Science Announcements

Call for Proposals for CRIRES Science Verification Observations

Published: 16 Jun 2021

The CRyogenic high-resolution InfraRed Echelle Spectrograph (CRIRES) has been upgraded to a cross-dispersed high-resolution infrared spectrograph. The upgraded CRIRES is now offered to the community for Science Verification (SV) for three or four nights in September 2021. All astronomers are invited to participate in this opportunity to obtain unique science with the upgraded CRIRES and thus to demonstrate its scientific capabilities. ESO encourages the community to submit highly challenging or risky science observations that will push CRIRES to its limits in order to better understand the performance parameter space and its envelope.

The Messenger 183 is Now Available

Published: 01 Jun 2021

The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. In this Issue 183 our readers will find a summary of ESO’s Strategy for the 2020s, learn about the prospects for future exoplanet imaging based on high-precision astrometric studies with VLT/SPHERE, as well as explore the low-surface brightness regime of galaxies thanks to the VST Early-type GAlaxy Survey (VEGAS).

ALMA Cycle 7 Science Observations Status Update

Published: 31 May 2021

Over the past several weeks, ALMA has continued to conduct PI science observations on a best-effort basis while the recovery of the Arrays has been ongoing. The first set of antenna relocations was completed on May 10, 2021, moving the 12-m Array into the C43-6 configuration. In addition, PI science using eight antennas on the 7-m Array began on May 18, 2021. The plan is to go through all remaining configurations (C43-7 to C43-10) by the end of Cycle 7, although for a shorter duration than originally planned for each configuration.

ESO Cosmic Duologues: Call for Topics

Published: 28 May 2021

Since 2020 the ESO Cosmic Duologue series has aimed to cover the biggest questions in astronomy in a lively way. For each duologue, ESO invites two speakers to give short, dynamic talks, presenting their side of a challenging scientific topic or related to the sociology of science. Following on from the talks, the speakers debate the topic further, with the help of a moderator, and answer questions from the audience. The duologues are streamed live on a dedicated YouTube channel. The links to the videos of all past events can be found here. We invite all astronomers from the community, at any stage of their career, to propose a topic, a list of potential speakers and moderator(s) for the new series, planned for October 2021 through January 2022.

ALMA Cycle 8 2021 Proposal Submission Statistics

Published: 28 May 2021

A detailed report of the Cycle 8 2021 Proposal Submission Statistics is now available. The report provides a summary of items such as the number of submitted proposals and time requested, subscription rates, and comparisons with the number of hours requested in previous Cycles.

New Helpdesk Software to be Deployed for La Silla Paranal Users Community Support

Published: 28 May 2021

ESO will soon deploy the new helpdesk software Deskpro to handle questions and support requests coming from the user community.  Starting on July 5th, 2021 a new website,, will be available for all the users of ESO services, offering a knowledgebase as well as a contact form to request support.

Online La Silla Paranal Users Workshop – Part III: Preparing the Phase 2 Observing Material

Published: 26 May 2021

ESO is organising the third part of the 2020/2021 La Silla Paranal Users Workshop. This year, the workshop consists of a series of online events, the first of which took place in early September 2020, followed by a second event in March 2021. At the end of July, just after the publication of the time allocation for P108, ESO will (virtually) host the third part of the workshop, focussed on the preparation and submission process of the Phase 2 material, the observing blocks.

Second Data Release from the MATISSE/OCA-ESO Project (AMBRE)

Published: 17 May 2021

The AMBRE collaboration between the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (OCA, Nice) and ESO has the goal to analyse the wealth of stellar spectroscopic data in the ESO science archive using the MATISSE parametrisation algorithm to derive stellar atmospheric parameters (Recio-Blanco et al., 2006, Worley et al. 2012, de Laverny et al. 2012). This data release provides stellar radial velocity, effective temperature, surface gravity, mean metallicity and enrichment in alpha-elements for about 6600 stellar objects observed between March 2000 and November 2010 using the VLT/UVES spectrograph.

A Message from the ESO Director General on the Occasion of the Conference Celebrating 50 Years of Catherine Cesarsky’s Career in Astronomy

Published: 13 May 2021

It is a great pleasure for me to congratulate, on behalf of the entire ESO community, former Director General Catherine Cesarsky (1999-2007) on the occasion of the 50 years since her PhD defense. This marked the beginning of a career of outstanding scientific achievements and leading contributions to the development of world-class astronomical observatories. Her period as ESO Director General saw the development of Paranal from early operations into a mature observatory, the beginning of ALMA construction, and the definition of the ELT project, to name just a few of the transformational highlights achieved by ESO under her leadership. Also during this period, five new Member States joined ESO. I am pleased to invite ESO’s community to join the online conference being organized by the French Commission for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA), which will take place on 14 and 15 June 2021, to celebrate Catherine Cesarsky’s career thus far.

Xavier Barcons, ESO Director General

Olivier Chesneau Prize 2021 Awarded to Mathias Nowak

Published: 11 May 2021

The 2021 Olivier Chesneau Prize has been awarded to Mathias Nowak for his doctoral work entitled: "The 2017 conjunction of Beta Pictoris b: the Life and Death of PicSat, followed by a VLTI/GRAVITY observation of the re-emergence" that was successfully defended in 2019 at the Observatoire de Paris.

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