ESO Science Newsletter December 2016
22 Dec 2016
VLT UT4 Deformable Secondary Mirror

This newsletter is a summary of recent ESO Science Announcement items. Follow the links or visit ESO Science Announcements to read more.

Science Announcements

Phase 2 for Observing Period 99

22 Dec 2016:

The allocation of ESO telescope time for Period 99 (1 April – 30 September 2017) is emailed today. With the release of the telescope schedule, preparation of Service Mode (SM) observations (Phase 2) starts. The deadline for the submission of the Phase 2 material for Period 99 observations is 9 February 2017.

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The Galaxy Ecosystem. Flow of Baryons Through Galaxies

21 Dec 2016:

ESO and Excellence Cluster Universe Workshop
ESO Headquarters, Garching Germany, 24–28 July 2017

The fate of a galaxy is governed by an intricate ballet of gas flows: the flow of cool gas into the system, the conversion of these baryons into stars, and the ejection of gas enriched with heavy elements. Determining what rules and mutually relates these three aspects still remains a critical and very complex problem in cosmology and is the core topic of this workshop.

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Stellar Populations in Stellar Clusters and Dwarf Galaxies - New Astronomical and Astrophysical Challenges

19 Dec 2016:

Intra-Chile Workshop, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 2–3 March 2017

Globular clusters are no longer a proxy for a single stellar population. High-precision photometric and spectroscopic observations have been revealing multiple generations in young and old massive clusters in the Milky Way and beyond. The workshop will bring together both observers and theoreticians who are trying to solve the question of how star clusters form and evolve, and the connection with their host galaxy.

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Release of the UltraVISTA/COSMOS2015 catalogue

18 Dec 2016:

The COSMOS2015 catalogue (Laigle et al. 2016) contains precise photometric redshifts and stellar masses for more than half a million objects over the 2 square degree COSMOS field. Including YJHKs DR2 images from the UltraVISTA ultra-deep near-infrared survey, Y-band from Subaru/Hyper-Suprime-Cam and infrared data from the SPLASH Spitzer legacy programme, this near-infrared selected catalogue is highly optimised for the study of galaxy evolution and environments in the early Universe.

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Release of Spectra and Catalogue from VIPERS Public Survey

18 Dec 2016:

More than ninety thousand spectra and a redshift catalogue have now been released from the VIMOS Public Extragalactic Redshift Survey (VIPERS), the Public Spectroscopic Survey carried out under ESO Large Programme 182.A-0886, PI L. Guzzo. This is the largest spectroscopic galaxy redshift survey conducted so far with VLT Paranal facilities.

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ALMA Cycle 5 Pre-announcement

17 Dec 2016:

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start the next cycle of observing (Cycle 5) in October 2017. A Call for Proposals with detailed information on Cycle 5 will be issued in March 2017, with a deadline for proposal submission in April 2017. The pre-announcement highlights aspects of the Cycle 5 proposal Call that are needed to plan proposals.


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ALMA Cycles 1 and 2 Summary and Cycle 4 Progress

16 Dec 2016:

A report on ALMA Cycles 1 & 2 with observing and completion statistics, data reduction and delivery, and publication statistics is available.
Cycle 4 started on 30 September 2016 and continues with the array in the more compact configurations transitioning from C40-4 (0.93” beam at 100 GHz; 704 m longest baseline) to C40-3 (1.3” beam at 100 GHz; 460 m longest baseline) as austral summer begins. The very good weather has allowed high frequency observations (above 400 GHz). Data processing and delivery is proceeding smoothly using the Cycle 4 calibration and newly commissioned imaging pipelines and the Cycle 3 backlog is shrinking. Deliveries of Cycle 3 and Cycle 4 data products continue.

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New Release of ALMA Science Verification Data

16 Dec 2016:

A new installment of Science Verification (SV) data is available. This release contains data on the following SV targets:

  • Arp 220 spectral line observations in Band 5 (H2O, CS, HNC) with the 12-m Array
  • Sgr B2(N) spectral scan observations across most of the Band 5 tuning range with a hybrid of the 12-m Array and the 7-m Array
  • VY CMa spectral line polarization observations of SiO and water lines in Band 5 with the 12-m Array.


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PESSTO Third Data Release

16 Dec 2016:

A new release of the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey for Transient Objects (PESSTO) is available. This release adds 1350 spectra and 383 images to the previously published PESSTO data. All the EFOSC2 (2851) and SOFI (226) spectra, and all the reduced SOFI images (775), obtained during the first four years (April 2012–April 2016) of PESSTO operations covering 1168 distinct transient objects, are available via the Phase 3 query interface at the Science Archive Facility.

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Upcoming ESO or ESO-Related Workshops

  • 2017 ESO Calibration Workshop: The Second Generation VLT Instruments and Friends
    ESO Workshop, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 16–19 January 2017

    A complete, consistent calibration plan for each dataset, fulfilling quality control criteria, was recognized as a cornerstone of VLT operation. This second ESO Calibration Workshop will bring together astronomers and instrument scientists to share their experiences, engage in open discussions, challenge current limitations and develop creative concepts for better calibration in the future. More details on the workshop webpage.

  • Getting Ready for ALMA Band 5 – Synergy with APEX/SEPIA
    ESO Workshop, Garching, Germany, 1–3 February 2017

    The 160–210 GHz range covered by ALMA Band 5 is expected to be offered in Cycle 5. SEPIA on APEX has already been observing in this band since 2015. Important science topics covered include the 183 GHz H2O line, a wide range of dense molecular gas tracers, CO(2-1) at 0.077<z<0.414, [C I] and high-J CO lines in high redshift objects. The workshop will discuss the role of APEX as an ALMA complement and aims to stimulate the focus of European ALMA users on Band 5 science. Full details of the Workshop can be found here; the progamme is now online.

  • Star Formation from Cores to Clusters
    ESO Workshop, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 6–9 March 2017

    This Workshop aims to bring together astronomers towards answering the question: "What constitutes a prototypical low-mass star forming region from core to cluster scales?". This refers primarily to the formation of low-mass stars, but also involves higher-mass stars, starless cores, brown dwarfs, planet formation and related topics. The workshop will feature observational and theoretical/simulation studies towards a comprehensive understanding of low-mass star forming regions. Full details on the workshop webpage.

  • The Impact of Binaries on Stellar Evolution (ImBaSE2017)
    ESO Workshop, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 3–7 July 2017

    Stars are mostly found in binary and multiple systems: at least 50% of all solar-like stars have companions and that fraction approaches 100% for the most massive stars. A large fraction of these systems will interact in some way and alter the structure and evolution of the components, leading to the production of exotic objects. This workshop will examine in detail the impact of binaries on stellar evolution from observational and theoretical viewpoints. Full details on the ImBaSE2017 webpage. The closing date for abstracts is 31 March 2017.