Science Announcements

ALMA February Maintenance Period

Published: 22 Feb 2022

Also in 2022, as in previous years, ALMA is in shut-down mode during the month of February. This period is used for maintenance purposes and operations are expected to restart in March 2022. More information about the configuration schedule can be found on the ALMA Science Portal.

GRAVITY Wide Science Verification

Published: 22 Feb 2022

GRAVITY dual-feed wide mode allows fringe tracking from a target that is up to 30” away from the science target by using the VLTI Star Separators to separate the beams. This mode augments GRAVITY sky coverage by enabling observations of objects which were too faint for fringe tracking, and without a close (<2") fringe tracker source. Two nights will be offered: one on VLTI-UTs and one on VLTI-ATs, both in mid-June 2022. The proposal submission deadline is 25 March 2022 (same as the Period 110 Call for Proposals) using the Phase 1 tool.

ESO and GRAVITY+ Consortium Sign Agreement for Design and Construction

Published: 21 Feb 2022

On January 10th 2022, ESO signed an agreement for the design and construction of GRAVITY+, a significant upgrade of the the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) infrastructure and its GRAVITY instrument. The agreement was signed with the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, representing a consortium including MPE, INSU/CNRS, University of Cologne, MPIA, CENTRA, and University of Southampton, in close collaboration with ESO.  

ESO Early-Career Scientific Visitor Programme in Garching and in Chile

Published: 21 Feb 2022

The ESO Offices for Science in Garching and in Chile are happy to announce the new Early-Career Scientist Visitor Programme. The programme is meant to allow early-career scientists (PhD students and postdoc up to three years from the PhD) to spend from one to four months working on their science projects at ESO. 

Upcoming ESO Call for ALMA Development Studies

Published: 11 Feb 2022

The next call for ESO ALMA development studies is expected to be announced in November 2022, with a provisional deadline in January 2023. In this call, ESO will solicit proposals for external development studies to upgrade a broad range of ALMA systems. Studies that follow the scientific priorities outlined in the ALMA 2030 roadmap are particularly encouraged, such as upgrades of the IF bandwidth by a factor up to 4 compared to the current system.

4MOST Community Surveys Selected

Published: 08 Feb 2022

The 4MOST instrument will conduct surveys in a five-year programme. The selection of the surveys for the full five year period followed the procedures set out in the VLT/I Science Operations Policies and involved calls for Letters of Intent and invitations to submit a proposal following recommendations by the Public Survey Panel (PSP). The PSP recommended 15 community surveys to be selected for 4MOST observations. The selection was endorsed by the Observing Programmes Committee at its 108th meeting in November 2021. The selected surveys will become part of the 4MOST project in preparation for the observing planned to start in late 2023.

Conference: Sharpest Eyes on the Sky

Published: 03 Feb 2022

The University of Exeter (UK) is hosting The Sharpest Eyes on the Sky, a conference co-sponsored by ESO 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. Participants can attend either in-person at Exeter or online. The meeting has been dedicated to the memory of Dr. Matthew Willson, a promising young scientist in high-angular resolution astronomy who passed away in January under tragic circumstances. Abstract submission will close on 7 March 2022.

First Data Release of the Burst Alert Telescope AGN Legacy Survey of Molecular Gas Fueling in Powerful Nearby AGN

Published: 03 Feb 2022

The APEX telescope has obtained CO(2-1) spectra for a sample of 165 hard-X-Ray-selected AGN galaxies detected in observations by the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) onboard Swift. These observations, taken under the ESO programme id 198.A-0708, PI M. Koss, allow a statistical comparison of AGN and non-AGN dominated galaxies in the local Universe, for example from the ALLSMOG APEX survey. As this programme mainly aimed at observing a statistical sample of nearby AGN, many of the galaxies observed are well-known galaxies, and these Phase 3 data can provide a valuable total power measurement of the CO(2-1) emission which then can be combined with interferometric observations obtained with ALMA. Additionally, the BASS (BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey) sample includes a variety of other ESO data products including hundreds of spectra with VLT/Xshooter, VLT/MUSE, and VLT/FORS2 with more information at the BASS survey website.

First Data Release from the ESO VISTA Public Survey - Southern H-ATLAS Regions in Ks-band (SHARKS)

Published: 01 Feb 2022

The Southern H-ATLAS Regions in Ks-band (SHARKS) is a deep Ks-band imaging survey conducted with the wide-field VIRCAM imager at the VISTA telescope. The project was granted 1200 hours of observing time under the ESO programme 198.A-2006 (PI H. Dannerbauer) as one of seven approved second cycle VISTA Public Surveys. It covers ~300 deg2, including large parts of the South Galactic Plane (SGP), GAMA-12h (G12) and GAMA-15h (G15) fields from the H-ATLAS survey, the largest Herschel program. The survey has been designed to provide the best possible counterpart identification for ∼90% of the sources detected at 0 < z < 3 by H-ATLAS, ASKAP, SKA and LOFAR; to produce a sample of strong lenses for cosmography studies; to study the evolution of the most massive structures in the Universe.

ESO Operations Helpdesk and User Portal

Published: 01 Feb 2022

Login to the ESO Operations Helpdesk via the ESO User Portal has been enabled for all users since Jan 27th, 2022. The login button is located in the top-right corner of the user interface and will take you to the ESO User Portal login screen. After logging in, you can submit a ticket using the "Submit Helpdesk Ticket" button, this ticket will be pre-filled with your contact information. Use the "My tickets" entry in the user menu available from the top-right corner of the interface to access your tickets. On that page, you can see the status of your requests and you can also interact with us directly from the site. Email interactions remain of course possible, this new feature does not supersede the communication channel that you are already used to. ESO welcomes feedback from the users’ community about this tool and will continue improving it.

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