The workshop continues the series of ESO/ESA joint meetings on operating ground- and space-based astronomical facilities. Topics for the current workshop include: quality assurance of science data and related calibrations; data reduction and analysis; and science archives (content and user services). Full details on the workshop website or by enquiry to sciops2015.

  • Supernovae Through the Ages
    Workshop co-funded by ESO, Easter Island, 9-13 August 2016

    Supernova science has entered a golden age with daily announcements of new discoveries and the rate set to increase with new facilities. As supernova sample sizes continue to drastically increase, well-observed nearby events will still provide the most direct insights into progenitor properties and explosion mechanisms. The conference aims at addressing these challenges (and others) through "understanding the past to prepare for the future". This will be achieved through a focus on past and present surveys, through to future facilities, including also explosion models, progenitors, their link to stellar evolution and the first supernovae.
    The conference celebrates the crucial contributions that Mark Phillips and Nicholas Suntzeff have made to this field. Further details are available on the workshop webpage. Registration is now open; the registration and abstract submission deadline is 31 March 2016.