News and Updates

LIGO-VIRGO Gravitational Wave: Public Release of ESO Follow-up Observations

Published: 17 Oct 2017


The detection of the Gravitational Wave by the LIGO-VIRGO observatory network, as well as a gamma-ray source, on 17 August 2017 has resulted in one of the largest Target of Opportunity campaigns at ESO. Observations with several La Silla Paranal Telescopes led to the discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart of a Gravitational Wave event. In addition, the Observatory carried out mid-infrared imaging with NACO (in the L' band) and VISIR (at 8.9 microns), albeit no source was detected. ESO and several of the observing teams involved have now made their datasets from this event publicly available.

First data release of VANDELS: a deep VIMOS ESO Public Survey of the CANDELS UDS and CDFS fields

Published: 29 Sep 2017

VANDELS is a deep Public Spectroscopic Survey of high-redshift galaxies with the VIMOS spectrograph. It is designed to exploit the multi-wavelength imaging and near-IR grism spectroscopy available in the CANDELS UDS and CDFS fields. The goal is to obtain spectra with sufficient signal-to-noise ratio to derive metallicities and velocity offsets from absorption and emission lines, allowing a detailed investigation of the physics of galaxies in the early Universe. Within an area of 0.2 deg2, the survey will deliver more than 2500 high (15-20) signal-to-noise spectra of star forming galaxies in the redshift range 2.5 < z< 5.5, passive galaxies with H< 22.5 at 1.5 < z < 2.5, and star forming galaxies at 3.0 < z < 7.0 with H < 27, in the AB magnitude system.

The first data release (DR1) is based on the observations carried out from August 2015 until January 2016 (ESO run numbers: 194.A-2003(E-K) ).The data release includes spectra for all galaxies whose observing time was completed. Furthermore, VANDELS DR1 includes the spectra for those galaxies whose observing time reached 50% of the total integration time , i.e. 20 out of 40 total hours and 40 out of 80 total hours.

Third data release of images, source lists and aperture matched multi-band catalogue resulting from the VISTA Kilo-degree Infrared Galaxy Survey (VIKING)

Published: 21 Sep 2017

The ESO/VISTA Public Survey VIKING is a wide area (final coverage of about 1350 sq. degrees), intermediate depth (5-sigma detection limit J~21 on Vega system), near infrared imaging survey in five broadband filters Z, Y, J, H, Ks. The sky coverage has a maximum overlap with the KiDS survey in the optical bands.

Second release of the PESSTO catalogs

Published: 28 Aug 2017

A new version of the PESSTO Transient Catalogue and of the PESSTO Multi-Epoch Photometric Catalogue now complement the previously released (DR3) spectra and images of the PESSTO Public Spectroscopic Survey acquired during the survey's four years of operations.

  • The transient catalogue lists all the PESSTO sources for which a meaningful spectral classification has been obtained up to April 30, 2016 (1035 sources). It includes various parameters that characterize scientifically these transients and their host galaxies.
  • The multi-epoch photometric catalogue provides the lightcurves for the 32 PESSTO targets whose follow-up lightcurves have been completed.

Note: This release also includes updated versions of 20 archived spectra. These spectra were erroneously associated to a given transient in a host; This is typically the case when different transients occurred in the same host galaxy. The release description of these spectra  describes the new associations of the transient spectra in details, see the Previous Releases section of this document.

Telluric standard stars added to the Xshooter data collection

Published: 22 Aug 2017

Telluric standard stars added to the Xshooter data collection

The 1D spectra for telluric standard stars are now added to the Xshooter data collection as stand-alone science-grade spectra. These telluric standard stars are measured frequently during most nights in order to provide a representative reference for telluric absorption lines. They thus provide high-signal-to-noise reference spectra for telluric correction, and science-grade spectra of early-type and solar-type stars at different epochs, from the beginning of Xshooter operations in October 2009 until present. About 30000 new 1D spectra have been added to the Xshooter data collection for a list of 1000 target stars; these numbers will be growing as new 1D spectra are added to the Xshooter data collection.

The products consist of extracted, wavelength-calibrated and flux-calibrated 1-dimensional spectra in tabular format following the established standard for ESO science data products. There are normally spectra for all three XSHOOTER arms (UVB, VIS, NIR). They often come as multiple exposures with exposure times optimized “on the fly”. Often some of these exposures are saturated, and they should be carefully checked for quality. When downloaded, each spectrum comes with ancillary information related to quality control and observational circumstances, and with a preview plot. Data have been pipeline-processed with the best available calibration data. For more details please refer to the associated release description.

Telluric standard star spectra can be downloaded as spectra products from the Xshooter collection by querying using an object list, for example by using the Hipparcos catalogue, or queried here:

Second band merged catalogue release from the VPHAS+ Public Survey

Published: 22 Aug 2017

Second band merged catalogue release from the VPHAS+ Public Survey.

HK band spectroscopy of 25 high-redshift galaxies obtained from the SINFONI/AMAZE Large Programme migrated to Phase 3

Published: 10 Aug 2017

HK band spectroscopy of 25 high-redshift galaxies obtained from the SINFONI/AMAZE Large Programme migrated to Phase 3

UVES echelle pipeline-processed data: possible artefacts in the initial part of the RED spectra

Published: 26 Jul 2017

Some artefacts have been reported in the initial part of some of the RED spectra of the UVES Echelle pipeline-processed data.

Flux-calibration issue for the XSHOOTER UVB data products: SOLVED

Published: 19 May 2017

The XSHOOTER flux calibration issue that affected the reduced spectra of the UVB arm, reported in a previous archive news, has been solved. All Phase 3 XSHOOTER ESO-certified pipieline-processed UVB spectra have been reprocessed with the nightly response curve.

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