Science Announcements

Conference: Sharpest eyes on the sky

Published: 15 Jan 2020

Exeter, UK, 20–24 April 2020 

The University of Exeter (UK) is hosting The Sharpest Eyes on the Sky: A 2020 vision for high-angular resolution astronomy, a conference focussing on the latest science results from optical interferometers and other very high angular resolution techniques. The meeting will be held in the tradition of the past CHARA meetings and VLTI community days, bringing both communities together for the first time. There will be time for discussions regarding the recent and future technological development of CHARA and VLTI, including how to best exploit these advancements in synergy with other facilities and instruments. Abstract submission will close on 6 March 2020.

Workshop: Ground-based Thermal Infrared Astronomy - Past, Present and Future

Published: 15 Jan 2020

ESO Garching, Germany, 30 March – 03 April 2020 

Ground-based astronomical observations in the thermal infrared wavelength regime (3-30 microns) provide a powerful tool to discover and characterise the most obscured and cool sources in the Universe. This workshop aims to bring together the experts in the field to review the science highlights from various thermal infrared instruments, from protoplanetary discs to active galactic nuclei. We will review some future facilities, and we will compare techniques and approaches for observations and calibrations, with the aim to reach the theoretical limit, the background-limited performance.

Period 105 Telescope Allocation

Published: 20 Dec 2019

The 105th Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met on 19-21 November 2019. Based on the committee's recommendations to the ESO Director General, a total of 972 (10-hour equivalent) nights of Visitor Mode and Service Mode observations were allocated on the VLT/VLTI, VISTA, VST, the 3.6-metre, and NTT, and APEX telescopes. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations is 6 February 2020; see the separate announcement for further details.

Phase 2 for Observing Period 105

Published: 19 Dec 2019

With the release of the telescope schedule, the preparation of Service Mode (SM) observations (Phase 2) starts. The deadline for the submission of the Phase 2 material for Period 105 observations is 6 February 2020.

The 2020 ESO Summer Research Programme

Published: 18 Dec 2019

ESO, Garching, Germany 1 July–9 August 2019

The very successful ESO Summer Research Programme will continue in 2020. This fully-funded programme provides a unique opportunity to students who are not yet enrolled in PhD programmes to carry out a six-week long research project at the ESO Headquarters in Garching. The students will be able to choose between a wide range of research projects, covering many areas of astronomy from exo-planets to cosmology. The ESO Summer Research Programme will also provide opportunities beyond research, including lectures, a mini-workshop, and many social activities.

ALMA Cycle 8 Pre-announcement

Published: 18 Dec 2019

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start the next cycle of observing (Cycle 8) in October 2020. A Call for Proposals with detailed information on Cycle 8 will be issued in March 2020, with a deadline for proposal submission mid-April 2019. This pre-announcement highlights aspects of the Cycle 8 proposal call that are needed to plan proposals. More information can be found via the ALMA Science Portal.   

New Issue of The Messenger Online

Published: 17 Dec 2019

The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. In issue 178, highlights include an article on M4 of ESO's Extremely Large Telescope, which will be the largest adaptive mirror ever built and the first results from the NEAR experiment, searching for low-mass planets in alpha Cen. The science section of this issue is exclusively dedicated to highlighting the range of spectacular results obtained with GRAVITY since first light in 2016.

Call for Letters of Intent for 4MOST Community surveys

Published: 26 Nov 2019

ESO issues a Call for Letters of Intent for Public Spectroscopic Survey with 4MOST, which is a state-of-the-art, high-multiplex, fibre-fed, optical spectroscopic survey facility currently under construction for ESO’s 4-metre VISTA telescope. During the first 5 years of operations 4MOST will be used to execute a comprehensive, integrated programme of both Galactic and extragalactic Public Surveys. The guaranteed time for the instrument consortium will be 70%, with the raw data being released immediately as with ESO Public Surveys. The GTO surveys have been presented at the 4MOST workshop and in a dedicated issue of the ESO Messenger (March 2019).

Period 104: Change in UT Instrument Distributions at end of Period

Published: 25 Nov 2019

In order to balance the oversubscription rates between UTs, ESO will change the distribution of instruments on the UTs at the end of Period 104 relative to the one announced in the Call for Proposals. This affects X-shooter and VISIR in particular.

Pre-announcement of Call for GRA4MAT Science Verification Proposals

Published: 23 Nov 2019

GRA4MAT is a special mode of MATISSE where GRAVITY is used as an external fringe tracker. GRA4MAT enables longer exposures in MATISSE, and improves this instrument in two ways: a much wider spectral range can be observed at once in the highest spectral resolution modes and improved sensitivity by about 2 magnitudes compared to the current offering, under certain conditions. This mode will be offered for Science Verification in April 2020, with a Call for Proposals published in January 2020, pending final commissioning and estimation of the performance gains. 

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