Science Announcements

VLT2030 Workshop Update: White Papers for BlueMUSE, GRAVITY+ and SPHERE+

Published: 18 Nov 2019

Following the VLT in 2030 workshop in June 2019, and the Science and Technical Committee (STC) meeting in October 2019, ESO and the STC are seeking additional information for three instrument projects (in alphabetical order): BlueMUSE, GRAVITY+ and SPHERE+. The teams that put together these instrument concepts are being asked to deliver information to ESO in the form of a white paper, covering science cases, preliminary instrumental concepts and management aspects. The white papers should be delivered by 20 February 2020, at which point they will reviewed by ESO and discussed at the upcoming STC meeting in April 2020. In the future, ESO will request similar white papers for other projects, in particular for a high spectral resolution multi-object spectrograph.

Meeting: The ALMA2030 Vision - Design Considerations for the Next ALMA Correlator

Published: 14 Nov 2019

Charlottesville, USA, 11–13 February 2020 

The purpose of this meeting is to bring together experts on the ALMA system and modern digital correlator design in order to:

  1. discuss ALMA design requirements for the next generation ALMA correlator that enables the ALMA2030 vision; 
  2. share pros and cons of recent and currently under design correlator architectures; 
  3. identify challenges for implementing and deploying a new ALMA correlator. 

Data Release 3: VANDELS ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey

Published: 12 Nov 2019

VANDELS  is a deep Public Spectroscopic Survey targeting high-redshift galaxies in the UKIDSS Ultra Deep Survey (UDS) and Chandra Deep Field South (CDFS) survey fields using the VIMOS spectrograph. The goal is to obtain spectra with sufficient signal-to-noise ratio to derive stellar population ages, metallicities and outflows velocities from absorption line studies, allowing a detailed investigation of the physics of galaxies in the early Universe. Within an area of 0.2 square degrees,  the survey aims at delivering ~2100 high signal-to-noise spectra of star-forming galaxies in the redshift range 1 < z < 7, with 85% of its targets selected to be at z = 3 or greater, and passive galaxies in the redshift range 1 < z < 2.5.

Data Release Using SPHERE DDT Star-Hopping Technique

Published: 10 Nov 2019

As previously announced, the performance of the star-hopping technique in observations with SPHERE has recently been assessed and described in the instrument's User Manual. It has been shown that this technique can boost the signal-to-noise ratio in exoplanet studies, particularly at small separations (0.1") from the star. In order to encourage future observations exploiting the new technique, DDT observations under Programme ID 2103.C-5076 were performed and the data is now available for download on ESO's Science Archive Facility.

Update Regarding Travel to ESO Sites in Chile

Published: 23 Oct 2019

Recent developments in Chile have led to disruption in transportation, including flight cancellations, affecting the normal function of some Chilean cities. ESO is monitoring the situation closely and has implemented measures to continue to ensure the well-being of its staff and visitors, including visiting astronomers and instrument team members. Travel to and within Chile has been limited, and this may have an impact on some ESO operations in Vitacura and at La Silla, Paranal and APEX sites. 

2020 ESO Studentships

Published: 22 Oct 2019

The ESO research studentship programme provides an outstanding opportunity for PhD students to experience the exciting scientific environment at one of the world's leading observatories. ESO's studentship positions are open to students enrolled in a university PhD programme in astronomy or related fields. Students accepted into the programme work on their doctoral project under the formal supervision of their home university, but they come to ESO to work and study under the co-supervision of an ESO staff astronomer for a period of between one and two years.

Call for Letters of Intent for 4MOST surveys

Published: 20 Oct 2019

4MOST 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 five years of operations, 4MOST will be used to execute a comprehensive, integrated programme of both Galactic and extragalactic Public Surveys. In addition, the ESO community will also be asked to propose for surveys with 4MOST. The process of selecting the Community Surveys will be initiated by a "Call for Letters of Intent for Public Spectroscopic Surveys" which will be announced in an upcoming issue of the Science Newsletter later this year.

European Interferometry Initiative: Fizeau Exchange Visitors Program

Published: 19 Oct 2019

The Fizeau exchange visitors program in optical interferometry funds visits of researchers to institutes of their choice within the European Community to perform collaborative work and training on one of the active topics of the European Interferometry Initiative. The visits typically last for one month, and strengthen the network of astronomers engaged in technical, scientific and training work on optical/infrared interferometry including ESO's VLTI. The programme is open to all levels of astronomers (from PhD students to tenured staff), with priority given to PhD students and young postdocs. Non-EU based missions will only be funded if considered essential by the Fizeau Committee. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to seek partial support from their home or host institutions.

ESO User Portal Upgrade

Published: 17 Oct 2019

Since its release in November 2007 the ESO User Portal has successfully served the community by providing single-point access to a variety of services covering everything from proposal submission to data retrieval. Over the years new features have been added, most notably Phase 2, Phase 3, and Data Access Rights delegation. Starting in mid-October another upgrade has been performed. As a complement to the newly-released p1 proposal system, users who wish to submit and/or referee proposals can provide additional information in their User Portal profile. This is a first step towards better handling of the refereeing process, in particular regarding bias assessment/mitigation. ESO User Portal account holders can also supply their ORCID iD to enable robust associations between researchers and their publications using ESO data.

Web-based Phase 2 Tool for La Silla

Published: 16 Oct 2019

 Starting in October 2019 the web-based replacement for the ESO Phase 2 observing preparation tool P2PP named p2ls, has been released for operations at La Silla.  p2ls replaces P2PP for (designated) Visitor Mode observations of all instruments available at La Silla. Note that p2ls is the La Silla counterpart of the Paranal tool p2.
   

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