News and Updates

First Data Release of ePESSTO+, the advanced Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects

Published: 18 Aug 2023

ePESSTO+ the advanced Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects (PI: Inserra, ESO program IDs 1103.D-0328 and 106.216C) started in April 2019 and it is currently ongoing at the New Technology Telescope using the instruments EFOSC2 and SOFI. It is the second extension of the PESSTO survey (PI: Smartt).

ePESSTO+ targets supernovae and optical transients brighter than 20 mag for classification and selected science targets for detailed follow-up. It uses standard EFOSC2 setups with resolutions of 13-17Å between 3680-10320Å, SOFI spectroscopy for brighter science targets, with the blue and red (rarely) grisms (resolutions 23Å - 33Å), and SOFI imaging with broadband JHKs filters.

This first release includes spectra and images collected in the first 2.5 years of ePESSTO+ operations, from April 2019 to October 2021.

In this period spectra were taken for a total of 2138 objects; from that set, 178 ePESSTO+ Key Science targets were identified and followed-up for time series of EFOSC2 optical spectra, with the brighest also having SOFI spectra: 154 supernovae, 1 supernova imposter, 15 tidal disruption events (one of which is represented in the figure below), 2 LBV, 2 AGN, 4 supernova light echoes.

The higher resolution EFOSC grsims Gr#18 and Gr#20 were employed occasionally to allow higher spectral resolution for objects with H-Balmer lines in emission.

In total this release contains 14 GB of data: 2157 EFOSC2 spectra, 18 SOFI spectra, 480 SOFI images. The data products are available from the ESO Archive Science Portal or the Programmatic Access services, under the collection name ePESSTOplus, though the official name remains ePESSTO+.

More details about the release content can be found in the associated data release description.

The DOI assigned to the ePESSTO+ data collection is

Final data release (5.1) of the Gaia-ESO public spectroscopic survey

Published: 05 Jul 2023

Utilizing the UVES and GIRAFFE instruments, this comprehensive survey has encompassed all major components of the Milky Way, systematically studying 114,916 stars. The observed robust samples have enabled detailed observations of bulge, thick and thin disks, halo components, and open star clusters of various ages and Galactocentric distances.

Fifth release of UltraVISTA Public Survey data

Published: 05 May 2023

UltraVISTA is an ultra-deep near-infrared survey of the central region of the COSMOS field. The fifth UltraVISTA data release comprises stacked images in YJHKs and NB118 narrow-band filters, as well as single-band and dual-mode source lists. The data release also contains a five-band merged catalogue, created from the individual Ks-selected source lists. The release is based on the observations carried out from December 2009 to mid 2019, corresponding to 81125 individual images. This is three years more than DR4. The additional data have almost homogenised the exposure time in the “deep” and “ultra-deep” stripes in the J, H and Ks filters, which now reach the same depths to ∼0.15 mag.

Data Release of the MUSE Hubble Ultra-Deep Field surveys (AMUSED) mosaic cubes and catalogue

Published: 12 Apr 2023

The release of the MUSE Hubble Ultra-Deep Field survey (Programmes 094.A-0289(B), 095.A-0010(A), 096.A-0045(A), 096.A-0045(B) and 1101.A-0127, PI R. Bacon) includes the deepest spectroscopic survey ever performed. The MUSE mosaic data cubes, with their 3D content, amazing depth, wide spectral range, and excellent spatial and medium spectral resolution, are rich in information. The 3σ point-source flux limit of an unresolved emission line reaches 3.1×10-19 and 6.3×10-20 erg s-1 cm-2 at 10- and 141-hour depths, respectively. The redshifts of 2221 sources have securely been identified and measured. With the exception of eight stars, the collected sample consists of 25 nearby galaxies (z < 0.25), 677 [O ii] emitters (z = 0.25 - 1.5), 201 galaxies in the MUSE redshift desert range (z = 1.5 - 2.8) and 1308 Lyα emitters (z = 2.8 - 6.7). This represents an order of magnitude more than the collection of all spectroscopic redshifts obtained before MUSE in the Hubble ultra-deep field area (i.e., 2221 versus 292). At high redshift (z > 3), the difference is even more striking, with a factor of 65 increase (1308 versus 20).

ALPACA all-sky images from Paranal available in the Archive

Published: 06 Apr 2023


ALPACA - ALL-sky Paranal Apical CAmera is an all-sky camera at the Paranal Observatory. ALPACA supports the nigh-time science operations imaging the visible sky to monitor the sky condition. ALPACA images the sky 400-700 nm spectral window with a 95% transmission, using a gSENSE detector with a quantum efficiency with a 60% quantum efficiency at 600 nm. Its detector consists of a 4kx4k pixels array, with pixels of 9 micrometers in size. These characteristics allow a high angular resolution in the imaging of the sky above Paranal (of order ~ 7arcmin/pixel). These and other specifications are listed in Table 1.

Exposure time could be auto adjusted depending on sky background brightness if required. Experience shows that with Moon halo images of 300+ seconds exposures are adequate. Currently, the data acquisition has been set to get 2 minutes exposure images with a cadence of 2 minutes and few seconds. The images are stored in FITS format. Keeping a standard exposure ensure a more stable condition for subsequent post-processing and analysis.

ALPACA comes with an enclosure that covers and protects the camera (Plexiglas hemispheric protection and camera system) from dust and weather during daytime. The camera operates from astronomical evening twilight, all through the night until the end of the astronomical twilight in the morning.

The data can be retrieved from the Archive main raw interface, selecting ALPACA as the instrument in the "Other" category.

An example of an ALPACA all-sky image is shown in Figure 3.


As to maximize the all-sky image down to the horizon, ALPACA has been located towards the south end of the VLT platform and away from the tall UT enclosures. Views of the setup are shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2.

GRA4MAT Narrow Off-Axis Mode / First Observations of Beta Pic b

Published: 04 Apr 2023

The Beta Pic dataset was obtained on 3 February 2023, in the course of the ESO-led development of a new GRA4MAT narrow off-axis mode. This new mode allows an observer to specify small offsets where to point MATISSE, with respect to the fringe tracking target. This mode is very similar to the dual on-axis mode of GRAVITY that was successfully applied to exoplanet spectroscopy. It will be offered to the community in the Call for Proposals for Period 112.

Revised version of the UltraVISTA COSMOS2020 FARMER catalogue available

Published: 09 Mar 2023

With the new release DR4.1.1 the UltraVISTA team provides an updated version of the COSMOS2020 FARMER catalogue, previously released in DR4.1. The team has since discovered that the magnitude errors were underestimated in the large error regime and the newly released catalogue addresses this issue. The flux errors and all derived quantities such as photo-zs are not affected, nor is affected the CLASSIC catalogue.

Third Data Release from the Galaxy Clusters At Vircam (GCAV) ESO VISTA Public Survey

Published: 21 Feb 2023

Galaxy Clusters At Vircam (GCAV) is a survey (programme 198.A-2008, PI M. Nonino) belonging to the second cycle of ESO VISTA Public Surveys. It is aimed at observing 20 massive galaxy clusters in the infrared Y, J, and Ks bands. Those clusters have also been observed in many ground- and space-based programmes (e.g. CLASH, RELICS, HFF/ BUFFALO). The survey will mainly explore galaxy evolution over a wide, and still largely unexplored, diversity of cluster environments.

This third data release contains tile images, weightmaps and related source lists from data collected over the time period from October 2016 to March 2022 and corresponding to all the 525 OBs collected in the whole survey with ESO grade A and B. The tile images reach a typical sensitivity in AB magnitude of ~23.5 in Y, ~23.3 in J, and ~22.4 in Ks. The total area covered by the observations is ~38 deg2 and the total volume of the release is 2.1 TB.

Images and source lists of OBs released in DR1 (224 files) and DR2 (616 files) are replaced in DR3, with new astrometric reference system (GAIA-EDR3). 

First data release of the deep MUSE mosaic from the Large Programme 1100.A-0528

Published: 14 Feb 2023

This is the first data release, DR1 of the IFS deep cube obtained in the MUSE Ultra Deep Field (MUDF) as part of the Large Programme ID 1100.A-0528, PI M. Fumagalli.

Second data release of the XSHOOTER spectra from the Large Programme INSPIRE published

Published: 14 Feb 2023

This second data release (DR2) of the X-Shooter ESO Large Program 1104.B-0370, "INvestigating Stellar Population In Relics", INSPIRE, PI C. Spiniello, provides 1-D spectra for 21 new systems and new versions for the spectra of the 19 ultra-compact massive galaxies already released in DR1, to which the NIR band spectra have been added.

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