ESPRESSO News and Press Releases

In this page, we list the main changes affecting the instrument and this website as well as ESO press releases.

Instrument News

  • 2024 Jan 25 Since mid December the LFC has been out of operations due to the failure of an internal device. We expect to fully recover the LFC during February.  
  • 2023 Nov 24 A new version of the ESPRESSO User Manual is available: ESPRESSO User Manual
  • 2023 March 23. The Laser frequency comb (LFC) has been in operations since July 2022. The ESPRESSO IOT has been working to characterize the LFC performace, but this is still under investigation. We expect soon to provide more information to the users. The daily LFC calibrations are included in the ESPRESSO calibration plan, as detailed in the User Manual. 
  • 2022 June 8: As previously announced, a major instrument intervention was performed between May 1st and May 16th. The instrument was officially closed on May 17th. A document summarizing the main activities and results can be found here: ESPRESSO_intervention
  • 2022 April 1: A major instrument intervention is scheduled between May 1st and May 16th, 2022. The intervention will be mainly focused on the cryostats and science detectors. After the intervetion, we expect an improvement in the overall instrument performance, and in the radial velocity stability, particularly in the blue detector.  Due to the very invasive nature of these activities we also expect a change in the spectral format, therefore the pipeline will be adapted accordingly.  The instrument will be out of operations between May 1st until around May 23rd.
  • 2021 Jun 11: In Jan-Mar 2021 ESPRESSO was affected by PLC-ADC communication issues and blue cryostat thermal stability problems. The users with affected data were contacted directly. You can read more about it in version 108.1 of the User Manual.
  • 2021 Apr 15: ESPRESSO quicklook pipeline products are now available through the ESO Archive Science Facility. Refer to the information in the Tools page for more.
  • 2021 Jan 11: Between the 27/11/2020 and the 17/12/2020, a different Fabry-Perot continumm lamp was tested. This lamp did not to allow for a wavelength solution as stable as the previous one, and we reverted to the latter. No science data was taken during this period.
  • 2020 Sep 07: ESPRESSO 1UT and 4UT commissioning data is now available to the community.
  • 2020 May 18: Two cases of polution of ESPRESSO spectra by the LGSF were detected recently. The LGSF team is working on the improvement of the laser collision detection tool. In the meanwhile, any user with Sodium contamination that can be attricuted to the laser should contact USD.
  • 2020 Apr 6: For a very short timescale of minutes, while the red detector RV precision is of ~10 cm/s, the blue detector RV precision is of ~60 cm/s. The ESPRESSO IOT and the detector team are working to characterize and correct this problem, and a dedicated mission is expected to take place during 2020.
  • 2020 Mar 11: First ESPRESSO science press release, entitled ESO Telescope Observes Exoplanet Where It Rains Iron.
  • 2019 Oct 1: In P104 the calibration programme ESPRESSO observations of the 4LGSF laser beams: characterization of the Raman spectrum will be executed on ESPRESSO. All data from calibration programmes becomes immediately public and can be retrieved via the ESO archive. All calibration programmes since P100 are listed here.
  • 2019 Aug 29: The ESPRESSO ETC was updated to reflect the gain in transmission after the technical mission of July. This gain in flux was of, in average,~50% in flux in the UHR and HR modes and of ~40% in the MR. For precise and updated information, please refer to the ETC.
  • 2019 Jul 15: LFC calibrations are taken daily to evaluate the reliability of the facility over a timescale of months. The calibration frames are available for the interested user via the ESO archive. However, the LFC is not yet formally offered to the community and these data should be considered as test data.
  • 2019 Jun 05: An issue with the ESPRESSO CCD controllers has recently been identified: the video and digitization circuitry shows a much worse Differential Non Linearity than expected. As a consequence, pixel values have a bias to particular low order bits, so that some values for the pixel intensity are underrepresented. This issue affects all read modes and may be worse for higher read speeds. The exact impact on the science has yet to be determined. The ESO detector team determined the source of the problem and is now working on a new version of the associated hardware. Detailed information will be posted on these web pages when available.
  • 2018 Nov 22: the LFC is currently not available due to reliability problems of one of its sub-systems. As a consequence, no LFC frame is available for observations carried out since Nov. 19. SM users will be informed as soon as the problem is resolved. Follow-up information will be posted on this page.
  • 2018 Sep 01: the ESO Call for Proposals for Period 103 offers the possibility to use ESPRESSO in 4-UT mode to target faint sources at a resolving power of 70'000 (Medium Resolution) with two binning options (MR42 and MR84). This mode is offered in groups of consecutive nights in visitor mode only. As during Period 102, the instrument configurations (HR11, HR21 and UHR11) of the ESPRESSO 1-UT mode are offered in both service and visitor modes.
  • 2018 Mar 01: the instrument is offered to the community for the first time through ESO Call for Proposals for Period 102. In Period 102, ESPRESSO is offered for regular operations in 1-UT mode only, in both of its two High-Resolution (HR) modes and in Ultra-High Resolution (UHR) mode. The ESPRESSO 4-UT mode may be offered in Period 103, depending on successful commissioning during Period 101. The Laser Frequency Comb (LFC) is operational at this time but not yet fully tested. LFC frames will anyway be taken by the Observatory as additional calibrations to benefit from the full precision of ESPRESSO once pipeline recipes are optimized.
  • 2018 Feb 03First Light in 4-UT mode (see press release)
  • 2017 Nov 27: First Light in 1-UT mode (see press release)
  • 2017 Nov 22: Commissioning of the Coudé Train of UT3
  • 2017 Aug 22: Preliminary Acceptance Europe
  • 2017 Jun 09: Commissioning of the Coudé Train of UT4
  • 2017 Feb 15: Commissioning of the Coudé Train of UT2
  • 2017 Feb 11: Commissioning of the Coudé Train of UT1
  • 2015 Feb 05: delta FDR
  • 2013 May 14: Final Design Review (FDR)
  • 2011 Nov 29: Preliminary Design Review
  • 2011 Jan 17: Technical Kick-Off meeting
  • 2010 Apr 13: Phase-A Study Review meeting


Timeline of instrument status

The following table describes the events affecting the quality or the measurement of data obtained with ESPRESSO. Its content can be downloaded as a Comma Separated Values file. It is complete as of September 13th, 2020.

The Start Date column indicates when the event took place. Some events cannot be defined by a single instant, but extend over sometimes several days, weeks or months. Operation with the instrument may continue while the event occurs, in which case the Ongoing flag is set. If the event had ended, the Ongoing ? flag is lowered and End Date is given. The Type column indicates the characteristic(s) of the event: Earthquake, Maintenance, Upgrade, Element failure, Intervention, Pipeline installation at QC, Change of nominal values or thresholds, Modification of configuration file of this database, or Other. The Instrument Modes column indicates the affected mode. The column KPI indicates which quality control parameters identified as Key Performance Indicators (i.e., parameters following the most critical quantities) are affected; the column non-KPI indicates which other critical Quality Control parameters are affected. The Calibration Raw Types column indicates the raw types of the affected calibrations. The Calibration Breakpoint flag indicates if calibrations obtained before the event cannot be used for science data obtained after the event or if calibration data obtained after the event cannot be used with science data obtained before the event. The Comment column provides more details. The History column allows one to see possible past information on the entry.

The Quality Control pages for ESPRESSO can be accessed through the QC overview page