Science Announcements

Supercam Installed on APEX

Published: 14 Dec 2014

After an intensive installation campaign, the Supercam visiting instrument has been successfully installed in the Cassegrain cabin of APEX. Supercam is a 64-pixel 345 GHz heterodyne array built by the University of Arizona

ALMA Cycle 3 Pre-announcement

Published: 14 Dec 2014

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start the next cycle of observing (Cycle 3) in October 2015. A Call for Proposals will be issued on 24 March 2015, with an anticipated deadline for proposal submission on 23 April 2015. Cycle 3 operations will include standard and nonstandard modes, with non-standard mode observations being conducted on a best-effort basis similar to previous Cycles. More details here.

Joint ESO MPA MPE TUM Excellence Cluster Universe Conference:
Theoretical and Observational Progress on Large-scale Structure of the Universe

Published: 12 Dec 2014

Joint Workshop, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 20–24 July 2015

The conference will cover both theory and observations of the large-scale structure of the Universe to discuss recent progress and future directions. Measuring the distribution of matter in the Universe as a function of time and space is a powerful probe of cosmology, both for gravity on scales much greater than the conventional tests of General Relativity and the origin of cosmic acceleration. Statistical properties of the matter distribution can also constrain the nature of initial fluctuations, hence the physics of inflation and the neutrino mass.

Early E-ELT Science: Spectroscopy with HARMONI

Published: 27 Nov 2014

Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford, United Kingdom, 29 June – 3 July 2015

This workshop will explore some of the first science that will emerge from the European Extremely Large Telescope (E‐ELT) in the next decade. The primary spectroscopic capability of E-ELT at first light will be provided by the HARMONI instrument, a visible and near-infrared integral field spectrograph that will be capable of working close to the diffraction limit of the telescope or in natural seeing mode.

ALMA Community Days: Cycle 3 Proposal Preparation

Published: 27 Nov 2014

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 13–15 April 2015

The ESO ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) will organise another Community Days workshop at ESO Headquarters in order to optimally prepare the European astronomical community for ALMA Cycle 3. The call for Cycle 3 observing proposals will be released in March 2015 and the main new scientific capability will be significantly longer baselines than in previous cycles.

ALMA Status Report

Published: 27 Nov 2014

An ALMA status report for November 2014 is available. The report ( PDF) summarizes the status and recent progress of Cycle 2 Early Science observations as of October 2014, including "Cycle 1 Transfer" projects. It includes the 12-m array configuration schedule for the rest of Cycle 2 and a summary of the number of unfinished “high priority” observations. The report also contains plans and references to ongoing work as part of the “Extension and Optimization of Capabilities (EOC)” and preparations for Cycle 3.

ALMA/Herschel Archival Workshop 2015

Published: 13 Nov 2014

ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 15–17 April 2015

All Herschel science data, and some user-provided data products, are publicly available through the Herschel Science Archive. Meanwhile, the ALMA Science Archive is being populated with observations from the first three Cycles, with more data released daily. The higher frequency ALMA bands overlap with the lower frequency Herschel bands, and, despite the huge difference in spatial resolution, Herschel sources provide ideal targets for ALMA follow-up. In order to explore the full potential of both archives, archival users need to be aware of the contents and differences.

Stellar End Products: The Low Mass - High Mass Connection

Published: 03 Nov 2014

ESO Workshop, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 6–10 July, 2015
Mass loss from cool Asymptotic Giant Branch and Red Supergiant stars inputs large amounts of material to the ISM and is therefore an important process for understanding stellar lifecycles and galactic ecology. Significant advances in observations (e.g. VLTI, ALMA and other facilities), and theory, now provide an opportunity to revisit outstanding questions of late stellar evolution, such as the role of mass loss, magnetic fields and binarity. The aim of the meeting is to bring together observers and theorists from the low and high mass stellar communities with the goals of exploring the commonalities of evolved star mass loss.

Commissioning of SPHERE

Published: 21 Oct 2014

The most recently installed instrument at Paranal, the ESO Planet-finder instrument SPHERE, underwent its last commissioning run during 05 – 15 October 2014. SPHERE saw first light on 04 May 2014 (see the Release) and was followed by three periods of commissioning in May, July and August 2014.

Move of X-shooter to UT2

Published: 21 Oct 2014

After a year at UT3, X-shooter was re-installed at UT2 earlier this month to make room for the re-commissioning and integration of VISIR on UT3, which will start next month. In spite of poor weather conditions, which delayed the precise measurement of the telescope focus for X-shooter, the long list of recommissioning tasks, were completed as planned, thanks to the efficient work of the science and engineering teams. Routine science operations with X-shooter have re-commenced.

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