Science Announcements

Data Release 5: ESO Public Survey VHS

Published: 11 Mar 2020

The VISTA Hemisphere Survey (VHS, ESO Programme ID: 79.A-2010, PI R. McMahon) is a wide-area, multi-band, near-infrared survey, which when combined with other VISTA public surveys, will result in the coverage of the whole southern celestial hemisphere (declination < 0; 20 000 square degrees), to a depth 30 times fainter than 2MASS/DENIS in at least two filters (J and Ks), with a minimum exposure time of 60 seconds per filter and a median 5-sigma point source depth of AB = 20.8 and 20.0 in J and Ks filters respectively.

Data Release 1: MUSE Library of Stellar Spectra

Published: 11 Mar 2020

The MUSE Library of Stellar Spectra (Ivanov et al. 2019) provides the community with a set of 1D high signal-to-noise spectra with reliable continuum shapes, which populate all major sequences on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, with 3-6 bright stars per spectral type. This first data release contains 35 high-quality MUSE spectra. These stars cover the following parameter space: effective temperatures between 2600 and 33000K, log(g) between 0.6 and 4.5, and  [Fe/H] from -1.22 to 0.55. The 1D spectra cover a wavelength range from 4800 to 9300 Angstrom, with a resolving power varying from 1750 to 3750 and, given the IFU spectral capabilites of MUSE, are not subject to slit losses.

Call for Proposals for Period 106

Published: 28 Feb 2020

The Call for Proposals for observations at ESO telescopes in Period 106 (1 October 2020 – 31 March 2021) has been released. Please consult the Period 106 document for the main news items and policies related to applying for time on ESO telescopes. All technical information about the offered instruments and facilities is contained on ESO webpages that are linked from the Call. The proposal submission deadline is 12:00 CET 26 March 2020.

ESO Proposal Anonymisation

Published: 27 Feb 2020

ESO strongly encourages applicants to formulate the scientific rationales in their proposals taking into account the anonymisation rules and examples described in this link, which describes the paradigm of the Dual-Anonymous Peer Review (DAPR). While DAPR will be implemented in full in the future and proposal anonymisation is not mandatory in Period 106, applicants should use this opportunity as a dry run to practice writing proposals in the required style.

Poll to Evaluate ESO's Scientific Priorities - Last Chance to Participate!

Published: 26 Feb 2020

ESO's Science Prioritisation Working Group is tasked with reviewing the ESO programme from a scientific perspective. This working group is composed of members of the Scientific Technical committee (STC), the Users Committee (UC) and ESO staff. The working group has devised a survey to better understand the priorities of the ESO community for the upcoming decade. Invitations to answer the survey have been emailed to astronomers registered on the ESO User Portal and/or on the ALMA Science Portal. If you have received a personal invitation, use the provided link with your unique token. In case you have not received an invitation, or you wish to share the poll with unregistered colleagues, please use this registration link. Please answer the poll on 28 February 2020.

2020 ESO Users Committee Meeting & Poll

Published: 25 Feb 2020

The Users Committee (UC) represents ESO's astronomical community at large and acts as an advisory body to the ESO Director General on matters related to the performance, scientific access, operation and user interfaces to the La Silla Paranal Observatory and ALMA. The annual meeting of the UC is scheduled on 29 and 30 April 2020. 

Pitch Your Research for an ESO Press Release for a Chance to Make the News

Published: 23 Feb 2020

ESO produces press releases based on research done with ESO telescopes or instruments, including those where ESO is a partner or that are hosted at an ESO site. At the Department of Communication, we are always searching for exciting and important research to feature in ESO press releases. If you have an interesting story of your own you'd like to pitch for an ESO press release, please send your paper to ESO's Public Information Officer Barbara Ferreira via e-mail at

Conference: Assessing Uncertainties in Hubble’s Constant Across the Universe

Published: 22 Feb 2020

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 22–26 June 2020 

The recently reported discord among Hubble constant determinations – based on the Universe as it is today versus as it was shortly after the Big Bang – is puzzling cosmologists and astrophysicists alike. With the discord's significance rising thanks to improved measurements, the community is getting increasingly excited about the potential for modifications to cosmology. However, questions remain whether systematic uncertainties and biases are sufficiently understood and under control.

EAS Special Session 13: Eight years of ALMA ground-breaking results

Published: 21 Feb 2020

Leiden, the Netherlands, 3 July 2020 

The European ALMA Regional Centre (EU ARC) offers support to a large community of researchers hosted by European institutions. The support is offered to the ALMA user community through seven ARC Nodes and a Centre of Expertise which are spread across Europe, as well as the central ARC which is at ESO. The aim of this Special Session during the annual meeting of the European Astronomical Society is to bring together European ALMA users and the researchers providing support at the different EU ARC Nodes. This is a great opportunity for current and future users of ALMA to discuss new scientific results, observation and data reduction strategies, foster collaborations, and brainstorm on development and implementation of software from the user community. Additionally, it offers the opportunity to identify the need for new capabilities, some of which could be implemented in the near future, such as data combination from different array configurations, pipeline products delivery, and archive mining.

Conference: Galaxy Cluster Formation (GCF) 2020

Published: 20 Feb 2020

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 13–17 July 2020 

Please mark your calendars and register to participate in the second edition of The Early Stages of Galaxy Cluster Formation (GCF) 2020: Mergers, Proto-clusters, and Star Formation in Overdense Environments. Proto-clusters, high redshift galaxy clusters, and merging clusters represent the initial stages in the formation of largest gravitationally-bound structures in the Universe. Forming via mergers and accretion, (proto-)cluster assembly has a decisive impact on their subsequent evolution, and is thus an important process to understand. The aim of GCF2020 is to discuss cluster formation over the last roughly ten billion years, from its beginnings to the present day, with a particular focus on the progress and developments since our first GCF meeting in 2017.

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