Science Announcements

Upgrades to VLTI Instrumentation

Published: 17 Apr 2013

MIDI has recently been commissioned with the PRIMA Fringe Sensor Unit FSU-A as an external fringe tracker, enabling improved sensitivities. This mode has been offered from Period 91 for use with the Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) in Visitor Mode. PRIMA+FSU-A enables increased visibilities, for feeble disc emission from young stars for example, with factors 5–10 times in sensitivity improvement (down to 50 mJy limit) over classical MIDI stand-alone operation modes.

Period 92 Proposal Statistics

Published: 17 Apr 2013

The application deadline for Period 92 (October 2013–March 2014) closed on 27 March and a total of 892 proposals were received. There were 869 proposals for Normal Programmes, 21 for Large Programmes and two for Calibration Programmes. Of the proposals for Large Programmes, nine were for Paranal, eight were for La Silla telescopes and five were for APEX.

Commissioning and Science Verification of KMOS

Published: 17 Apr 2013

The KMOS near-infrared multi-object integral field spectrometer underwent commissioning runs in November/December 2012 and in January and March 2013. It is being prepared for service and visitor mode observations in Period 92 (October 2013–March 2014). A brief description of first light and commissioning can be found here, and some of the commissioning raw data can be accessed, although no reduction pipeline is yet available.

[Archive]: Access to ALMA Science Data

Published: 01 Mar 2013

ALMA data can now be accessed through the ALMA Science Portal.  Public data, i.e. currently Cycle 0 data that are out of the 12 month proprietary period, can be accessed anonymously.

[Archive]: ESO Public Survey data

Published: 01 Mar 2013

The Phase 3 validator has been expanded and is now ready to verify VST OmegaCAM DR1 data. The changes are fully described on the Phase 3 web pages.

The PIs of the VST Public Surveys and their teams can now test their data products against the ESO Science Data Products Standard (Issue 5, 11.01.2013).

[Archive]: New Implementation of the ESO Data Access Policy

Published: 01 Mar 2013

As of ESO Observing Period 91, the ESO Science Archive Facility (SAF) is the sole access point for data obtained with ESO telescopes. This includes access to proprietary data for both Visitor and Service Mode runs.

ESO Studentships

Published: 01 Mar 2013

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

X-shooter Data Products

Published: 01 Mar 2013

Science verification of the X-shooter data products for SLIT mode observations has been completed. Issues with the data products, such as the noise model, bad pixel propagation and interpolation, and flux calibration, were found and a new improved version of the pipeline has been released and can be downloaded.

Improved flux standards and a more detailed pipeline tutorial will be released in the second quarter of 2013.

ALMA Inauguration and Live Streaming

Published: 01 Mar 2013

On 13 March 2013 from 11:30–13:00 CLST (15:30–17:00 CET), the official inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) will take place at the observatory’s Operations Support Facility (OSF) at the Chajnantor Plateau, in the Chilean Andes.

ALMA Director's Discretionary Time

Published: 01 Mar 2013

ALMA Observatory will accept submission of Director's Discretionary Time (DDT) proposals from 1 March 2013. In Cycle 1, a maximum of 5% of the total observation time available may be dedicated to the execution of DDT programmes.

A description of proposals eligible for DDT and the applicable policies are available. ALMA DDT requests can be submitted here.

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