Messenger No. 102 (December 2000)

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Telescopes and Instrumentation

1-4 (PDF)
G. Avila et al.
Successful Installation of the VIRMOS Laser Mask Manufacturing Unit (MMU) at Paranal

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Avila, G.; Conti, G.; Mattaini, E.; Chiappetti, L.; Maccagni, D.; Sant’ambrogio, E.; Le Fèvre, O.; Vettolani, G.; Saïsse, M.
AA(ESO) AB(CNR – Istituto Fisica Cosmica “G.Occhialini”, Milano) AC(CNR – Istituto Fisica Cosmica “G.Occhialini”, Milano) AD(CNR – Istituto Fisica Cosmica “G.Occhialini”, Milano) AE(CNR – Istituto Fisica Cosmica “G.Occhialini”, Milano) AF(CNR – Istituto Fisica Cosmica “G.Occhialini”, Milano) AG(Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille) AH(CNR – Istituto di Radioastronomia, Bologna) AI(Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille)
The Mask Manufacturing Unit (MMU), one of the three main components of the VIRMOS project, has been delivered and successfully installed at Paranal Observatory at the beginning of August. The MMU is a laser-based system, which will be used to cut the slit masks for the VIMOS, NIRMOS and FORS2 spectrographs. The unit also manages the selection, storage and insertion of the masks into dedicated cabinets. A batch of masks has been manufactured on Paranal for a test with FORS2. The quality of the masks (position accuracy and roughness of the slits) are fully compliant with the instrument specifications.
Le Fèvre et al.: 2000, in Optical and IR Telescope Instrumentation and Detectors. Proc. SPIE 4008, 546.
H. Schink et al.: 2000, in Optical and IR Telescope Instrumentation and Detectors. Proc. SPIE 4008, 175.
Conti, G. et al.: 2000, Astronomy & Astrophysics, submitted.
4-8 (PDF)
H.U. Käufl et al.
First Astronomical Light with TIMMI2, ESO’s 2nd-Generation Thermal Infrared Multimode Instrument at the La Silla 3.6-m Telescope

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Käufl, H.U.; Ageorges, N.; Dietzsch, E.; Hron, J.; Relke, H.; Scholz, D.; Silber, A.; Sperl, M.; Sterzik, M.; Wagner, R.; Weilenmann, U.
AA(ESO, Garching bei München, Germany) AB(ESO, Garching bei München, Germany) AC(Leipziger Straße 100, Jena, Germany) AD(Institut für Astronomie der Universität Wien, Austria) AE(Astrophysikalisches Institut und Universitäts -Sternwarte Jena, Germany) AF(Physikalisch Technische Fakultät der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Technische Betriebseinheit, Jena, Germany) AG(ESO, Garching bei München, Germany) AH(Institut für Astronomie der Universität Wien, Austria) AI(ESO, Garching bei München, Germany) AJ(Astrophysikalisches Institut und Universitäts-Sternwarte Jena, Germany) AK(ESO, Garching bei München, Germany)
We report the first astronomical tests of TIMMI2 between October 6 and 11, 2000. A short overview of the project history and the project context is given. This is followed by a basic description of the instrument and its modes as well as a report on the achieved and projected sensitivities. A more in depth technical description including first operational experiences will be given in one of the upcoming issues of The Messenger. As to the scientific interest of TIMMI2, readers are referred to, e.g., Käufl 1993.
E. Dietzsch and H.-G. Reimann, 1998; TIMMI2:
A Combined Astronomical MIR
Camera, Spectrometer and Polarimeter
for ESO; Proceedings SPIE Vol. 3482, pp.
A.D. Estrada, G. Doingo, J.D. Garnett, A.W.
Hoffman, N.A. Lum, P.J. Love, S.L. Solomon,
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Johnson, 1998; Si: As IBC IR focal
plane arrays for ground-based and
space-based astronomy; Proceedings of
SPIE conference 3354 Infrared A s t r onomical
Instrumentation, Kona 1998, pp.
S. Guisard, U. Weilenmann, A. van Dijsseldonk,
H.U. Käufl, and J. Roucher, 1997;
Image Quality of the 3.6m Telescope (part
VI): Now Diffraction Limited at 10 Microns
at the f/35 Focus; The Messenger 90,
H.U. Käufl, P. Bouchet, A. van Dijsseldonk
and U. Weilenmann, 1991; A Sky-Noise
Measurement and its Implication for
Ground-Based Infrared Astronomy in the
10-mm Atmospheric Window; Experimen -
tal Astronomy 2,115–122.
H.U. Käufl, R. Jouan, P.O. Lagage, P.
Masse, P. Mestreau and A. Tarrius, 1992;
TIMMI at the 3.6m Telescope; T h e
Messenger 70, 67–70.
H.U. Käufl, 1993; Ground-Based Astronomy
in the 10 and 20mm Atmospheric Windows
at ESO – Scientific Potential at
Present and in the Future; The Mes -
senger 73, 8–12.
H.U. Käufl and B. Delabre, 1994; Improved
Design and Prototyping for a 10/20mm
Camera/Spectrometer for ESO’s VLT, in
proc. of Instrumentation in A s t r o n o m y
VIII; SPIE Vol 2198, p. 1036–1047.
H.U. Käufl, R. Jouan, P.O. Lagage, P.
Masse, P. Mestreau, A. Tarrius, 1994a;
TIMMI, ESO’s new 10mm Camera/
Spectrometer; Infrared Phys. Technol. 35,
H.U. Käufl, 1994b; N-Band Long-Slit Grism
Spectroscopy with TIMMI at the 3.6m
Telescope; The Messenger 78, 4–7.
P.O. Lagage, R. Jouan, P. Masse, P.
Mestreau, A. Tarrius, H.U. Käufl; 1993,
TIMMI: a 10 mm Camera for the ESO
3.6m telescope; in proc. SPIE vol. 1946,
p. 655–666, Infrared Detectors and Instru -
mentation, A.M. Fowler (ed.).
H.U. Käufl, 1995a; Acquisition, cleaning and
calibrating of ground based thermal IR
data; in proc. of the ESO/ST-ECF workshop
on Calibrating and understanding
NST and ESO instruments, ESO, ed. P.
Benvenuti p. 99–104.
H.U. Käufl, 1995b; Observing extended objects
with chopping restrictions on 8m
class telescopes in the thermal infrared; in
proc. of the ESO/ST-ECF workshop on
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p. 159–164.
C. Lucas, P. Pantiguy, D. Alloin, C.
Cesarsky, P.O. Lagage, H.U. Käufl, J.L.
Monin, 1994; New 8-13mm Si:Ga/DRO
Hybrid Arrays for Very Large Telescopes;
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1998SPIE.3354..865R&db_key= )
H. Relke, M. Sperl, J. Hron, H.U. Käufl, H.
Linz, H.G. Reimann, R. Wagner: 2000.
Proc. SPIE Vol. 4009, p. 440–448,
Advanced Telescope and Instrumentation
Control Software, Hilton Lewis, Ed.
B. Stecklum, H.U. Käufl, A. Richichi, 1999;
The lunar occultation of CW Leo – a great
finale for TIMMI, 1999 The Messenger
95, 25–27.
8-12 (PDF)
S. Cristiani et al.
Exploring the Lyman Forest at z = 2 with UVES

ADS BibCode:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Cristiani, S.; D’odorico, S.; Kim, T.-S.
1. The Signature of Neutral HI in the High-Redshift Universe The Lyman-a resonance line of neutral hydrogen provides a sensitive probe to study the cosmological distribution of the baryonic matter and the conditions in the intergalactic medium (IGM) over a wide range of redshifts, up to z ~ 6. Observations of the “forest” of Lyman-a absorptions along the lines of sight to quasars, the most luminous objects known, reveal a wealth of structures, ranging from fluctuations of the diffuse IGM to the interstellar medium in protogalactic objects. The properties of the Lyman-a forest at different redshifts constrain the cosmological parameters, such as the density of baryons and the density parameter W, and are the key to issues like the formation of galaxies and large-scale structure, the origin and properties of the ionising radiation background. In particular, it was early recognised by Gunn & Peterson (1965) that, to avoid producing a very large HI opacity at wavelengths just below that of the q u a s a r’s Ly m a n-a emission line, a strong photoionisation by the metagalactic UV background is necessary, which at high redshift is produced by the first generation of stars, which also enrich the IGM with metals (also observed in the form of absorptions).
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Cristiani S., Hanuschik R., Kaufer A., Wolf
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The La Silla News Page

12-12 (PDF)
H. Jones
2p2 Team News

ADS BibCode:
The La Silla News Page
Jones, H.
In September we welcomed new team member Lisa Germany from Australia. Lisa is a new ESO Fellow and has interests in supernovae and their use in cosmological distance determinations. S e p t e m b e r, however, was also a month for departures when we said goodbye to long-time team member James Brewer. James was a pivotal member of the 2p2 Team since his arrival at ESO in 1996. He has returned to Canada to take up a position at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. We wish him all the best under northern skies.

Reports from Observers

13-17 (PDF)
J. Setiawan et al.
A study of the activity of G and K giants through their precise radial velocity. Breaking the 10-m/sec accuracy with FEROS.

ADS BibCode:
Reports from Observers
Setiawan, J.; Pasquini, L.; da Silva, L.; Hatzes, A.; von der Luhe, O.; Kaufer, A.; Girardi, L.; de La, Reza R.; de Medeiros, J. R.
AA(Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Freiburg (Breisgau), Germany) AB(European Southern Observatory) AC(Observatorio Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) AD(Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Tautenburg, Germany) AE(Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Freiburg (Breisgau), Germany) AF(European Southern Observatory) AG(Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, Padova, Italy) AH(Observatorio Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) AI(Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil)
Asteroseismology is an indispensable tool that uses the properties of stellar oscillations to probe the internal structure of stars. This can provide a direct test of stellar structure and evolution theory. Precise stellar radial velocity (RV) measurements made in recent years have not only discovered the first extra-solar planets, but have also uncovered new classes of low-amplitude variable stars. One such is represented by the K giant stars which exhibit RV variations with amplitudes in the range of 50–300 m/s (Walker et al. 1989, Hatzes & Cochran 1993,1994 ab). This variability is multi-periodic and occurring on two time- scales: less than 10 days and several hundreds of days.
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17-22 (PDF)
F. Paresce et al.
Crowded field photometry with the VLT: the case of the peculiar globular cluster NGC 6712.

ADS BibCode:
Reports from Observers
Paresce, F.; de Marchi, G.; Andreuzzi, G.; Buonanno, R.; Ferraro, F.; Paltrinieri, B.; Pulone, L.
AA(European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany) AB(European Space Agency, STScI, Baltimore, USA) AC(Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Rome, Italy) AD(Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Rome, Italy) AE(Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Bologna, Italy) AF(Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Rome, Italy) AG(Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Rome, Italy)
The Hubble Space Telescope opened up the exciting possibility of carrying out very deep, high-precision stellar photometry in very crowded fields such as those routinely encountered in the core of dense stellar clusters and galaxies. This capability has allowed, for example, the reliable detection of stars all the way down to the bottom of the main sequence (MS) at the centre of nearby globular clusters (GC) six or seven magnitudes below the turn-off (TO) and well into the brown dwarf substellar region of nearby starforming regions and of resolving the evolved stellar populations in nearby dwarf galaxies. Enormous progress in our understanding of the age, distance, star formation rates, and mass functions of a large sample of stellar populations has been a direct result of the last ten years of HST.
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23-24 (PDF)
S. L. Ellison et al.
Revealing high-redshift galaxies: results from a new damped Lyman-alpha system survey.

ADS BibCode:
Reports from Observers
Ellison, S. L.; Yan, L.; Hook, I. M.; Pettini, M.; Shaver, P.; Wall, J. V.
AA(European Southern Observatory, Santiago, Chile) AB(SIRTF Science Center, Pasadena, California, USA) AC(Royal Observatory Edinburgh, UK) AD(Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, UK) AE(European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany) AF(Dept. of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, UK)
Using quasar absorption lines as a tool to probe matter in the line of sight towards high-redshift quasars has proved to be a powerful technique for studying both galaxies and the intergalactic medium (IGM) alike. High-resolution echelle spectrographs such as UVES on the VLT can now deliver exquisite data which probe the structure and chemical enrichment of the highredshift universe with unparalleled accuracy. At somewhat lower resolution, instruments such as FORS can provide an efficient means with which to identify the high column density systems that are associated with distant galaxies. Within the menagerie of systems that make up the quasar absorption line ‘zoo’, Damped Lyman Alpha systems (DLAs) have the highest column densities and are traditionally defined as systems with neutral hydrogen column densities N(H I) ³ 2 ´ 1020 atoms cm– 2. Although DLAs are thought to be the progenitors of present- day galaxies, the precise nature of these absorbers at high redshift is still unclear. At low redshift, however, there is mounting evidence that DLAs are likely to represent a mixed morphological bag (Le Brun et al 1997), including a significant population of LSBs (Bowen et al. 2000).
Bowen, D., Tripp, T., Jenkins, E., 2000, astro-
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25-27 (PDF)
D. Currie et al.
3D structure and dynamics of the Homunculus of Eta Carinae: an application of the Fabry Perot, ADONIS and AO software.

ADS BibCode:
Reports from Observers
Currie, D.; Le Mignant, D.; Svensson, B.; Tordo, S.; Bonaccini, D.
AA(European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany) AB(Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Astronomia, Bologna, Italy) AC(European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany) AD(Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Italy) AE(European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany)
Eta Carinae is an extremely massive and highly evolved member of the Carinae starburst region. It has undergone numerous eruptions over the past millennium. In 1841, a giant eruption ejected several solar masses or more of material. Most of this material is currently in the dusty nebula denoted as the “Homunculus”. In an initial article (The Messenger No. 101, September 2000, p. 24), we presented results on the 3-dimensional structure and dynamics of the nebula. In addition to the smoothly distributed light from the nebula, there are sharp spikes or “jets” extending far beyond the Homunculus and very small condensations or “bullets”.
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“Astrometric Motion and Doppler
Velocity”. Eta Carinae at the Millennium,
ASP Conference Series, Vol. 179. 1999
J.A. Morse, R. M. Humphries, and A.
Damineli, eds.
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Naesgarde; J. Liwing; O. Bendinelli; G.
Parmeggiani; L. Close; D. Bonaccini.
(1999) “ESO Photometric and Astrometric
Analysis Program for Adaptive Optics”
Astronomical Data Analysis Software and
Systems - IX 3–6 October 1999.
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Naesgarde; J. Liwing; O. Bendinelli; G.
Parmeggiani; L. Close; D. Bonaccini.
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Other Astronomical News

28-28 (PDF)
The Second NEON Observing Euroschool

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Other Astronomical News
The Network of European Observatories in the North (NEON) is pleased to announce its second observing school, sponsored by the European Community, which will take place at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (France) from July 9 to 21, 2001
29-29 (PDF)
C. Madsen, R. West
Success for “Physics on Stage” Festival in Geneva

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Other Astronomical News
Madsen, C.; West, R.
Can you imagine how much physics is in a simple match of ping-pong, in throwing a boomerang, or in a musical concert? Physics is all around us and governs our lives. But who is going to maintain these technologies and develop new ones in the future? Recent surveys show a frightening decline of interest in physics and technology among E u r o p e ’s citizens, especially school children. Fewer and fewer young people enrol in physics courses at Europe’s universities while scepticism towards science and technology is spreading and causing great concern among governments and educators.
30-31 (PDF)
The VLT Weighs the Invisible Matter in the Universe

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Other Astronomical News
An international team of astronomers1 has succeeded in mapping the “dark” (invisible) matter in the Universe, as seen in 50 different directions from the Earth. They find that, within the uncertainty, it is unlikely that mass alone would stop the current expansion of the Universe.
30-30 (PDF)
UK Announces Intention to Join ESO

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Other Astronomical News
On November 22, the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), the UK’s strategic science investment agency, announced that the government of the United Kingdom is making funds available that provide a baseline for this country to join the European Southern Observatory (ESO).


32-32 (PDF)
A Challenge for Astronomers, Software Engineers, Electrical/Mechanical Engineers

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33-33 (PDF)
Scientific Preprints (October – December 2000)

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1393. V.D. Ivanov, J. Borissova, L. Vanzi: Deep Infrared Photometry of New Galactic Globular Clusters. A&A.
33-33 (PDF)
ESO Workshop Proceedings Still Available

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Most ESO Conference and Workshop Proceedings are still available and may be ordered at the European Southern Observatory. Some of the more recent ones are listed below.
33-33 (PDF)
Personnel Movements

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Messenger Index

34-35 (PDF)
Subject Index 2000 (Nos. 99–102)

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Messenger Index
35-36 (PDF)
Author Index 2000 (Nos. 99–102)

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Messenger Index

36-36 (PDF)

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