Science Announcements

Stellar End Products: The Low Mass - High Mass Connection

Published: 03 Nov 2014

ESO Workshop, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 6–10 July, 2015
Mass loss from cool Asymptotic Giant Branch and Red Supergiant stars inputs large amounts of material to the ISM and is therefore an important process for understanding stellar lifecycles and galactic ecology. Significant advances in observations (e.g. VLTI, ALMA and other facilities), and theory, now provide an opportunity to revisit outstanding questions of late stellar evolution, such as the role of mass loss, magnetic fields and binarity. The aim of the meeting is to bring together observers and theorists from the low and high mass stellar communities with the goals of exploring the commonalities of evolved star mass loss.

Commissioning of SPHERE

Published: 21 Oct 2014

The most recently installed instrument at Paranal, the ESO Planet-finder instrument SPHERE, underwent its last commissioning run during 05 – 15 October 2014. SPHERE saw first light on 04 May 2014 (see the Release) and was followed by three periods of commissioning in May, July and August 2014.

Move of X-shooter to UT2

Published: 21 Oct 2014

After a year at UT3, X-shooter was re-installed at UT2 earlier this month to make room for the re-commissioning and integration of VISIR on UT3, which will start next month. In spite of poor weather conditions, which delayed the precise measurement of the telescope focus for X-shooter, the long list of recommissioning tasks, were completed as planned, thanks to the efficient work of the science and engineering teams. Routine science operations with X-shooter have re-commenced.

HARPS Pipeline Processed Data Available Through Phase 3

Published: 21 Oct 2014

Pipeline processed HARPS echelle data are now available as Science Data Products via the Phase 3 spectral query form. The data consist of 1D spectra in the ESO/SDP format and the tar files containing unaltered output of the HARPS pipeline (DRS v. 3.5), as previously available.

Dissecting Galaxies Near and Far

Published: 21 Oct 2014

ESO Workshop, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile, 23–27 March 2015

Angular and spectral resolutions are fundamental limitations to our understanding of the properties of galaxies in the nearby and distant Universe. The advent of state-of-the-art facilities with high angular and spectral resolution capabilities coupled with high sensitivity, such as ALMA, allows the interstellar medium and star formation properties of galaxies at intermediate redshift to be probed in unprecedented detail, along with their counterparts in the local Universe.

ESO Period 95 Proposal Statistics

Published: 17 Oct 2014

The proposal submission for ESO Period 95 (1 April – 30 September 2015) closed on 01 October 2014. 931 proposals were received, including 17 Large Programme and 50 Target of Opportunity (ToO) proposals, for a total of 2428 nights.

Agreement Signed to Build MOONS

Published: 15 Oct 2014

The Multi-Object Optical and Near-infrared Spectrograph (MOONS) is a red and near-infrared (0.64 – 1.8 μm), medium (R=4000) and high (R=20000) resolution, multi-object spectrograph with 1024 fibres, planned for installation at the  VLT Nasmyth focus in 2018. The agreement to build MOONS was recently signed between ESO and the MOONS Consortium, composed of institutes from the ESO Member States and led by the UK STFC. See the public announcement for details.

Release of New Imaging Data for VISTA Magellanic Clouds Survey

Published: 13 Oct 2014

New data products from the VISTA Survey of the Magellanic system Public Survey (VMC) are now available via the dedicated Phase 3 query interface. The current release is based on the observations of five new VMC survey tiles (three in the LMC and two in the SMC), as well as on improved reduction of two tiles released earlier.

Baryons at Low Densities: the Stellar Halos around Galaxies

Published: 10 Oct 2014

ESO Workshop, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 23–27 February 2015

Stellar halos are ubiquitous in luminous galaxies, but their low surface brightness hampers detailed study in distant galaxies. With the advent of large cameras and surveys, several late- and early-type galaxies have revealed similar low luminosity extended structures. These halos have complex morphologies with multiple stellar components, kinematics and substructures indicating the merger history. The halo morphologies resemble the density maps from cosmological simulations of galaxy formation in a hierarchical Universe.

Ultra-deep Ks-band Imaging Data of the UDS and GOODS-South Fields Released

Published: 07 Oct 2014

The HAWK-I Ultra Deep Survey and GOODS Survey (HUGS) is an near-infrared imaging survey executed with HAWK-I (PI: A. Fontana); an overview can be found here. HUGS covers two CANDELS extragalactic fields: a sub-area of the UKIDSS Ultra-Deep Survey (UDS) and GOODS-South. HUGS delivers the deepest, highest quality images ever collected in the K-band: to Ks=27.3 (1σ) in UDS and to Ks=27.8 in GOODS-South. Deep Y-band images in the UDS field have also been acquired.

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