by Michael Ireland
ESO’s VLT in 2030 workshop in June provided a unique opportunity for the broad ESO community to prevent their vision for the world’s most productive observatory in a broad scientific context. Big picture context talks ranged from the solar system (Heike Rauer) through to Cosmology (Matthew Colless), with arguably the most relevance, interest and excitement in the areas of exoplanet formation, resolving stellar populations in galaxies including the Milky Way, and extragalactic astrophysics including AGN feedback.
by Caroline Foster
Dear fellow Australian astronomers,
This is a hopefully thorough update from your ESO Users Committee (UC) representative. My role is to represent Australian ESO Users and act as a capillary link between ESO and the Australian community.
By Mark Casali <Mark.Casali@mq.edu.au>
It was my pleasure to start as the new director of the AAO node at Macquarie University on April 29th after being non-resident in Australia for more than 30 years. Following a PhD at the University of Melbourne, I began my working career at the Joint Astromomy Centre (JAC) in Hilo, Hawaii, then the old Royal Observatory in Edinburgh which later became the UKATC and latterly, a long stint of 14 years at ESO headquarters in Munich where I was variously head of instrumentation and later technology development.
by Stuart Ryder
Recently I attended the VLT in 2030 meeting at ESO headquarters in Garching, outside of Munich in Germany. While there I took the opportunity to extend my stay by a few days to allow time for discussions with key ESO personnel about enhancing Australia's Strategic Partnership. For those who have not yet visited the ESO "mothership", here are some thoughts about what you can expect.
by Stuart Ryder
ESO collects feedback from its users in a number of ways:
by Lorenzo Spina <Lorenzo.Spina@monash.edu>
La Silla Observatory is located in the Chilean Atacama Desert, one of the driest and most remote areas of the world, 150 km northeast of La Serena and at an altitude of 2400 metres. Whoever is lucky enough to visit this observatory immediately realises that it is a gem of astronomy, home to some of the telescopes that have made the history of this field.
by Caroline Foster <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a quick update from your Users Committee (UC) representative. My role is to represent Australian ESO users and act as the capillary link between ESO and the Australian community.
First, congratulations to all those who have been awarded ESO time for P103 and have completed their Phase 2s last week. Now let’s hope for lots of good quality photons!
by Mike Ireland <email@example.com>
Between June 17 and 21 this year, an exciting, rare and strategic meeting will take place in Garching on The VLT in 2030. The existing complement of VLT/I instrumentation was largely defined a decade or more ago, with no new instruments approved in the past 5 years. The long term future of the observatory is uncertain, with a range of possible changes to instrumentation and operations.
by Colin Jacobs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was recently fortunate enough to visit the ESO Paranal observatory for two nights of observing with the XShooter spectrograph. As a member of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) I'm an avid consumer of observational data but, at least until recently, less of a producer, making the two nights in visitor mode at the VLT a first for my PhD. We were awarded the two nights for follow-up of galaxy-galaxy strong lenses we discovered in DES using machine learning, hoping to get redshifts for both lens and source and enable some interesting follow-up science. In September, thanks to Astro3D, the ASA and Swinburne, I travelled to Paranal as CoI with my supervisor, Prof. Karl Glazebrook.
by Rob Wittenmyer <Rob.Wittenmyer@usq.edu.au>
For 5 weeks in September-October 2018, I was at ESO Santiago hosted by the Visiting Scientist program. For this "paper-writing retreat," I worked with Matias Jones, an ESO Fellow with whom I have collaborated for several years on the search for planets orbiting evolved stars.
Mike Ireland is the Australian representative on the ESO Science Technical Committee. He can be reached at email@example.com