Messenger No. 126 (December 2006)

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Reports from Observers

2-4 (PDF)
J. Gerssen et al.
Mapping the Properties of SDSS Galaxies with the VIMOS IFU

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126....2G
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Gerssen, J.; Christensen, L.; Wilman, D.; Bower, R.
AA(Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, Germany) AB(ESO) AC(Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterres­trische Physik, Garching, Germany) AD(Durham University, United Kingdom)
Abstract:
We present initial results from our VIMOS IFU study of galaxies selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Large fibre-based surveys like SDSS have made a major contribution to our understanding of processes that shape galaxies. The SDSS results, however, are derived from integrated properties over the area of the fibre. As the angular extent of galaxies is usually considerably larger than the fibre diameter, the SDSS results are biased toward the nuclear properties of galaxies. By contrast, data obtained with an Integral Field Unit (IFU) are free of aperture bias.
References:
Baldwin J. A., Phillips M. M. and Terlevich R. 1981,
PASP 93, 5
Bower R. et al. 2006, MNRAS 370, 645
Brinchmann J. et al. 2004, MNRAS 351, 1151
Flores H. et al. 2006, A&A 455, 107
Kewley L. J. et al. 2005, PASP 117, 22227
Tremonti C. A. et al. 2004, ApJ 613, 898
Wilman D. et al. 2005, MNRAS 358, 88
Wilman R. et al. 2005, Nature 436, 22227
York D. G. et al. 2000, AJ 120, 1579
5-6 (PDF)
C. Evans et al.
The ARAUCARIA Project - First Observations of Blue Supergiants in NGC 3109

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126....5E
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Evans, C.; Bresolin, F.; Urbaneja, M.; Peitrzyński, G.; Gieren, W.; Kudritzki, R.-P.
AA(United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre, Edinburgh, United Kingdom) AB(Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, USA) AC(Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, USA) AD(Universidad de Concepción, Chile - Warsaw University Observatory, Poland) AE(Universidad de Concepción, Chile) AF(Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, USA)
Abstract:
NGC 3109 is an irregular galaxy at the edge of the Local Group at a distance of 1.3 Mpc. Here we present new VLT observations of its young, massive star population, which have allowed us to probe stellar abundances and kinematics for the first time. The mean oxygen abundance obtained from early B-type supergiants confirms suggestions that NGC 3109 is very metal poor. In this context we advocate studies of the stellar population of NGC 3109 as a compelling target for future Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs).
References:
Blais-Ouellette S., Amram P. and Carignan C. 2001,
AJ 121, 1952
Bresolin F., Capaccioli M. and Piotto G. 1990,
The Messenger 60, 36
Evans C. J. et al. 2004, MNRAS 353, 601
Gieren W. et al. 2005, The Messenger 121, 23
Jobin M. and Carignan C. 1990, AJ 100, 648
Kudritzki R.-P., Bresolin F. and Przybilla N. 2003,
ApJ 582, 83L
Navarro J. F. et al. 1996, ApJ 462, 563
Puls J. et al. 2005, A&A 435, 669
Trundle C. and Lennon D. J. 2005, A&A 434, 677
7-10 (PDF)
S. Warren et al.
Early Science Results from the UKIDSS ESO Public Survey

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126....7W
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Warren, S.; Lawrence, A.; Almaini, O.; Cirasuolo, M.; Foucaud, S.; Hambly, N.; Hewett, P.; Jameson, R.; Leggett, S.; Lodieu, N.; Lucas, P.; McLure, R.; McMahon, R.; Mortlock, D.; Pinfield, D.; Venemans, B.
AA(Imperial College, London, United Kingdom) AB(University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom) AC(University of Nottingham, United Kingdom) AD(University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom) AE(University of Nottingham, United Kingdom) AF(University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom) AG(Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, United Kingdom) AH(University of Leicester, United Kingdom) AI(Gemini North, Hawaii, USA) AJ(Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain) AK(Gemini North, Hawaii, USA) AL(University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom) AM(Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, United Kingdom) AN(Imperial College, London, United Kingdom) AO(University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, United Kingdom) AP(Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, United Kingdom)
Abstract:
The first large release of data from the UKIDSS ESO public survey took place in July 2006. The size of the data set is about 7% of the size of the final survey data set. Early science results are presented here, ranging from the nearest coolest brown dwarfs, to the most luminous, rarest, galaxies at 5 < z < 6. Progress on the headline science goals of UKIDSS, such as the determination of the faint end of the stellar IMF, and the discovery of quasars beyond z = 6, is in line with expectation at this stage of the surveys.
References:
Bica E. et al. 2003, A&A 404, 22223
Burgasser A. et al. 2006, ApJ 637, 1067
Cirasuolo M. et al. 2006, MNRAS, submitted,
astro-ph/0609287
Foucaud S. et al. 2006, MNRAS, submitted,
astro-ph/0606386
Hewett P. et al. 2006, MNRAS 367, 454
Kochanek C. et al. 2001, ApJ 560, 566
Lawrence A. et al. 2006, MNRAS, submitted,
astro-ph/0604426
Lodieu N. et al. 2006, MNRAS, in press,
astro-ph/0610140
McLure R. et al. 2006, MNRAS 372, 357
Warren S. et al. 2006, MNRAS, submitted,
astro-ph/06101910.0
11-15 (PDF)
P. P. van der Werf et al.
Starburst Galaxies Under the Microscope: High-Resolution Observations with VISIR and SINFONI

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...11V
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
van der Werf, P. P.; Snijders, L.; Vermaas, L.; Reunanen, J.; Hamelink, M.
AA(Leiden Observatory, the Netherlands) AB(Leiden Observatory, the Netherlands) AC(Leiden Observatory, the Netherlands) AD(Leiden Observatory, the Netherlands) AE(Leiden Observatory, the Netherlands)
Abstract:
Infrared observations of starburst galaxies not only enable penetration of the obscuring veil of dust, but also provide unique diagnostics in the form of nebular emission lines and emission from dust and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Here we describe some first results of our ongoing study of starburst galaxies with VISIR and SINFONI at the VLT.
References:
Calzetti D. et al. 2005, ApJ 633, 871
Li A. and Draine B. T. 2002, ApJ 572, 232
Magorrian J. et al. 1998, AJ 115, 222285
Mirabel F. et al. 1998, AA 333, L1
Pérez-González P. G. et al. 2006, ApJ 648, 987
Snijders L. et al. 2006, ApJ 648, L25
Wang Z. et al. 2004, ApJS 154, 193
16-18 (PDF)
J. Hjorth et al.
The Short Gamma-Ray Burst Revolution

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...16H
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hjorth, J.; Levan, A.; Tanvir, N.; Starling, R.; Klose, S.; Kouveliotou, C.; Féron, C.; Ferrero, P.; Fruchter, A.; Fynbo, J.; Gorosabel, J.; Jakobsson, P.; Kann, D. A.; Pedersen, K.; Ramirez-Ruiz, E.; Sollerman, J.; Thöne, C.; Watson, D.; Wiersema, K.; Xu, D.
AA(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) AB(Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom & Department of Physics, University of Warwick, United Kingdom) AC(Department of Physics and Astron-omy, University of Leicester, United Kingdom) AD(Department of Physics and Astron-omy, University of Leicester, United Kingdom) AE(Thüringer Landessternwarte Tauten-burg, Germany) AF(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama, USA) AG(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) AH(Thüringer Landessternwarte Tauten-burg, Germany) AI(Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) AJ(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) AK(Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Granada, Spain) AL(Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom) AM(Thüringer Landessternwarte Tauten-burg, Germany) AN(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) AO(Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, USA) AP(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) AQ(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) AR(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) AS(Astronomical Institute, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands) AT(Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Abstract:
Swift, a dedicated gamma-ray burst (GRB) satellite with ultrarapid slewing capability, and a suite of ground-based (ESO) telescopes have recently achieved a major breakthrough: detecting the first afterglows of short-duration GRBs. The faintness of these afterglows and the diversity of old and young host galaxies lend support to the emerging 'standard model', in which they are created during the merging of two compact objects. However, the afterglow light-curve properties and possible high-redshift origin of some short bursts suggests that more than one progenitor type may be involved.
References:
Fruchter A. et al. 2006, Nature 441, 463
Gehrels N. et al. 2005, Nature 437, 851
Hjorth J. et al. 2003, Nature 423, 847
Hjorth J. et al. 2005a, ApJ 630, L117
Hjorth J. et al. 2005b, Nature 437, 859
Hurley K. et al. 2005, Nature 434, 1098
Jakobsson P. et al. 2006, A&A 447, 897
Kouveliotou C. et al. 1993, ApJ 413, L101
Palmer D. et al. 2005, Nature 434, 1107
Pedersen K. et al. 2005, ApJ 634, L117
Tanvir N. et al. 2005, Nature 438, 991
19-23 (PDF)
M. Hetterscheidt et al.
Probing the Universe Using a Mostly Virtual Survey: The Garching-Bonn Deep Survey

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...19H
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hetterscheidt, M.; Simon, P.; Erben, T.; Schneider, P.; Schirmer, M.; Dietrich, J. P.; Hildebrandt, H.; Cordes, O.; Schrabback, T.; Haberzettl, L.; Schmithuesen, O.; Trachternach, C.; Wolf, C.; Meisenheimer, K.; Micol, A.; Perfederici, F.
AA(Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Germany) AB(Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Germany) AC(Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Germany) AD(Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Germany) AE(Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Santa Cruz de La Palma, Tenerife, Spain) AF(Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Germany - ESO) AG(Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Germany) AH(Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Germany) AI(Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Germany) AJ(Astronomisches Institut der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany & Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Louisville, USA) AK(Astronomisches Institut der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany) AL(Astronomisches Institut der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany) AM(Denys Department of Physics, Univer­sity of Oxford, United Kingdom) AN(Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany) AO(ESA/ESO Space Telescope Euro-pean Coordinating Facility, Garching, Germany) AP(ESO)
Abstract:
We have entered a new era of powerful instruments, enabling high-precision cosmological observations. The Wide-Field-Imager (WFI) at the ESO/MPG 2.2-m telescope is a precursor of them since its field of view is large and of superb image quality. We employed the WFI to compile the Garching-Bonn Deep Survey (GaBoDS), where most of the high-quality images are obtained via data mining the ESO archive. This large virtual survey is used to determine some of the statistical properties of the Universe utilising weak gravitational lensing.
References:
Erben T. et al. 2005, AN 326, 432
Hetterscheidt M. et al. 2006, A&A, submitted
Heymans C. et al. 2006, MNRAS 368, 1323
Hildebrandt H. et al. 2006a, A&A 452, 1121
Hildebrandt H. et al. 2006b, A&A, submitted
Simon P. et al. 2006, A&A, in press
Spergel D. N. et al. 2006, ApJ, submitted
Springel V. et al. 2005, Nature 435, 629
White S. D. M. et al. 2005, A&A 444, 365
Wolf C. et al. 2004, A&A 421, 913
24-26 (PDF)
A. Richichi et al.
Burst or Bust: ISAAC at Antu Sets New Standards with Lunar Occultations

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...24R
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Richichi, A.; Fors, O.; Mason, E.; Stegmeier, J.
AA(ESO) AB(Departament d’Astronomia i Meteo-rologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain & Observatori Fabra, Barcelona, Spain) AC(ESO) AD(ESO)
Abstract:
Imagine a car as fast as a Ferrari, and as cheap as a Trabi. Sounds crazy? Maybe it is, but when it comes to high angular resolution in astronomy there is something that comes close to the miracle: lunar occultations. As the Moon moves over a background star, the phenomenon of diffraction causes tenuous, quick fringes to appear in the stellar light just before it vanishes. The fringes carry valuable information on the size of the source, on scales much smaller than possible with even a perfect, extremely large telescope. Paranal is now superbly equipped to perform this kind of observation, and for that matter all sorts of high-speed near-IR photometry. And the results are impressive. Find out more about the ISAAC burst mode, which is now officially supported from Period 79.
27-31 (PDF)
L. Kaper et al.
Measuring the Masses of Neutron Stars

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...27K
Section:
Reports from Observers
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Kaper, L.; van der Meer, A.; van Kerkwijk, M.; van den Heuvel, E.
AA(Astronomical Institute “Anton Panne­koek” and Centre for High Energy Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands) AB(Astronomical Institute “Anton Panne­koek” and Centre for High Energy Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands) AC(Department of Astronomy and Astro­physics, University of Toronto, Canada) AD(Astronomical Institute “Anton Panne­koek” and Centre for High Energy Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Abstract:
Until a few years ago the common understanding was that neutron stars, the compact remnants of massive stars, have a canonical mass of about 1.4 MA. Recent observations with VLT/UVES support the view that the neutron stars in high-mass X-ray binaries display a relatively large spread in mass, ranging from the theoretical lower mass limit of 1 MA up to over 2 MA. Such a mass distribution provides important information on the formation mechanism of neutron stars (i.e. the supernovae), and on the (unknown) behaviour of matter at supranuclear densities.
References:
Barziv O. et al. 2001, A&A 377, 925
Blaauw A. 1961, Bull. Astr. Inst. Neth. 15, 265
Clark J. S. et al. 2002, A&A 392, 909
Giacconi R. et al. 1971, ApJ 167, L67
Kaper L., Van der Meer A. and Najarro P. 2006,
A&A 457, 595
Lattimer J. M. and Prakash M. 2004, Science 304,
536
McClintock J. E. and Remillard R. E. 2006, in
“Compact Stellar X-Ray Sources”,
Cambridge University Press, astro-ph/0306213
Nice D. et al. 2005, ApJ 634, 1242
Stairs I. H. 2004, Science 304, 547
Thorsett S. E. and Chakrabarty D. 1999, ApJ 512, 288
Van der Meer A. et al. 2006, A&A, submitted

Telescopes and Instrumentation

32-36 (PDF)
H. U. Käufl et al.
Good Vibrations: Report from the Commissioning of CRIRES

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...32K
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Käufl, H. U.; Amico, P.; Ballester, P.; Bendek, E.; Biereichel, P.; Bristow, P.; Casali, M.; Delabre, B.; Dorn, R.; Eschbaumer, S.; Esteves, R.; Fedrigo, E.; Finger, G.; Fischer, G.; Gillet, G.; Gojak, D.; Huster, G.; Jung, Y.; Kerber, F.; Kirchbauer, J.-P.; Lizon, J.-L.; Marchetti, E.; Mehrgan, L.; Meyer, M.; Moorwood, A.; Oberti, S.; Pirard, J.-F.; Paufique, J.; Pozna, E.; Primas, F.; Schmutzer, R.; Seifahrt, A.; Siebenmorgen, R.; Silber, A.; Smette, A.; Sokar, B.; Stegmeier, J.; Tacconi-Garman, L.; Tordo, S.; Uttenthaler, S.; Weilenmann, U.
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) AX(ESO) AY(ESO) AZ(ESO) BA(ESO) BB(ESO) BC(ESO) BD(ESO) BE(ESO) BF(ESO) BG(ESO) BH(ESO) BI(ESO) BJ(ESO) BK(ESO) BL(ESO) BM(ESO) BN(ESO) BO(ESO)
Abstract:
CRIRES is a cryogenic, pre-dispersed, infrared echelle spectrograph designed to provide a nominal resolving power λ/Δλ of 105 between 1000 and 5000 nm for a nominal slit width of 0.2'. The CRIRES installation at the Nasmyth focus A of the 8-m VLT UT1 (Antu) marks the completion of the original instrumentation plan for the VLT. A curvature sensing adaptive optics system feed is used to minimise slit losses and to provide 0.2' spatial resolution along the slit. A mosaic of four Aladdin InSb-arrays packaged on custom-fabricated ceramic boards has been developed. It provides for an effective 4096 × 512 pixel focal plane array to maximise the free spectral range covered in each exposure. Insertion of gas cells is possible in order to measure radial velocities with high precision. Measurement of circular and linear polarisation in Zeeman sensitive lines for magnetic Doppler imaging is foreseen but not yet fully implemented. A cryogenic Wollaston prism on a kinematic mount is already incorporated. The retarder devices are located close to the Unit Telescope focal plane. Here we briefly recall the major design features of CRIRES and describe the commissioning of the instrument including a report of extensive laboratory testing and a preview of astronomical results. Thanks to the strong efforts of the CRIRES commissioning team and all other ESO staff involved, it was possible to include the instrument in the general ESO call for proposals for Period 79.
References:
D’Odorico S., Moorwood A. F. M. and Beckers J.
1991, Journal of Optics 22, 85
Käufl H. U. et al. 2003, SPIE proc. 4843, 223
Käufl H. U. et al. 2004, SPIE proc. 5492, 1218
Käufl H. U. et al. 2006, The Messenger 124, 2
Käufl H. U., Siebenmorgen R. and Moorwood
A. F. M. 2005, proceedings of the ESO Workshop on “High Resolution Infrared Spectroscopy in Astronomy”, Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg
Ulrich M. H., proceedings of the ESO Workshop on
“High Resolution Spectroscopy with the VLT”, 1992
37-40 (PDF)
H. Bonnet et al.
Enabling Fringe Tracking at the VLTI

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...37B
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Bonnet, H.; Bauvir, B.; Wallander, A.; Cantzler, M.; Carstens, J.; Caruso, F.; di Lieto, N.; Guisard, S.; Haguenauer, P.; Housen, N.; Mornhinweg, M.; Nicoud, J.-L.; Ramirez, A.; Sahlmann, J.; Vasisht, G.; Wehner, S.; Zagal, J.
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 & Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA) AP(ESO) AQ(ESO)
Abstract:
Just as adaptive optics reduces the image blur induced by the atmosphere in conventional single telescope observations, Fringe Tracking, or co-phasing, reduces the blur in interferometric observations. We present the status of the VLTI after the deployment by the Interferometer Task Force of new beam quality control tools, which enabled the UTs and ATs to be co-phased, using FINITO as a fringe sensor.
41-42 (PDF)
J. Emerson et al.
Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy: Progress Report

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...41E
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Emerson, J.; McPherson, A.; Sutherland, W.
AA(Astronomy Unit, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom) AB(United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre, Edinburgh, United Kingdom) AC(Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, United Kingdom)
Abstract:
Progress in implementing VISTA is summarised largely through pictures. VISTA's near-IR public surveys are expected to begin in 2007 quarter four.
43-47 (PDF)
P. Andreani, M. Zwaan
The European ALMA Regional Centre: User Support for European Astronomers

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...43A
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Andreani, P.; Zwaan, M.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
What will happen when ALMA is operational? How can an astronomer apply to get observing time with ALMA? What happens when their proposal is approved? Will they be able to process the data, obtain high-quality science products and extract their science from it? Sooner or later each astronomer interested in ALMA science will ask herself or himself these questions. The aim of this article is to describe how the process of proposing for observing time, subsequent execution of the observations, obtaining and processing of the data is going to take place in the ALMA epoch.

Other Astronomical News

48-49 (PDF)
H. U. Käufl, C. Sterken
Report on the Workshop on Deep Impact as a World Observatory Event (held in Brussels, Belgium, 7-10 August 2006)

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...48K
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Käufl, H. U.; Sterken, C.
AA(ESO) AB(Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Abstract:
In the context of NASA’s Deep Impact space mission, Comet 9P/Tempel1 has been at the focus of an unprecedented worldwide long-term multi-wavelength observation campaign. The comet has been studied through its perihelion passage by various spacecraft including the Deep Impact mission itself, HST, Spitzer, Rosetta, XMM and all major ground-based observatories in basically all wavelength bands used in astronomy, i.e. from radio cm-waves to X-rays. For some ‘glossy-print’ information please have a look to e.g. ESO’s dedicated web-pages (deepimpact.eso.org). Due to the dynamical and other technical constraints of the space mission, ESO’s telescopes could not observe the moment of impact - the comet was indeed exactly setting on the western horizon. However, the ESO observatory sites, La Silla and Paranal were more or less the worldwide hub of the mid- and long-term ground-based observations for monitoring. Predictions for cometary activity induced by the experiment made before the impact ranged from ‘very little’ to the instantaneous release of material equivalent to ~ 10 days of normal activity of the comet close to perihelion. In summary, Mike A’Hearn, the PI of Deep Im-pact, confirmed in his review talk, that the release was at the lower end of expectations and that there was no activity of the impact site induced after the crater had formed. Especially as the long-term signatures after impact were rather subtle, the use of the world’s best facilities to document the event was well warranted in retrospect.
References:
Meech K. et al. 2005, Science 310, 265
Käufl H. U. et al. 2005, The Messenger 121, 11
Olson R. and Pasachoff J. M., “Fire in the Sky”,
ISBN 0521663598. Cambridge, UK:
Cambridge University Press, November 1999
49-50 (PDF)
J.-P. Swings
Around and about 'Europe's Quest for the Universe'

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...49S
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Swings, J.-P.
AA(Institut d’Astrophysique et de Géo-physique, Liège University, Belgium)
Abstract:
Before even starting a review of “Europe’s Quest for the Universe”, I think one should say a few words about its author. A truly impressive characteristic of Professor Lodewijk Woltjer is indeed his vision towards excellence, in particular towards excellence in observational astrophysics in (and for) Europe. One example: almost thirty years ago, he ‘forced’ some fairly conventional European observers to start working on extragalactic astrophys­ics on the occasion of the erection of ESO’s 3.6-metre telescope, and even more so when the 3.5-m New Technol­ogy Telescope became available. As far as my own research group was concerned, this led to the discovery, via these ESO telescopes, of several gravitational lenses. This type of research was in fact made possible because Lo Woltjer put together excellent teams of engineers and scientists at ESO dedicated to developing innovative and sophisticated telescopes and their auxiliary instru­ments.
50-51 (PDF)
C. Madsen
Open House at the ESO Headquarters

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...50M
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Madsen, C.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
On 15 October, the ESO Headquarters opened its doors to the public as part of the All-Campus Open House organised in connection with the inauguration of the extension of the underground line U6 from Munich to the Garching campus. The day was blessed with clear skies and plenty of sunshine, and a large number of citizens took advantage of the opportunity to visit the campus. The estimated number of visitors at ESO was close to 3000 people, a record number. Another record was set by the number of ESO staff who, in anticipation of the high num-ber of guests, volunteered to spend their Sunday at work to explain what ESO is doing and why it is important.
52-53 (PDF)
M. Dennefeld, H. Kuntschner
Report on the NEON Observing Schools 2006

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...52D
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Dennefeld, M.; Kuntschner, H.
AA(Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, France) AB(ST-ECF)
Abstract:
This year has seen the organisation of two NEON summer schools, sponsored by the European Community Marie Curie Actions programme: the Fifth NEON Observing School (23 July-6 August, 2006) at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, France; and the Second NEON Archive Observing School (30 August-9 September, 2006) at ESO Headquar­ters, Germany. The purpose of these summer schools is to provide the opportunity for young astronomers to gain practical experience in observational techniques, data reduction and analysis and the use of virtual observatory tools.
53-54 (PDF)
P. Andreani et al.
Report on the Meeting on Science with ALMA: a New Era for Astrophysics (held in Madrid, Spain, 13-18 November 2006)

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...53A
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Andreani, P.; Zwaan, M.; Laing, R.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO) AC(ESO)
Abstract:
Three hundred scientists from all over the world met during a warm November week in Madrid to discuss the scientific revolution (or, according to one speaker, evolution) that we expect from ALMA. The large number of participants, the richness of the science and the wider community’s increasing interest in ALMA made this meeting an optimistic and exciting one. The talks and posters covered almost all of the science areas relevant to ALMA including its main drivers: the formation and evolution of galaxies, the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium, and the processes of star and planet formation. We heard about new results from the current generation of millimetre and sub-millimetre arrays such as the SMA and the recently upgraded Plateau de Bure Interferometer, as well as related observations at other wavelengths (especially from the Spitzer Space Telescope). The anticipated per-formance of ALMA and the current status of the project were both described, and many speakers presented ambitious plans for observing with the array once it becomes fully operational. It would be impossible even to list all of the contributors in a short article; instead, we briefly summarise some of the key topics, con-centrating on star and galaxy formation.
54-55 (PDF)
ESO
Prestigious NASA Award for ST-ECF (ESO/ESA) Scientists

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...54.
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
A team of scientists from the Space Tele-scope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF) and the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has received one of the most pres-tigious honours issued by NASA: a Pub-lic Service Group Achievement Award: “In recognition of painstaking efforts to provide maximum scientific value to HST data using precision laboratory spectral measurements and physical instrument modelling techniques.”
55-55 (PDF)
ESO
Fellows at ESO

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...55.
Section:
Other Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Dominique Naef

Announcements

56-56 (PDF)
G. Monnet
Helping to Build ASTRONET Science Vision

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...56M
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Monnet, G.

Abstract:
only (December 2006 and January 2007), every European astronomer is invited to add her/his stone for the building of a common European astronomical “Science Vision” for the next 20 years. You are strongly encouraged to register immediately to the 23–25 January 2007 Science Vision Symposium, and as of 1 December 2006 to contribute to a web-based forum on future scientific challenges in astronomy. Please do not miss this unique opportunity to steer Euro-pean astronomy towards a vibrant future!
57-57 (PDF)
ESO
Conference on Obscured AGN Across Cosmic Time

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126R..57.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Current deep surveys, notably in X-rays and the mid-IR, are making it possible to carry out a census of essentially all the luminous AGN in the Universe. By pene-trating the obscuration that, in Type 2 sources, hides the nuclear regions in the UV to the near-IR spectrum, these new surveys are finding the radio quiet coun-terparts of the powerful radio galaxies.
57-57 (PDF)
ESO
ESO Workshop on Observing Planetary Systems

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126Q..57.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
This workshop aims to bring together both communities of Solar System and extra-planetary systems scientists to discuss, mostly from an observational standpoint, our understanding of the for-mation of our Solar System and its early chemistry, and how it fits with recent ob-servations and current knowledge of the formation of planetary systems at large.
58-58 (PDF)
ESO
Vacancy Notice

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126R..58.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Vacancy Notice
58-58 (PDF)
ESO
ESO Workshop on Science with the VLT in the ELT Era

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126Q..58.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The first of the ELTs (Extremely Large Telescopes) now under study could see first light in around 10 years when the ESO VLT will still be fully operational and receiving new second-generation instru-mentation and upgrades. Even before then we will also have entered the ALMA (and JWST) era. This Workshop will pro-vide a forum for the ESO community to debate and provide valuable feedback on how it expects the scientific use of the VLT and VLTI to evolve over this period and the priorities to be set in the next Call for Instrument Proposals expected to be issued in 2008.
59-59 (PDF)
ESO
New Editor

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126R..59.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Jeremy Walsh will become the new editor of The Messenger as of 1 December 2006, following my retirement at that time. I have greatly enjoyed serving as editor over the last several years, and working together with Kurt Kjaer, Henri Boffin and Jutta Boxheimer in this endeavour. I am very pleased that the editorship will pass into Jeremy’s capable hands, and wish him well in his new role.
59-59 (PDF)
ESO
Personnel Movements

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126Q..59.
Section:
Announcements
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)

60-60 (PDF)
ESO
Contents

ADS BibCode:
2006Msngr.126...60.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)