Science Announcements

ALMA Update on the Recovery from Cyberattack

Published: 18 Nov 2022

The Joint ALMA Observatory released the following statement today regarding a recent cyberattack that has affected ALMA services:

On October 29, 2022, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) suffered a cyberattack on its computer systems, forcing the suspension of astronomical observations and the public website. This event is under investigation by local authorities. The Computing team quickly isolated the Antennas and Correlator systems and the Science Archive data systems. However, communication and other operational clusters were affected, forcing ALMA to stop all observations. Since then, email communication has been restored safely, along with new collaboration tools that enable the staff to continue their regular work.

The Crisis Management Team has developed a full-recovery plan in consultation with cyber security officers from ESO/NAOJ/NRAO. Our highest priority is to work hard to resume observations before the end of the year.

MUSE Analysis of Gas around Galaxies (MAGG) second data release

Published: 18 Nov 2022

The second data release, the large program "MUSE Analysis of Gas around Galaxies project - MAGG" (ESO programme ID: 197.A-0384, PI: M. Fumagalli) provides the community with 28 high-quality VLT/MUSE cubes centred on bright redshift z~3-4.5 quasars (Lofthouse et al. 2020).

Peer Review Under Review conference: The registration is open!

Published: 18 Nov 2022

The Peer Review Under Review conference will take place at the Headquarters of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany, from February 6 to 10, 2023. The conference aims at bringing experts from diverse environments to assess the current and future challenges, methodologies and other aspects of the peer review processes.

Registration is now open!

Release of Period 111 telescope schedule and proposal evaluation outcome delayed

Published: 18 Nov 2022

The web letters announcing the outcome of the proposal evaluation process and the La Silla Paranal Observatory schedule for odd semesters are usually released by the end of December. For P111, there is a foreseen delay of one month, moving the release of the web letters and the schedule to the beginning of February 2023. The Phase 2 deadline for submission of observing material for Service Mode observations will be shifted according to the envisaged web letters release. The deadline will be set four weeks after the P111 schedule announcement. The priority in the review of the submitted Phase 2 material will be given to the programmes with early targets to ensure the regular start of the P111 observing period on 1 April 2023.

PyCPL - A New Python Interface to ESO Pipelines

Published: 16 Nov 2022

All ESO data reduction pipelines are currently written in the C programming language using ESO's Common Pipeline Library (CPL) and the pipeline recipes are executed using either the Esorex command line tool, or the ESOReflex GUI. Recently, ESO released an early version of PyCPL that provides Python language bindings for CPL. This opens a new interface to the ESO pipelines.

ESO Period 111 Proposal Submission Statistics

Published: 31 Oct 2022

The deadline for proposal submission for Period 111 (1 April 2023 - 30 September 2023) was 27 September 2022: 824 valid proposals were submitted, with no Large Programme as P111 is an odd period.  On the VLT, the most requested ESO instrument was MUSE with a request of 231 nights, followed by X-Shooter with 194 nights. HARPS on the ESO 3.6-metre telescope was the most demanded instrument at La Silla (and fourth most demanded instrument overall), with 130 nights. The new instruments  ERIS  and NIRPS got requests of 77 and 97 nights respectively.

Call for Proposals for development studies

Published: 28 Oct 2022

ESO is pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for development studies for ALMA upgrades, with a deadline for proposal submission on 24 January 2023 at 20:00 CET. Interested parties are encouraged to visit this page to request the proposal submission package. Studies can cover a wide range of topics. Proposals following the scientific priorities outlined in the ALMA 2030 roadmap are particularly encouraged, such as upgrades of the Intermediate Frequency (IF) bandwidth by a factor up to 4 compared to the current system. Proposals for new advanced data products are also solicited in this call.

The Messenger 188 is Now Available

Published: 21 Oct 2022

The latest edition of ESO's journal for science and technologies, The Messenger, is now available online. Issue 188 opens with an overview article by ESO’s Director General on the forward look of the organisation 60 years after its creation. Next, our readers will find articles summarising the latest results in the search for variations in the fine-structure constant, what can we learn from spatially resolving active galactic nuclei, and whether young stellar quadruples could be the progenitors of supernovae Ia.  Issue 188 also features an overview of the Additional Representative Images for Legacy (ARI-L) Development Project for the ALMA Science Archive and a presentation of CUBES, the upcoming Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph for the VLT.

Save the date! Peer review under review workshop, Garching, February 6-10 2023

Published: 12 Oct 2022

Many aspects of modern peer review have not changed from its inception in the 18th century despite drastic changes in the scientific community. Specifically, contrary to the early days of peer review, it has become a significant challenge to identify experts who can effectively review the more and more specialised fields of science.

The problem is exacerbated by the ever-rising number of researchers (having grown by 15% between 2014 and 2018 according to a UNESCO report), also seen through the staggering increase of publications and proposals (doubling every 14 years in astronomy). Some say that peer review has not adequately innovated as technology has advanced and the dissemination of publications has surged, creating a space for stagnant and biased reviews. ESO is organising a workshop to discuss these issues.

The workshop will take place at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (Germany) from February 6 to 10, 2023. In the workshop, we aim at bringing together experts from a large number of organisations and facilities (ESO, ESA, ALMA, STScI, NASA, NOIRLab) to discuss the state of peer review and the ways forward for a digital and interconnected science community. The workshop will be divided into 4 main sessions (Peer review at large; Methodologies; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in peer review; and Concrete examples) and it will include ample time for discussion.

ALMA at 10 years: Past, Present, and Future

Published: 12 Oct 2022

To commemorate its first decade of science operations, the ALMA partnership is organising a conference that will take a look back at the observatory accomplishments, highlight its latest results and look forward to future technical developments. The conference will be held in Puerto Varas, Chile on 4-8 December 2023. More information will be posted on the conference web page as it becomes available. Registration for the conference will open in early 2023.

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