By Mark Durré <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Jeremy Mould <email@example.com>
Artist's impression of the jet from a supermassive black hole. Image credit: ESO
We are engaged in The Southern Hemisphere Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Infrared Survey. Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 (NLSy1) galaxies may be a young, fast-growing phase of active galactic nuclei (AGN).
By Christopher Onken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Space is big. It’s so big that the brightest known object in the Universe can be so far away that it looks to us like a dim, red pinpoint as shown in the image above. Not much different from the multitude of small red stars that make up the bulk of the Milky Way. But with the X-shooter instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, we’ve discovered that the black hole powering this brightest of objects, the quasar SMSS J2157-3602, has a mass of 34 billion solar masses – the biggest black hole in the early universe!
By Stuart Ryder
(This blog post is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend and colleague, A/Prof Jean-Pierre ("J-P") Macquart, who tragically passed away shortly after the publication of his Nature paper.)
The origin of Fast Radio Bursts remains a mystery, and yet that hasn't stopped us using them as powerful cosmological probes. In a recent paper in the prestigious journal Nature, a team led by A/Prof. Jean-Pierre Macquart from Curtin University and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) has used FRBs to reveal the previously-missing baryons between galaxies.
By Adam Rains <email@example.com>
Optical interferometry is tricky. Unlike radio interferometers, which can have telescope separations measured in kilometres (or even across the entire planet in the case of the Event Horizon Telescope!), combining light in the optical is a tad more difficult, requiring that light be brought to some central location and combined in real-time, rather than digitally later on.
By Adriano Poci <firstname.lastname@example.org>
With the upcoming deadline (31 May) for the next round of ESO Studentship applications, I would like to briefly outline my recent experience with this award over the last year. The ESO Studentship is designed to augment one or two years of your existing PhD candidature, facilitated at either the Garching offices or Chilean headquarters.
Using the VLT and the Hubble Space Telescope to unlock the secret lives of stars in globular clusters
By Anna Marino <email@example.com>
While I was a researcher at the Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics a couple of years ago, I was able to apply for ESO time with the FLAMES+UVES instrument to get spectra for stars in globular clusters for which I already had HST data. Here I summarise our findings, as recently published in the Astrophysical Journal.
By Claudia Lagos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Attendees at the 2nd ESO-Australia joint conference (Image credit: Aaron Robotham, ICRAR)
The 2nd ESO-Australia joint conference (ESOz-2020) from 17-21 Feb 2020 in Perth brought together 120 researchers across the world (with 57% Australia-based and 43% based abroad) to discuss the build up of baryons across multiple tracers and facilities, and start a conversation about coordination of surveys from multiple facilities in order to move towards a truly panchromatic view of baryons in the Universe.
By Enrico Di Teodoro <email@example.com>
Fig. 1: The Small Magellanic Cloud in H-alpha emission (MCELS survey), showing intense star formation across the galaxy. The atomic hydrogen structures where we detected molecular gas with APEX are shown in blue.
The access to ESO facilities is opening up great opportunities of carrying out new exciting research for the astronomy community in Australia. In particular, I have used this opportunity to study local galactic winds.
By Matthew Colless <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ESO Council meeting in Garching, December 2019. Australian observer Jane Urquhart at far left; Director General Xavier Barcons second from right; ESO Council President Willy Benz third from right. Image credit: Matthew Colless.
Under the arrangements for our strategic partnership with the European Southern Observatory, Australia has two observers on the ESO Council: I'm one and Jane Urquhart from the Department of Industry is the other. The Council is ESO’s ruling body and has two representatives from each Member State, usually one government representative and one astronomer. Since ESO now has 16 Member States (plus one strategic partner), that means ESO Council meetings require a big room and a big table!
By Matthew Wilkinson <email@example.com>
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be one of just 7 students selected from a field of almost 350 applicants worldwide to be part of the first cohort of ESO Summer Research Students. This new program provides the opportunity for students who have yet to commence a PhD to spend 6 weeks in the European summer working alongside ESO astronomers on a research project at their headquarters in Garching, Germany.
Mike Ireland is the Australian representative on the ESO Science Technical Committee. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org