Science Announcements

The 2020 ESO Summer Research Programme

Published: 18 Dec 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany 1 July–9 August 2019

The very successful ESO Summer Research Programme will continue in 2020. This fully-funded programme provides 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. The students will be able to choose between a wide range of research projects, covering many areas of astronomy from exo-planets to cosmology. The ESO Summer Research Programme will also provide opportunities beyond research, including lectures, a mini-workshop, and many social activities.

ALMA Cycle 8 Pre-announcement

Published: 18 Dec 2019

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start the next cycle of observing (Cycle 8) in October 2020. A Call for Proposals with detailed information on Cycle 8 will be issued in March 2020, with a deadline for proposal submission mid-April 2019. This pre-announcement highlights aspects of the Cycle 8 proposal call that are needed to plan proposals. More information can be found via the ALMA Science Portal.   

New Issue of The Messenger Online

Published: 17 Dec 2019

The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. In issue 178, highlights include an article on M4 of ESO's Extremely Large Telescope, which will be the largest adaptive mirror ever built and the first results from the NEAR experiment, searching for low-mass planets in alpha Cen. The science section of this issue is exclusively dedicated to highlighting the range of spectacular results obtained with GRAVITY since first light in 2016.

Call for Letters of Intent for 4MOST Community surveys

Published: 26 Nov 2019

ESO issues a Call for Letters of Intent for Public Spectroscopic Survey with 4MOST, which is a state-of-the-art, high-multiplex, fibre-fed, optical spectroscopic survey facility currently under construction for ESO’s 4-metre VISTA telescope. During the first 5 years of operations 4MOST will be used to execute a comprehensive, integrated programme of both Galactic and extragalactic Public Surveys. The guaranteed time for the instrument consortium will be 70%, with the raw data being released immediately as with ESO Public Surveys. The GTO surveys have been presented at the 4MOST workshop and in a dedicated issue of the ESO Messenger (March 2019).

Period 104: Change in UT Instrument Distributions at end of Period

Published: 25 Nov 2019

In order to balance the oversubscription rates between UTs, ESO will change the distribution of instruments on the UTs at the end of Period 104 relative to the one announced in the Call for Proposals. This affects X-shooter and VISIR in particular.

Pre-announcement of Call for GRA4MAT Science Verification Proposals

Published: 23 Nov 2019

GRA4MAT is a special mode of MATISSE where GRAVITY is used as an external fringe tracker. GRA4MAT enables longer exposures in MATISSE, and improves this instrument in two ways: a much wider spectral range can be observed at once in the highest spectral resolution modes and improved sensitivity by about 2 magnitudes compared to the current offering, under certain conditions. This mode will be offered for Science Verification in April 2020, with a Call for Proposals published in January 2020, pending final commissioning and estimation of the performance gains. 

Workshop: GALSPEC2019 Postponed

Published: 22 Nov 2019

ESO, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 5–9 October 2020 

VIMOS, the VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph, was decommissioned in March 2018 after 15 years of operations during which it amassed over 9700 hours of science data and marked the completion of two Public Spectroscopic Surveys: VANDELS and LEGA-C. To commemorate this milestone, GALSPEC was organised to  review past and current spectroscopic surveys on galaxy evolution (both with ESO and non-ESO instruments), as well as to explore future surveys that will be soon enabled by new MOS and IFU facilities. The conference was originally planned for 2019 but recent developments have led to it being postponed.

Now In: Results of the 2019 Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey

Published: 20 Nov 2019

The User Support Department (USD) extends its thanks to all those Principal Investigators and their Phase 2 delegates who filled in this year's online Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey. A total of 154 responses were received from our targeted campaign.  As in the past, where possible, we have contacted those respondents who provided detailed comments.  A summary report based on this latest User Satisfaction Survey is now available

VLT2030 Workshop Update: White Papers for BlueMUSE, GRAVITY+ and SPHERE+

Published: 18 Nov 2019

Following the VLT in 2030 workshop in June 2019, and the Science and Technical Committee (STC) meeting in October 2019, ESO and the STC are seeking additional information for three instrument projects (in alphabetical order): BlueMUSE, GRAVITY+ and SPHERE+. The teams that put together these instrument concepts are being asked to deliver information to ESO in the form of a white paper, covering science cases, preliminary instrumental concepts and management aspects. The white papers should be delivered by 20 February 2020, at which point they will reviewed by ESO and discussed at the upcoming STC meeting in April 2020. In the future, ESO will request similar white papers for other projects, in particular for a high spectral resolution multi-object spectrograph.

Meeting: The ALMA2030 Vision - Design Considerations for the Next ALMA Correlator

Published: 14 Nov 2019

Charlottesville, USA, 11–13 February 2020 

The purpose of this meeting is to bring together experts on the ALMA system and modern digital correlator design in order to:

  1. discuss ALMA design requirements for the next generation ALMA correlator that enables the ALMA2030 vision; 
  2. share pros and cons of recent and currently under design correlator architectures; 
  3. identify challenges for implementing and deploying a new ALMA correlator. 
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