News and Updates

Second data release of the Large Early Galaxy Census (LEGA-C) Public Spectroscopic Survey now available via the ESO Science Archive

Published: 22 Jun 2018

The LEGA-C ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey conducted at the VLT with the VIMOS multi-object spectrograph selects its target galaxies from the UltraVISTA catalogue in the 1.6 deg2 area of the COSMOS field and obtains deep, high resolution spectra from which the kinematics and stellar population parameters of the galaxies are extracted.

APICAM all-sky images from Paranal available in the Archive

Published: 04 Apr 2018

Since March 2018, ApiCam-3 acquires all-sky images from Paranal. They are now available in the Science Archive.

ApiCam-3 has a science-grade 4k x 4k KAF-16803 CCD mounted behind a Canon 12 -mm focal length fish-eye lens providing a 180deg diameter field-of-view, resulting in a 160 arcsec pixel. The instrument is equipped with a filter wheel (although currently the observation sequence uses only a clear "luminance" filter), and is mounted on a tracking station ensuring that the stars are not trailed. The filter sequence and exposure time sequences are likely to evolve over time. Apicam-3 is installed on the roof of the VLTI building on the Paranal platform; it is part of the outreach instrument which also provides deep colour JPG images, to be used in the ESO Supernova and other planetariums, and are available on the ESO webcam page. ApiCam-3 was built by Apical Technologies.

ApiCam-3 is not meant as a replacement of the existing MASCOT all-sky camera (which is scheduled for an upgrade), and is not "operation-critical", meaning its availability is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, we are planning to use its data to test and develop various sky characterization tools. These data could also be useful to spot bright transients.

The data can be retrieved from the usual interface, selecting APICAM as the instrument in the "Other" category.


Release of pipeline-processed VIMOS images as part of the UK in-kind reprocessing project

Published: 27 Mar 2018

This data release contains the science data products from all science observations done using the VIMOS instrument in imaging mode, from the beginning of regular operations (April 2003) until August 2015. The remaining data will be added in the next future.

First data release from the spectroscopic study of low mass binaries carried out by the Eclipsing Reflection Effect Binaries from the OGLE Survey (EREBOS) project with FORS2

Published: 20 Mar 2018

The EREBOS project is carried out under the ESO LP 196.D-0214, PI Veronika Schaffenroth, and studies the interaction of low-mass stellar and sub-stellar companions with low-mass stars. Several post-common envelope eclipsing binaries, with a hot sub-dwarf primary and a cool low mass companion, were selected using the photometric results of the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) and observed with FORS2 in long-slit mode.

ESO Follow-up Observations of LIGO-VIRGO Gravitational Wave Source GW 170817: reduced VLT/NACO L’ band imaging data released

Published: 18 Dec 2017

The detection of the gravitational wave source GW 170817 by the LIGO-VIRGO observatory network, as well as the gamma-ray burst GRB 170817A, on 17 August 2017 has resulted in one of the largest Target of Opportunity campaigns at ESO (

New version of the band merged catalogue from the VPHAS+ Public Survey

Published: 09 Nov 2017

With this additional catalogue release (DR3.2) from the ESO/VST Photometric H-alpha Survey of the Southern Galactic Plane and Bulge (VPHAS+), data from six more months of observations are added to the previously released catalogue. Aperture marched band measurements are derived from all the calibrated images of sufficient quality that have been acquired till 30 September 2015 under ESO Programme 177.D-3023(B,C,D,E, F, G, H). The current catalogue release covers about 1200 square degrees that correspond to over half of the VPHAS+ footprint targeting the Southern Galactic Plane.

First data release of the deep 3D cubes plus ancillary maps and 1D spectra from the Large Programme 'Dissecting GAs Stripping Phenomena in galaxies (GASP)'

Published: 26 Oct 2017

The ESO Large Program 'Dissecting GAs Stripping Phenomena in galaxies' (, PI: B.Poggianti) is now releasing deep MUSE 3D cubes observed in wide field mode and natural seeing plus ancillary products from all the observations taken during the first three semesters of the program (P96, P97 and P98).

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.

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