Science Announcements

Message from the Director General

Published: 19 Dec 2023

Dear colleagues

There is no doubt that 2023 has been a year with amazing progress at ESO, full of achievements and ending with a very positive forward look. We did have our fair share of difficulties, but it is undeniable that thanks to the commitment of our staff, the engagement with the community and the support from our Member States, many successes were achieved.

Opening for the Position of La Silla Paranal Observatory Director

Published: 18 Dec 2023

ESO is currently advertising the position of the La Silla Paranal Observatory Director. The La Silla Paranal Observatory (LPO) provides and operates some of the world's largest and most advanced observational facilities at three sites in Northern Chile. La Silla hosts the 3.6-m telescope, the New Technology Telescope (NTT), and a number of hosted telescope projects. Cerro Paranal is the home of the Very Large Telescope, the VLT, the VLT Interferometer (VLTI), the VISTA survey telescope, and several Hosted Telescope projects. Paranal Observatory will further be responsible for the operation of the ELT at Cerro Armazones and the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO). APEX, the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment, is a hosted sub-mm telescope project located on the high-altitude site of Llano Chajnantor. The LPO division further works in close collaboration with the Data Management and Operations (DMO) division which is responsible for the off-site operations and user support of LPO in the framework of an integrated end-to-end system, maintaining the archive facility and its data holdings as a powerful resource, both scientific and operational. The LPO Director is a Division Head at ESO and reports to the Director of Operations.

Call for Applications for the 6th ESO Summer Research Programme

Published: 17 Dec 2023

After the great success of the program in the last five editions, ESO is delighted to announce that the call for applications for the 6th ESO Summer Research Programme is now open. This fully-funded program is available to students in STEM fields who have not yet started a Ph.D. program and have completed at least two years of their degree.

First Announcement of Workshop ‘New Heights in Planet Formation’

Published: 17 Dec 2023

This is the first announcement of the workshop ‘New Heights in Planet Formation’, to be held at ESO – Garching between 15 and 19 July 2024. In the past decade, facilities such as ALMA and VLT/SPHERE have transformed the field of planet formation, enabling both moderate resolution statistical disk surveys and high resolution imaging studies of disks. Today this field is driven by observations, and it seems to be continuing along this path with JWST and the many recently accepted Large Programs at different facilities. Theory and models are faced with the task of explaining much more complex scenarios of disk evolution, planet formation, planet-disk interaction. This workshop will bring together observers with expertise in different wavelength regimes, theorists, and modellers, to review the state of the art, pin-point the main open questions, and explore new venues. 

Registration and Abstract Submission now Open for the Workshop "The Promises and Challenges of the ALMA Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade"

Published: 17 Dec 2023

As previously announced, the workshop 'The promise and challenges of the ALMA Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade' will take place at ESO - Garching from the 24th to the 28th of June, 2024. This upgrade constitutes the top priority of the ALMA 2030 roadmap. It consists of an increase of the instantaneous spectral bandwidth by as much as a factor of four, while retaining full spectral resolution over the entire bandwidth, thus resulting in increases of the spectral scan speed up to a factor of 50 for the highest spectral resolution. In addition, an upgrade of the full signal chain of ALMA – from the receivers and digitizers, all the way through to the correlated data – will result in increases in sensitivity for all observations. 

First Data Release of HARPS Radial Velocity Catalog

Published: 12 Dec 2023

The first public data release of the HARPS Radial Velocities Catalog contains measurements obtained from 2003 to 2023 with the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectrograph installed at the ESO 3.6m telescope in La Silla Observatory (Chile). The catalog comprises 289843 observations of 6488 unique astronomical objects. A total of 282294 radial velocities are reported in this catalog and are obtained using the HARPS pipeline (typical precision of 0.5 m/s) and 288972 independent radial velocities that are measured on the H_alpha spectral line (typical error of around 300 m/s).

Second Data Release from the VISTA Second Cycle Public Survey VEILS

Published: 04 Dec 2023

The VISTA Extragalactic Infrared Legacy Survey (VEILS, PI: Banerji, Program ID:198.A-2005) is a deep J and Ks-band transient and wide-field survey being conducted using the VIRCAM camera with the primary goals of understanding the epoch of reionisation, the build-up of massive galaxies, and constraining the cosmological equation of state using both Type 1a supernovae and AGN dust lag measurements. The total VEILS surveyed area is 9 sq-deg of the extragalactic sky over three fields: XMM-LSS, CDFS and ELAIS-S1. The data acquisition for the VEILS survey was successfully completed in 2022 prior to the VIRCAM decommissioning

Results of the 2023 Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey

Published: 29 Nov 2023

The User Support Department again extends its sincere thanks to all those Principal Investigators and their Phase 2 delegates who participated in this year's online Paranal Service Mode User Satisfaction Survey.  A total of 146 responses were received from the targeted campaign.  As in the past, where possible, respondents who provided detailed comments have been contacted via e-mail. A summary report based on this latest User Satisfaction Survey is now available.

ESO's Extremely Large Telescope is now Half Completed

Published: 15 Nov 2023

The European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope (ESO’s ELT) will have a 39-metre main mirror and will be the largest telescope in the world for visible and infrared light. Construction of this technically complex project is advancing at a good pace, with the ELT now surpassing the 50% complete milestone.

Third and Final Release of the Programme 'INvestigating Stellar Population In RElics' (INSPIRE)

Published: 14 Nov 2023

The scientific objective of the XShooter ESO Large Program 1104.B-0370 INSPIRE (PI: C. Spiniello), is to create the first catalogue of spectroscopically confirmed relics in the redshift range 0.1<z<0.5, which bridges the gap between the three local confirmed relics and the high-z red nugget galaxies. The availability of this sample of objects enables to put stringent constraint on the predictions from simulations on the initial intense phase of star formation in passive galaxies.

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