Messenger No. 131 (March 2008)

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Telescopes and Instrumentation

2-6 (PDF)
P. Bristow et al.
Advanced Calibration Techniques for Astronomical Spectrographs

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131....2B
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Bristow, P.; Kerber, F.; Rosa, M.R.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO) AC(Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility, ESO; Affiliated to the Science Operations and Data Systems Division, Science Department, European Space Agency)
Abstract:
ESO’s Calibration and Model Support Group is involved in a variety of activities related to the calibration and physical description of instruments, with the objective of supporting the reduction of science data and facilitating operations. Here we describe the construction, optimisation and application to scientific data reduction of physical instrument models. Such models have been implemented for the HST STIS spectrograph and form an integral part of the data reduction pipelines for CRIRES and X-shooter. These models are supported by validated physical data of the instrumental components and calibration reference data.
References:
Ballester P. and Rosa M. R. 1997, A&A Supp. 563, 126 Carter E. 2001, http://www.taygeta.com/annealing/ simanneal.html Kerber F. et al. 2006, SPIE 6269, 42 Kerber F., Saitta F. and Bristow P. 2007, The Messenger 129, 21 Kerber F. et al. 2008, ApJ Supp., submitted Sansonetti C. J. et al. 2004, ApJS 153, 555 Vernet J. et al. 2007, The Messenger 130, 5 Vernet J. et al. 2008, in “2007 ESO Instrument Cali- bration Workshop, Proceedings of the ESO Workshop held in Garching, Germany, 23–26 January, 2007”, eds. A. Kaufer and F. Kerber, Springer
7-10 (PDF)
R. Davies et al.
Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics without Tip-tilt

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131....7D
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Davies, R.; Rabien, S.; Lidman, C.; Le Louarn, M.; Kasper, M.; Förster Schreiber, N.M.; Roccatagliata, V.; Ageorges, N.; Amico, P.; Dumas, C.; Mannucci, F.
AA(Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany) AB(Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany) AC(ESO) AD(ESO) AE(ESO) AF(Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany) AG(Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany) AH(Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany) AI(ESO) AJ(ESO) AK(INAF-Istituto di Radioastronomia, Firenze, Italy)
Abstract:
Adaptive optics (AO) systems allow a telescope to reach its diffraction limit at near-infrared wavelengths, but a bright natural guide star (NGS) is needed for the wavefront sensing, severely limiting the fraction of the sky over which AO can be used. To some extent this can be overcome with a laser guide star (LGS). While the laser can be pointed anywhere in the sky, one still needs to have a natural star, albeit fainter, reasonably close to correct the image mo-tion (tip-tilt) to which laser guide stars are insensitive. There are in fact many astronomical targets without suitable tip-tilt stars, but for which the enhanced resolution obtained with the Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF) would still be very beneficial. This article explores what adaptive optics performance one might expect if one dispenses with the tip-tilt star, and in what situations this mode of observing might be needed.
References:
Bushouse H. et al. 2002, ApJS 138, 1 Crowther P. and Hadfield L. 2007, The Messenger 129, 53 Förster Schreiber N. M. et al. 2006a, ApJ 645, 1062 Förster Schreiber N. M. et al. 2006b, The Messenger 125, 11 Genzel R. et al. 2006, Nature 442, 786 Kasper M. et al. 2007, NACO LGS commissioning report, VLT-TRE-ESO-11650-4255 Kong X. et al. 2006, ApJ 638, 72 Mannucci F. 2007, “Astronomy with Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics”, http://www.mpia-hd.mpg.de/PARSEC/Ring2007/TalksPostersPDF/Tuesday/Highz_FilippoMannucci.pdf Scoville N. et al. 2000, AJ 119, 991 Shapiro K. et al. 2008, ApJ, accepted Wolf S. et al. 2003, ApJ 588, 373
11-13 (PDF)
R. McMahon et al.
DAZLE on the VLT

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...11M
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
McMahon, R.; Parry, I.; Venemans, B.; King, D.; Ryan-Weber, E.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Horton, A.
AA(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) AB(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) AC(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) AD(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) AE(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) AF(Anglo-Australian Observatory, Sydney, Australia) AG(Anglo-Australian Observatory, Sydney, Australia)
Abstract:
We report on the commissioning and first observing run of the VLT visitor instrument DAZLE. DAZLE (Dark Ages ‘Z’ Lyman Explorer), is an innovative near-infrared narrowband imager optimised to detect faint emission lines between the intense hydroxyl (OH) airglow emission lines that dominate the terrestrial night sky in the wavelength range 0.8–1.8 microns. The scientific goal is to detect redshifted Lyman-alpha line emission from hydrogen gas ionised by the young stars in galaxies at redshifts greater than 7.5.
References:
Horton A. et al. 2004, SPIE 5492, 1022 Hu E. and McMahon R. 1996, Nature 382, 231 Iye M. et al. 2006, Nature 443, 186 Maihara T. et al. 1993, PASP 105, 940
14-18 (PDF)
B. Nikolic et al.
Phase Correction for ALMA: Adaptive Optics in the Submillimetre

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...14N
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Nikolic, B.; Richer, J.; Hills, R.; Stirling, A.
AA(University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) AB(University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) AC(Joint ALMA Office, Chile) AD(Met Office, United Kingdom)
Abstract:
Inhomogeneities in the Earth’s atmosphere corrupt the wavefront of incoming submillimetre radiation and, similarly to the seeing at optical wavelengths, this limits the resolution and sensitivity of submillimetre aperture synthesis arrays. ALMA will correct for these wavefront errors by a combination of frequent observations of known nearby point sources (predominately quasars) and by measuring the properties of the atmosphere along the line of sight of each telescope using dedicated 183 GHz radiometers. These techniques are critical for enabling ALMA’s goal of resolution as fine as 0.005 arcseconds.
References:
Cabrit S. et al. 2007, A&A 468, L29 Krips M. et al. 2007, ApJ 671, L5

Astronomical Science

20-24 (PDF)
M. van den Ancker et al.
A Multi-Wavelength Study of the 2003–2006 Outburst of V1647 Orionis

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...20V
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
van den Ancker, M.; Fedele, D.; Petr-Gotzens, M.; Rafanelli, P.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO; Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany; Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università degli studi di Padova, Italy) AC(ESO) AD(Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università degli studi di Padova, Italy)
Abstract:
The birth of a star is accompanied by the formation of a circumstellar disc which interacts with the star, but most young stars accrete matter at rates that do not influence the mass of the disc on short timescales. However, in so-called FU Orionis stars, a significant fraction of the total disc mass is accreted onto the central star within a short time. During these FU Orionis events, the light generated by accretion outshines the star by up to 6 magnitudes for a period of several years to decades. The star, V1647 Orionis, underwent such an event. We have used FORS2 and NACO on the VLT and TIMMI2 at the ESO 3.6-m telescope to monitor V1647 Orionis from four months after outburst until the system returned to its pre-outburst brightness level, nearly three years later. Our optical photometry and spectroscopy confirm that V1647 Orionis has indeed undergone an outburst whose characteristics resemble those of the FU Orionis stars.
References:
Andrews S. M., Rothberg B. and Simon T. 2004, ApJ 610, L45 Grosso N. et al. 2005, A&A 438, 159 Herbig G. H. 1977, ApJ 217, 693 Magnier E. A. et al. 1999, A&A 346, 441 McNeil J. W., Reipurth B. and Meech K. 2004, IAU Circular 8284, 1 Muzerolle J. et al. 2005, ApJ 620, L107
25-29 (PDF)
C. Evans et al.
The VLT-FLAMES Survey of Massive Stars

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...25E
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Evans, C.; Hunter, I.; Smartt, S.; Lennon, D.; de Koter, A.; Mokiem, R.; Trundle, C.; Dufton, P.; Ryans, R.; Puls, J.; Vink, J.; Herrero, A.; Simón-Díaz, S.; Langer, N.; Brott, I.
AA(UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Edinburgh, United Kingdom) AB(Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom) AC(Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom) AD(Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA; Institutio de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain) AE(University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands) AF(OC&C Strategy Consultants, Rotterdam, the Netherlands) AG(Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom) AH(Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom) AI(Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom) AJ(Universitäts-Sternwarte, Munich, Germany) AK(Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom) AL(Institutio de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain) AM(Geneva Observatory, Switzerland) AN(University of Utrecht, the Netherlands) AO(University of Utrecht, the Netherlands)
Abstract:
The VLT-FLAMES Survey of Massive Stars was an ESO Large Programme to understand rotational mixing and stellar mass loss in different metallicity environments, in order to better constrain massive star evolution. We gathered high-quality spectra of over 800 stars in the Galaxy and in the Magellanic Clouds. A sample of this size is unprecedented, enabled by the first high-resolution, wide-field, multi-object spectrograph on an 8-m telescope. We developed spectral analysis techniques that, in combination with non-LTE, line-blanketed model atmospheres, were used to quantitatively characterise every star. The large sample, combined with the theoretical developments, has produced exciting new insights into the evolution of the most massive stars.
References:
Asplund M. et al. 2005, ASPC 336, 25 Dufton P. L. et al. 2006, A&A 457, 265 Evans C. J. et al. 2005a, The Messenger 122, 36 Evans C. J. et al. 2005b, A&A 437, 467 Evans C. J. et al. 2006, A&A 456, 623 Hunter I. et al. 2007, A&A 466, 277 Hunter I. et al. 2008a, A&A 479, 541 Hunter I. et al. 2008b, ApJ, arXiv:0711.2267 Mokiem M. R. et al. 2005, A&A 441, 711 Mokiem M. R. et al. 2006, A&A 456, 1131 Mokiem M. R. et al. 2007a, A&A 465, 1003 Mokiem M. R. et al. 2007b, A&A 473, 603 Morel T. et al. 2006, A&A 457, 651 Trundle C. et al. 2007, A&A 471, 625 Vink J. S. et al. 2001, A&A 369, 574 Yoon S.-C., Langer N. and Norman C. 2006, A&A 460, 199
30-34 (PDF)
F. Patat et al.
Seeking for the Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...30P
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Patat, F.; Chandra, P.; Chevalier, R.; Justham, S.; Podsiadlowski, P.; Wolf, C.; Gal-Yam, A.; Pasquini, L.; Crawford, I.; Mazzali, P.; Pauldrach, A.; Nomoto, K.; Benetti, S.; Cappellaro, E.; Elias-Rosa, N.; Hillebrandt, W.; Leonard, D.; Pastorello, A.; Renzini, A.; Sabbadin, F.; Simon, J.; Turatto, M.
AA(ESO) AB(Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA; Jansky Fellow, National Radio Astronomy Observatory) AC(Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA) AD(Department of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom) AE(Department of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom) AF(Department of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom) AG(Astronomy Department, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA) AH(ESO) AI(School of Earth Sciences, Birkbeck College London, United Kingdom) AJ(Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Garching, Germany; INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico, Trieste, Italy) AK(Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany) AL(Department of Astronomy, University of Tokyo, Japan) AM(INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico, Padova, Italy) AN(INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico, Padova, Italy) AO(Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Garching, Germany; Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain) AP(Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Garching, Germany) AQ(Department of Astronomy, San Diego State University, USA) AR(Astrophysics Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom) AS(INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico, Padova, Italy) AT(INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico, Padova, Italy) AU(Astronomy Department, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA) AV(INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico, Padova, Italy)
Abstract:
Type Ia supernovae are thought to be thermonuclear explosions of accreting white dwarfs that reach a critical mass limit. Despite their importance as cosmological distance indicators, the nature of their progenitors has remained controversial. Observations carried out by our team with VLT-UVES led us to the detection of circumstellar material in a normal Type Ia supernova. The expansion velocities, densities and dimensions of the circumstellar envelope indicate that this material was ejected from the system prior to the explosion. The relatively low expansion velocities appear to favour a progenitor system where a white dwarf accretes material from a companion star which is in the red-giant phase at the time of the explosion.
References:
Immler S. I. et al. 2006, ApJ 648, L119 Livio M. 2000, in “Type Ia Supernovae: Theory and Cosmology”, J. C. Niemeyer and J. W. Truran eds. (Cambridge: CUP), 33 Munari U. and Renzini A. 1992, ApJ 397, L87 Parthasarathy M. et al. 2007, New Astronomy Reviews 51, 524 Patat F. 2005, MNRAS 357, 1161 Patat F. et al. 2006, MNRAS 369, 1949 Patat F. et al. 2007a, Science 317, 924 Patat F. et al. 2007b, A&A 474, 931 Perlmutter S. et al. 1999, ApJ 517, 565 Riess A. G. et al. 1998, AJ 116, 1009 Simon J. D. et al. 2007, ApJ 671, L25 Whelan J. and Iben I. 1973, ApJ 186, 1007

Astronomical News

36-41 (PDF)
F. Primas et al.
The 2007 Users Feedback Campaign

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...36P
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Primas, F.; Marteau, S.; Hainaut, O.; Mathys, G.; Romaniello, M.; Sterzik, M.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO) AC(ESO) AD(ESO) AE(ESO) AF(ESO)
Abstract:
In a service organisation like ESO, user feedback is a vital component of its success, but receiving feedback on a regular basis is a rather challenging task. This article focuses on the main findings of the Feedback Campaign launched in early 2007, which targeted all Principal Investigators of Service Mode programmes approved over the last five years. Feedback collected from visiting astronomers about operational issues is also presented.
References:
Comerón F. et al. 2003, The Messenger 113, 32
42-44 (PDF)
R. Hook et al.
ESO Reflex: A Graphical Workflow Engine for Astronomical Data Reduction

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...42H
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hook, R.; Romaniello, M.; Ullgrén, M.; Maisala, S.; Solin, O.; Oittinen, T.; Savolainen, V.; Järveläinen, P.; Tyynelä, J.; Péron, M.; Izzo, C.; Ballester, P.; Gabasch, A.
AA(ESO; ST-ECF) AB(ESO) AC(Observatory, University of Helsinki, Finland) AD(Observatory, University of Helsinki, Finland) AE(Space Systems Finland Ltd.) AF(Observatory, University of Helsinki, Finland) AG(CSC, the Finnish IT Center for Science, Finland) AH(CSC, the Finnish IT Center for Science, Finland) AI(CSC, the Finnish IT Center for Science, Finland) AJ(ESO) AK(ESO) AL(ESO) AM(ESO)
Abstract:
ESO Reflex is a software tool that provides a novel approach to astronomical data reduction. The reduction sequence is rendered and controlled as a graphical workflow. Users can follow and interact with the processing in an intuitive manner, without the need for complex scripting. The graphical interface also allows the modification of existing workflows and the creation of new ones. ESO Reflex can invoke standard ESO data reduction recipes in a flexible way. Python scripts, IDL procedures and shell commands can also be easily brought into workflows and a variety of visualisation and display options, including custom product inspection and validation steps, are available. ESO Reflex was developed in the context of the Sampo project, a three-year effort led by ESO and conducted by a software development team from Finland as an in-kind contribution to joining ESO. It is planned that the software will be released to the community in late 2008.
References:
Ballester P. et al. 2006, Proceedings of the SPIE 6270 Hook R. N. et al. 2005, The Messenger 120, 17 Järveläinen et al. 2008, in ASP Conf. Ser., ADASS XVII, ed. J. Lewis, R. Argyle, P. Bunclark, D. Evans, and E. Gonzalez-Solares (San Francisco: ASP) Silva D. and Peron M. 2004, The Messenger 118, 2
45-46 (PDF)
N. Delmotte
News from the ESO Science Archive Facility

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...45D
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Delmotte, N.
AA(ESO, on behalf of the Data Management and Operations division)
Abstract:
The latest developments of the ESO archive are presented. Information is provided to the astronomical community on new data releases, services and policies.
References:
Aigrain et al. 2007, The Messenger 130, 36 Tacconi-Garman 2007, The Messenger 130, 54 Warmels and Zech 2007, The Messenger 128, 73
46-47 (PDF)
L. Testi
ALMA Science: the ESO-Garching Astronomers View

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...46T
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Testi, L.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
At the Garching Science Day 2007, proposals for observations with ALMA were presented. A comparison is presented with the ALMA Design Reference Science Plan. The comparison shows that ALMA can be exploited by the wider community for a variety of different science projects, many of which are beyond the expectations of the current community of millimetre astronomers.
References:
Hogerheijde 2006, The Messenger 123, 20 Haupt and Rykaczewski 2007, The Messenger 128, 25
47-47 (PDF)
T. Hunter, R. Laing
News from the ALMA Test Facility

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...47H
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hunter, T.; Laing, R.
AA(NRAO) AB(ESO)
48-48 (PDF)
M. West, B. Leibundgut
Report on the 2007 ESO Fellowship Symposium

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131R..48W
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
West, M.; Leibundgut, B.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
The third ESO Fellowship Symposium took place in Santiago from 12–14 November 2007. These symposia, held every two years, bring together ESO Fellows from Chile and Germany for several days of scientific discussion and camaraderie. This year’s symposium was framed by an earthquake and visits to the ESO observatories.
48-48 (PDF)
M. West
Report on the ESO Chile Science Days

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131Q..48W
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
West, M.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Science Days in Santiago are an annual gathering of ESO’s geographically dispersed team in Chile to learn more about each other’s research, to celebrate scientific achievements of the past year and to encourage new collaborations.
49-49 (PDF)
G. Argandoña, F. Mirabel
Astronomical Observatories and the Republic of Chile Pave the Way for Future Projects

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...49A
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Argandoña, G.; Mirabel, F.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
50-51 (PDF)
A. Brown et al.
Report on the ELSA School on the Science of Gaia

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...50B
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Brown, A.; Lindegren, L.; Kontizas, M.; Turon, C.; Muinonen, K.
AA(Leiden University, the Netherlands) AB(Lund University, Sweden) AC(National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece) AD(Observatoire de Paris, France) AE(University of Helsinki, Finland)
51-51 (PDF)
ESO
Fellows at ESO

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...51.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
52-52 (PDF)
ESO
New Staff at ESO

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...52.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
53-53 (PDF)
ESO
Announcement of ESO Large Programmes on the Gran Telescopio Canarias

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131Q..53.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
53-54 (PDF)
ESO
Announcement of the ASTRONET Infrastructure Roadmap Symposium: An Opportunity to Contribute to the European Astrophysical Strategy for the Next 20 Years

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131R..53.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
54-54 (PDF)
ESO
Announcement of the MPA/ESO/MPE/USM 2008 Joint Astronomy Conference on Chemical Evolution of Dwarf Galaxies and Stellar Clusters

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...54.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
55-55 (PDF)
ESO
Announcement of the Joint ESO/INAF-Arcetri Workshop on Future Ground-based Solar System Research: Synergies with Space Probes and Space Telescopes

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131R..55.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
55-55 (PDF)
ESO
Personnel Movements

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131Q..55.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)

Annual Index

56-59 (PDF)
ESO
Annual Index 2007 (Nos. 127–130)

ADS BibCode:
2008Msngr.131...56.
Section:
Annual Index
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)