Messenger No. 56 (June 1989)
'First light' in the NTT.
On the night 22-23 March 1989, "First Light" was achieved in the NlT in the sense that the first direct images of astronomical objects were produced with the optics in an optimized state near the zenith position.
A Revolution in Ground-based Direct-imaging Resolution
...and the View from Garching
West, R. M.
During the early weeks of 1989, news about progress with the NTT at La Silla kept circulating through the ESO Headquarters in Garching. Whenever a staff member arrived from La Silla, he was immediately and persistently questioned by colleagues about the latest status. How happy we were to learn in February about the fine results reported by the optical group during the final trimming of the NTT optics!
Operating Manuals Now Available
Building the VLT with CAT
Quattri, M.; Brunetto, E.
The Euclid Computer Aided Design (CAD) system from MATRA-Data, installed at ESO Headquarters, is an indispensable tool for VLT design studies. It also allows to "build" the VLT mechanical structure, as shown on these pictures, of an 8 m unit telescope.
Site evaluation for the VLT: DIMM3 in operation.
There has been ,a lot of activity within the VLT sites' study since our last Messenger report . The VLT site group in Chile welcomed new members to face the increasing workload due to the simultaneous operation of three seeing monitoring stations in addition to the measurements of precipitable water vapour and cloud cover survey initiated in 1983.
1. H. Pedersen et al.: Seeing Measurements
with a Differential Image Motion Monitor;
The Messenger No. 53; September 1988,
2. M. Sarazin, F. Roddier: The ESO differential
image motion monitor; submitted to
Astron. Astroph., Feb. 1989.
Important News on VLT Instrumentation
The VLT in the wind tunnel.
Increasing evidence collected over recent years has shown that the best local seeing conditions are found when the telescope is exposed to an undisturbed moderate wind flow. This recognition has contributed decisively to direct the design of new telescope buildings towards more open and, incidentally, cheaper solutions than the conventional domes.
Presentation of the VLT Project to European Industry
Complementary astrophysical data for Hipparcos stars. (1) Astrophysical fundamental parameters of early-type Hipparcos stars. (2) Radial velocities of southern late-type Hipparcos stars. Profile of two key programmes.
Gerbaldi, M.; Gómez, A.; Grenier, S.; Turon, C.; Faraggiana, R.; Mayor, M.; Duquennoy, A.; Grenon, M.; Turon, C.; Crifo, F.; Imbert, M.; Maurice, E.; Prevot, L.; Andersen, J.; Nordström, B.; Lindgren, H.
AA(lnstitut d'Astrophysique, Paris, France) AB(Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France) AC(Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France) AD(Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France) AE(Universita di Trieste, Italy) AF(Observatoire de Geneve, Switzerland) AG(Observatoire de Geneve, Switzerland) AH(Observatoire de Geneve, Switzerland) AI(Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France) AJ(Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France) AK(Observatoire de Marseille, France) AL(Observatoire de Marseille, France) AM(Observatoire de Marseille, France) AN(Copenhagen University, Denmark) AO(Copenhagen University, Denmark) AP(ESO)
Hipparcos, the satellite of the European Space Agency to be launched in July 1989, is the first satellite ever devoted to global astrometry (Fig. 1). The basic principle of observation is to scan continuously and systematically the whole sky with a telescope capable of measuring the angle between stars separated by a large angle (Fig. 2). The telescope is of Schmidt reflective type, the. angles are measured by superimposing - by use of a complex mirror - in the focal plane of the telescope two fields of view separated by a "basic angle" of 58", each field containing one of the stars in a pair. The satellite is designed to spin slowly, scanning the entire sky by means of the combination of two motions: a spinning rotation around the axis normal to the two lines of sight and a revolution of the spin axis around the satellite-Sun line. The angle between the spin axis and the Sun is 43".
Baranne, A., Mayor, M., Poncet, J. L.: 1979,
Vistas in Astronomy 23, 279.
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Gomez, A.: 1988, 2nd Inca Coll. "Hipparcos
Scientific Aspects of the lnput Catalogue
Preparation - II", Sitges, Spain, J. Torra
and C. Turon eds. p. 63.
Mayor, M.: 1980, Astron. Astrophys. 87, L1.
Perryman, M.A.C., Lindegren, L., Murray, A,:
1989, "The Data Reductions", Hipparcos
Book, vol. III, ESA publication (in
Perryman, M.A.C., Turon, C.: 1989, "The Input
Catalogue", Hipparcos Book, vol. II,
ESA publication (in press).
Perryman, M.A. C., Schuyer, M.: 1985, Coll.
"Hipparcos: Scientific Aspects of the lnput
Catalogue Preparation", Aussois, France,
M.A.C. Perryman and C. Turon, eds.
Ramella, M., Gerbaldi, M., Faraggiana, R.,
Bohm, C.: 1989, Astron. Astrophys. 209,
Joint ESO/CTIO Workshop in 1990
A study of the most distant radio galaxies. Profile of a key programme.
Miley, G.; Chambers, K.; Hunstead, R.; Macchetto, F.; Roland, J.; Roettgering, H. J. A.; Schilizzi, R. T.
AA(Sterrewacht, Leiden, Netherlands) AB(Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA and Sterrewacht, Leiden, Netherlands) AC(University of Sydney, Australia) AD(Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA and Astrophysics Division, Space Sciences Dept., European Space Agency) AE(Institut d'Astrophysique, Paris, France and Sterrewacht, Leiden, Netherlands) AF(Sterrewacht, Leiden, Netherlands) AG(Radiosterrenwacht, Dwingeloo,the Netherlands)
Galaxies associated with powerful radio sources are amongst the most frequently used cosmological probes, because their enormous radio luminosities enable them to be easily pinpointed out to large distances. During the last thirty years, several groups, notably Hyron Spinrad and his collaborators at Berkeley, have carried out remarkably successful studies using the 3C sample to locate galaxies at high redshifts. These galaxies have been used as standard candles to study both the geometry of the universe and the evolution of stellar populations in galaxies.
Blumenthal, G., Miley, G.: 1979, Astronomy
and Astrophysics 80, 13.
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W.: 1987 Nature 329, 604.
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W.: 1988a Astrophys. J. (Letters) 327, L47.
Chambers, K.C., Miley, G.K., Joyce, R.R.:
1988 b, Astrophys. J. (Letters) 329, L75.
Chambers, K.C., Miley, G.K., van Breugel,
W.: 1989, Submitted to Astrophys. J.
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Notices Royal Astron. Soc. 21 1, 833.
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(Letters), 319, L39.
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P/West-Hartley (1989 k)
A search for dark matter in elliptical galaxies.
Bertin, G.; Bertola, F.; Buson, L. M.; Danziger, I. J.; Dejonghe, H.; Sadler, E. M.; Saglia, R. P.; Vietri, M.; de Zeeuw, P. T.; Zeilinger, W. W.
AA(Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy) AB(Dipartimento di Astronomia, Padova, Italy) AC(Osservatorio Astronomico,Padova, Italy) AD(ESO) AE(Observatorium, R. U. G., Gent, Belgium) AF(Anglo-Australian Observatory, Epping, Australia) AG(Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy) AH(Osservatorio Astronomico, Roma, Italy) AI(California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA) AJ(Dipartimento di Astronomia, Padova, Italy)
One of the most remarkable discoveries of recent years is that of the presence of extended dark massive halos around spiral galaxies (see e.g. Rubin 1986). For these galaxies, the overall mass distribution is inferred from rotation curves derived from both ionized gas and atomic hydrogen emission. The best evidence for dark matter comes from the fact that the rotation curves remain flat, well beyond the optical disk. This result implies that the mass-to-light ratio M/L increases outwards, indicating a substantial amount of dark matter at large radii. A well-known case is NGC 31 98, where the observed H I rotation curve is flat out to 11 exponential scale lengths h; here even the conservative maximum-disk analysis requires a dark to luminous mass ratio Md/Ml = 0.8 at R25 and Md/Ml = 3.9 at the outer edge (R = 1 1 h) (van Albada et al. 1985). The cosmological consequences of this result have been widely discussed in the context of the problem of the "missing mass" in the universe.
van Albada, T. S., Bahcall, J. N., Begeman, K.,
Sancisi, R., 1985: Astroph. J., 295, 305.
van Albada, T.S., Sancisi, R., 1986: Phil.
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1988) Reidel Publ. Co., Dordrecht, Ed. G.
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Bertola, F., Bettoni, D., Danziger, I.J., Sadler,
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ESO's early history, 1953 - 1975. III. 26 May 1964: ESO chooses La Silla.
AA(Laboratory, Groningen, the Netherlands)
In the course of the year 1962, towards the end of the site testing in South Africa, ESO became actively interested in the possibilities offered by the Andes Mountains in South America. After several years of exploration from American side, the Andes had been opened up for astronomy.
New ESO Scientific Preprints (March-May 1989)
Astronomy at 6000 m!?
AA("Ciel et Espace", Paris, France)
The astronomer and the mountain have always been good friends, the first knowing well that the higher he mounts on the second, the clearer and the more transparent is the sky he can study. . .
The data of the surface photometry catalogue of the ESO-Uppsala galaxies are now available.
Lauberts, A.; Valentijn, E. A.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO and Kapteyn Laboratorium, Groningen, the Netherlands)
We are happy to announce that most of the results of our extensive project on the surface photometry of the 16,000 ESO-Uppsala galaxies are now publicly available.
Abell, G.O., Corwin, H.G., Olowin, R.P.:
1989, submitted to Astrophys. J. Suppl.
Corwin, H.G., de Vaucouleurs, A,, de Vaucouleurs,
G.: 1985. Southern Galaxy Catalogue
= SGC (Univ. Texas Press, Austin).
Lauberts, A.: 1982, The ESO/Uppsala Survey
of the ESO(B) Atlas, European Southern
Lauberts, A., Valentijn, E.A.: 1983, The
Messenger 34, 10.
Another 'Flashing Object'!
Tsvetkov, M. K.
AA(Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat, Munster, F. R. Germany)
What's new around supernova 1987A?
D'Odorico, S.; Baade, D.
New Hints of Resolved Gaseous Emission from Circumstellar Material Surrounding the Supernova Location
The remnant of SN 1957d in M83.
Turatto, M.; Cappellaro, E.; Danziger, I. J.
AA(Asiago Astrophysical Observatory, Asiago, Italy) AB(Asiago Astrophysical Observatory, Asiago, Italy) AC(ESO)
A pilot programme dedicated to studying previously reported extragalactic supernovae of advanced age (> 300 days) has had some early success with observations made at La Silla in April 1989. We report here the detection from direct imaging, and subsequent spectroscopy of the remnant of SN 1957 d in M 83. This galaxy has been a prolific producer of SNe this century (5 so far), and therefore offers a good opportunity for studying evolutionary effects in SNe of different types concentrated in a small area of sky. Unfortunately SN 1957d was not a well observed SN at early phases, and therefore neither the light curve nor the early spectroscopy was available to ensure an unambiguous classification. We now know that many SNe, as they age, develop strong lines of [OI] lambda 6300,63 or strong lines of [OIII] lambda lambda 4959, 5007, and these characteristics facilitate detection by using narrow band filters to image objects in the light of these emission lines. Figure 1 shows the result of imaging of an area of M83 in the light of (a) [OIII] lambda 5007 and (b) a nearby continuum wavelength with EFOSC on the 3.6 m telescope. The arrow points to the position of an object with enhanced brightness in the [OIII] lambda 5007. This object coincides closely with the known reported position of SN 1957d.
The ESO Exhibition Tours Europe
Near infrared spectrophotometry of Mars at ESO.
Encrenaz, T.; Bouchet, P.; Lellouch, E.; Rosenqvist, J.
AA(Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France) AB(ESO) AC(Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France) AD(Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France)
In spite of an extensive space exploration programme during the seventies, the planet Mars still raises several unresolved questions about the aeronomy of its atmosphere, the composition of its surface, and, more basically, the whole history of the planet. lnfrared spectroscopy has proven to be a major tool for these studies, as illustrated recently by the discovery of HDO at 3 ym and the measurement of the deuterium abundance (Owen et al., 1988). lnfrared spectroscopy between 1 and 5 ym is well adapted to the study of the martian atmosphere, as strong vibration bands of several atmospheric compounds (carbon dioxide, the major component, and minor constituents such as H20 and CO); it is also well suited, even with a low resolving power, for the study of mineralogic signatures of the martian surface (olivine, pyroxene, hydrated minerals, carbonates and other salts
J.P. Bibring et al.: 1989, submitted to Nature.
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Sicardy, B.; Brahic, A.
AA(Universite Pierre et Marie Curie et Observatoire de Paris, Meudon,France) AB(Universite Pierre et Marie Curie et Observatoire de Paris, Meudon,France)
On August 25, 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft will point its instruments to the presently most remote planet of the solar system. As the probe grazes the upper layers of Neptune's atmosphere, planetary science will take a step forward. This event is eagerly awaited by the scientific community, and as shown below, is a new example of how Earthbased and space observations complement each other.
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Elicer, L.R., Roques, F. and Vilas, F.:
1986, Nature 319, 636.
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E., Sicardy, B., Brahic, A., Vilas, F.,
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International Halley Watch Meets at ESO
West, R. M.
On April 22, 1989, members of the Steering Group and Discipline Specialists of the lnternational Halley Watch (IHW) met at ESO Headquarters to discuss recent progress with the Halley Archive.
Some highlights from comet Tempel 2 observations at ESO.
Beisser, K.; Boehnhardt, H.; Vanysek, V.; Reinsch, K.; Grün, E.; Massonne, L.
AA(Dr. - Remeis-Observatory, Barnberg, F. R. Germany) AB(Dr. - Remeis-Observatory, Barnberg, F. R. Germany) AC(Dr. - Remeis-Observatory, Barnberg, F. R. Germany) AD(TU Berlin, F. R. Germany) AE(MPI fuer Kernphysik, Heidelberg, F. R. Germany) AF(ESOC, Darmstadt, F. R. Germany)
During its 1988 perihelion passage, periodic comet P/Tempel2 (orbital period of 5.3 years) was an object of intense ground-based observations, because it was one of the possible targets for the NASA Comet Rendezvouz and Asteroid Flyby mission (CRAF) in 1993. Although due to funding problems the CRAF project has been postponed to at least 1995, thereby automatically rejecting P/Tempel 2 from the mission target list, the ground-based study of this comet continues.
A'Hearn, M.F., Campins, H., Schleicher, D.:
1988, IAU Circ. 4614.
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1989, Astrophys. J., in press.
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Spectral analysis of A - F giant stars.
Berthet, S.; Hauck, B.
AA(Institut d'Astronomie de I'Universite de Lausanne, Switzerland) AB(Institut d'Astronomie de I'Universite de Lausanne, Switzerland)
A very large variety of stars of spectral type A-F display abundance anomalies: metallic-line stars, magnetic stars, lambda Bootis, . . .
Alloin, D. and Hofstadt, D.: 1987, The
Messenger 49, p. 18.
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T Tauri stars make us wonder what they are.
Gahm, G. F.
AA(Stockholm Observatory, Sweden)
Once upon a time, some 4.6 billion years ago, the sun formed in an interstellar cloud of gas and dust. The planets we see in the sky all move close to the ecliptic. It is therefore clear that at some phase the young sun was surrounded by a flat dusty disk, in which these planets agglomerated.
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Does the mass function of galactic globular clusters depend upon metallicity?
Ortolani, S.; Piotto, G.; Capaccioli, M.
AA(Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, ltaly) AB(Dipartimento di Astronomia, Universita di Padova, ltaly) AC(Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, ltaly)
In the last three-four decades galactic globular clusters (GCs) have been known to constitute an excellent laboratory for the investigation of primordial star formation and chemical enrichment during the collapse of the parent galaxy. Until the advent of the CCDs, however, the study of the faint main-sequence stars, several magnitudes below the turn-off, has remained beyond our reach. The first high-quality CCD became available at the ESO 1.54 m Danish telescope in the early 80's (followed by the detectors installed at the 3.6 m and 2.2 m telescopes). It provided the European astronomers with the unique opportunity to share the venture of exploring the faint main sequence stellar population of the galactic GCs, particularly numerous in the Southern sky.
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1987, ESO Workshop on "Stellar Evolution
and Dynamics in the Outer Halo of the
Galaxy", eds. M. Azzopardi and F.
Matteucci, p. 393.
McClure, R.D., VandenBerg, D.A., Smith,
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Molecular hydrogen emission from star-forming regions in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
AA(Radioastronomisches Institut der Universitaet Bonn, F. R. Germany)
Molecular hydrogen is probably the most abundant molecule of the interstellar medium. Giant molecular clouds consist mainly of H2. There are limited possibilities for direct observations of the H, molecule.
Black, J.H., van Dishoeck, E.F.: 1987, Astrophys.
J. 20, 163.
Cohen, R.S., Dame, T.M., Garay, G., Montani,
J., Rubio, M., Thaddeus, P.: 1987,
Astrophys. J. 331, L95.
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190, 2 1 .
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Search for HCOCN in interstellar space.
AA(Radioastronomie millimetrique, Laboratoire de Physique de I'ENS, Paris, and DEMIRM, Observatoire de Paris, Section d'Astrophysique de Meudon, France)
More than 80 different molecular species have been observed in the interstellar medium (ISM) in one or more molecular sources (cf. the review of Irvine et al., 1987). Most of them were discovered and identified via their centimetre and millimetre lines. However, to get a better understanding of the complex chemical processes at work in interstellar clouds, we need to observe many more species. On the one hand, only a few among all species involved in the reaction networks are observed: most of the reactions are exothermic and involve radicals and/or molecular ions. These species have low abundances and complex spectra, and are therefore very difficult to detect, but their observation would provide important constraints on the chemical models. On the other hand, there are often competitive ways to synthesize complex molecules, with poorly known reaction rates. Observations of these elaborated species could provide constraints on the reaction rates, synthesis modes, and give an insight into the degree of complexity that this kind of chemical system can reach (how many heavy atoms, and what structure can we observe/ are present in complex molecules?). This research topic was initiated by the search of Glycine and Urea after several organic molecules were found in the ISM in the mid 1970's (Hollis et al., 1980; Guelin 1989).
Booth, R.S., De Jonge, M.J., Shaver, P.A.:
1987, The Messenger 48,2.
Cummins, S.E., Linke, R.A., Thaddeus, P.:
1986, Astrophys. J. Suppl. 60, 81 9.
Combes, F., Boulanger, F., Encrenaz, P.J.,
Gerin, M., Bogey, M., Demuynck, C., Destombes,
J. L.: 1985, Astron. Astrophys.
Letters 147, L25.
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G., Clausset, F., Encrenaz, P. J.: 1987,
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1987, Astron. Astrophys. Letters 173, L1.
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B. L.: 1980, Astrophys. J, 241, 1 58.
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The arc in Cl 0500-24.
Giraud, E.; Schneider, P.; Wambsganss, J.
AA(ESO) AB(Max-Planck-lnstitut fuer Physik und Astrophysik, Garching, F. R. Germany) AC(Max-Planck-lnstitut fuer Physik und Astrophysik, Garching, F. R. Germany)
In 1986, luminous arcs in two clusters of galaxies were detected; their highly elongated unusual morphology posed a problem to the nature of their origin. Whereas several interpretations have been suggested, it soon became clear that they may be the result of gravitational lensing of a background galaxy by the cluster. The gravitational lens hypothesis was confirmed for the arc in A370 when its spectrum was mea- sured; the redshift is about 0.724, i.e. roughly twice that of the cluster, which also is close to the ideal redshift for efficient lensing. The nature of the arc in CI 2244 is less clear, but from the simielongated of the morphology and colour of this arc, it is usually assumed that this is also due to lensing of a background galaxy
Giraud, E., 1988 Ap. J., 334, L69.
Wambsganss, J., Giraud, E., Schneider, P.,
and Weiss A,, 1989, Ap. J., 337, L73.
Giraud, E., 1989, Galaxy populations in
medium distant clusters: the data in CI
0500-24, Asfron. Asfrophys. Suppl., in
A first glimpse of the spectrum of 3C 255.
The radio source 3C 255 was identified by Spinrad et al. (1988) with a faint object having a complex, multimodal structure. The object was resolved in four components on CCD frames taken in good seeing conditions with the 2.2 m ESO-MPI telescope on La Silla (Giraud, The Messenger 55,60). This image also suggested that the main object itself, which is probably the radio source, might be multiple (on 1 arcsec scale).
MacCarthy et al., 1987, Ap. J. Letters, 319,
H. Spinrad et al., 1988, A. J., 96, 836 (previous
A new and improved camera for the 1.5m B&C spectrograph
Jarvis, B.; Hutsemekers, D.
A new dioptric camera was installed on the Boller and Chivens spectrograph at the ESO 1.52 m telescope in February 1989 to replace the old Schmidt camera. This allowed the removal of a focal reducing lens in front of the spectrograph slit designed to match the fl15 beam of the telescope to the fl8 focal ratio input of the spectrograph. The focal length of the new camera is 127.0 mm compared with 143.5 mm for the old camera. This means that the effective dispersions of all gratings as found in the recently published Boller and Chivens manual must be multiplied by 1 .I 3 (= 143.511 27) when used at the 1.52 m telescope. The new slit scale is 9.2 arcsec mm^-1 (compared to 19.4 arcsec mm^-1 before) and the detector scale along the slit is 0.68 arcsec pixel^-1 (with 15 micron-meter pixels, compared to 1.28 arcsec pixel^-1 before). Note also that the new TV slit-viewing field is now reduced by a factor of 2 giving a new field of about 1.5' x 1 .l´. The Nyquist sampling criterion is satisfied with a slit-width of 1.5 arcsecs (15 ym pixels and a small grating angle). For larger grating angles (say 10" or more), the grating demagnification must be considered (see Users' Manual).
ESO Image Processing Group: MIDAS Memo
Test images for two-dimensional photometry software.
Murtagh, F.; Warmels, R.
AA(ST- ECF, ESO; affiliated to Astrophysics Division, Space Science Department, European Space Agency,) AB(ESO)
A collection of test images was the focus of a satellite workshop of the recent Data Analysis Workshop. It was held on Monday, April 17, and provided an opportunity for the participants to compare analyses carried out with a wide range of 2-dimensional photometry packages.
TEX and MATHOR3-TEX for Astronomy and Astrophysics Journal and Supplement Series
Daniel, H.-U.; Berger, J.; Savary, D.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO) AC(ESO)
Springer-Verlag is pleased to announce an important development which will bring "Astronomy and Astrophysics" to the absolute forefront of scientific publication technology: In addition to the traditional route of manuscript processing and in response to the growing number of authors using TEX, such authors have now the opportunity to submit their papers to the journal editors on disk or tape. Springer-Verlag has developed a style template for "Astronomy and Astrophysics" contributors using PLAIN-TEX, the Springer- Verlag A+A macro package 1988