Messenger No. 108 (July 2002)

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1-1 (PDF)
C. Cesarsky
United Kingdom becomes tenth member of ESO

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108....1C
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Cesarsky, C.
AA(Director General of ESO)
Abstract:
On 8–9 July 2002 the ESO Council meets in London to mark the occasion of the United Kingdom becoming the tenth country to join the European Southern Observatory. Forty years ago, when ESO was created by the governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden, the United Kingdom opted not to become a member, but rather to centre its astronomical observations of the southern sky on a new telescope to be built in collaboration with Australia.
2-4 (PDF)
G. Monnet
Status of VLT second generation instrumentation

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108....2M
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Monnet, G.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
In the fall of 2001 and largely based on the June 2001 Workshop “Scientific Drivers for future VLT/VLTI Instrumentation”, four main scientific objectives were highlighted by the ESO STC: (a) A Near-Infrared (1–2.4 μm) Cryogenic Multi-Object Spectrometer (“KMOS”) for the study of initial galaxy mass assembly. (b) A wide-field 3D Optical Spectrometer (“3D Deep-Field Surveyor”) for the exploration of the early Universe. (c) A Medium Resolution Wide-band Spectrometer (“Fast-Shooter”), in particular to catch fast astronomical events from Supernova explosions to gamma ray bursts. (d) A High-contrast, Adaptive Optics assisted Imager (“Planet Finder”) for deep study of nearby stellar environments. Based on this selection, a “Call for Preliminary Proposals” was issued in November 2001, with the deadline set on 18 February 2002.

Telescopes and Instrumentation

4-9 (PDF)
R. Hanuschik, D. Silva
VLT quality control and trending services

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108....4H
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hanuschik, R.; Silva, D.
AA(UVES QC Scientist) AB(Head Data Flow Operations Group)
Abstract:
Any observatory worldwide has staff who permanently look into the performance of the instruments and check the quality of the data. ESO’s Very Large Telescope has the operational model of a data product facility. This means that it goes beyond the day-to-day performance checks and promises to deliver data of a defined and certified quality. The Data Flow Operations Group in Garching (DFO, also frequently called QC Garching), provides many aspects of data management and quality control of the VLT data stream. One of the main responsibilities is to assess and control the quality of the calibration data taken, with the goal to know and control the performance of the VLT instruments. Information about the results of this process is fed back to Paranal Science Operations and to the ESO User Community via QC reports and web pages.
9-10 (PDF)
ESO
Recent NAOSCONICA Images

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108....9.
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
10-10 (PDF)
L. Germany
News from La Silla

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...10G
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Germany, L.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
In preparation for moving of FEROS to the 2.2m, a FEROS maintenance mission was completed in February 2002. The old efficiency of FEROS+telescope was confirmed (around 16%), but it was discovered that the sky fiber throughput had subtantially degraded with time.

Reports from Observers

11-16 (PDF)
G. Hasinger et al.
Understanding the sources of the X-ray background: VLT identifications in the Chandra/XMM-Newton Deep Field South

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...11H
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hasinger, G.; Bergeron, J.; Mainieri, V.; Rosati, P.; Szokoly, G.; Cdfs Team
AA(Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany) AB(Institut d’Astrophysique, Paris, France) AC(European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany) AD(European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany) AE(Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany) AF(CDFS Team)
Abstract:
In this paper we give an update on the optical identification work in the Chandra Deep Field South, which thanks to the efficiency of the VLT has progressed furthest among the deepest X-ray surveys.
References:
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16-20 (PDF)
C. Gallart et al.
Using color-magnitude diagrams and spectroscopy to derive star formation histories: VLT observations of Fornax

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...16G
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Gallart, C.; Zinn, R.; Pont, F.; Hardy, E.; Marconi, G.i; Buonanno, R.
AA(Andes Prize Fellow, Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, and Department of Astronomy, Yale University) AB(Department of Astronomy, Yale University) AC(Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile) AD(National Radio Astronomy Observatory) AE(European Southern Observatory) AF(Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma)
Abstract:
We undertook a study of the star formation and chemical enrichment history of the Fornax dSph galaxy. We used the VLT with FORS1 to obtain photometry reaching the oldest main-sequence turnoffs and Ca II triplet spectroscopy of a sample of red giant branch stars in the same fields. The observations and the main results are described.
References:
Aaronson, M., Olszewski, E.W. & Hodge,
P.W. 1983, ApJ, 267, 271
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20-24 (PDF)
T. Rivinius et al.
The ups and downs of a stellar surface: nonradial pulsation modelling of rapid rotators

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...20R
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Rivinius, T.; Baade, D.; Stefl, S.; Maintz, M.; Townsend, R.
AA(ESO, Garching b. München, Germany) AB(ESO, Garching b. München, Germany) AC(Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences Ondřejov, Czech Republic) AD(Landessternwarte Heidelberg, Germany) AE(University College London, United Kingdom)
Abstract:
The main result of the modelling project is the confirmation that early-type Be stars pulsate nonradially in g-modes. Based on the detailed modelling of ω CMa, it could be shown that this star is proto-typical, and that the periodic lpv of early type Be stars in general is due to nonradial pulsation.
24-26 (PDF)
L. Pentericci et al.
The VLT and the most distant quasars

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...24P
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Pentericci, L.; Rix, H. W.; Fan, X.; Strauss, M.
AA(MPIA, Heidelberg) AB(MPIA, Heidelberg) AC(IAS Princeton) AD(Princeton University)
Abstract:
Contents: 1. Optical surveys for high-redshift quasars. 2. VLT observations of the most distant quasars: revealing the conditions of the early Universe. 3. Metallicity of high redshift quasar environment: when did the first star form? 4. Future developments and VLT contribution.
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230, 5P
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Warren, S.J. et al. 1994, ApJ, 421, 412
26-30 (PDF)
Daniel Harbeck et al.
Evidence for external enrichment processes in the globular cluster 47 Tuc?

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...26H
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Harbeck, Daniel; Grebel, Eva K.; Smith, Graeme H.
AA(Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg) AB(Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg) AC(University of California/Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, USA)
Abstract:
Globular clusters (GCs) have long had an appeal to astronomers as laboratories for studying stellar evolution. Part of their attraction arises not only from the vast number of stars that they contain, but also from the common properties that stars within a cluster are often thought to share. For example, in one standard text book (Carrol & Ostlie 1996) we find: “Every member of a given (star) cluster is formed from the same cloud, at the same time, and all with essentially identical compositions.” Despite this paradigm, it has been known for 30 years that the element abundances among stars in a given GC can vary significantly. Globular clusters are the oldest star clusters known with ages on the order of the age of the universe. The chemical abundance pattern among their stars is therefore an important clue to the first substantial production of heavy elements by massive stars in the early universe. Understanding the origin of the chemical inhomogeneity of GCs is therefore of interest for cosmology as well as stellar evolution.
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Other Astronomical News

31-34 (PDF)
S. Warren
The UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey becomes an ESO public survey

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...31W
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Warren, S.
AA(UKIDSS Survey Scientist, Imperial College, London)
Abstract:
UKIDSS is the next generation nearinfrared JHK sky survey, the successor to 2MASS. UKIDSS will use the UKIRT wide field camera WFCAM, currently under construction in Edinburgh and scheduled for commissioning at the end of 2003. The camera uses four Rockwell Hawaii II 2048×2048 HgCdTe arrays (Figs 1 and 5). When commissioned WFCAM will have the widest field of view of any near-infrared camera in the world, capturing a solid angle of 0.21 square degrees in a single exposure. In addition to the wide field, the survey will provide a wealth of information revealed in the near-infrared because of the lower extinction.
35-39 (PDF)
M. Jacob et al.
Summary of the ESO-CERN-ESA Symposium on Astronomy, Cosmology and Fundamental Physics, held at Garching bei München, 4 - 7 March 2002

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...35J
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Jacob, M.; Shaver, P.; Dilella, L.; Gimenez, A.
AA(Chairman, Joint Astrophysics Division of the EPS and EAS) AB(ESO) AC(CERN (European Centre for Nuclear Research, Geneva, Switzerland)) AD(ESA (European Space Agency, ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands))
Abstract:
Astronomy, cosmology and fundamental physics have thriving interfaces and modern research topics that bring together scientists from these different domains. New results and open questions call for meetings covering all of these fields. This year saw the first such meeting jointly organized by the three organizations ESO, CERN and ESA. The symposium took place in Garching on 4-7 March with about 200 participants. It gave a broad overview and so consisted largely of invited talks, with some contributed talks and over 50 posters on display.
40-40 (PDF)
M. Sterzik
IAOC workshop in La Serena: Galactic star formation across the stellar mass spectrum

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...40S
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Sterzik, M.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The growing number of first-class astronomical research facilities make Chile also a more and more attractive place for hosting scientific conferences with broad international profile and participation. Originally started as an informal, biannual workshop intended to foster the scientific interaction among the observatories in Chile, the “ESO/ Tololo/Las Campanas” workshop has broadened its basis (and sponsoring institutions!), and now includes the National Radio Astronomy Observatory NRAO (as one of the main participants in the ALMA project), and the Gemini Observatory. This collection of observatories has been dubbed IAOC, International Astronomical Observatories in Chile. As its first conference, the IAOC organized a workshop on “Galactic Star Formation across the Stellar Mass Spectrum”, held in La Serena from March 11 to 15. The aim of the workshop was to join together the most recent observational and theoretical results of Galactic star formation into a coherent picture of how stars form as a function of mass, with special focus on recent progress made in the areas of intermediate- and high-mass star formation. The high interest in the topic is documented by more than 180 conference participants, 80 from abroad. Ten invited review speakers explored the similarities and differences between low-, intermediate-, and high-mass star formation in the context of:
40-41 (PDF)
A. Glindemann
Hunting for planets - GENIE workshop at Leiden University

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...40G
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Glindemann, A.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The search for exo-planets has had extra-ordinary success in the last 7 years. About 80 objects classified as planets have been unambiguously detected, orbiting around nearby (10–20 pc) sun-like stars. However, finding earth-like planets requires observations from space. Therefore, both ESA and NASA have started the technological development for space interferometers looking for a sister Earth. For ESA’s DARWIN project, European industry is working on laboratory experiments to verify the concept of Nulling interferometry which is well suited for directly detecting planets.
40-40 (PDF)
D. Alloin, L. Campusano
Astronomical virtual observatories discussed in Chile

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...40A
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Alloin, D.; Campusano, L.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
After the meeting organized in Santiago by Conicyt in July 2001, “Large Databases for Astronomy”, the next step to be discussed was the concept of Virtual Observatory: given a set of databases, how can they be pooled into one large data resource to be searched with appropriate data mining tools? Such concepts are currently being developed both in Europe and in the US and it was felt very important that the astronomical community working in Chile be aware of and get a chance to contribute to these new visions about the astronomy of tomorrow.
41-41 (PDF)
ESO
Young Stars in Old Galaxies – a Cosmic Hide and Seek Game

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...41.
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
A group of researchers around M. Kissler-Patig (ESO) studies the formation and evolution history of galaxies through the study of their globular clusters. Recently, the combination of optical and near-infrared images allowed them to detect a “young” population in a galaxy that was believed to be old. Are some old ellipticals hiding their true story? (See ESO Press Release 11/02.)
42-43 (PDF)
A. Bacher, R. M. West
Information from the ESO Educational Office

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...42B
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Bacher, A.; West, R. M.
AA(ESO EPR DEPT.) AB(ESO EPR DEPT.)
Abstract:
The ESO Educational Office is involved in several on-going projects, some of which take place within ESO and others which are carried out in collaboration with some of the other European Intergovernmental Research Organisations (EIRO). In this connection, the co-ordination that is now taking place via the EIROforum Working Group on Outreach and Education is playing an increasingly important role. The close and efficient collaboration with the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) continues.
43-43 (PDF)
C. Madsen
ESO in the European Parliament

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...43M
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Madsen, C.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Astronomy and Astrophysics is not normally at the centre of attention at the highest political circles in Europe. However, the renaissance that our science is currently experiencing, not least based on the spectacular success of the VLT, has not gone unnoticed among the decision makers in Europe.
43-43 (PDF)
R.-P. Kudritzki
Obituary Kurt Hunger

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...43K
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Kudritzki, R.-P.
AA(Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii)
Abstract:
On May 27, 2002 Prof. Kurt Hunger passed away at an age of 80. Kurt Hunger was a true European and a passionate and active supporter of the European Southern Observatory. He served on many ESO committees such as the OPC, which he chaired for several years, and the Council. He was President of the ESO Council from 1985 to 1987, a period extremely important for the organization. During this time Kurt Hunger together with Lo Woltjer as Director General became the driving forces in the promotion of the VLT project in the member countries. Their success provided the basis for the development of ESO into the next century as one of the most powerful observatories in the world and a focal point of astronomical research in Europe.
44-44 (PDF)
ESO
The “Pillars of Creation” in the Eagle Nebula, in infrared light

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...44.
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
VLT Antu+ISAAC. Image by Mark McCaughrean and Morton Andersen, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam. (ESO PR Photo 37b/01.)
45-45 (PDF)
ESO
German Foreign Minister Visits Paranal Observatory

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...45.
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
During his tour of countries in South America, the Honourable Foreign Minister of Germany, Mr. Joschka Fischer, stopped over at the ESO Paranal Observatory on the night of Wednesday, March 6–7, 2002. Arriving in Antofagasta, capital of the II Chilean region, the Foreign Minister and his suite was met by local Chilean officials, headed by Mr. Jorge Molina, Intendente of the Region, as well as His Excellency, the German Ambassador to Chile, Mr. Georg CS Dick and others. In the afternoon of March 6, the Foreign Minister, accompanied by a distinguished delegation from the German Federal Parliament as well as by businessmen from Germany, travelled to Paranal, site of the world’s largest optical/ infrared astronomical facility, the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT).

Announcements

46-46 (PDF)
ESO
Personnel Movements

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108Q..46.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
46-46 (PDF)
ESO
The Very Large Telescope Interferometer: Challenges for the Future

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108R..46.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The last quarter of a century witnessed the maturing of optical interferometry and associated technologies. The third millennium started with common user facilities achieving first light: the Keck Interferometer, the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), and the CHARA array.
47-48 (PDF)
ESO
List of Scientific Preprints - March–June 2001

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108Q..47.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
1460. J.P.U. Fynbo, P. Møller, B. Thomsen, J. Hjorth, J. Gorosabel, M.I. Andersen, M.P. Egholm, S. Holland, B.L. Jensen, H. Pedersen and M. Weidinger: Deep Lyα imaging of two z=2.04 GRB host galaxy fields. A&A.
47-47 (PDF)
ESO
ESO Fellowship Programme 2002/2003

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108R..47.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) awards several postdoctoral fellowships tenable at the ESO Headquarters, located in Garching near Munich, and at ESO’s Astronomy Centre in Santiago, Chile. The ESO fellowship programme offers a unique opportunity for young scientists to pursue their research programmes while learning and participating in the process of observational astronomy with state-of-the-art facilities. ESO facilities include the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Observatory on Cerro Paranal, the La Silla Observatory and the astronomical centres in Garching and Santiago. ESO operates optical telescopes with apertures in the range from 2 m to 8 m, and the 15-m SEST millimetre radio telescope.

48-48 (PDF)
ESO
Contents

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...48.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
48-48 (PDF)
P. Shaver
A Note from the New Editor

ADS BibCode:
2002Msngr.108...48S
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Shaver, P.
AA(ESO)