Science Announcements

Call for Observing Proposals for Period 96

Published: 26 Feb 2015

The Call for Proposals for observations at ESO telescopes in Period 96 (1 October 2015 – 31 March 2016) has been released. Please consult the Call for Proposals 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 deadline for proposals is 12:00 CET 26 March 2015.

New Application Date for ESO Studentships

Published: 25 Feb 2015

The ESO research studentship programme provides an outstanding opportunity for Ph.D. students to experience the exciting scientific environment, at one of the world's leading observatories, for a period of up to two years. Studentship positions are open to students enrolled in a university Ph.D. programme in astronomy or related fields and work under the formal supervision of their home university but, for a period of between one and two years, they study at ESO under the co-supervision of an ESO staff astronomer.
The deadline for ESO Studentship applications has been moved to 01 May. Details will be provided in March.

Call for SEPIA Band 5 Proposals at APEX

Published: 25 Feb 2015

The Swedish-ESO PI receiver for APEX (SEPIA) is a new instrument that is currently being commissioned. It will initially host an ALMA Band 5 receiver covering 159 to 211 GHz in dual-polarization, sideband-separating bands of 4 GHz width. SEPIA is offered for regular proposals in Period 96 (see the Call for Proposals), but ESO also invites the community to submit short Science Verification proposals with a deadline of 18 March 2015. Please find further details here.

User Support Department Feedback Campaign

Published: 25 Feb 2015

The User Support Department (USD) invites principal investigators and their Phase 2 delegates to participate in the most recent user feedback campaign. The survey is designed to provide USD with the opinions of the science community on a number of services. As such it is an important way for the department to know where we are doing well, and where there is room for improvement.

Improvement to FLAMES Spectral Resolution and Sensitivity

Published: 25 Feb 2015

The FLAMES GIRAFFE spectrograph is not kept at a controlled temperature, and thus, at the beginning of every observing block, GIRAFFE is re-focussed to take account of collimator temperature. The best focus position depends on temperature, grating and wavelength setting. The FLAMES Instrument Operation Team discovered that the software coefficients used to set the focus of GIRAFFE have changed since commissioning – presumably because of aging effects in the optics – and have measured and updated these coefficients. The updated values lead to a substantial increase in spectral resolution and sensitivity across all settings, particularly for the high resolution (HR) settings.

ESO Library: Responsive Web Design of Essential Interfaces

Published: 25 Feb 2015

The ESO Library develops and maintains two major information resources: the telescope bibliography (telbib), a database of refereed articles that use observational data from ESO facilities, and the library catalogue. In order to provide an optimal viewing experience from a large number of devices, the web interfaces of both tools have been adjusted using the Responsive Web Design (RWD) approach. This assures that users can search and navigate both sites from various screens, including desktop computers, tablets and smartphones, with minimal resizing and scrolling. Please try these resources from your favourite device.

ALMA Cycle 3 ARC Community Events

Published: 24 Feb 2015

The European ARC network is organising a series of community events in preparation for ALMA Cycle 3 (expected deadline 23 April 2015). The purpose of these events is to introduce the new ALMA capabilities to the community, help ALMA users with their proposal preparation, and trigger new ideas for an even more efficient use of the ALMA facility.

Release of ALMA Long Baseline Campaign Science Verification Data

Published: 24 Feb 2015

A new installment of ALMA Science Verification (SV) data is available. This release contains several new datasets corresponding to four targets observed as part of the 2014 ALMA Long Baseline Campaign in order to demonstrate the long baseline (~10 km), high angular resolution, capability of ALMA. Maximum baselines used ranged from 12.2 to 14.9 km.

IRAF Support for ESO Tabular FITS Format 1D Spectra

Published: 23 Feb 2015

ESO one-dimensional (1D) spectra in tabular FITS format can now be displayed and processed with IRAF using the external package SPTABLE, thanks to a close collaboration between ESO and the IRAF developers. The popular IRAF ONEDSPEC package, including SPLOT, and the IRAF RV package are now able to process the 1D spectra from the spectroscopic ESO Public Surveys (PESSTO and Gaia-ESO), Large Programmes (ESSENCE, GOODS FORS2+VIMOS, and zCOSMOS) and internal data products (UVES ECHELLE, XSHOOTER ECHELLE and HARPS).

New Catalogue Release from the VISTA Magellanic Survey

Published: 18 Feb 2015

The VISTA Magellanic Survey (VMC) is releasing a new catalogue based on the Point Spread Function (PSF) photometry in three bands Y, J and Ks, in addition to the aperture matched catalogue, VMC Catalogue DR2, available since 7 January 2015. The PSF photometry catalogue is extracted from the deep tile images completed before October 2012. The VMC-PSF catalogue contains 12.7 million sources and covers an area of 7.5 square degrees in the LMC and 3.5 square degrees in the SMC. An extensive release description is available.

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