ESO Science Newsletter March 2016
01 Mar 2016
ATLASGAL sub-mm image of the southern Galactic Plane

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

Science Announcements

Call for Proposals for Period 98

29 Feb 2016:

The Call for Proposals for observations at ESO telescopes in Period 98 (1 October 2016 - 31 March 2017) has been released. Please consult the Call for Proposals document PDF for the main news items and policies related to applying for time on ESO telescopes. All technical information about the offered instruments and facilities is contained on ESO webpages that are linked from the Call.
The deadline for proposals is 12:00 CEST 31 March 2016.

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Revised Acknowledgement for Publications Based on ESO Data

29 Feb 2016:

When findings based on ESO data are published, acknowledgement is requested through a specific statement, to be found here. In order to provide an acknowledgement which authors can easily cut and paste into their manuscripts, this statement has recently been revised and shortened to:

    "Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programme(s) PPP.C-NNNN(R)."

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Call for GRAVITY Science Verification Proposals

28 Feb 2016:

The Science Verification (SV) for the VLTI - GRAVITY spectro-interferometric combiner with the Auxilliary Telescopes (ATs) will take place on the nights of 15–23 June and 15–23 September 2016. All community astronomers are kindly invited to participate in this opportunity to obtain early science with GRAVITY and thus demonstrate the scientific capability of this unique instrument. Details of the SV Call can be found here; the deadline is 18:00 CET 25 March 2016.

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Upgrade of SINFONI

28 Feb 2016:

SINFONI was dismounted from UT4 on 20 December 2015 and upgraded during January 2016. The upgrade included a new pre-optics collimator, new J, H and K filters, a new baffle at the entrance focal plane, and new collimator mirrors. In addition, the membrane mirror of the MACAO adaptive optics system was replaced. SINFONI re-commenced routine observations at the end of January 2016.

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VLTI Fringes with Four UTs and STS

27 Feb 2016:

An important milestone for VLTI, first fringes using the four VLT Unit Telescopes (UTs) equipped with the Star Separator (STS) systems, was achieved on 10–11 February 2016. This is the configuration to be offered for Observing Period 97 (from 1 April 2016). The tests are an important step towards operating GRAVITY with four UTs, necessary for micro-arcsecond astrometry observations of the Galactic Centre.

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Active Galactic Nuclei: What's in a name

16 Dec 2015:

ESO Workshop, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 27 June – 1 July, 2016

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are being discovered in ever-larger numbers over the whole electromagnetic spectrum (radio, infrared, optical/UV, X-ray and γ-ray), providing different windows on AGN physics. The main goal of the Workshop is to paint the AGN “big picture”, which comes out of the multi-wavelength surveys, and understand the intrinsic and fundamental properties of AGN and the physics behind them. Abstract submission deadline is 26 March 2016.

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Upcoming ESO or ESO-Related Workshops

  • ESO/OPTICON School on Use and Data Reduction of X-shooter and KMOS
    ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 9–13 May 2016

    This NEON Archive School is devoted to proposal preparation and data reduction for X-shooter and KMOS. The School is preferentially targeted to PhD students, but advanced MSc's, junior Postdocs, as well as senior researchers, can also apply. Introduction to Phase 1 and 2 for both instruments and hands-on experience with data reduction tools will be provided. Details here; a few places are still available and registration closes on 5 March 2016.

  • Resolving Planet Formation in the Era of ALMA and Extreme AO
    Joint ESO, ALMA, NAOJ, NRAO Workshop. ESO Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 16–20 May 2016

    Results from ALMA Long Baseline observations and from SPHERE, GPI and other high-contrast AO instruments herald new developments in the fields of protoplanetary and debris discs, and planet formation. For the first time observations of the regions where planets form are achievable. The workshop will discuss the state-of-the-art results, offering a panchromatic view, with a balance between observations and theory. Discussions will be scheduled on how facilities, such as JWST, E-ELT and TMT, and progress in modeling, will advance the field of planetary formation. The workshop is open for registration and the abstract deadline is 1 March 2016.

  • MUSE First Year Science and Beyond
    EWASS 2016, Athens, Greece, 4–8 July 2016

    The VLT wide field optical integral field spectrograph MUSE has opened up exciting new perspectives in many different areas of observational astrophysics, including star forming regions, stellar populations, local and distant galaxy kinematics and high-z galaxy studies. The Symposium will cover the full range of topics tackled by MUSE observations and highlight key results from the first year of observations. Particular aims are to: share experience regarding observing strategy, reduction and analysis; discuss challenges to interpret and model MUSE data; and stimulate synergies with other facilities. Full details on the EWASS webpage for Symposium S3; deadline for abstract submission is 15 March 2016.

  • Discs in Galaxies
    Joint ESO, MPA, MPE, LMU, TUM and Excellence Cluster Universe Conference. ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 11 – 15 July 2016

    The aim of this conference is to explore the importance of stellar and gaseous discs in a variety of galaxies from high redshift to the Milky Way within the context of new observations and numerical simulations. Stellar and gaseous discs represent the most important structural component in normal galaxies and interpreting their early formation and destruction, via observations and numerical simulations, indicates the key processes that shape the eventual Hubble sequence.
    This conference will provide a timely and wide ranging exploration of discs in galaxies from observational and theoretical aspects. More details here; the abstract deadline is 18 March 2016.

  • Supernovae Through the Ages
    Workshop co-funded by ESO, Easter Island, 9-13 August 2016

    Supernova science has entered a golden age with daily announcements of new discoveries and the rate set to increase with new facilities. As supernova sample sizes increase, well-observed nearby events will still provide insights into progenitor properties and explosion mechanisms. The conference aims at addressing these challenges (and others) through "understanding the past to prepare for the future" with a focus on past, present and future surveys, including also explosion models, progenitors, their link to stellar evolution and the first supernovae.
    The conference celebrates the contributions that Mark Phillips and Nicholas Suntzeff have made to this field. Further details are available on the workshop webpage. The registration and abstract submission deadline is 31 March 2016.