Science Announcements

Data Release 4 of Images and Source Lists from VVV

Published: 06 Feb 2017

The VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) survey fourth data release (DR4) provides VISTA tile images and source lists in ZYJHKs filters, processed by the Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit (CASU), for a total sky coverage of 560 square degrees. DR4 contains science data products from observations in the period 1 October 2013 – 15 October 2015, and also science data products from observations in September 2010 to September 2013 not included in the previous release.

Additional Scope for ALMA Long Baseline Science Verification Targets

Published: 06 Feb 2017

The ALMA Long Baseline Campaign, taking place from 1 September to 30 November 2014, has been proceeding well. As a result, the observatory has decided to expand the scope of the capabilities to be demonstrated with two Science Verification (SV) targets with Band 7: the pre-main sequence star HL Tau and the gravitational lens SDP 81. Information on ALMA SV can be found here.

ESSENCE FORS1 Advanced Data Products Available Via Phase 3

Published: 06 Feb 2017

The project "Equation of State: SupErNovae trace Cosmic Expansion" (ESSENCE) aimed to collect ~200 Type Ia SNe over the redshift range 0.15 to 0.75 to study the equation of state of Dark Energy. Spectra were taken for this project with FORS1 in a Large Programme (ID 170.A-0519) and published by Matheson et al. 2005. Advanced data products are now available for these spectra via the query form of the Science Archive.

Announcement of 3mm VLBI in ALMA Cycle 5

Published: 19 Jan 2017

It is expected that phased ALMA will participate in some Global 3mm VLBI Array (GMVA) observations during ALMA Cycle 5 (1 October 2017 – 30 September 2018); see the full announcement for further details. Any GMVA proposal requesting phased ALMA during Cycle 5 must be submitted by the 1 February 2017 deadline; see the proposal call .

Availability of ALMA Solar SV Data

Published: 19 Jan 2017

The latest release of ALMA Science Verification (SV) data will contain observations of the Sun obtained during the Solar commissioning campaigns in 2014 and 2015. The release contains mosaics and single pointing observations in quiet and active solar regions at Band 3 and 6 with the 12-metre, 7-metre and total power arrays. The data are available under ALMA Science Portal SV.

Period 99 Telescope Allocation

Published: 18 Jan 2017

The 99th Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) met on 15–17 November 2016. A total of 1044 (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. Of these, 193 nights were allocated to filler programmes. The submission deadline for Phase 2 Service Mode observations is 9 February 2017, see announcement.

Recommissioning of UT4 with the Deformable Secondary Mirror

Published: 17 Jan 2017

From October to December 2016, Unit Telescope 4 (UT4) was shut down to install the new Deformable Secondary Mirror (DSM), as part of the Adaptive Optics Faciity (AOF) project. The joint planning by the AOF Project and Paranal teams allowed a very efficient re-commissioning of the telescope, and tests were also successfully performed on some of the AOF sub-systems.

Cosmology and Fundamental Physics with Current and Future ESO Facilities

Published: 16 Jan 2017

3rd Azores School on Observational Cosmology
5th Azores International Advanced School in Space Sciences

Angra do Heroísmo, Azores, Portugal, 27 August – 2 September 2017

In the coming years a range of ground- and space-based facilities will gather an unprecedented amount of high-quality data in observational astrophysics and cosmology. These will allow open cosmological problems, e.g., nature of dark matter, dark energy, inflation and neutrino masses, to be tackled, all of which require new physics. In order to fully exploit these datasets, the interplay of a broad range of expertise, encompassing theory, phenomenology, high performance computing, data analysis and instrumentation, is required.

Early Stages of Galaxy Cluster Formation (GCF2017)

Published: 12 Jan 2017

Mergers, Proto-clusters, and Star Formation in Overdense Environments
ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 17 – 21 July 2017

Proto-clusters, high redshift galaxy clusters, and merging clusters represent the initial stages in the formation of largest gravitationally-bound structures in the Universe. (Proto-)cluster assembly via mergers and accretion has a decisive impact on the subsequent cluster evolution, and is thus an important process to understand. The aim of  GCF2017 is to discuss cluster formation over the last ten billion years, from its beginnings to the present day.

First Catalogue Release of Weak Lensing Shear Measurements from KiDS DR3 Images

Published: 11 Jan 2017

The Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS) is an ESO Public Survey carried out at the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) with the OmegaCAM instrument. KiDs is a weak lensing shear tomography survey and its core science drivers are to map the large scale matter distribution in the Universe and constrain the equation of state of Dark Energy. This catalogue is the first weak lensing shear dataset from KiDS Data Release 3 (DR3) images, based on 454 tiles and a total area of 449.7 square degrees.

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