Announcements

ann14040 — Announcement
ALMA Website for Children Launched
27 May 2014: ALMA Kids is a new mini-site created especially for children. It aims to familiarise them with astronomy, so that they understand what we know about the Universe, and help them to appreciate the contribution of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The content of this new ALMA educational space includes comics, discoveries explained in simple words, videos, and games, all within a playful design. This colourful virtual platform, which has both Spanish and English versions, was launched on 27 May 2014 at Constitution Plaza, Santiago, Chile, as part of the Santiago Student Science and Technology Fair. At the fair, children of all ages, from preschool to high school, will exhibit the scientific projects they have completed in public schools in the district of Santiago. At ALMA’s booth, visitors will be able to learn about astronomy and the functioning of the largest radio telescope in the world. There will also be ...
ann14039 — Announcement
New Dutch Prize for Young Talent in Astronomy
20 May 2014: A new prize called the De Zeeuw–Van Dishoeck Graduation Prize for Astronomy has been established to encourage young talent in astronomy in the Netherlands. It is named after ESO Director General, Tim De Zeeuw and Ewine van Dishoeck, respectively Professor of Theoretical Astronomy and Professor of Molecular Astrophysics at the University of Leiden. The Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) officially announced the new prize at its annual meeting on 17 May 2014. The award consists of a certificate and cash prize of 3000 euros and will be awarded annually to the the best masters thesis in the field of astronomy written by a student studying at a Dutch university. “Smart students are the future of our field and we would like to encourage students to conduct independent, innovative research as early as possible,” said Ewine van Dishoeck, who, together with ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, has ...
ann14038 — Announcement
Invitation to Watch and Broadcast the E-ELT Groundbreaking
16 May 2014: On Thursday 19 June 2014 there will be a media event at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile to mark the blasting of the top of Cerro Armazones, the 3000-metre peak that will be the home of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). To enable people from around the world to witness first-hand this exciting milestone, a live video stream will be webcast on Livestream from 16:30 UTC until around 18:30 UTC [1]. Limited places are still available for members of the media to attend in person the ceremony and to visit ESO’s Paranal Observatory. Please express your interest before Friday 23 May by filling out the ESO media visit form, noting that you wish to attend the E-ELT Groundbreaking under “Objective of the Visit.” Please note that further details for media are available here. Television broadcasters who cannot make it to the event will be offered full broadcast quality ...
ann14037 — Announcement
ALMA Centre of Expertise in Portugal
14 May 2014: ESO has named the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, of the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL) in Portugal as an ALMA Centre of Expertise, as an addition to the European ALMA Regional Centre network, in recognition of its ability to support the use of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). As an ALMA Centre of Expertise, CAAUL will have access to the European infrastructure that manages and develops this instrument, supporting its use within Portugal. The specific capabilities that CAAUL has developed in recent years will also be used to support ESO and the ALMA Regional Centre nodes in Europe in verifying ALMA data before they are delivered to scientists worldwide. José Afonso, Director of CAAUL, says that "it is gratifying to see once again the quality of Portuguese research recognised internationally. Our researchers are now using the most powerful telescope available, and the recognition of CAAUL as an ...
ann14036 — Announcement
AstroCamera 2014 Competition Open for Entries
12 May 2014: ESO invites you to take part in AstroCamera 2014 — an international competition in support of the popularisation of astronomy and astrophotography. As an honorary sponsor of the competition organised by the Hewelianum Centre, ESO will award prizes for the honourable mentions in the form of books and DVDs, while the winners will receive grants from the organisers. Launched initially on 28 January 2011 in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the birth of the 17th century astronomer, Johannes Hevelius, the competition is open to all astronomy and astrophotography enthusiasts. The life and achievements of Hevelius, a renowned observer of the night sky, have been an inspiration for the Hewelianum Centre to make the AstroCamera competition a regular event. This is the fourth time it has been held. The competition is organised into the following categories: Category I: deep sky objects (photographs of star clusters, galaxies, nebulae, etc.), Category II: ...
ann14035 — Announcement
First Results from the ESO Ultra HD Expedition
9 May 2014: The ESO Ultra HD Expedition may now be over, but there is much work being done behind-the-scenes to process and combine all the footage the team has taken — a staggering 10 TB of images and video. With four times the resolution of HD, Ultra HD takes our view of the night sky into a new, immersive dimension. The expedition team can now present some of their first results in dramatic Ultra HD footage — bringing the Universe closer than ever before. While the production of Ultra HD TV displays and cameras has flourished, very little Ultra HD content has been made universally available until now. ESO is now changing this by delivering free Ultra HD content to all, from consumer to broadcaster, under a very liberal licensing model. A little over a month ago, ESO’s videographer Herbert Zodet and the three ESO Photo Ambassadors: Yuri Beletsky, Christoph Malin and ...
ann14034 — Announcement
ESO and Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Sign Agreement on Adaptive Optics Collaboration
5 May 2014: During the course of a visit by the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain, an agreement was signed between ESO and the IAC to perform experiments at the Teide Observatory related to forefront technology in the field of laser guide stars for adaptive optics. This technique will shortly be used at the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) and will be essential to the successful operation of the future 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) to be built by ESO in Chile. This collaboration between the IAC and ESO is intended to optimise aspects of laser guide star systems. These laser systems are some of the technology used in the technique of adaptive optics, which compensates for the atmospheric turbulence that affects ground-based observations. An artificial guide star is produced by shining a powerful laser into the sky — ...
ann14033 — Announcement
Funding Opportunities in Chile (Anuncio de Oportunidades)
28 April 2014: To enhance their programmes of scientific cooperation with the host country, ESO provides and manages an annual fund for the development of astronomy and technology related disciplines in Chile. The board, consisting of members from ESO and the Chilean Government, working through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, evaluates and selects programmes to be supported by this fund. These fall in five areas: ESO grant funding to postdoctoral programmes in astronomy at Chilean academic institutions. Funding for academic faculty positions for periods of up to two years at Chilean academic institutions. Funding to support the development and presentation of educational programmes for the teaching and dissemination of astronomy in Chile. Funding to support development programmes and the construction of technological systems for astronomy. Funding to support the development of astronomy in areas not covered by the above four categories. The committee will consider all proposals that contribute to the development of ...
ann14032 — Announcement
Science in School Issue 28: Now Available!
25 April 2014: The latest issue of the free magazine Science in School is now available online and in print. This European journal for science teachers offers inspiring articles, fun games and hands-on activities for students in every issue. It aims to promote inspiring science teaching by encouraging communication between teachers, scientists and everyone else involved in European science education. Some of the highlights of this issue include: how to use citizen science in the classroom, how archaeology and genetics reveal the cause of the Black Death, glaciers on Mars, and how a simple fungus used to brew beer is now used around the world to advance cancer research. Teaching activities include: how to evaluate Planck’s constant using simple equipment in the classroom and how to teach chemistry for the youngest of children. Science in School is published by EIROforum, a collaboration between eight European intergovernmental scientific research organisations, of which ESO is ...
ann14031 — Announcement
ESO Steps into Augmented Reality Territory with New ALMA App for Tablets and Smartphones
16 April 2014: Thanks to a new app developed in partnership with the Polish company Bridge, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) will appear in 3D before your eyes by using your tablet or smartphone along with a print-out of a PDF file, called a tracker. The app can be just for fun or used as an educational tool to learn more about ALMA by visualising the array of 66 antennas at a touch of your screen. By zooming in on selected antennas you will be able to see details in the three-dimensional model. To download the ALMA augmented reality app for free please visit Google Play and the iTunes AppStore. The tracker document is also available in PDF form on the ESO web pages. ALMA is an array of 66 antennas spread out over up to 16 kilometres on the Chajnantor Plateau at 5000 metres above sea level in northern Chile. It is ...
ann14030 — Announcement
ESO Site Shortlisted for Cherenkov Telescope Array
15 April 2014: ESO’s Paranal–Armazones site in Chile has been shortlisted as one of two potential sites in the southern hemisphere for the international Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) — a large array for ground-based gamma-ray astronomy. This is an important step towards the realisation of the project and if the site is selected, this will open up a new frontier for ESO. On 10 April 2014 Government representatives from the 12 of the countries [1] involved in the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) project met in Munich and decided to start negotiations with the two sites — Aar in Namibia and ESO's Paranal–Armazones site in Chile — keeping Leoncito in Argentina as a third option. The CTA project is an initiative to build the next generation of ground-based, very high energy gamma-ray instruments. The CTA project aims to use detection of high-energy gamma-rays to provide a deeper insight into the high-energy Universe. The representatives ...
ann14029 — Announcement
Global Samsung App Features ESO Images
11 April 2014: Astronomy enthusiasts across the world can now enjoy the best ESO images and news from the Universe on their Samsung Smart TV devices. The company launched the application AstroImages in December 2013 in Latin America and they are now expanding and releasing this product in Smart TVs around the world. AstroImages allows users to see the beautiful images obtained and made available exclusively by ESO in their homes. Featuring content ranging from press releases, with the latest news in astronomy, the Pictures of the Week , and the top 100 images taken by ESO. "With this application you can enjoy the beauty and splendour of our Universe through the spectacular images of ESO on your TV. Discover more about the Solar System, nebulae and star clusters, and many other wonders of the skies in your home," says Daniel Petrini of Samsung Electronics. AstroImages can be found within the Educational category ...
ann14028 — Announcement
Award for ESO Headquarters Extension Architects Auer Weber
4 April 2014: Auer Weber has won a Best in Interior and Architecture award for the ESO Headquarters extension project at the Architecture, Interior, Technical Solutions (AIT), Awards 2014. After being shortlisted as one of six finalists in the category of Office/Administration, the ESO Headquarters extension project went on to receive a special mention at the award ceremony at the Light+Building Trade Fair 2014 held in Frankfurt, Germany on 2 April 2014. The AIT Award was first launched in 2012 and immediately became one of the largest competitions for architecture and interior design worldwide. An internationally renowned jury of architects and interior designers judge the awards — this year from a total of 573 submitted works from 31 countries. The award is divided into eight different categories [1] where all types of architectural projects and interior spaces can be submitted. On 10 March 2014, an international jury selected the ten to fifteen best ...
ann14027 — Announcement
Media Advisory: Invitation to Attend E-ELT Mountain Blasting Event
4 April 2014: During the week of 16 June 2014 there will be a major media event at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile to mark the blasting of the top of Cerro Armazones, the 3000-metre peak that will be the home of the European Extremely Large Telescope. The ceremony will be attended by VIPs from both Chile and the ESO Member States as well as representatives of the local communities, senior officials from the project and ESO staff. It will be a significant milestone in the construction of the largest optical/infrared telescope in the world. Members of the media are invited to attend in person to both witness the ceremony and to visit ESO’s Paranal Observatory at its spectacular site in the Atacama Desert. Please express your interest by filling out the ESO media visit form, noting that you wish to attend the E-ELT mountain blasting event under “Objective of the Visit.” ...
ann14026 — Announcement
Earthquake in Chile Causes No Damage or Casualties at ESO Observatories
2 April 2014: A magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck northwest Chile at 20:46 local time (01:46 CEST) on Tuesday 1 April 2014. The epicentre was about 95 kilometres north-west of the city of Iquique. The earthquake has caused significant casualties and damage in coastal regions. Large parts of the Pacific coast were evacuated in response to tsunami warnings. ESO expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and its sympathy and support for all those affected by the earthquake. The epicentre was about 500 kilometres from both the ALMA/APEX and Paranal sites. No casualties among ESO staff have been reported, and no damage to any ESO facilities, but this is affecting staff with families and friends in the north of Chile. Some of the staff at Paranal come from the most affected regions in Iquique and Arica. To our knowledge all staff currently on site have in the meantime been able to contact ...
ann14025 — Announcement
The Messenger No. 155 Now Available
28 March 2014: The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. Find out the latest news from ESO on topics ranging from new instruments to the latest science discoveries. Highlights of this edition include: Laser Guide Star Facility upgrade The calibration of ALMA using radio sources The VIMOS Ultra Deep Survey: 10 000 galaxies to study the early phases of galaxy assembly at 2 < z < 6+ When VLT meets HST: The HUGS survey Celebrating 50 years of ESO in Chile Download The Messenger in PDF format or visit The Messenger website to subscribe and receive a free printed copy.
ann14024 — Announcement
New Countries Join ESO Science Outreach Network
28 March 2014: The ESO Science Outreach Network (ESON) has grown wider following the appointment of national representatives for Hungary, Serbia and Australia. The network now covers 30 countries, including the 15 ESO Member States. The core of the ESO website is now available in 21 different languages. Press releases are translated into 18 different languages, and the Pictures of the Week and announcements are also being made available in more languages. The nodes of the ESO Science Outreach Network act as ESO’s local media and outreach contacts, with the general aim of promoting ESO's mission and demonstrating the many inspirational aspects of astronomy. They also serve as contacts between the media and scientists in their local area and can also be approached in connection with ESO’s projects and other science outreach initiatives. The 30 countries in the ESO Science Outreach Network are the 15 ESO Member States: Austria, Brazil, Belgium, the Czech ...
ann14023 — Announcement
ESO Ultra HD Expedition Begins
27 March 2014: ESO's Ultra HD Expedition team have begun their journey to capture ESO's three unique observing sites in Chile in all their grandeur. ESO's videographer Herbert Zodet and three ESO Photo Ambassadors, Yuri Beletsky, Christoph Malin and Babak Tafreshi are equipped with powerful Ultra HD tools [1] supplied by the technology's front runners [2]. The expedition provides an opportunity to demonstrate this state-of-the-art technology and to deliver crisp, breathtaking Ultra HD footage — bringing the Universe closer than ever before. The team continues to share their personal accounts of their 17-day adventure on the ESO Ultra HD Expedition blog and you can follow their travels through the journey schedule as the expedition unfolds. The team have now reached ESO's Paranal Observatory in northern Chile, home to the Very Large Telescope array (VLT) — ESO's flagship facility for European ground-based astronomy. Next, they will drive to ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array ...
ann14022 — Announcement
ESOcast 64: First Ring System Around an Asteroid
26 March 2014: This episode of the ESOcast presents the recent discovery that the remote asteroid Chariklo is surrounded by two dense and narrow rings. Telescopes at seven locations in South America, including the 1.54-metre Danish and TRAPPIST telescopes at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile were used to make this surprise discovery in the outer Solar System. This unique finding has sparked much interest and debate since it is the smallest object by far to have rings and only the fifth body in the Solar System — after the much larger planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — to have this feature. Astronomers think that this sort of ring is likely to be formed from debris left over after a collision. The story of this unique and unexpected discovery is told in ESOcast 64: First Ring System Around an Asteroid. More episodes of the ESOcast are also available. Find out how to ...
ann14021 — Announcement
Media Advisory: Press Conference in Brazil to Announce Discovery in Outer Solar System
25 March 2014: An international team of astronomers, led by Felipe Braga-Ribas (Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), has used telescopes at seven locations in South America, including the 1.54-metre Danish and TRAPPIST telescopes at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, to make a surprise discovery in the outer Solar System. This unexpected result raises several unanswered questions and is expected to provoke much debate. A press conference will be held in Brazil to present the new results and allow opportunities for questions. Note that all information regarding these findings is under strict embargo until 19:00 CET (15:00 BRT) on Wednesday 26 March 2014. When: The conference will be held on 26 March 2014 at 14:30 local time (BRT) and will take place in Portuguese with a summary in English. Who: The conference presenters are: Felipe Braga-Ribas, Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Bruno Sicardy, LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Paris, France Prof. ...
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