Science Announcements

New APEX Website

Published: 27 Jul 2020

The APEX website has been renewed and improved in various areas. Some of the most remarkable updates are related to information about the recently upgraded telescope and new instrumentation available and the procedures to follow in order to apply for telescope time in the different queues. Also several tools, at the service of researchers who want to user APEX for their research, have been improved. Among these are the observing time estimators, the atmospheric tool calculator and the instrument setup tool.

Conference Thermal Infrared Astronomy - Present, Past and Future

Published: 27 Jul 2020

Online, 12-16 October 2020

Ground-based astronomical observations in the thermal infrared wavelength regime (3-30 microns) provide a powerful tool to discover and characterise the most obscured and cool sources in the Universe. This workshop aims to bring together the experts in the field to review the science highlights from various thermal infrared instruments, from protoplanetary discs to active galactic nuclei. Some future facilities will be reviewed, and techniques and approaches for observations and calibrations will be compared, with the aim to reach the theoretical limit, the background-limited performance. This conference was originally planed for earlier this year and had to be postponed due to the Covid crisis. It will now be held online on 12-16 October. Participation is free of charge and all sessions will be recorded. Please see the conference webpage for more information.

Possible suspension of P107 Call for Proposals

Published: 24 Jul 2020

The exceptional global conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic have deeply affected science operations at ESO observatories, causing an unprecedented backlog of observations for high-priority programmes, including Large Programmes. ESO is studying a variety of measures to complete those programmes at the earliest possible time once operations are resumed, which may require the exceptional suspension of the Call for Proposals for Period 107 (April-October 2021). While the decision is not firm yet, researchers preparing or planning to submit proposals for Period 107 should take into account that such suspension is a real possibility.

ESO Science Data Products Standard Version 6 Published

Published: 22 Jul 2020

Version 6 of the ESO Science Data Products standard is now published. It is a complete revision and restructuring of the previously published version available on the ESO Phase 3 web site. It now integrates the information published as separate addenda and in the Phase 3 frequently asked questions also. A major effort has been devoted to improve the readability and clarity of the text. Errors and typos have been corrected. The new version of the standard can be downloaded as a PDF document.

Release of Pipeline Processed and Telluric Corrected KMOS 3D Data Cubes

Published: 22 Jul 2020

This data release provides 3D data cubes obtained from KMOS, the K-band Multi-Object Spectrograph. The instrument is located at the VLT UT1 telescope and has 24 image slicer Integral Field Units (IFUs) that can be placed independently in the patrol field of 7.2 arcmin diameter. Each IFU has 14 slices with 14 spatial pixels along each slice and a field-of-view of 2.8x2.8 arcsec2 which gives a spatial resolution of 0.2 arcsec. Spectral resolving power depends on the grating and is between 2000 and 4200. This initial release consists of observations from October 2013 (i.e. start of operations) until February 2020.

Introducing the 2020 ESO Fellows - Chile

Published: 22 Jul 2020

The Offices for Science and the Astronomy Faculty are very pleased to present the 2020 ESO Fellows. Here is an introduction to the Fellows due to start in Chile later this year.

Introducing the 2020 ESO Fellows - Germany

Published: 22 Jul 2020

The Offices for Science and the Astronomy Faculty are very pleased to present the 2020 ESO Fellows. Here is an introduction to the Fellows due to start in Garching, Germany later this year.

Second Data Release of the Next Generation Transit Survey

Published: 20 Jul 2020

The Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is a ground based exoplanet survey designed to detect Neptune and super-Earth sized planets orbiting around bright stars, using the transit method. The NGTS facility consists of 12 fully-robotic 20 cm f/2.8 telescopes located at the ESO site on Paranal, Chile. Each telescope has a 2.8x2.8 degfield of view and is equipped with a custom filter with a bandpass of 520-890nm, which increases sensitivity to late-K and early-M stars.

VMC DR5.1: Incremental High Level Products Released for the Vista Magellanic Cloud Survey (VMC)

Published: 20 Jul 2020

This data release (DR5.1) is based on the observations acquired between February 2010 and October 2016 of 42 VMC survey tiles encompassing the whole Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), the Magellanic Bridge and the Magellanic Stream components of the survey. The total sky coverage is 40, 20, and 3 deg2 in the SMC, the Bridge, and the Stream, respectively. This release adds reduced and calibrated deep products (co-added tile images and related single band catalogues), together with a multi-band (YJKs) aperture matched, epoch merged source catalogue for more than 14.6 million sources, three multi epoch single band catalogues, a catalogue of variable sources (39406 records) and a PSF photometry catalogue. The total volume of this data release is about 166 Gb.

Update on La Silla Paranal Observatory

Published: 12 Jun 2020

All ESO observatories continue to operate in safe mode and no science operation is taking place. All visitor mode runs until middle of July have been cancelled. La Silla Paranal Observatory has developed a ramp-up plan to transition the Paranal, La Silla and APEX Observatories from Safe State to Restricted Operations mode, with the ability to perform basic science operations with limited staffing on site. Once the ramp-up plan is initiated, we estimate a minimum of three weeks until first scientific data can be taken again, and about two more weeks until 'steady state' restricted operations would be reached.

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