Science Users Information

These pages are aimed at ESO community astronomers and contain all the information required in order to prepare, execute, process and exploit observations with ESO facilities. They also provide information on the scientific activities taking place at ESO. Details can be accessed via the navigation menu.


ESO Science Announcements

Large Programmes (including VISTA) Offered Once per Year from Period 104

Published: 11 Feb 2019

In February 2018 ESO announced that, starting from Period 104, Large Programmes will only be offered in even periods, i.e., periods with a proposal submission deadline at the end of March or early April. ESO takes this opportunity to encourage the community to submit Large Programmes that extend over the minimum number of periods that are required scientifically. From Period 104 onwards ESO will strive to execute Large Programmes more quickly (aiming for two semesters by default).

Large Programme proposals will also be accepted for VISTA (and VST) without restrictions. Both VIRCAM on VISTA and OmegaCAM on VST are expected to be scheduled until late 2021.

The First ESO Summer Research Programme

Published: 10 Feb 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany 1 July–9 August 2019

The first ever ESO Summer Research Programme will provide a unique opportunity to students who are not yet enrolled in  PhD programmes to carry out a six-week long research project at the ESO Headquarters in Garching. This fully-funded programme will allow participants to choose between a wide range of research projects, covering many areas of astronomy from comets to cosmology. The ESO Summer Research Programme will also provide opportunities beyond research, including lectures, a mini-workshop, and many social activities.

Workshop: The Very Large Telescope in 2030 - Registration Open

Published: 09 Feb 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 17–21 June 2019  

The VLT provides a powerful suite of visible and infrared instruments, including unique capabilities like coherent and incoherent combinations of the four 8-metre Unit Telescopes and a multi-laser guided adaptive optics system.  In combination with ALMA, it represents comprehensive coverage across  the full parameter space encompassing ground-based observations in visible, infrared and sub-mm wavelengths. With the advent of ESO's Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) the VLT will take on a new role. It will still serve a large community and will continue to provide unique data. Its strengths will include a suite of versatile instrumentation on four 8-metre telescopes, the spatial resolution achievable by interferometry and a flexible operations model. The VLT, VLTI and the instrumentation have been maintained at peak performance and new capabilities have been developed.

A discussion of future science served by the VLT should be the basis for its development in the ELT era. The ELT, VLT in its many functions and the ESO 4-metre telescopes will form a powerful astrophysics resource. The new role of the VLT needs to be defined and this workshop will provide a discussion forum aimed at shaping the VLT's future.

Workshop: Preparing for 4MOST - Registration Open

Published: 09 Feb 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 6–8 May 2019

4MOST is a state-of-the-art, high-multiplex, optical spectroscopic survey facility currently under construction for ESO’s 4-metre VISTA telescope. During the first five years of operations 4MOST will be used to execute a comprehensive programme of both Galactic and extragalactic Public Surveys, and 30% of the observing time during this period will be available to the community. The process of selecting Community Public Surveys will be initiated by a Call for Letters of Intent for Public Spectroscopic Surveys, to be issued by ESO in mid-2019. In preparation of this Call, ESO and the 4MOST Consortium are jointly organising a workshop to prepare the ESO community for this exciting scientific opportunity, to assist potential PIs in successfully responding to the Call, and to foster scientific collaborations between the community and the 4MOST Consortium.  

Preliminary Announcement: Memorial Symposium to Honor Riccardo Giacconi

Published: 09 Feb 2019

Washington D.C., USA 29–30 May 2019

The Space Telescope Science Institute, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics , the Johns Hopkins University, ESO and Associated Universities, Inc. are organising a Memorial Symposium to celebrate the life and work of Riccardo Giacconi. The symposium will cover the various phases of Riccardo’s career and achievements. It will be held in Washington, D.C. at the National Academy of Sciences. A Science Organising Committee is being established to develop the programme and invite speakers. Interested participants are requested to contact the organisers via this email address before 28 February 2019 in order to facilitate planning as there will be a limit to the number of attendees.

The Messenger

The Messenger 174 is now available. Highlights include:

You can subscribe to the hardcopy of The Messenger or browse the complete archive of issues.


The ESO Science Newsletter

The February 2019 issue is now available.

The ESO Science Newsletter, mailed approximately once per month, presents the most recent announcements. Subscription is controlled through the Manage Profile link on the User Portal. Back issues (2013-) are archived.