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ESO Science Newsletter
1 March 2013
Off the shoulder of Orion


This newsletter replaces the ESO Electronic Newsletter (ESO Enews) in a new format but continues with similar content. The continuity is also preserved through the editor, Jeremy Walsh, who also edits The ESO Messenger.

The ESO Science Newsletter provides relevant news to ESO users. This issue contains the announcement of the Call for Proposals for Period 92, news on ALMA observing and programmatic developments, news of the start of the new VLT laser, and news from the ESO Science Archive Facility. Information on upcoming events, like workshops, student- and fellowship announcements, will be regular features of the Newsletter. It conveniently provides links to relevant information on the ESO web pages.

The ESO Science Newsletter lies between scientific press releases published as the research is published and The ESO Messenger with its in-depth articles and more general information concerning the organisation.

The distribution list for the ESO Science Newsletter remains the same as for the previous Enews: all holders of an ESO User Portal account who opted for the subscription will receive the ESO Science Newsletter regularly. New users can subscribe via the User Portal.

I hope you will find the ESO Science Newsletter informative and in an attractive format.

Bruno Leibundgut
ESO Director for Science

Science Announcements

Call for Observing Proposals for Period 92

1 March 2013: The Call for Proposals for observation at ESO telescopes during Period 92 (1 October 2013–31 March 2014) has been released. Note that the Call for Proposals document has undergone a substantial change in Period 92; it now focuses on listing the main news items and policies related to applying for time on ESO telescopes. The technical information about the ...

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New PARLA Laser for the LGSF

1 March 2013: A new and more powerful laser has successfully been tested at the Paranal Observatory and formally accepted. This new laser source, called PARLA, forms a vital part of the VLT Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF),  currently used by the adaptive optics instruments NACO and SINFONI on  UT4. PARLA will greatly improve the reliability and flexibility in operating the LGSF. ...

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ALMA Director's Discretionary Time

1 March 2013: The ALMA Observatory will accept submission of Director's Discretionary Time (DDT) proposals from 1 March 2013. In Cycle 1, a maximum of 5% of the total observation time available may be dedicated to the execution of DDT programmes. A description of proposals eligible for DDT and the applicable policies are available. ALMA DDT requests can be submitted

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ALMA Inauguration and Live Streaming

1 March 2013: On 13 March 2013 from 11:30–13:00 CLST (15:30–17:00 CET), the official inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) will take place at the observatory’s Operations Support Facility (OSF) at the Chajnantor Plateau, in the Chilean Andes. Hundreds of guests, including the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, and representatives from the global scientific community, current and former ALMA personnel ...

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X-shooter Data Products

1 March 2013: Science verification of the X-shooter data products for SLIT mode observations has been completed. Issues with the data products, such as the noise model, bad pixel propagation and interpolation, and flux calibration, were found and a new improved version of the pipeline has been released and can be downloaded. Improved flux standards and a more detailed pipeline tutorial ...

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ESO Studentships

1 March 2013: 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. ESO's studentship positions are open to students enrolled in a university Ph.D. programme in astronomy or related fields. Students accepted into the programme work on their doctoral ...

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[Archive]: New Implementation of the ESO Data Access Policy

1 March 2013: As of ESO Observing Period 91, the ESO Science Archive Facility (SAF) is the sole access point for data obtained with ESO telescopes. This includes access to proprietary data for both Visitor and Service Mode runs. Typically files become available from the SAF within a few hours of the time of observation. As of 1 April 2013, the proprietary ...

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[Archive]: ESO Public Survey data

1 March 2013: The Phase 3 validator has been expanded and is now ready to verify VST OmegaCAM DR1 data. The changes are fully described on the Phase 3 web pages. The PIs of the VST Public Surveys and their teams can now test their data products against the ESO Science Data Products Standard (Issue 5, 11.01.2013).

[Archive]: Access to ALMA Science Data

1 March 2013: ALMA data can now be accessed through the ALMA Science Portal.  Public data, i.e. currently Cycle 0 data that are out of the 12 month proprietary period, can be accessed anonymously. Proprietary data are only accessible to the PIs. PIs can allow access to their data to any registered ALMA user by logging into the Science Portal and ...

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Upcoming ESO or ESO-Related Workshops

  • Science with ALMA Band 11 (1.0 - 1.6 THz)
    The Queen's College, University of Oxford, UK, 19 - 20 March 2013

    There are three atmospheric windows in the 1.0-1.6 THz frequency range, and these offer the potential of performing astronomical observations with ALMA at supra-terahertz frequencies. The realisation of ultra-high-resolution interferometry in the supra-terahertz windows is an exciting prospect, and would yield a unique, high profile return to the ALMA community. In order to assess the scientific potential of a possible "Band 11", and to perform preliminary quantitative studies of likely site characteristics and instrument performance, ESO has initiated a study in collaboration with STFC in UK that will result in a report on the scientific case for supra-terahertz operation. In the context of this study we are holding an Open Workshop at the University of Oxford. Further details can be found here.

  • ESO Workshop on The Deaths of Stars and the Lives of Galaxies
    Santiago, ESO Santiago, 8 - 12 April 2013

    The meeting will cover topics related to the final stages of stellar evolution and the many important aspects of astronomy that depend on understanding how stars die and what happens to their remnants. Topics related to the stars themselves and how their later stages of evolution proceed, as well as how their demise affects their immediate surroundings and host galaxies, will be addressed. Details can be found here. The deadline for registration has elapsed.

  • MPA/MPE/ESO/EC Joint Conference on The Physical Link between Galaxies and their Halos
    Garching, 24 - 28 June 2013

    This conference aims to bring together observers and theorists covering the three kinds of galaxy halos - stellar, gaseous and dark matter. A wide range of topics from halo masses, gaseous interactions, abundances of halos, stellar content, relationship to galaxy scaling relations, co-evolution with host galaxies and their use as clues to galaxy formation will be presented. Details can be found here and further information is available by email. The deadline for registration is 01 April 2013.

  • ALMA Community Days 2013
    Garching, 26 - 27 August 2013

    The aim of the 2013 ALMA Community Days is to optimally prepare the astronomical community for ALMA Cycle 2 proposal submission. Besides a series of technical and scientific presentations, there will also be practical hands-on tutorials for the ALMA proposal preparation software, and an introduction to (sub)mm-interferometry techniques for novices in the field.

  • SCIENCE OPERATIONS 2013: Working Together in Support of Science
    ESA/ESO Conference at ESAC, Madrid, Spain, 10 - 13 September 2013

    The objective of SCIOPS2013 is to present and discuss the various approaches to science operations in spacecraft missions and ground-based facilities for Astronomy and Solar System Science. The meeting will cover all phases of science operations, from initial concepts to legacy products, including general organisation and management aspects, community support and services, instrument planning, handling and calibration, science data processing and archiving. The Call for Abstracts is open and more details are available here. Registration will close on 15 July 2013.

  • Workshop on 400 Years of Stellar Rotation
    Natal, Brazil, 17 - 22 November 2013

    In 1613 Galileo Galilei observed solar spots and interpreted their motion as due to solar rotation. After 400 years we are able to quantify in detail the behaviour of the rotation of the Sun in time, as well as the evolutionary behaviour of stellar rotation all across the HR Diagram. This meeting will consider all aspects of stellar and solar rotation and, in addition, present the state of the art of stellar rotation coming from the space missions CoRoT, Kepler and Spitzer. The workshop is co-sponsored by the European Southern Observatory and the International Institute of Physics of Natal and further details can be found here. The deadline for registration is 01 June 2013.

  • ESO Workshop on Deconstructing Galaxies: Structure and Morphology in the Era of Large Surveys
    Santiago, ESO Santiago, 18 - 22 November 2013

    The study of the structure and morphology of galaxies is one of the major astronomical tools to address how galaxies form and evolve. There has been much recent progress in understanding the properties of different structural components in nearby and intermediate redshift (z ~ 1-2) galaxies. The strengths and limitations of the different techniques for obtaining structural measures of galaxies, particularly with regard to handling large surveys, will be highlighted. This conference will bring together over 100 observers and theorists, and it is intended to be highly participative, with substantial time devoted to discussions. More details can be found here.

  • 3D2014 - Gas and stars in galaxies: A multi-wavelength 3D perspective
    Garching, 24 - 28 February 2014
The Comet and the Laser  Super-thin Mirror Under Test at ESO  Laser and Light Painting  Sunset at Paranal Observatory  An Intergalactic Heavyweight 

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