Science Announcements

Online Conference: Assessing Uncertainties in Hubble's Constant Across the Universe

Published: 25 Apr 2020

Online, 22–26 June 2020, daily from 12:50 - 15:10 UTC

What's lurking behind the discord in the Hubble constant? This conference will discuss a wide range of observational methods, how to improve their systematics, and what H0 and other cosmological tensions tell us about cosmology and possible new physics beyond the Lambda-CDM model. The registration deadline is 29 May. Please see the conference webpage for more information.

Conference Galaxy Cluster Formation (GCF) 2020 Postponed

Published: 24 Apr 2020

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany (postponed)

The aim of GCF2020 is to discuss cluster formation over the last roughly ten billion years, from its beginnings to the present day, with a particular focus on the progress and developments since our first GCF meeting in 2017. Given the rapidly evolving and highly uncertain situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the second installment of the Galaxy Cluster Formation Workshop series is postponed until 2021. The workshop will most likely take place in summer 2021, although the month and dates have not been decided. Those who have already submitted an abstract will have the chance to update and resubmit. For updates and revised deadlines, please follow the workshop website.

New Issue of The Messenger Online

Published: 23 Apr 2020

The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. In issue 179, highlights include an article on the 2018 Visiting Committee report, imaging main belt asteroids using SPHERE, the ASPECS survey which is an ALMA Large Programme Targeting the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field. In addition, all subscribers to the print edition are asked to confirm their subscriptions and update their postal addresses. Please hold on to your envelope which contains your personalised confirmation code – see the back page of The Messenger 179 for further details.

ESO Archive Science Portal 2.0 released

Published: 23 Apr 2020

The ESO Archive Science Portal allows browsing and exploration of archive content using an intuitive interactive user interface that supports iterative queries or by direct database and Virtual Observatory (VO) access using user scripts and VO-aware tools. The latest version, released on 23 April 2020, provides the features and improvements listed below.

2020 Release of VLT/VLTI Instrument Data Reduction Software Packages

Published: 16 Apr 2020

The annual public release of ESO VLT/VLTI instruments data reduction software packages is scheduled for the beginning of June 2020. Please note that the new pipeline packages will be released for the following operating systems: Fedora 28-31, CentOS 7 and macOS 10.11–10.14. For macOS version 10.15 we recommend using MacPorts. We expect pipelines will build and install from source in macOS 10.15, thus installations will take a bit longer than for those OS versions that are supported with binary packages. We are working toward full support for macOS 10.15, but for the time being we cannot say when we will provide MacPorts packages for the pipelines on 10.15.

Impact of COVID-19 on ESO Proposal Submission Deadline

Published: 20 Mar 2020

Given ongoing developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESO is doing its best to guarantee that the proposal submission and review processes remain optimal within the restrictions imposed by this crisis. Since containment measures deployed in some of ESO’s Member States have disrupted scientific activities in those countries, the proposal submission deadline has been postponed from 26 March to 23 April 12:00 CEST. ESO will continue to follow developments closely and may provide additional updates regarding Phase 1 in the next weeks.

ALMA Cycle 8 Call for Proposals Deadline Delayed Due to COVID-19

Published: 19 Mar 2020

The ALMA Director, on behalf of the Joint ALMA Observatory and the partner organisations in East Asia, Europe, and North America, is pleased to announce that the ALMA Cycle 8 Call for Proposals for scientific observations opened on March 17. Users of any nationality or affiliation are invited to submit proposals. Please note that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the original deadline of 15:00 UT on 15 April 2020 has now been delayed to no earlier than 15:00 UT on 19 May 2020. As ALMA continues to monitor the conditions worldwide, it will assess the feasibility of this deadline and provide additional updates to the community as needed. The next update to the community will be provided no later than 21 April 2020 on the status of the call and the support for the scientific community.

Impact of COVID-19 on ESO Operations

Published: 19 Mar 2020

In response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic around the world ESO has been following the measures adopted by governments in Germany and Chile and closely observing the situation in other countries. Our highest priority remains the safety and wellbeing of all staff and visitors at ESO’s sites. To minimise the risk of infection the presence of staff has been significantly reduced at the observatories over the past week leading to a number of restrictions to the ongoing science operation. Over the coming weekend, the staff at the observatories will be further reduced to the minimal teams required to ensure the safety of the facilities and the remaining people on site.

As a consequence science operation will cease at all sites.

ALMA Cycle 7 Observations Suspended due to COVID-19

Published: 18 Mar 2020

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has spread to Chile, the ALMA Director has made the decision to suspend science operations with ALMA, effective immediately. This decision has been taken to protect the safety of ALMA staff, many of whom travel long distances by bus and by plane to reach the remote ALMA site in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

ALMA Cycle 8 Call for Proposals: Dual-Anonymous Proposal Review Process

Published: 16 Mar 2020

ALMA is strongly committed to ensure that the proposal review process is as fair and impartial as possible. Analysis of the proposal rankings in previous cycles has identified systematics that may signify the presence of biases in the review process (see Systematics in the ALMA Proposal Review Rankings). In an effort to reduce biases as much as possible, ALMA will use a dual-anonymous proposal review process starting in Cycle 8.

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