Science Users Information

These pages are aimed at ESO community astronomers and contain all the information required in order to prepare, execute, process and exploit observations with ESO facilities. They also provide information on the scientific activities taking place at ESO. Details can be accessed via the navigation menu.


ESO Science Announcements

Workshop: Linking Galaxies from the Epoch of Initial Star Formation to Today

Published: 27 Nov 2018

Sydney, Australia 18–22 February 2019

Over the last two decades, surveys mapping the Universe have made clear that star formation activity peaks about 10 billion years ago (known as cosmic noon). The driver of this behaviour is still an open area of research. A better understanding of star-forming regions and physical processes is required to explain the rise and fall of star formation around cosmic noon.  This joint Australia–ESO conference addresses a range of topical issues, more details are available below. This conference forms part of the Elizabeth and Frederick White research conference series.

Workshop: The La Silla Observatory - From the Inauguration to the Future

Published: 26 Nov 2018

La Serena, Chile, 25–28 March 2019

The La Silla Observatory was officially inaugurated on 25 March 1969. This event marked the culmination of the vision of European astronomers to create a major observatory in the Southern Hemisphere. In the following decades, La Silla served as the test-bed for developing technical and scientific expertise in the European astronomical community, establishing communications channels with the public at large and the interaction of an inter-governmental organisation and its host country, Chile. Relations with other astronomical facilities in the Andes mountains are also part of its history. La Silla has served as a superb site where national communities of ESO member states could install their experiments; some of these facilities regularly put the La Silla Observatory in the news. This conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of La Silla. We will review the significance of its history in all aspects and discuss possible future scenarios. The history of the Observatory including all of its many facets, and the research areas where La Silla telescopes have made important contributions will be reviewed.

Workshop: Preparing for 4MOST - Registration Open

Published: 26 Nov 2018

ESO, Garching, Germany, 6–8 May 2019

4MOST is a state-of-the-art, high-multiplex, optical spectroscopic survey facility currently under construction for ESO’s 4-metre VISTA telescope. During the first five years of operations 4MOST will be used to execute a comprehensive programme of both Galactic and extragalactic Public Surveys, and 30% of the observing time during this period will be available to the community. The process of selecting Community Public Surveys will be initiated by a Call for Letters of Intent for Public Spectroscopic Surveys, to be issued by ESO in mid-2019. In preparation of this Call, ESO and the 4MOST Consortium are jointly organising a workshop to prepare the ESO community for this exciting scientific opportunity, to assist potential PIs in successfully responding to the Call, and to foster scientific collaborations between the community and the 4MOST Consortium.  

ELT News

Published: 25 Nov 2018

A concrete step towards the ELT: Onsite at Cerro Armazones there has been good progress in escavating the platform for the foundations of the Dome and the Main Structure and in pouring the lean concrete. The outline of the telescope’s main structure is clearly visible. The 55-metre diameter circular pit at the centre will eventually contain the foundation for the telescope structure. To put things into perspective, see how small the various construction vehicles look when compared to the size of the ELT’s foundations.

ELT Instrument update: Work on all ELT instruments is proceeding. HARMONI has almost completed addressing the actions from its Preliminary Design Review (PDR), while MICADO is undergoing PDR at the end of November. METIS and MAORY have planned their PDRs for mid-2019. 

ESCAPE Project on Open Science

Published: 23 Nov 2018

The European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle physics ESFRI research infrastructures (ESCAPE) project has received funding of €16 million through the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme of the European Union. The ESCAPE project will combine the efforts of participating institutions to make data and software in multi-messenger astronomy and accelerator-driven particle physics open, accessible and interoperable. As a member of the ESCAPE project, ESO will focus on developing Deep Learning techniques to enhance the content of its Science Archives for the La Silla Paranal and ALMA observatories, and on supporting Virtual Observatory activities across Europe.

The Messenger

The Messenger 173 is now available. Highlights include:

  • Rejkuba et al.: Should I Stay or Should I Go? Service Mode and Visitor Mode at Paranal
  • Patat: Time Allocation Working Group Report
  • Hainaut et al.: Rendezvous with `Oumuamua
  • Clark et al.: Life at the Extremes - Massive Star Formation and Evolution at the Galactic Centre
  • Calistro Rivera et al.:Resolving the Interstellar Medium at the Peak of Cosmic Star Formation
  • Baade et al.: Leon B. Lucy, 1938–2018

You can subscribe to the hardcopy of The Messenger or browse the complete archive of issues.


The ESO Science Newsletter

The November 2018 issue is now available.

The ESO Science Newsletter, mailed approximately once per month, presents the most recent announcements. Subscription is controlled through the Manage Profile link on the User Portal. Back issues (2013-) are archived.