European
Southern
Observatory
ESO Science Newsletter October 2017
18 Oct 2017
VIMOS image of kilonova in NGC 4993 (Credit: ESO/Levan, Tanvir)

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


Science announcements


LIGO-VIRGO Gravitational Wave: Public Release of ESO Follow-up Observations

17 Oct 2017:

The detection of the Gravitational Wave by the LIGO-VIRGO observatory network, as well as a gamma-ray source, on 17 August 2017 has resulted in one of the largest Target of Opportunity campaigns at ESO. Observations with several La Silla Paranal Telescopes led to the discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart of a Gravitational Wave event. In addition, the Observatory carried out mid-infrared imaging with NACO (in the L' band) and VISIR (at 8.9 microns), albeit no source was detected. ESO and several of the observing teams involved have now made their datasets from this event publicly available.

All NACO and VISIR raw images, as well as reduced data from VISIR are publicly available through the ESO Science Archive under programme ID 60.A-9392. The VISIR data release includes coadded images and error maps and is accompanied by a comprehensive description.

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HAWK-I/GRAAL Science Verification: Call for Proposals

17 Oct 2017:

GRAAL is part of the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF), and associated with the Deformable Secondary Mirror (DSM) and the 4 Laser Guide Star Facility (4LGSF). It defines an AO system developed to increase the performance of the HAWK-I instrument. Commissioning is proceeding and Science Verification is planned for January 2018, for which applications are invited. The call for proposals for HAWK-I/GRAAL can be found here.
The deadline for proposal submission is 31 October 2017, 18:00 CET.

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ESO Public Spectroscopic Surveys with ARO Telescopes

17 Oct 2017:

ESO is offering the possibility of conducting Public Spectroscopic Surveys using Arizona Radio Observatory telescopes as part of an agreement with the University of Arizona. The deadline for submitting Public Survey proposals for ESO ARO time is 19 October 2017. Detailed information on the Public Spectroscopic Surveys with the ARO telescopes is available here, together with a Latex template for proposal submission.

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Applications for ESO Studentships – 2nd Annual Call

16 Oct 2017:

The ESO research studentship programme provides an outstanding opportunity for PhD students to experience the exciting scientific environment at one of the world's leading observatories for a period of up to two years.

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IMPRS Astrophysics Studentships 2017

15 Oct 2017:

If you wish to conduct a PhD in astronomy-astrophysics within one of the largest centres of astrophysical research in the world, which covers every subject from planets, stars, and galaxies to cosmology, you should seriously consider applying to the IMPRS studentship programme in Munich.

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ESO Period 101 Proposal Submission Statistics

13 Oct 2017:

The deadline for proposal submission for Period 101 (1 April 2018 - 1 October 2018) was 28 September 2017. 899 valid proposals were submitted, including 16 Large Programmes, of which two are GTO Large Programmes. The number of proposals for P101 is very similar to that of periods 91 (893), 92 (892), 93 (898), 94 (901), 98 (901), 99 (887) and 100 (895). This confirms the leveling off observed after the peak of periods 95 (934), 96 (960) and 97 (1024).

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Paranal Observatory Eavesdropping Mode

12 Oct 2017:

As of 1 October 2017, users of designated visitor mode programs are able to view from their computer at home the relevant operation panel in the Paranal control room, via the Paranal Observatory Eavesdropping Mode. Access credentials will be provided by the mountain staff in advance of the run. Further details are available via the Paranal Science Operations page.

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New Features of the ESO Telescope Bibliography Database

12 Oct 2017:

ESO's telescope bibliography telbib (telbib.eso.org) has been enhanced resulting in a number of new features. In particular, the updated interface provides more information about which data were used in a particular paper, and enables access to data products as well as raw data.

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ALMA: Cycle 5 Proposal Review Report

12 Oct 2017:

More details on the outcome of the ALMA Cycle 5 review are now available. The highest priority Cycle 5 projects are listed on a dedicated webpage. In addition a full report describes the proposal review process in detail, and presents the proposal statistics and regional distribution, as well as the distribution of proposals across science categories and receiver bands. The report can be downloaded here.

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ALMA: Updated Configuration Schedule for Cycle 5

12 Oct 2017:

The anticipated configuration schedule for Cycle 5 has been modified from that posted in the Proposer's Guide and the updated schedule is available via this link. The most significant change is that Cycle 5 will begin in the configuration C43-10 instead of C43-7, and then move to more compact configurations.

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Workshop: Atacama Large-Aperture Submm/mm Telescope (AtLAST)

10 Oct 2017:

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 17–19 January 2018

ESO is co-organising a workshop on the scientific merit for – and technical implementation of – an Atacama Large Aperture Submm/mm Telescope (AtLAST). The workshop will be a crucial forum to collect insights and feedback, and commit to a single vision for realising a single dish facility. The programme will cover aspects of the science case driving the telescope and instrument requirements as well as potential telescope concepts.

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Workshop: Diversis Mundi – The Solar System in an Exoplanetary Context

09 Oct 2017:

ESO, Santiago, Chile, 5–9 March 2018

This one-week workshop is the third edition of the Observing Planetary Systems workshop (OPS-III) held every 5 years at ESO-Chile, which aims to bring together  Solar System and exoplanet scientific communities. The discovery of exoplanetary systems with a large variety of architectures can teach us about the formation and history of our own solar system, and the deep understanding of our own environment can help us search for traces of life outside of the Solar System.  

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VANDELS Public Spectroscopic Survey: First Data Release

05 Oct 2017:

VANDELS is a deep Public Spectroscopic Survey of high-redshift galaxies with the VIMOS spectrograph. It is designed to exploit the multi-wavelength imaging and near-IR grism spectroscopy available in the CANDELS UDS and CDFS fields. The goal is to obtain spectra with sufficient signal-to-noise ratio to derive metallicities and velocity offsets from absorption and emission lines, allowing a detailed investigation of the physics of galaxies in the early Universe. Within an area of 0.2 deg2, the survey will deliver more than 2500 high (15-20) signal-to-noise spectra of star forming galaxies in the redshift range 2.5 < z< 5.5, passive galaxies with H< 22.5 at 1.5 < z < 2.5, and star forming galaxies at 3.0 < z < 7.0 with H < 27, in the AB magnitude system.

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VISTA VIKING Release of Images, Source Lists and Multi-band Catalogue

22 Sep 2017:

This third data release from the VISTA Kilo-degree Infrared Galaxy Public Survey VIKING of images, source lists and a catalogue covers all of the highest quality data (images and single-band source lists) taken from November 2009 to March 2015. The release contains 736 VISTA images, of which 662 have coverage in all five VIKING near-infrared filters, 647 with deep co-adds in J, and an additional 74 with at least two filters. These 736 fields cover a total area of 1104 square degrees.

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Upcoming ESO or ESO-Related Workshops

  • Centimetre-Sub-Millimetre Q&U (and V) European Southern Observatory Workshop (QUESO)
    ESO Workshop, Garching, Germany, 25–27 October 2017

    Full polarisation observation will become standard for ALMA in the near future. The aim of the QUESO workshop is to bring together leading and potential science users of mm/sub-mm polarimetry, from research fields including AGN, star formation, solar observations and CMB, with observatory calibration experts and software developers to stimulate discussion about the most critical scientific cases, some of which may require development of techniques to achieve the requested precision.

  • ESO/NEON Observing School at La Silla
    Santiago and La Silla Observatory, February 18–March 2, 2018

    The ESO/NEON School is preferentially tailored to PhD students, advanced MSc's and early PostDocs. During two weeks of intense work the participants will have the chance to have hands-on experience of the full cycle from proposal preparation to data reduction. Students will have lectures on the basics of observing techniques and how to prepare observations for ESO telescopes in Santiago, and then go to the La Silla Observatory for three nights of observations with the NTT and Danish 1.54-metre telescopes.
  • Science with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX2018)
    Schloss Ringberg, Tegernsee, Germany, March 11–14, 2018

    The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) 12 m submillimeter telescope has been in operation for more than 12 years and has contributed to a wide variety of submillimeter astronomy science areas, from the discoveries of new molecules to deep imaging of the submillimeter sky. The conference venue at Ringberg Castle provides a unique setting for in depth discussions on new scientific results with APEX, synergies with other observatories, and the exploitation of the upcoming new APEX capabilities.