Science Announcements

ESO's Extremely Large Telescope is now Half Completed

Published: 15 Nov 2023

The European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope (ESO’s ELT) will have a 39-metre main mirror and will be the largest telescope in the world for visible and infrared light. Construction of this technically complex project is advancing at a good pace, with the ELT now surpassing the 50% complete milestone.

Third and Final Release of the Programme 'INvestigating Stellar Population In RElics' (INSPIRE)

Published: 14 Nov 2023

The scientific objective of the XShooter ESO Large Program 1104.B-0370 INSPIRE (PI: C. Spiniello), is to create the first catalogue of spectroscopically confirmed relics in the redshift range 0.1<z<0.5, which bridges the gap between the three local confirmed relics and the high-z red nugget galaxies. The availability of this sample of objects enables to put stringent constraint on the predictions from simulations on the initial intense phase of star formation in passive galaxies.

ALMA Previews and Thumbnails Now Available in the ESO Archive Science Portal

Published: 14 Nov 2023

The ESO Archive Science portal was upgraded to include previews and thumbnails of ALMA data, alongside those for La Silla Paranal. They provide a rich and concise overview of the data to guide users in identifying those of interest. Hovering with the mouse on the Actions column in the result table pops up the preview thumbnail. Clicking on the icon in the same column opens a dedicated page, where a detailed preview directly from the ALMA Science Archive is displayed. Previews and thumbnails are only presented for publicly available data, both for ALMA and La Silla Paranal.

New ESO Environment to Run Pipelines Has Been Released

Published: 10 Nov 2023

A beta release of the new ESO Data Processing System (EDPS) is now available for download. EDPS is a system to automatically organise data from ESO instruments for pipeline processing and running the pipelines on these data. The current recommended usage of EDPS is for experimenting and batch processing. KMOS, ESPRESSO and the UVES pipelines are supported. More pipelines will be added in the next few months.

‘The ALMA Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade’: First Announcement of a Workshop on the Most Ambitious Upgrade of ALMA since its Conception

Published: 06 Nov 2023

This is the first announcement of the ESO workshop 'The promise and challenges of the ALMA Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade' to take place at ESO - Garching from 24 to 28 June 2024. This upgrade constitutes the top priority of the ALMA 2030 roadmap. It consists of an increase of the instantaneous spectral bandwidth by as much as a factor of four, while retaining full spectral resolution over the entire bandwidth, thus resulting in increases of the spectral scan speed up to a factor of 50 for the highest spectral resolution. In addition, an upgrade of the full signal chain of ALMA – from the receivers and digitizers, all the way through to the correlated data – will result in increases in sensitivity for all observations.

'What Was That?' - Workshop Registration and Abstract Submission are now Open

Published: 31 Oct 2023

The abstract submission and the registration for 'What was that? – an ESO workshop on planning follow up for transients, variables, and solar system objects in the era of LSST' is now open.

The Messenger 191 is Now Available

Published: 31 Oct 2023

The latest issue 191 of ESO’s science and technology journal, The Messenger, is now available online. It features articles in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the collaboration between ESO and Chile, as well as the 10th anniversary of ALMA’s operations. The Astronomical Science section presents a selection of the scientific highlights from the first ten years of the MUSE Collaboration, as well as an overview of the VISTA Star Formation Atlas (VISIONS) public survey’s data release and scientific outlook.

First Release of X-Shooter Spectra from the Young Stellar Objects Observed under the PENELLOPE Large Programme

Published: 27 Oct 2023

The PENELLOPE Large Programme (Pr.Id. 106.20Z8) is a multi-instrument spectroscopic survey aimed at obtaining complementary data to the targets of the ULLYSES program. The latter is a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Director’s Discretionary Time that was executed in a three-year period, from HST Cycle 27 through Cycle 29 (2020-2022). The HST ULLYSES program is aimed at obtaining low- and medium-resolution spectra of young stars covering the wavelength range from ∼140 nm to ∼1 μm, hence providing a view of accretion and ejection tracers at ultraviolet wavelengths. The PENELLOPE program is a public community-driven effort. It provides optical high-resolution (ESPRESSO, UVES, R>60,000) and medium-resolution flux-calibrated optical and infrared spectra (up to 2.5 μm) with X-Shooter (R > 10,000), giving access to information that is otherwise not obtainable with the HST spectra provided by ULLYSES, such as main stellar properties, accurate interstellar extinction, and veiling; kinematics and geometry of the accretion and wind processes, and more.  

What Was That? – An ESO Workshop on Planning Follow Up for Transients, Variables, and Solar System Objects in the Era of LSST

Published: 11 Oct 2023

Participants are invited to a workshop to prepare for effective follow up of alerts from the Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) using European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes. This workshop will cover a broad range of science topics associated with variable, transient or moving objects that will be discovered in vast numbers by the LSST. It is intended to mix overview talks on how LSST will impact these fields, lessons learned from previous surveys and ESO programmes, the expected yield of discoveries from LSST, and the planned capabilities of ESO facilities in the coming decade. There will be invited talks that introduce the LSST, its alert brokers and other tools and services designed to enable follow-up observations. The workshop will include dedicated breakout sessions to plan broad community follow up programmes at ESO. Attendants of this workshop will be able to present their work with a poster/lightning talk. 

Release of Band-to-Band High-Frequency Long-Baseline ALMA Test Data Taken in 2021

Published: 02 Oct 2023

ALMA is releasing data acquired as part of the Extension and Optimisation of Capabilities effort (EOC). These data were taken as part of the High-Frequency Long-Baseline Campaign (HF-LBC-2021) during Cycle 7, which was organised to test the calibration and imaging capability of ALMA at high-frequencies (397 - 908 GHz, Band 8-10) and using long baselines (~16 km). One main priority was to make a final validation of the band-to-band (B2B) phase referencing observation mode in Bands 8, 9, and 10. This technique allows the calibration of high-frequency observations by using a phase calibrator observed at a lower frequency, e.g. pairing Band 10 target observations with a Band 7 phase calibrator. The campaign conducted validation tests observing a complex structure (non-point-source) target source, R Lep, a carbon-rich evolved star in Bands 8, 9, and 10. Details of the campaign is detailed by Asaki et al (2023 Aug ApJ accepted). The successful campaign helped lead to the opening of Bands 8-10 long-baselines during Cycle 9. R Lep in Bands 8, 9, and 10 are available for download.

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