ESO Users Committee Update February 2019

By Caroline Foster 
[email protected]

Dear fellow Australian astronomers,
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!
The ESO Users Committee had its mid-term telecon last December with ESO to receive an update on the progress to date of the UC42 recommendations.  Some details and documents from the UC42 are now publicly accessible, including the recommendations.
ESO has been making progress on most fronts and the UC is following up on various recommendations that still need addressing. We will have a full update at the end of April during the next UC meeting.
In preparation for UC43, I will send around the annual ESO Users Poll in the coming weeks. Please keep an eye on it and be sure to fill it out promptly. It is the best source of feedback from the community that ESO and myself get. That said, I welcome email feedback from our community at any time.
If you experience technical issues using ESO data/facilities, the best place to get help is through the ESO User Support Department.

Many thanks to those who agreed to be nominated for the Observing Programmes Committee (ESO’s TAC). ESO has now issued a new call for nominations (for P105); in particular they pointed out that they have an almost total absence of candidates (particularly female) under the D (stellar evolution) and C (interstellar medium, star formation, and planetary systems) scientific categories. If you know someone who would be able to serve on the OPC (ESO suggests those in their 2nd postdoc of beyond), please contact me directly. ESO has updated their nomination system and I now need to include the OPC subcategories in the nomination. In addition, I may also include the nominee’s experience on ESO telescopes and the year of their PhD. As usual, if you have been nominated in the past, but haven’t been contacted by ESO yet, your name will stay in the system for a total of 4 periods (2 years). 

A reminder too that the Large Programme call for proposals is moving to a yearly basis starting with P104. The call should come out early next month with a deadline around the end of March. I note that the frequency of the call for proposals for normal programs or Director’s Discretionary Time proposals remain unchanged.

Finally, if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to sign up for the ESO science newsletter.
Clear skies!



Michael Murphy is the Australian representative on the ESO Science Technical Committee. Contact: [email protected]

Sarah Sweet is the Australian representative on the ESO Users Committee. Contact: [email protected]

Stuart Ryder is a Program Manager with AAL. Contact: [email protected]

Guest posts are also welcome – please submit these to [email protected]