Science Announcements

ESO Phase 2 Preparation Tools Update

Published: 12 Apr 2019

The ESO Phase 2 Proposal Preparation version 3 (P2PP3) software used for the preparation of observations with the Paranal telescopes has now been officially decommissioned. Since Period 102, P2PP3 has been replaced by the p2 web application. Users can familiarise themselves with the application using the p2 demo site, and also test programmatic preparation of observations using the Phase 2 Application Programming Interface (API) (p2API). If you have developed a script or utility that makes use of the p2API, and you would like to share it please read the API contributed software webpage and e-mail the User Support Department.  

ALMA Cycle 7 Call for Proposals

Published: 25 Mar 2019

The ALMA Cycle 7 Call for Proposals for scientific observations is open for submissions. ALMA Cycle 7 is currently scheduled from October 2019 to September 2020. Users of any nationality or affiliation are invited to to submit proposals before the deadline at 15:00 UT on 17 April 2019. It is anticipated that 4300 hours will be available on the 12-metre array time and 3750 hours on the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) (also known as the Morita Array), including a supplementary call. Proposals must be prepared and submitted using the ALMA Observing Tool (OT), which is available for download from the ALMA Science Portal. Proposals will be assessed by competitive peer review by a single international review committee.

Vacancy for Data Scientist at ESO

Published: 24 Mar 2019

A new position for a Data Scientist is open for applications until 31 March. The role of the Data Scientist will will be to develop and apply innovative deep learning techniques to object classification in the ESO and ALMA Science Archives. With a user base of thousands of scientists, the archives are a rich and powerful resource for the astronomical community worldwide. The Data Scientist will be responsible for designing, building and training a system based on deep learning object classification techniques with the goal to automatically classify astronomical images and spectra to open up innovative ways for scientists to use the data.

Users Committee Meeting 2019

Published: 24 Mar 2019

The Users Committee (UC) represents ESO's astronomical community at large and acts as an advisory body to the ESO Director General on matters related to the performance, scientific access, operation and user interfaces to the La Silla Paranal Observatory and ALMA. The annual meeting of the UC is scheduled at ESO Headquarters on 29-30 April 2019. During the UC meeting updates from ESO and feedback from the user community are exchanged and openly discussed. Each year, the UC meeting has one session dedicated to a special topic – in 2019 the special topic is on the community use of Public Surveys data. The meeting webpage includes a record of the last meeting with recommendations that will be discussed in April.  

ESO Publication Statistics 2018

Published: 23 Mar 2019

In 2018, for the second time in a row, the total number of data papers published by the ESO users community exceeded the 1000 mark, almost exactly matching the record high of the previous year  (2017: 1090; 2018: 1093). In total, over 15 000 data papers have been published since 1996 (the year the ESO Telescope Bibliography started). In 2018, the number of papers using data from the VLT/VLTI, the ESO survey telescopes VISTA and VST, as well well as APEX were slightly below those of 2017, while data from the La Silla observing site led to even more data papers than in recent years*. The largest increase occurred for ALMA (taking into consideration only data obtained during European observing time), which generated 24% more papers than in 2017.

Messenger 175: The 4MOST Issue

Published: 22 Mar 2019

The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. Issue 175 is dedicated to 4MOST. 4MOST is a wide-field spectroscopic survey facility that is under development for VISTA at Paranal and which will be able to simultaneously obtain spectra of ~2400 objects distributed over an hexagonal field-of-view of 4 square degrees. This issue of The Messenger contains important information about the facility itself, its scientific operations and survey strategy, which will be particularly useful to teams preparing to submit survey proposals for the facility. In addition, there are articles outlining the strategies and science goals for each of the ten 4MOST Consortium Surveys targeting both Galactic and extragalactic science.

Workshop: Preparing for 4MOST - Registration Open

Published: 20 Mar 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.  

Workshop: Artificial Intelligence in Astronomy

Published: 17 Mar 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 22–26 July 2019 

It is certainly an understatement that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken the world by storm, with breakthroughs appearing almost daily in the news. The sheer volume of astronomical data (which increases exponentially) necessitates a new paradigmatic approach – AI – which must be, to a large extent, automated and made much more efficient. This workshop has two aims: to present the current landscape of methods and applications in astronomy and to prepare the next generations of astronomers to embark on these fields. Artificial intelligence covers a wide range of algorithms and the first thing is to provide a clear map to navigate in this jungle and show which techniques are used for which kind of science. Thus, we aim at having a few invited talks by prominent speakers to set the scene. This will be complemented by a series of contributed talks in order to provide a clear panorama of the current use of AI in astronomy. We also expect to have many posters showing various applications of AI in astronomy. In addition, we will offer several 3-hour tutorials and hands-on sessions to allow the participants to dig into the techniques.

MIAPP Topical Workshop: Nine Billion Years of Neutral Gas Evolution

Published: 16 Mar 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany, 29–31 July 2019 

The next MIAPP topical workshop "Nine Billion Years of Neutral Gas Evolution" will be hosted at ESO headquarters. It aims to forge connections across wavelengths, among different ISM and IGM phases, and between observation and theory. Only a limited number of invited speakers have been selected up-front – most of the programme will be filled with speakers who volunteer to give talks addressing topics that will be highlighted by a "wish list" for the oral programme, or who propose their own topics related to the workshop’s theme. The deadline for submitting an abstract for an oral contribution is 1 April. See the meeting webpage for further details.

Data Release 1: VISIONS Public Survey

Published: 10 Mar 2019

VISIONS is a sub-arcsec near-infrared atlas of the nearby (d < 500 pc) star-forming complexes accessible from the southern hemisphere. The atlas will contain tens of thousands of young stars (0.1-10 Myr), sensitive to objects down to a few Jupiter masses, and reach spatial resolutions of 100-250 au. This first release includes excellent quality J, H and Ks band observations of the dense field of the Ophiuchus star-forming region. Images, confidence maps and source lists, together with band-merged catalogues associated to each individual tile, are accessible via the Science Portal or via the Programmatic Access Service. The sky area observed is 7.5 square degrees, for which 1134 datasets are provided. Including the associated products the total volume of the release is 350 Gb.

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