Science Announcements

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.

Large Programme NTT Proposals in Periods 106 & 107

Published: 15 Mar 2020

Due to recent developments related to SOXS at the NTT, Large Programme proposals will be accepted in Period 106 for SOFI runs in Period 106 and for EFOSC2 runs in Periods 106 and 107. Users should be aware, however, that these programmes may be terminated ahead of the expected time, depending on the progress with SOXS. This will be reviewed again ahead of the release of the Period 108 Call for Proposals.

Postponement of Workshop: Ground-based Thermal Infrared Astronomy - Past, Present and Future

Published: 13 Mar 2020

ESO Garching, Germany, 12–16 October 2020 

Following the spread of COVID-19 (the coronavirus), this workshop has been postponed from April to October and registration has been re-opened. All participants who registered for the original workshop should register again to confirm their attendance in October. More information about the workshop itself can be found below and via the workshop website.

Data Release 4: Final Data Release of VIKING Survey

Published: 12 Mar 2020

The VISTA Kilo-degree Infrared Galaxy Public Survey (VIKING, ESO Programme ID: 179.A-2005, PIs: A. Edge and W. Sutherland) is a wide area (covering a final area of 1350 square degrees), intermediate-depth (5-sigma detection limit J~21 on Vega system) near-infrared imaging survey, in the five broadband filters Z, Y, J, H, Ks. The sky coverage has maximum overlap with the Kilo-Degree Survey KiDS in the optical bands. This fourth and final VIKING data release covers all of the highest quality data taken during the survey to its completion and, when combined with the first three releases, includes all fields that met the team’s quality control thresholds in seeing (< 1.3”) and atmospheric transmission (thin cirrus or clearer).

Data Release 5: ESO Public Survey VHS

Published: 11 Mar 2020

The VISTA Hemisphere Survey (VHS, ESO Programme ID: 79.A-2010, PI R. McMahon) is a wide-area, multi-band, near-infrared survey, which when combined with other VISTA public surveys, will result in the coverage of the whole southern celestial hemisphere (declination < 0; 20 000 square degrees), to a depth 30 times fainter than 2MASS/DENIS in at least two filters (J and Ks), with a minimum exposure time of 60 seconds per filter and a median 5-sigma point source depth of AB = 20.8 and 20.0 in J and Ks filters respectively.

Data Release 1: MUSE Library of Stellar Spectra

Published: 11 Mar 2020

The MUSE Library of Stellar Spectra (Ivanov et al. 2019) provides the community with a set of 1D high signal-to-noise spectra with reliable continuum shapes, which populate all major sequences on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, with 3-6 bright stars per spectral type. This first data release contains 35 high-quality MUSE spectra. These stars cover the following parameter space: effective temperatures between 2600 and 33000K, log(g) between 0.6 and 4.5, and  [Fe/H] from -1.22 to 0.55. The 1D spectra cover a wavelength range from 4800 to 9300 Angstrom, with a resolving power varying from 1750 to 3750 and, given the IFU spectral capabilites of MUSE, are not subject to slit losses.

Call for Proposals for Period 106

Published: 28 Feb 2020

The Call for Proposals for observations at ESO telescopes in Period 106 (1 October 2020 – 31 March 2021) has been released. Please consult the Period 106 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 CET 26 March 2020.

ESO Proposal Anonymisation

Published: 27 Feb 2020

ESO strongly encourages applicants to formulate the scientific rationales in their proposals taking into account the anonymisation rules and examples described in this link, which describes the paradigm of the Dual-Anonymous Peer Review (DAPR). While DAPR will be implemented in full in the future and proposal anonymisation is not mandatory in Period 106, applicants should use this opportunity as a dry run to practice writing proposals in the required style.

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