Messenger No. 104 (June 2001)

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1-1 (PDF)
C. Cesarsky
Successful first light for the VLT Interferometer

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104....1C
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Cesarsky, C.
AA(ESO Director General)
Abstract:
Another momentous event took place recently at Paranal when the  First Fringes were obtained for the VLT Interferometer, more than two weeks in advance of the planned schedule. As will be known, everything went extremely well and it was possible to do right away some real physical measurements as a most visible proof to the scientists and the public of the effectiveness of the VLTI concept. (See the article on page 2 and ESO Press Release 06/01.)

Telescopes and Instrumentation

2-5 (PDF)
A. Glindemann et al.
Light at the end of the tunnel - first fringes with the VLTI

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104....2G
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Glindemann, A.; Bauvir, B.; Delplancke, F.; Derie, F.; di Folco, E.; Gennai, A.; Gitton, P.; Housen, N.; Huxley, A.; Kervella, P.; Koehler, B.; L
AA(ESO) AB(ESO) AC(ESO) AD(ESO) AE(ESO) AF(ESO) AG(ESO) AH(ESO) AI(ESO) AJ(ESO) AK(ESO) AL(ESO) AM(ESO) AN(ESO) AO(ESO) AP(ESO) AQ(ESO) AR(ESO) AS(ESO) AT(ESO) AU(ESO) AV(ESO) AW(ESO)
Abstract:
On March 17, 2001, at 10 p.m. local time, the VLT Interferometer project reached a major milestone by observing the first interferometric fringes on a star, using two siderostats and the test camera VINCI. After almost 10 years of planning, analysing, simulating and testing, this was a memorable moment especially because the quality of the first fringes was truly outstanding (see Fig. 1). In the following commissioning phase, several sources in the sky were observed to verify the performance of the VLTI. We found that all specifications were met or exceeded (Table 1). However, numerous tasks are still ahead of us before science operations can start. We are now looking forward to the next major milestone combining the light from two Unit Telescopes in November this year.
References:
[1] Glindemann, A., et al. 1999 The
Messenger 98, 2 7.
[2] Paresce, F., et al. 2001, The Messenger
This volume.
[3] 32 papers in the SPIE Proceedings on
Interferometry in Optical Astronomy,
Session 1 VLTI: Its subsystems and its instruments,
2000, Proc. SPIE 4006,
2 307.
5-7 (PDF)
F. Paresce
Scientific objectives of the VLT Interferometer

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104....5P
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Paresce, F.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Astronomers have long sought to improve the sensitivity and spatial resolution of their observations in order to see as far back in time and as sharply as possible. As the photon-collecting power scales as the telescope diameter D2 and spatial resolution as D 1, the solution of the problem has always been in the form of ever larger collecting-aperture telescopes. Unfortunately, although this solution did indeed increase dramatically the sensitivity of astronomical observations, it still was far from ideal in terms of spatial resolution owing to the negative effects of the earth s atmosphere. On the ground, the improvements were mainly due to finding the proper location where the seeing was best (California, Hawaii and Chile) and, more recently, to the technique of adaptive optics as shown schematically in Figure 1.
7-8 (PDF)
H. Jones, E. Pompei
2p2 Team News

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104....7J
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Jones, H.; Pompei, E.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
Team member Patrick Fran
8-14 (PDF)
L. Wisotzki et al.
Commissioning the spectroscopic mode of the WFI at the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at La Silla.

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104....8W
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Wisotzki, L.; Selman, F.; Gilliote, A.
AA(Universit
Abstract:
For Period 68, the Wide Field Imager at the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at La Silla will offer, in addition to the imaging mode, a spectroscopic mode. This will be accomplished by the installation of a grism in front of the WFI triplets to allow for slitless spectroscopy. The combination of the wide field of view, the grism, and the simultaneous availability of the whole set of WFI filters, make this a unique instrument in the southern skies. The instrument will be operated in VLT mode, with the instrument package with the spectroscopic templates already released.
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2000, A&A 358, 77.
14-16 (PDF)
C. Urrutia et al.
VLT-style observing with the Wide Field Imager at the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at La Silla

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...14U
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Urrutia, C.; Paz, T.; Robledo, E.; Gutierrez, F.; Baade, D.; Selman, F.; Sanchez, F.; Brewer, J.; Scodeggio, M.
AA(La Silla Observatory, ESO, Chile) AB(La Silla Observatory, ESO, Chile) AC(La Silla Observatory, ESO, Chile) AD(La Silla Observatory, ESO, Chile) AE(ESO, Garching) AF(La Silla Observatory, ESO, Chile) AG(La Silla Observatory, ESO, Chile) AH(University of British Columbia, Canada) AI(Istituto di Fisica Cosmica G. Occhialini, Italy)
Abstract:
The Wide Field Imager instrument of the MPG/ESO 2.2-m Telescope has been operating with the VLT-style Observing Software (OS) since the beginning of the year. Users can now prepare Observation Blocks in the same manner as for the VLT and other La Silla instruments. This uniformity of the user interface will make the system even more easy to use than before. This work is the result of the efforts of a large number of people: the sequencer scripts were written with extensive help from Paul Lesaux of the NTT team, and Emilio Barrios of the 3.6 team at La Silla. Figure 1 shows the control room with the new system in place.
16-20 (PDF)
J. Manfroid et al.
Achieving 1% photometric accuracy with the ESO Wide Field Imager

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...16M
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Manfroid, J.; Selman, F.; Jones, H.
AA(University of Li├Ęge) AB(ESO Chile) AC(ESO Chile)
Abstract:
The highly successful Wide Field Imager on the ESO/MPG 2.2-m telescope offers the possibility of undertaking photometry over a half-degree field. The authors discuss findings concerning the photometric performance of the camera. They describe strategies for dealing with the flat-field calibration error, which is often underestimated by observers.
References:
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1995, in Calibrating and understanding
HST and ESO instruments , Ed. P. Benvenuti,
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J., 2001, MNRAS, submitted (http:
//www.sc.eso.org/hjones/WWWpubl/
detect meas.ps.gz).
Jones, D.H. and the 2p2 Team, 2000, Inspection
of Flatfields from the Decontamination
Monitoring Programme (http: //www.
ls.eso.org/lasilla/Telescopes/2p2T/E2p2M/
WFI/documents/Decontam/FFofWFI.ps.gz.
Manfroid J., 1995, A&AS, 113, 587.
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2001, in Astronomical Data Analysis Software
and Systems X, ASP Conferences
Series, in print.
Selman, F. J., 2001, Determining a zeropoint
variation map for the WFI. (http:
//www.ls.eso.org/lasilla/Telescopes/2p2T/
E2p2M/WFI/zeropoints).
Stilburn, J., 2000, in Optical and IR
Telescope Instrumentation and Detectors
Eds. M. Iye and A. F. M. Moorwood, Proc
SPIE 4008.
20-21 (PDF)
R. Hook
SCISOFT - a collection of astronomical software for ESO users

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...20H
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hook, R.
AA(ST-ECF)
Abstract:
There are active astronomers, visitors and students at all four ESO sites who need a wide variety of software to work efficiently. Much of this scientific software has been developed in the community and is not normally used in non-astronomical establishments. Examples are software to reduce, display, analyse and visualise astronomical data.
21-21 (PDF)
C. Madsen
Latest News: ESO High-Level Presentation in Porto

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...21M
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Madsen, C.
AA(ESO)

Reports from Observers

22-25 (PDF)
L. Vanzi et al.
SOFI and ISAAC pierce the obscured core of SBS 0335-052.

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...22V
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Vanzi, L.; Hunt, L.; Thuan, T.
AA(ESO, Chile) AB(CNR, Italy) AC(University of Virginia, USA)
Abstract:
In the list of Blue Compact Dwarf (BCD) galaxies known to date (Izotov & Thuan 1998, Kunth &
References:
Aloisi, A., Tosi, M., Greggio, L. 1999, AJ,
118, 302.
Flores H., Hammer F., Thuan T.X., Cesarsky
C. et al. 1999, ApJ 517, 148.
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submitted.
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Marquez I. et al. 2000, A&A 357, 101.
Kunth &
22-25 (PDF)
L. Vanzi et al.
SOFI and ISAAC pierce the obscured core of SBS 0335-052.

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...22V
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Vanzi, L.; Hunt, L.; Thuan, T.
AA(ESO, Chile) AB(CNR, Italy) AC(University of Virginia, USA)
Abstract:
In the list of Blue Compact Dwarf (BCD) galaxies known to date (Izotov & Thuan 1998, Kunth &
References:
Aloisi, A., Tosi, M., Greggio, L. 1999, AJ,
118, 302.
Flores H., Hammer F., Thuan T.X., Cesarsky
C. et al. 1999, ApJ 517, 148.
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Hunt L.K., Vanzi L., & Thuan T.X. 2001, A&A,
submitted.
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Izotov Y.I., Lipovetsky V.A., Chaffee F.H. et
al 1997, ApJ 476, 698.
Leitherer C., Schaerer D., Goldader J.D. et
al. 1999, ApJS 123, 3.
Kniazev A.Y., Pustilnik S.A., Masegosa J.,
Marquez I. et al. 2000, A&A 357, 101.
Kunth &
25-28 (PDF)
J. W. Sulentic et al.
Eigenvector 1: an H-R diagram for AGN?

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...25S
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Sulentic, J. W.; Calvani, M.; Marziani, P.
AA(Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA) AB(Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Padova, Italy) AC(Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Padova, Italy)
Abstract:
Observations with 1.5-m-class ESO telescopes have contributed significantly to a much clearer understanding of the phenomenology of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) that has emerged over the past seven years. Long-slit spectra of good resolution and high s/n enable us to accurately measure emission-line parameters for a significant number of AGN. Combined with soft X-ray and UV line measures from Hubble Space Telescope, the data reveal a parameter space that distinguishes between the diverse classes of AGN and organises them in a way that promises to redefine the input to physical models. We suggest that this Eigenvector 1 (E1) parameter space may be as close as we will ever come to finding an H-R diagram for quasars. Several arguments suggest that the ratio of AGN luminosity to black hole mass (L/M " accretion rate) convolved with the effects of source orientation drives the principal E1 correlation. While L/M sustains, in a sense, the H-R analogy beyond phenomenology, the role of orientation reflects the greater complexity inherent in the lack of spherical symmetry for AGN.
References:
Brinkmann, W., Yuan, W., and Siebert, J.
1997, A&A, 319, 413.
Boroson, T. A., and Green, R. F. 1992, ApJS,
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Dultzin-Hacyan D., and Calvani, M., 2001,
ApJ, in press.
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D. Calvani, M. and Moles, M., 1995b, ApJ,
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29-31 (PDF)
J.-L. Monin et al.
Disk orientations in PMS binary systems determined through polarimetric imaging with UT1/FORS.

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...29M
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Monin, J.-L.; Menard, F.; Peretto, N.
AA(LAOG, Observatoire de Grenoble, Grenoble, France) AB(Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation, Kamuela, USA & LAOG, Observatoire de Grenoble, Grenoble, France) AC(Universit
Abstract:
Photons are an expensive product of astronomical telescopes. The wide wavelength and instrumental techniques coverage offered by the VLT allows astronomers to dissect the incident radiation in many ways: spectroscopy and imagery are well-known observing techniques to VLT observers. A maybe less well-known technique is polarimetry. The IPOL mode of FORS on UT1 allows to measure high-quality polarimetric images on a wide field of view. We used this instrument during period 65 to determine the respective orientation of circumstellar disks in pre- Main-Sequence binaries. In this paper, we present our method and first results obtained with FORS/IPOL. Thanks to the top-quality assistance of the VLT and FORS teams, our run was remarkably successful and the instrument appears extremely well adapted to fine polarimetric measurements on large fields of view. Our first results suggest that circumstellar disks tend to be aligned in PMS binaries.
32-36 (PDF)
S. Bagnulo et al.
Detecting magnetic fields of upper-main-sequence stars with FORS1 at ANTU.

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...32B
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Bagnulo, S.; Szeifert, T.; Wade, G. A.; Landstreet, J. D.; Mathys, G.
AA(European Southern Observatory, Santiago, Chile) AB(European Southern Observatory, Santiago, Chile) AC(D
Abstract:
During the night between 22 and 23 March 2001, the VLT unit telescope ANTU was pointed to a 6th-magnitude A-type star to obtain several low-resolution spectra in circular polarisation with FORS1. Two nights later, the same exercise was repeated selecting a second A-type star of similar magnitude. The outcome of this experiment was the firm detection of a magnetic field in an upper-main-sequence star, HD 94660. It is the first time that a VLT unit telescope was (successfully) used to detect magnetic fields in non degenerate stars.
References:
Angel J.R.P., Landstreet J.D., 1970, ApJ
160, L147.
Babcock H.W., 1947, ApJ 105, 105.
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Babel J., 1992, A&A 258, 449.
Borra E.F., Landstreet J.D., 1980, ApJS 42,
421.
Donati J.-F., Semel M., Carter B. D., Rees
D.E., Camer
37-37 (PDF)
ESO
Colour composite of the spiral galaxy M83 in the visible

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...37.
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)

Announcements

38-38 (PDF)
ESO
International Conference on Light Pollution

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104Q..38.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
There will be a Conference on Light Pollution held in La Serena, Chile, on the 5th to 7th of March 2002. The aim of the meeting is the open discussion and dissemination of information about light and radio frequency pollution with the emphasis on its effects on astronomy.
38-38 (PDF)
ESO
Preliminary Announcement - ESO-CERN-ESA Symposium on Astronomy, Cosmology and Fundamental Physics

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104R..38.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The connections between Astronomy, Cosmology and Fundamental Physics are well known, and become closer every day. Recent exciting developments in these fields include the structures in the cosmic background radiation, evidence for an accelerating Universe, searches for dark matter candidates, evidence for neutrino oscillations, space experiments on fundamental physics, and discoveries of extrasolar planets. ESO, CERN and ESA are thus involved in scientific endeavours and technologies which overlap considerably, and the importance of close communication and co-operation between them is clear.
39-40 (PDF)
ESO
Scientific Preprints (April June 2001)

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104Q..39.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
1413. S. Hubrig, D. Le Mignant, P. North and J. Krautter: Search for Low-Mass PMS Companions Around X-Ray Selected Late B Stars. A&A.
39-39 (PDF)
ESO
Personnel Movements

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104R..39.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
39-39 (PDF)
ESO
ESO Vacancy - Applications are invited for the position of Head of Administration

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104S..39.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
ESO employs in total approximately 500 staff members, and the Administration Division comprises the Administration at the Headquarters in Garching near Munich and the Administration in Santiago in Chile. The successful candidate will be supported by some 50 qualified staff members. As a member of the ESO Management Board the Head of Administration contributes essentially to the development of the overall policy, strategic planning, relations to the members of personnel and maintains professional contacts at highest level outside the Organisation. The main task is to provide efficient administrative services and advice to the Director General, Division Leaders and to staff members in the scientific and technical areas in the fields of financial planning and accounting, personnel management, purchasing, legal and contractual matters, information systems and building and site maintenance.

40-40 (PDF)
ESO
Contents

ADS BibCode:
2001Msngr.104...40.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)