Science Announcements

Call for Proposals for Period 102

Published: 01 Mar 2018

The Call for Proposals for observations at ESO telescopes in Period 102 (1 October 2018 – 31 March 2019) has been released. Please consult the Period 102 document 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 proposal submission deadline is 12:00 CEST 28 March 2018.

Large Programmes Offered Once per Year from P104

Published: 28 Feb 2018

Starting from Period 104, Large Programmes will only be offered in even periods, i.e., periods with a proposal submission deadline in March or April. ESO encourages the community to submit Large Programmes that do not extend over a number of periods larger than that required scientifically. From Period 104 onwards, ESO will strive to execute Large Programmes over shorter periods of time (aiming at two semesters by default) while maintaining the ceiling set by Council of the observing time allocated to Large Programmes (i.e., 30% of the available time on the VLT/VLTI). These measures follow the recommendations of ESO's Time Allocation Working Group, reviewed by the Scientific Technical Committee and Users Committee, and aim to increase the scientific impact of ESO's telescopes.

Call for Proposals for ESO Workshops 2019

Published: 27 Feb 2018

Science workshops are an essential component of ESO's programmes and represent a unique opportunity to promote and foster ideas and collaborations within the scientific community. Every year, through the Directorate for Science, ESO provides support and funding to organise two workshops in Santiago and four in Garching, as well as co-funding some external workshops (see ESO Workshops calendar).

A new Call has been issued inviting community astronomers to team up with ESO staff and fellows in Chile and/or in Germany to submit proposals for ESO workshops to be held in 2019. Note that ESO has recently implemented a Code of Conduct for Workshops and Conferences, which applies to all meetings held at ESO premises. ESO-funded workshops that are held outside ESO premises are required to adopt their own codes of conduct.

Users Committee Meeting 2018

Published: 25 Feb 2018

The Users Committee (UC) represents ESO's astronomical community at large and acts as an advisory body to the ESO Director General on matters related to the performance, scientific access, operation and user interfaces to the La Silla Paranal Observatory and ALMA. The annual meeting of the UC is scheduled at ESO Headquarters on 26-27 April 2018. During the UC meeting updates from ESO and feedback from the user community are exchanged and openly discussed. Each year, the UC meeting has one session dedicated to a special topic – in 2018 the special topic is the future of ALMA User Support.


Published: 22 Feb 2018

First Segments of ELT's Primary Mirror Successfully Cast: The first six hexagonal segments for the primary mirror of ESO's Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) have been successfully cast by SCHOTT (Germany) at their facility in Mainz. These segments will form parts of the ELT's 39-metre primary mirror, which will have 798 segments in total. After casting, the mirror segment blanks will go through a slow cooling and heat treatment sequence and will then be ground to the right shape and polished to a precision of 15 nm across the entire optical surface. The shaping and polishing will be performed by Safran Reosc (France), which will also be responsible for further testing.

ESO Publication Statistics 2017

Published: 21 Feb 2018

Statistics on refereed publications in 2017 that make use of data from ESO telescopes have been published by the ESO library. The statistics are calculated using the ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib), a database of refereed publications resulting from ESO data. An impressive total of 1085 papers were published in 2017. MUSE and X-SHOOTER papers both took a big leap forward, along with VIMOS, VISIR and the VST. On La Silla, HARPS continues to be outstanding. The annual summary of publication statistics, with breakdown by telescopes and instruments and a comparison with other observatories, is available as Basic ESO Publication Statistics (DOI 10.18727/docs/1).

ESO's Training Programmes: Studentships

Published: 20 Feb 2018

ESO offers a wide range of opportunity to young astronomers to help develop their careers, including including summer and winter astronomy camps for high school students, internships for masters students, PhD studentships and research fellowships. The Director General tells us more about each of these schemes in the latest entry of the ESO Blog.

Period 101 Telescope Allocation

Published: 02 Feb 2018

The 101st Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met on 14–16 November 2017. A total of 1000 nights (10-hour equivalent) of Visitor Mode and Service Mode observations were allocated on the VLT/VLTI, VISTA, VST, the 3.6-metre and NTT, and APEX telescopes. The outcome of the time allocation was communicated to the Principal Investigators of the 899 proposals submitted for Period 101 on 21 December 2017. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations was on 1 February 2018.

ALMA Programme Scientist

Published: 01 Feb 2018

The position for European ALMA Programme Scientist is open for applications. The Programme Scientist will serve as the primary contact between the ALMA Observatory, the European ALMA Support Centre and the European astronomical community with respect to the scientific capabilities, mission and exploitation of the ALMA facility. The successful candidate will be responsible for ensuring that the European share of the observatory and its future development will enable ALMA to meet scientific requirements. Additionally the Programme Scientist will monitor the scientific performance of ALMA operations and its ability to carry out forefront science.  

Release of VLT/VLTI Instrument Data Reduction Software Packages

Published: 01 Feb 2018

The annual public release of ESO VLT/VLTI instruments data reduction software packages is scheduled for April 2018. Please note that the updated pipeline packages will be released for the following operating systems: Fedora 24–27, CentOS 7, Scientific Linux 7 and macOS 10.10–10.13. In addition to the release of data reduction pipelines in April, some instruments with pipelines under active development have intermediate releases throughout the year. To get announcements of new pipeline releases, please send an email or visit the VLT Instrument Pipelines webpage.

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