ESO Science Newsletter October 2016
21 Oct 2016
HST V,I + VLT MAD AO K-band image of Galactic Bulge globular cluster Terzan 5

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

Science Announcements

ESO Period 99 Proposal Submission Statistics

19 Oct 2016:

The deadline for proposal submission for Period 99 (1 April – 1 October 2017) was 29 September 2016. 883 valid proposals were submitted, including 22 Large Programmes, of which one is a GTO Large Programme. The number of proposals for P99 is the lowest received in the last 7 periods. The time request also went down, while the number of proposals per PI remained constant. The number of normal proposals is slightly increased from P98, while Large and GTO proposals decreased. The time request decreased for almost all telescopes.

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Getting Ready for ALMA Band 5 – Synergy with APEX/SEPIA

18 Oct 2016:

ESO Workshop, Garching, Germany, 1–3 February 2017

The frequency range from 160 to 210 GHz covered by ALMA Band 5 is one of the least explored to date. This band is expected to be offered in ALMA Cycle 5, but has already been extensively used in the SEPIA instrument on APEX since 2015. Important science topics covered by Band 5 include the 183 GHz H2O line, a wide range of dense molecular gas tracers (HCN(2-1), HNC(2-1), HCO+(2-1), etc), CO(2-1) at 0.077<z<0.414, [C I] and high-J CO lines in high redshift objects, and eventually the [C II] line at z>8.

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Star Formation from Cores to Clusters

17 Oct 2016:

ESO Workshop, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 6–9 March 2017

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

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GRAVITY Science Verification Completed

16 Oct 2016:

The VLTI K-band beam combiner instrument GRAVITY successfully completed its second run of Science Verification (SV) in September 2016 (10–18 September). Most programmes have been completed or mostly completed (i.e., the SV team assessed that sufficient data were collected to reach the proposal goal).

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Third Public Release of the Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS) Now Available

14 Oct 2016:

KiDS is one of the ESO Public Surveys carried out with OmegaCAM at the VLT Survey Telescope (VST). Once complete, 1500 square degrees will have been observed in four filters (u, g, r, i). As a weak lensing shear tomography survey, KiDS will also map the large-scale matter distribution in the Universe and constrain the equation of state of Dark Energy. Its secondary science cases include galaxy evolution and structure of the Milky Way.

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New VIDEO Survey Data Release in the ELAIS-S1, CDFS and XMM-LSS Fields

30 Sep 2016:

VISTA Deep Extragalactic Observations (VIDEO) is a deep near-infrared survey which targets ~12 square degrees over the ELAIS-S1, XMM-LSS, and ECDFS extragalactic fields. VIDEO belongs to the suite of six Public Surveys being conducted by the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA). This 4th Data Release includes images and catalogues for the three survey fields.

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ALMA Cycle 4 Proposal Review: Detailed Report

24 Sep 2016:

A detailed report on the outcome of the ALMA Cycle 4 Proposal Review Process is now available. The report details the proposal review process, proposal statistics and regional distributions, as well as the proposal distribution across science categories and receiver bands.

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ALMA User Satisfaction Survey 2016

23 Sep 2016:

ALMA will soon start science operations of Cycle 4. We are now looking forward to hearing your opinion regarding the Science Portal, user support, ALMA Science Archive, SnooPI, data processing and products, and aspects related to the ALMA Cycle 4 Phase 2 preparation and submission.

With this purpose we kindly ask you to complete the survey at: The deadline for submitting your feedback is Monday, October 24 at 15:00 UT.

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First Data Release of the LEGA-C Public Spectroscopic Survey

13 Sep 2016:

The ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey Large Early Galaxy Census (LEGA-C) has released science products from the first year of observations. LEGA-C started in December 2014 and observations are planned to be completed by mid-2018, with several data releases of the VIMOS spectra and value-added products before the completion of the survey. More information on the survey design, sample selection, observing strategy and data reduction in van der Wel et al. (2016) and a Messenger article.

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Release of Proxima Centauri HARPS Science Spectra

09 Sep 2016:

The 1-D spectral data products from the HARPS observations for ESO programme 096.C-0082, P.I. Anglada-Escudé, from January to March 2016, are now available from the Science Archive Facility. The results on the detection of a planet candidate around Proxima Cen from the analysis of these spectra, among others, are published in G. Anglada-Escudé et al. 2016.

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Applications for ESO Studentships – 2nd Annual Call

19 Aug 2016:

The ESO research studentship programme provides an outstanding opportunity for Ph.D. students to experience the exciting scientific environment at one of the world's leading observatories for a period of up to two years.

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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. The deadline for abstract submission is 31 October 2016.

  • 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.