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Enhanced data discovery services for the ESO Science Archive

Science Verification of HAWK-I using GRAAL adaptive optics

ALMA finds too many massive stars in starburst galaxies
Stellar surface imaging with VLTI and ALMA
The Messenger

The Messenger 172 – June 2018

No. 172 – June 2018

Telescopes and Instrumentation DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5073

Enhanced Data Discovery Services for the ESO

Science Archive

Martino Romaniello 1 and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment the characteristics and limitations of
Stefano Zampieri 1 (APEX) antenna at Chajnantor. Also each collection of processed data. This
Nausicaa Delmotte 1 ­available through the archive are data is p­ articularly important, as it enables
Vincenzo Forchì 1 from selected non-ESO instruments at users to decide whether the data are
Olivier Hainaut 1 La Silla, for example, the Gamma-Ray suitable for their specific science goals.
Alberto Micol 1 burst Optical/Near-infrared Detector The systematic archive publication of such
Jörg Retzlaff 1 (GROND), the Fibre-fed Extended Range processed data dates back to 25 July
Ignacio Vera 1 Echelle Spectrograph (FEROS) and the 2011, with the first products produced by
Nathalie Fourniol 1 Wide Field Imager (WFI). It also includes the Public Surveys conducted with the
Mubashir Ahmed Khan 1 raw data for UKIDSS, the infrared deep Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope
Uwe Lange 1 sky survey using the wide-field camera for Astronomy (VISTA) infrared camera
Devendra Sisodia 2 WFCAM at the United Kingdom Infrared VIRCAM (Arnaboldi & Retzlaff, 2011).
Malgorzata Stellert 3 Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii. In addition, ­Processed data that were generated at
Felix Stoehr 1 ESO hosts and operates the European ESO have been available since September
Magda Arnaboldi 1 copy of the ALMA Science Archive 2013. An up-to-date overview of the
Chiara Spiniello 1, 4 (Stoehr et al., 2017). The integration of released data is available online for con-
Laura Mascetti 5 archive services for LPO and ALMA data tributed and pipeline processed data 2, 3.
Michael Fritz Sterzik 1 is discussed here.
The number of users accessing pro-
Over the years, the archive has steadily cessed data in the archive has grown
ESO grown into a powerful scientific resource steadily over time (Figure 1). At the cur-
Pactum Limited, London, UK for the ESO astronomical community. rent rate, an average of 2.2 new users
TEKOM Industrielle Systemtechnik As processed data are routinely included, are added every working day, with each
GmbH, Gautin, Germany they can be used directly for scientific user placing 11 requests on average.
INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di measurements, thus alleviating the need Given the growing popularity within the
Capodimonte, Naples, Italy for users to carry out data processing community, and the increasing volume
Terma GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany on their own. An in-depth analysis of the and complexity of the archive holdings —
archive usage and user community is and taking into account the recommen-
presented in Romaniello et al. (2016). dations of advisory bodies, such as the
The archive of the La Silla Paranal Users Committee, the Public Survey
Observatory is a powerful scientific The archive is populated with processed Panel, and the results of the community
resource for the ESO astronomical data through two channels. For the first working group report on science data
community. It stores both the raw data channel, data-processing pipelines are management (STC Report 580 4) — it has
generated by all ESO instruments and run at ESO for selected instrument modes become necessary to upgrade the ways
selected processed data. We present to generate products that are free from in which users can access the ESO
new capabilities and user services that instrumental and atmospheric signatures ­Science Archive in order to enhance data
have recently been developed in order and that have been calibrated. They discovery and usage.
to enhance data discovery and usage cover virtually the entire data history of
in the face of the increasing volume the corresponding instrument modes and The trajectory of contemporary astro-
and complexity of the archive holdings. are generated by automatic processing, nomical research increasingly involves
Future plans to extend the new services with no knowledge of the associated multi-epoch, multi-messenger, multi-
to processed data from the Atacama ­science case. Checks are in place to wavelength, multi-facility science, in
Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array identify quality issues with the products. which data are plentiful and varied. At
(ALMA) are also discussed. The s­ econd channel involves data prod- the same time, data acquired from
ucts that have been contributed by the ­different facilities are becoming ever
community, which have been generated more complex, yet have to be combined
Background and motivation with processing schemes optimised to in order to tackle increasingly challenging
serve specific science cases. In most scientific questions. In this context, the
The ESO Science Archive 1 began oper­ cases, they have already been used to role of science data archives is to lower
ating in its current form in 1998, a few derive published results (see Arnaboldi the access threshold that separates
months ahead of the start of science et al., 2014). These contributed datasets, researchers from acquiring and being
operations of the Very Large Telescope, which are validated via a joint effort able to work with the data that they are
the VLT (see Pirenne et al., 1998). It is between the providers and ESO before interested in. The average astronomer
the operational, technical and science ingestion into the archive, often include cannot be expected to be intimately
data archive of the La Silla Paranal advanced products like mosaiced familiar with the details of each archive
Observatory (LPO). As such, it stores all images, source catalogues and spectra. and, even less, with the details of the
of the raw data, including the ambient instruments that produced the datasets
weather conditions, from the LPO, i.e., Thorough user documentation is also concerned. The access layer to the data
the telescopes at Paranal and La Silla, provided for all data releases, detailing therefore has to be as self-­explanatory as

2 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

2800 Figure 1. The growth include expanding the support to ALMA
of distinct users of
Distinct users of processed data and raw data from the
archive processed data ­p rocessed data in the
archive as a function LPO. It is planned that these new access
of time. The green line points will gradually replace the current
displays access to prod- ones for La Silla Paranal data, while
ucts contributed by the
ALMA will keep maintaining a dedicated,
community (deployed
separate access.
No. users

on 25 July 2011), the

1400 blue line shows access
to products generated
at ESO (deployed on
The ESO Archive Science Portal
10 September 2013),
and the orange line is
700 The most immediate way to access the
for access to either type
of products. new archive services is through a web
application, the ESO Archive Science
— Generated at ESO
0 — C ontributed by the Portal 7, using any recent version of the
community most popular internet browsers. A








— Either one screenshot of its landing page is shown











in Figure 2. The window is divided into






Time three main sections: a sky view in which

the content of the ESO archive is dis-
possible so as to present the data in a ­ iscoverable and handled so that they
d played together with background imagery
user-friendly way, rather than couched can be used together with datasets from such as the DSS; a table in which details
in the technical terms used within the other observatories and data centres. of individual datasets are shown and from
archive itself (for example, as calibrated The natural framework for this is within which further actions can be triggered,
fluxes and wavelengths, rather than the Virtual Observatory (VO); compatibility such as accessing previews; and a section
detector counts, or an engineering and interoperability with the VO is there- in which query constraints can be speci-
description of the instrument setup). fore a high-level goal for this project. fied, by explicitly entering them and/or
by selecting values or ranges of values
In this first release, processed data from arranged in facets. Query results can be
Access points to the data the LPO are supported. Future plans sent to suitable external applications for

Different types of user interaction are Figure 2. The landing web page of the ESO Archive coordinate or name, as resolved by the CDS’s
supported: Science Portal. The celestial sphere is colour-coded ­Sesame service  8. In order to serve different use
according to the types of ESO data contained at cases, they are a combination of physical charac­
– Interactive access: web pages through
each position (the sky viewer is CDS’ AladinLite 6, the teristics of the data (e.g., signal-to-noise ratio,
which users can browse and explore web version of Aladin). The entire content of ­sen­s itivity, spectral range covered, spectral reso­
the assets with interactive, iterative the archive is presented through aggregations of lution), the observational setup (e.g. filter name,
queries. The results of such queries 17 parameters, which can also be used to enter exposure time) and the ESO observing process
query constraints, in addition to querying by object (e.g. PI name, Programme ID).
are presented in real time in various
tabular and/or graphic forms, allowing
an evaluation of the usefulness of
the data which can then be selected
for retrieval.
– Programmatic access: whereby
users are able to formulate complex
queries through their own programmes
and scripts, obtain the list of matching
assets, and retrieve them.
– Access by tools: whereby data are
­discovered, selected and accessed
through tools normally developed by
third parties, which are external to
the web access channel. These tools
often implement sophisticated data
handling capabilities, such as TOPCAT 5
for catalogues, or Aladin 6 for images.

Furthermore, in order to fulfil the potential

of multi-wavelength, multi-messenger
science, ESO data need to be easily

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 3

Telescopes and Instrumentation Romaniello M. et al., Enhanced Data Discovery Services for the ESO Science Archive

further specialised analysis. To this end,

the ESO Archive Science Portal c ­ ommu–
nicates via the SAMP 9 protocol, which is
supported by popular astronomical tools
like TOPCAT and Aladin, enabling them
to receive information easily.

Multi-dimensional faceted search

In order to serve a broad range of use
cases, 18 query parameters are openly
available. They are a combination of posi-
tional parameters (cone search around
a given position on the sky), physical
characteristics of the data (for example,
signal-to-noise ratio, sensitivity, spectral
range, spectral and spatial resolution),
the observational setup (for example, filter
name and exposure time), and the ESO
observing process (for example, Principal
Investigator [PI] name and Programme ID).
Since many parameters are intrinsically
interdependent, constraining one param-
eter typically restricts the meaningful
range of one or more of the others. As a
simple example, specifying a PI restricts
the choices of Programme IDs to their any previous knowledge. For example, Figure 3. The all-sky search and rendering capabili-
ties of the ESO Archive Science Portal make it easy
programmes. as shown in Figure 3, it is immediately
to find and visualise data collections that span large
apparent that the archive contains data areas of the sky. In the example above, the footprint
In order to cope with this, the query of several ­different types, including spec- of the VVV Public Survey covering 630 square
parameters and search results are trum, catalogue, image, image cube degrees is shown on the all-sky DSS imagery. The
level of transparency reflects the relative number
grouped according to facets, so the user and visibility (the counts for each of these
of VVV images in the different locations on the sky.
can easily be exposed to and navigate categories are also provided). The equiva-
the multidimensional space of the archive. lent information and grouping are available
Wikipedia defines facets as follows 10: for all other search parameters. information. In terms of s­ patial extent,
“A faceted classification system classifies the ESO archive contains datasets that
each information element along multiple With this approach, searches flexibly range from individual pointings to covering
explicit dimensions, called facets, ena- adapt to input from the users, guiding significant fractions of the celestial sphere
bling the classifications to be accessed them through the content of the archive, — the whole hemisphere in the case of
and ordered in multiple ways rather than rather than limiting them to a pre-defined the VISTA Hemisphere Survey (VHS)
in a single, pre-determined, taxonomic set of possible paths. ­public survey. This large spatial dynamic
order”. This concept may be familiar from range is handled by adopting the Hierar-
most e-commerce sites. In practice, at Previews, hierarchical views and chical Equal Area isoLatitude Pixelation
any given time the user is presented with footprints (HEALpix) pixellation 11 of the celestial
the available parameter space accounting A preview is a lightweight, faithful repres­ sphere (see Figure 3).
for the previously specified constraints. entation of the actual data, which allows
In our simple example of specifying a PI the user to evaluate their usefulness Customised previews are offered for
name, the choices in the facet of the ­without transferring the full-size file(s). ­different data types, which include the
­programme ID will be limited to the pro- They are needed for a swift but in-depth possibility of user interaction (for example,
grammes by that PI. assessment of the data, beyond the zooming and panning) to navigate through
characterisation provided by the faceted the different spatial and spectral scales
Two additional features are offered to query parameters described above. within the data. An example of a preview
ease navigation. Where appropriate, of a spectrum is shown in F ­ igure 4. Image
entering the constraints is supported Data exposed through the ESO Archive previews are rendered with a hierarchical
by auto-completion. Also, the possible Science Portal display a great variety. For tiling mechanism called Hierarchical
values that a query parameter can take example, the range in images spans a few ­Progressive Surveys (HiPS) 12, which adap-
are grouped and presented as histograms million to several hundred million pixels; in tively provides the appropriate spatial
or lists, as appropriate. In this way, the spectra it covers a few hundred to several scale at any given zoom level, resulting in
system communicates its content to hundred thousand spectral channels; a responsive and satisfactory user experi-
users at all times, without the need for and data cubes provide simultaneous 3D ence. An example is shown in Figure 5, in

4 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Wavelength: 384.600 Figure 4. Example of a spectrum preview: the star
Flux: 1.610e–11 Hip058859 as observed with the X-shooter instru-
SNR: 548.416 ment. Dynamic interactions are possible in order to
7.5e–11 evaluate the quality of the data and determine that
they are fit for the intended purpose, e.g., by interac-
tively zooming in on a spectral region of ­interest (inset).
erg cm –2 s –1 Å –1

2.5e–11 which the preview of a tile from the VISTA

Variables in The Via ­L actea (VVV) Public
0 Survey is superimposed on an image from
the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS). On-sky
–2.5e–11 footprints can be superimposed on an
image of the celestial sphere to place the
–5e–11 data in context and assist in browsing and
300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 525 550
1000 selection (see Figure 6 for an example).

0 Direct database and Virtual Observatory

300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 525 550
The inherent limitation in the intuitive way
that the web interface enables archive
content to be discovered is that it is
unsuited to more complex queries, such
300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 525 550 as those that include sequences with
­logical statements like “and”, “or” and
1.4e–11 “not”, or queries that join different sources
of information. This restriction can be
overcome by bypassing the web interface,
erg cm –2 s –1 Å – 1

thus providing direct access to the ESO
8e–11 database tables 13. By adhering to widely
6e–11 recognised standards developed by the
International Virtual Observatory Alliance
470 475 480 485 490 495 500 505 510 (IVOA) 14, the ESO data can be queried
alongside data from other observatories
and data centres. This brings the ESO
data into the appropriate general context
of multi-wavelength, multi-messenger

Programmatic access
Users can specify their own custom
­queries via a standard service protocol
using the IVOA’s Astronomical Data
Query Language, ADQL15. The service

Figure 5. A preview of one

tile from the VVV Public survey
is shown superimposed on
the backdrop of the DSS. The
­p review itself was generated
using the HiPS mechanism
and can be interacted with by
zooming and panning on it.
A full-resolution zoom on the
inner-most regions of the
­stellar cluster in the tile is
shown in the inset. Zooming
in dynamically loads the
appropriate spatial hierarchy,
which provides for a respon-
sive and ­s atisfactory user

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 5

Telescopes and Instrumentation Romaniello M. et al., Enhanced Data Discovery Services for the ESO Science Archive

templates for users to customise and

adapt to their specific needs 26.

A VO data link service 27 has also been

implemented. It provides access to scien-
tific data, their ancillary files (for example,
weight maps), previews and data docu-
mentation. It also lists information related
to provenance (such as the data files that
were used to derive these products, and
any data that were produced using these
files). The VO Simple Spectral Access
(SSA) service 28 provides easy browsing
and access capabilities for the 1D spec-
troscopic data.

Tool access

The same basic infrastructure behind

programmatic access allows users to
browse the ESO archive from VO-aware
applications. This enables users to
­discover and access ESO data through
stand-alone tools, which have powerful
generic and/or specific capabilities that
cannot be implemented in a general
interface. Examples of such external tools
include TOPCAT and Aladin, as well as
tools like SPLAT-VO and other clients that
implement the Simple Spectral Access
Figure 6. Examples of footprints of imaging data sophisticated “point in footprint” query Protocol (SSAP) of the VO. To achieve
towards the Galactic Centre: VIRCAM data from the
(for example, if a user wishes to find this, all ESO VO-compliant data services
VVV Public Survey, OmegaCAM data from the VST
Photometric Hα Survey of the Southern Galactic the progenitor of a supernova that had are published in the IVOA Registries,
Plane and Bulge (VPHAS+ Public Survey), and previously been imaged in one of the allowing VO tools to discover them.
APEXBOL data from the APEX Telescope Large Area 16 non-contiguous VIRCAM detectors),
Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL Large Programme).
and the ability to find images or source
Background imagery is from the DSS.
tables in different filter bands whose The Archive Community Forum
­footprints overlap (enabling the selection
protocol used to accept the queries and of processed data for colour-magnitude Finally, open communication with users
return the results is the Tabular Access studies). is crucial in order to collect precious
Protocol (TAP) 16 of the VO. Existing feedback and exchange individual expe­
public domain software libraries providing The tables exposed in this first release riences. To this end, the ESO Archive
TAP-client capabilities can be used to of the ESOtap 20 service are the IVOA Community Forum 29 is available for
implement full programmatic access to Obscore 21 which fully characterises the users to post comments, questions and
the ESO science archive (for example, processed products, and ESO tables suggestions addressed to ESO, or inten­
astroquery 17, pyvo 18, STILTS 19, to name describing the LPO and Chajnantor raw ded for the community at large. Posts are
but a few). observations and atmospheric condi- moderated by ESO and, provided they
tions 22, 23, 24 (for example, seeing, precipi- meet basic standards of relevance and
The ability to access the archive with table water vapour, isoplanatic angle). etiquette, are made openly visible.
scripts allows users to efficiently and reli- A second TAP server 25 is available to
ably run long and/or repetitive sequences query the content of more than five billion
of queries, such as those needed to records of high-level science catalogue Acknowledgements
quickly access data from monitoring or data. In order to optimise the response The first step towards providing this comprehensive
other time-critical programmes. The for such a large pool of data, the spatial suite of services involves the curation of archive
capabilities of ADQL allow queries on the searches supported in this first release assets, which is an integral part of the Phase 3 pro-
spatial footprints of the processed data. are limited to cones. Extensive documen- cess (Arnaboldi et al., 2014). We would like to warmly
thank the PIs and their teams who have engaged
Some examples of the types of queries tation is provided in terms of practical with us in this process, which has greatly enhanced
include searching in a cone, a more examples, which are intended to provide the value of the ESO Science Archive.

6 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

We would like to gratefully acknowledge the very Louys, M. et al. 2017, IVOA Recommendation International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA):
fruitful collaboration with Centre de Données Pirenne, B. et al. 1998, The Messenger, 93, 20
astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS). This research Romaniello, M. et al. 2016, The Messenger, 163, 5 T he IVOA Astronomical Data Query Language:
has made use of the Aladin sky atlas developed Stoehr, F. et al. 2017, The Messenger, 167, 2
at CDS, Strasbourg Observatory, France (Bonnarel Tody, D. et al. 2012, IVOA Recommendation Table Access Protocol TAP v1.0 (Dowler, Rixon &
et al., 2000, Boch & Fernique, 2014). Tody 2010):
Many crucial aspects of the work presented here Links A stroquery:
would have not been possible without the results of pyvo:
1 19
the sustained, distributed efforts of the VO commu-  ESO Science Archive: STILTS:
2 20
nity. The following IVOA standards were used:  ESO contributed processed data: The ESOtap service:
ADQL v2.0, DataLink v1.0, ObsCore v1.1, SSAP v1.1, rm/publicAccess#/dataReleases T he IVOA ObsCore data model (Louys et al.,
TAP v1.0, UWS v1.1 30, DALI v1.1 31, SAMP v1.3. 3
 ESO pipeline-processed data: https://www.eso. 2017):
org/sci/observing/phase3/data_streams.html A mbient conditions for Paranal: http://www.eso.
We have made use of the taplib library 32 by 4
 Report of the ESO Working Group on Science org/asm/ui/publicLog?name=Paranal)
Grégory Mantelet (Astronomisches Rechen Institut, Data Management (STC-580): https://www.eso. A mbient conditions for La Silla: http://www.eso.
Heidelberg), which is a collection of Java libraries org/public/about-eso/committees/stc/stc-88th/ org/asm/ui/publicLog?name=LaSilla
implementing ADQL, TAP, and UWS. Grégory’s public/STC_580_Data_management_working_ A mbient conditions for APEX: http://www.apex-
­support is gratefully acknowledged. The ESO imple- group_report_88th_STC_Meeting.pdf
mentation of taplib 33, providing additional support 5
 TOPCAT is accessible at: 25
ESOtap server to catalogue data: http://archive.
for the specific Microsoft-SQL Server geographical
6 26
datatypes and functions, and the implementation  A ladin and AladinLite: Programmatic and tool access demonstration
of the SSA protocol 34, are made available to the 7
 T he ESO Archive Science Portal: http://archive. page:
community via github. I VOA DataLink v1.0 (Dowler et al., 2015): http://
 CDS Sesame service:
cgi-bin/Sesame VO SSAP (Tody et al., 2012):
References  T he IVOA Simple Application Messaging Protocol documents/SSA/20120210/REC-SSA-1.1-
(SAMP): 20120210.htm
Arnaboldi, M. & Retzlaff, J. 2011, The Messenger, SAMP/20120411/REC-SAMP-1.3-20120411.html ESO Archive Community Forum:
146, 45 W ikipedia definition of faceted search:
Arnaboldi, M. et al. 2014, The Messenger, 156, 24 I VOA standards:
Boch, T. & Fernique, P. 2014, ADASS XII, ed. Manset, HEALpix data analysis and visualisation software: UWS/20140527/WD-UWS-1.1-20140527.html
N. & Forshay, P., ASP Conf. Series, 485, 277 DALI:
12 32
Bonnarel, F. et al. 2000, A&AS, 143, 33 T he hierarchical tiling mechanism HiPS, devel- taplib:
Dowler, P., Rixon, G. & Tody, D. 2010, oped by the CDS: ESO implementation of tablib (G.Mantelet):
IVOA Recommendation Programmatic and tool access overview:
Dowler, P. et al. 2015, IVOA Recommendation ESO implementation of SSA on github:
ESO/Juan Carlos Muñoz

The final image taken by VIMOS

before it was decommissioned on
24 March 2018 was of the interacting
galaxies NGC 5426 and NGC 5427,
which form Arp 271.

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 7

Telescopes and Instrumentation DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5074

HAWK-I/GRAAL Science Verification

Bruno Leibundgut 1 Proposal solicitation and submission onds). The image quality throughout was
Pascale Hibon 1 quite good (0.5 arcseconds), and nearly
Harald Kuntschner 1 The call for HAWK-I/GRAAL Science Veri- independent of the outside seeing with
Cyrielle Opitom 1 fication proposals and the corresponding occasionally spectacular image quality in
Jérôme Paufique 1 web page were published on 2 October the fast photometry mode (0.2 arcsec-
Monika Petr-Gotzens 1 2017 1. The call was announced through onds in K). In rare cases, an elongation
Ralf Siebenmorgen 1 the ESO Science Newsletter on 17 Octo- of the images was observed, which was
Elena Valenti 1 ber 2017 2 with a deadline for proposal probably not related to the adaptive
Anita Zanella 1 submission of 31 October 2017. Nineteen optics, as it has also been observed with
proposals were received by the deadline other instruments on UT4. The only notice-
and evaluated by the Science Verification able instrument issue during the run was
 ESO team over the following 2.5 weeks. A total a systematic instrument configuration
allocation of 35.5 hours was chosen, a tool error, revealed for non-zero position
slight oversubscription compared to the angles and corrected during the run.
Science Verification observations with available observing time (30 hours in total
the High Acuity Wide field K-band over four summer nights). This resulted The observations essentially followed the
Imager (HAWK-I) instrument enhanced in 14 projects being selected for schedul- priority given by the ranking of the pro-
by the ground-layer adaptive optics ing. All Principal Investigators (PIs) were posals. The seven top-ranked projects
module (GRAAL) were obtained during informed of the outcome of this selection were completed fully within the requested
4.5 nights from 2 to 6 January 2018. process on 27 November, and the constraints. Some data were obtained
Fourteen projects were selected from a ­successful applicants were given a dead- for three programmes, and for one pro-
total of 19 submitted proposals. The line for submission of the Phase 2 material ject, the data did not comply within the
total time scheduled for these 14 pro- of 14 December 2017. All PIs complied requested constraints. The lowest-ranked
jects was 35.5 hours, which represents with this deadline and the submitted three projects could not be started.
a slight oversubscription for the four material was verified by the User Support
allocated summer nights. The seven top- Department before 22 December, so
ranked projects were completed, three the HAWK-I/GRAAL Science Verification Archive and data processing
more programmes received some data, queue was ready by 31 December.
one was observed outside the requested All raw and pipeline-reduced data are
constraints, and three projects were not The scheduled projects covered a range publicly available through the ESO science
started. The Science Verification nights of topics, including: the characterisation archive. The ESO data quality c ­ ontrol
were affected by various technical of a Solar System binary object — the group reduced all Science Verification
problems, mostly unrelated to GRAAL, dwarf planet Eris and its moon Dysnomia; data and the resulting products are avail-
which resulted in a total loss of 10 hours. observations of the mass function and able from the ESO Phase 3 data product
Half a night was allocated on 6 January dynamics of young clusters; pairs of stellar form 3. A new version of the HAWK-I/
to compensate for some of the lost time. clusters and their origins; and a massive GRAAL data reduction pipeline has been
The atmospheric conditions were rather embedded cluster. Star formation projects released. The HAWK-I/GRAAL Science
variable with occasionally excellent included an investigation into the infrared Verification web page also contains direct
­natural seeing (0.3 arcseconds). The excess emission of pre-main-­sequence links to the Science Verification data in
ground layer turbulence fraction varied stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) the archive 1.
from 40% to 85% during these nights. and observations of molecular hydrogen
The best performance in terms of in a Herbig Haro object. Extragalactic
improved image quality was observed topics included a potentially binary active Some early science results
when the ground layer fraction was galactic nucleus in a merging galaxy sys-
above 70%, as expected for the system. tem, and multi-epoch observations of Solar System objects: Eris and
The image quality in the K filter ranged luminous infrared galaxies to search for Dysnomia
between 0.2 arcseconds (in excellent core-collapse supernovae. Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are icy/
conditions) to about 0.5 arcseconds (with rocky bodies located beyond the orbit
mediocre seeing, > 0.8 arcseconds), of Neptune, which are believed to be rem-
and a small fraction of ground-layer tur- Observations nants of the building blocks from which
bulence. The delivered image quality planets formed. The dwarf planet
was very stable, but in some cases an All observations were made without tip- (136199) Eris is one of the largest TNOs
asymmetric point spread function was tilt stars and using only the four laser known in the Solar System, with a size
observed. beacons provided by the Adaptive Optics similar to that of Pluto. During the HAWK-I/
Facility (AOF). Various technical problems GRAAL Science Verification, high-­
led to a loss of several hours during the precision photo­metric observations of Eris
Science Verification nights. At the same were obtained at near-infrared wave-
time some very good seeing conditions lengths. The aim of the observations was
were encountered (down to 0.3 arcsec- to characterise the surface heterogeneity

8 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Figure 1. One of several Probing the cores of nearby stellar
Cyrielle Opitom, Akhil Gunessee, Pascale Hibon

images of Eris in one

HAWK-I quadrant with a
3.6 × 3.6 arcminute field The mass function and the dynamics of
of view. young clusters are among the most
important observational constraints to
the study of star formation. The presence
of extremely bright, massive stars has
prevented the analysis of environments
in the cores of stellar associations. The
γ Velorum cluster, which has an age of
~ 7 Myr and is at a distance of 350 pc,
was targeted with HAWK-I/GRAAL spe-
cifically to observe the region around the
naked-eye star γ Velorum (V = 1.8 mag).
The star itself was carefully positioned
outside the HAWK-I field of view and
observations were obtained in the fast-­
photometry mode (integration time
~ 3.3 seconds, see Figure 2). This resulted
in 2000 individual frames in Ks and 1040
frames in Y. A few frames with elongated
images were discarded in the analysis.
These data will ultimately provide a colour-
magnitude diagram that will probe the
stars down to about 5 Jupiter masses in
of this large TNO and detect photometric seconds. A total of 18 high-quality images the core of the cluster.
variations due to its rotation. Thanks to the were obtained, spread over three con-
performance of the GRAAL AO module secutive nights. If photometric variations
Figure 2. A comparison of HAWK-I/GRAAL images
(Figure 1), the team should be able to re­ are detected in these observations, it will with archival VISTA observations around the star
solve Eris and its moon Dysnomia, whose provide a way to definitively determine the γ Velorum. The circles mark the sources detected in
separation varies between 0.3 and 0.5 arc­ rotation period of the dwarf planet Eris. the HAWK-I frames.

HAWK-I + GRAAL Ks-band VISTA Ks-band

Hervé Bouy

–47°19ಿ40.0ೀ –47°19ಿ40.0ೀ

20ಿ00.0ೀ 20ಿ00.0ೀ
Declination (J2000)

Declination (J2000)

20.0ೀ 20.0ೀ

40.0ೀ 40.0ೀ

21ಿ00.0ೀ 21ಿ00.0ೀ

42.00s 40.00s 38.00s 8h09m36.00s 42.00s 40.00s 38.00s 8h09m36.00s

Right ascension (J2000) Right ascension (J2000)

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 9

Telescopes and Instrumentation Leibundgut B. et al., HAWK-I/GRAAL Science Verification

Figure 3. HH 212 in the

Christian Schneider

H2 filter at 2.12 μm with

image shown here is
5 by 1.5 arcminutes.

Stellar outflows from young stars Young star cluster RCW38 early evolution of stars in such an
Herbig-Haro objects are massive outflows RCW 38 is the youngest (< 1 Myr) of the environment.
driven by stellar systems in the making. Milky Way’s 13 super star clusters (Fukui
They are large objects on the sky, extend- et al., 2016), and the densest stellar sys- Stellar cluster pairs in the LMC
ing over several arcminutes (~ 1 parsec), tem within 4 kpc of the Sun (Kuhn et al., The LMC possibly hosts the largest
and appear mostly diffuse, although they 2015). The cluster contains hundreds of ­number of candidate stellar cluster pairs
also contain point-like ­substructures, protostars, pre-main sequence stars, and within the Local Group. These systems
which evolve on timescales of years. In OB-star candidates (Winston et al., 2011), are extremely interesting as their study
fact, time evolution is key to understand- along with a substantial substellar candi- can provide a fresh look at the mecha-
ing the physics of outflows, and in par- date population revealed in the cluster nisms of cluster formation and evolution.
ticular the link to their driving source: the core (Muzic et al., 2017). With HAWK-I/ As part of a larger effort aimed at provid-
planet-forming young stellar disc. Efficient GRAAL data (see the cover image), one ing an independent characterisation of
mapping of Herbig-Haro objects requires can directly study several key aspects of cluster pairs in the LMC (Dalessandro et
wide-field, high-­spatial-resolution data; star formation: massive star birth; low- al., 2018; Mucciarelli et al., 2012) this
this is exactly what HAWK-I provides in mass star and brown dwarf formation in a study exploited the wide field of view and
the near-infrared, where extinction effects dense environment and under the influ- the enhanced spatial resolution available
are mitigated. Molecular hydrogen emis- ence of photoionisation fronts from mas- with HAWK-I/GRAAL to observe the clus-
sion at 2.12 μm was observed in the sive stars; the initial mass function (IMF) ter pair NGC 2136 and NGC 2137 in the
­Herbig-Haro object HH 212 using HAWK-I on an unprecedented sample spanning J- and H-bands. The high-quality colour-­
in 2007. The driving source of HH 212 three orders of magnitudes in mass; and magnitude diagrams for the two clusters
is a low-mass protostar located in the mass segregation in young clusters. (Figure 5) will yield accurate cluster ages
Orion star-forming region at a distance of from the main-sequence turnoff luminosity,
about 400 pc. The new HAWK-I/GRAAL Star-forming complex in the LMC the structure of the systems from accurate
Science Verification image of HH 212 Pre-main-sequence candidate stars in star counts, and density profiles and the
shows all the characteristics of Herbig-­ the LMC often show near-infrared degree of mutual interaction. This informa-
Haro objects: well developed bow excesses compared to theoretical model tion will, in turn, yield clues as to the origin
shocks, where the outflowing gas inter- predictions. This was discovered using and final fate of these stellar systems.
acts with the ambient medium; jet-like VISTA images from the VISTA Magellanic
features closer to the source, tracing the Cloud survey (VMC; Cioni et al., 2011). Supernovae in the cores of galaxies
largely undisturbed flow originating in However, the VISTA images are affected Luminous infrared galaxies are highly
the star-disc system; and structure at by crowding and photometric uncertain- star-forming and dust-obscured galaxies.
essentially all scales. The new data (Fig- ties, which could also mimic this excess. While relatively rare in the local Universe,
ure 3) compared with the archival HAWK-I The HAWK-I/GRAAL Science Verification they start to dominate the total core-­
image will enable proper motions to be observations targeted the central area collapse supernova rates at z ~ 1. Two
measured with high accuracy, i.e., down of the star-forming complex N44 to obtain luminous infrared galaxies were observed
to 20 km s –1, over the entire length of a colour-magnitude diagram to well during HAWK-I/GRAAL Science Verifica-
HH 212 — a f­raction of the typical flow below 1 solar mass. The increased angu- tion. This resulted in the discovery of a
velocity of 300 km s –1. A detailed com- lar resolution has resolved the crowding new supernova, SN 2018ec (Kankare et
parison between the dynamics of the problem — almost 3 times as many al., 2018; Figure 6), in NGC 3256, which
blue- and red-shifted lobes is especially stars were detected in the densest young is only the second reported supernova
interesting because, although HH 212 star cluster areas (Figure 4) — and also in this luminous infrared galaxy, with an
appears symmetrical, its lobes show sub- helped with independent photo­metry. If expected intrinsic core-collapse super-
stantially different space velocities, some- the near-infrared excess persists in these nova rate of about one per year. Optical
thing that is challenging to explain with HAWK-I/GRAAL data as well, then it may transient surveys did not discover this
current jet launching models. be that the low metallicity in the LMC is nearby supernova — at a distance of only
responsible for significant changes in the 37 Mpc — owing to a combination of

10 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Figure 4. Comparison of HAWK-I/
Viktor Zivkov

GRAAL (left) and VISTA (right) images

of a region in the N44 star forming
complex in the LMC.

10 arcseconds 10 arcseconds

Figure 5. J and H colour-composite

Emanuele Dalessandro

image of the binary cluster pair

NGC 2136 and NGC 2137. The image
size is 210 × 160 arcseconds.

the high extinction (AV ~ 2 magnitudes) A dual active galactic nucleus? nucleus system are crucial to character­
along the line of sight of the host galaxy Recent observations using the VLT instru- ising the coordinated assembly of the
and the high background. SN 2018ec ment Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer ­galaxies and the supermassive black
was classified as a Type I c supernova by (MUSE) uncovered a potential dual active holes. The goal of obtaining the Ks-band
the survey “extended-Public ESO Spec- galactic nucleus candidate at redshift image (Figure 7) was to detect the host
troscopic Survey for Transient Objects” z = 3.3 with a separation of only 20 kpc. galaxy of the obscured active galactic
(ePESSTO; Berton et al., 2018). The study The merging of supermassive black nucleus. Indeed, the host galaxy was
of SN 2018ec will contribute to the long- holes in galaxy mergers is expected in detected at the expected location (thanks
term aim of deriving missing fractions for the h
­ ierarchical formation of galaxies. to the exquisite image quality, of 0.4 arc­
core-collapse supernovae from the local HAWK-I/GRAAL follow-up observations seconds, and depth delivered by the
to the high-redshift Universe. of this high-redshift dual active galactic adaptive optics system). After de-blending

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 11

Telescopes and Instrumentation Leibundgut B. et al., HAWK-I/GRAAL Science Verification

Figure 6. Discovery the quasar plus companion galaxy sys-

Erkki Kankare

image of supernova
tem using the software package GALFIT3
SN 2018ec in NGC 3256
in a Ks image. (Peng et al., 2010), Ks-band magnitudes
of 19.2 (Vega magnitudes) for the quasar
host galaxy and 20.6 magnitudes for
the companion galaxy were derived. At
z = 3.3 the Ks-band corresponds nearly
to the rest-frame velocity, and stellar
masses of log(M∗ /M⊙) ~ 11.4 and ~ 10.9
were derived for the quasar host and
the companion, respectively (adopting a
mass-to-light ratio of ~ 0.1 for a 200 Myr-
old stellar population). The host galaxies
are both very massive and probably trace
one of the most massive dark matter
halos at that epoch of the Universe
(Husemann et al., 2018).


The team received extensive support from the

Paranal staff for these Science Verification observa-
tions, in particular from Israel Blanchard and Sergio
10 arcseconds
Vera, who supported the observations, Johann
Kolb, who made sure GRAAL worked, and Philippe
Duhoux for the software support. The team would
also like to thank the Day Shift Coordinator on duty
during this run for their support.
Bernd Husemann

We are grateful to Hervé Bouy, Christian Schneider,
Σk s (magnitudes [Vega] arcsec –2)

Jil 21 Kora Muzic, Viktor Zivkov, Emanuele Dalessandro,

Erkki Kankare and Bernd Husemann, who kindly
QSO Host 20 provided the images of the first HAWK-I/GRAAL
Δy (arcseconds)

­Science Verification results.

18 References

–2 Berton, M. et al. 2018, The Astronomer’s Telegram,

Cioni, M.-R. et al. 2011, A&A, 527, A116
16 Dalessandro, E. et al. 2018, MNRAS, 474, 2277
Fukui, Y. et al. 2016, ApJ, 820, 26
15 Husemann, B. et al. 2018, A&A, accepted,
–4 –2 0 2 4 –4 –2 0 2 4 arXiv:1805.09845
Δx (arcseconds) Δx (arcseconds) Kankare, E. et al. 2018, The Astronomer’s Telegram,
Figure 7. Left panel: VLT/HAWK-I/GRAAL Ks -band Mucciarelli, A. et al. 2012, ApJL, 746, 19
image of the LBQS 0302-0019 dual AGN system. Muzic, K. et al. 2017, MNRAS, 471, 3699
Right panel: Same as left, but the quasar light has
been subtracted based on the PSF obtained froma
nearby star. Significant extended emission is Links
detected for the companion galaxy well above the
surface brightness limit. The distribution of VLT/ 1
 AWK-I/GRAAL Science Verification web page:
MUSE He II emission is shown by green contours.
The emission peaks exactly at the location of the hawkigraalsv.html
companion galaxy (dubbed “Jil”) with a slight prefer- 2
ESO Science Newsletter dated 17 October 2017:
ence towards the fainter asymmetric part of the
­c ontinuum distribution. oct2017.html
ESO Phase 3 data product query form for HAWK-I:

12 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Astronomical Science
ESO/NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)/F. Vogt et al.

Combined observations from MUSE on the VLT

(red ring), the Hubble Space Telescope (red and
green background) and the NASA Chandra X-ray
Observatory (blue-purple) reveal the presence
of an isolated neutron star (blue spot at the centre
of the red ring) in the Small Magellanic Cloud.

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 13

Astronomical Science DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5075

ALMA Constrains the Stellar Initial Mass Function of

Dusty Starburst Galaxies

Zhi-Yu Zhang 1, 2 and evolution, such as star formation (for example, in excess of 1000 M⊙ yr –1,
Donatella Romano 3 rates, and the timescales for gas deple- see Ivison et al., 1998) — have their
Rob J. Ivison 2, 1 tion and dust formation. ­ultraviolet and optical stellar light heavily
Padelis P. Papadopoulos 4, 5 obscured by dust (see Figure 1). How-
Francesca Matteucci 6, 7, 8 ever, according to theories and cosmo-
The stellar initial mass function logical simulations, it is in exactly these
systems where the most extreme IMF
Institute for Astronomy, University of First introduced by Edwin Salpeter variations would arise. Are there any other
Edinburgh, Royal Observatory (­Salpeter, 1955), the stellar initial mass sensible, indirect methods to probe the
­Edinburgh, UK function is an empirical probability func- IMF in these important, dust-shrouded
ESO tion which describes the relative numbers systems?
INAF–Osservatorio di Astrofisica e of stars that form in different mass ranges
­Scienza dello Spazio di Bologna, Italy during a single star formation episode. Luckily, carefully selected chemical
Department of Physics, Aristotle Univer- The determination of the shape of the ­abundances (see the next sections) can
sity of Thessaloniki, Greece IMF — whether it is constant and universal be measured at millimetre/submillimetre
Research Center for Astronomy, or it depends on the physical conditions wavelengths — a regime relatively free
­Academy of Athens, Greece in the interstellar medium (ISM) out of from the pernicious effects of dust; these
Department of Physics, University of which the stars form — is of the utmost provide a fossil imprint of the chemical
­Trieste, Italy importance for modern astrophysics, enrichment processes and an indirect
INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di because of its fundamental role in all constraint on the prevailing stellar IMF in
­Trieste, Italy ­theories of star and galaxy formation. those extreme environments. It is well
INFN, Sezione di Trieste, Italy known (for example, Tinsley, 1980) that
Though neatly defined (more or less) stars in different mass ranges produce
from a theoretical point of view (Kroupa, different elements in different proportions
The stellar initial mass function (IMF) is 2001), the IMF is not easily derived from and on different timescales, with the
fundamental to all measurements of direct star counts (Bastian et al., 2010). ­initial chemical composition of the stars
cosmic star formation, which involves Many challenges must be overcome in also playing a role. Indeed, in the last
an extrapolation from rare, massive order to convert the observed stellar three decades, systemic variations of the
stars (M∗ > 8 M⊙) to the full stellar mass luminosities into stellar masses, where IMF slope have been explored with the aid
spectrum. Classical determinations of uncertainties in stellar distances, ages, of increasingly refined galactic chemical-
a galaxy’s IMF are limited to ultraviolet, metallicities, extinctions and the possi­bility evolution models. These attempt to
optical and near-infrared wavelengths, of unresolved binary systems severely explain, for instance, the overabundance
and these cannot be adopted for dust- hamper our ability to measure the present- of magnesium with respect to iron in local
obscured galaxies with intense, ongo- day mass function of a given stellar popu- elliptical galaxies, where magnesium is
ing star formation, even in the local lation. Furthermore, the effects of a com- synthesised on short timescales by mas-
­Universe. The unprecedented sensi- plex star formation history and finite stel- sive stars and iron is produced mostly
tivity of the Atacama Large Millimeter/ lar lifetimes must be taken into account on long timescales by type I a supernovae
submillimeter Array (ALMA) allows us to to recover the IMF from the present-day with relatively low-mass progenitors, or
detect weak emission from 13CO and mass function. For example, the more the low metallicities measured in gas-rich,
C18O isotopologues, which offer a sen- massive a star, the less time it takes to star-forming dwarf galaxies. However,
sitive, relatively dust-free, probe of the evolve off the main sequence; at the same ­differences in star formation timescales
IMF. Globally low 13CO/C18O ratios for time, low-mass stars — with lifetimes and/or galactic outflows have sometimes
all our targets — dusty starburst galax- comparable to the age of the Universe — shown to act in a similar way, making it
ies at redshifts ~ 2–3 — alongside a continue to populate the present-day very difficult to prefer a variable IMF over
detailed chemical evolution model imply mass function. This readily introduces a other possibilities (Matteucci, 1994).
that stars formed in extreme starburst bias against high-mass objects.
environments are significantly biased
towards massive stars compared to Carbon, nitrogen and oxygen production
ordinary star-forming spiral galaxies. Deducing the shape of the IMF from its in stars, and mixing in the ISM
We have combined information from the chemical imprint
coldest interstellar medium (at tens The seven stable isotopes of carbon,
of Kelvins) with the physics of nucleo- Estimating the IMF directly is therefore nitrogen and oxygen (the CNO elements)
synthesis in hot stars (at tens of millions anything but a trivial task. On top of this, are produced solely by nucleosynthesis
of Kelvins), to delineate the formation direct observations of stellar light are not in stars. On galactic scales, 13C and 18O
and evolution of g ­ alaxies. This opens up always possible. are released predominately by low- and
a new window to probe the stellar IMF intermediate-mass stars (M∗ < 8 M⊙) and
of galaxies with ALMA and it challenges The most massive and luminous galaxies massive stars (M∗ > 8 M⊙), respectively
our understanding of funda­mental that shine at high redshift — for instance, (Kobayashi et al., 2011). This is due to
parameters governing galaxy formation those producing stars at tremendous rates the differing energy barriers in nuclear

14 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Figure 1. Artist’s impressions of a
dusty starburst galaxy. The star forma-
tion rate is supposedly a few hundred
M⊙ yr –1. The dusty curtain obscures
the optical and ultraviolet (and, some-
times even the near-infrared) light from
stars and only emission at much longer
wavelengths, i.e., from submillimetre/
millimetre to centimetre can escape.
Classical, direct measurements of the
present-day mass function are simply
not possible for such galaxies.

reactions and the mass-dependent evo- isotopes. Measurements of 13CO and ALMA observations of 13CO and C18O
lution of stars. C18O — isotopologues of carbon towards dusty starbursts
­monoxide, 12C16O or CO — in the ISM
C is mostly synthesised as a secondary can thus be used to trace the relative Starburst galaxies in the local Universe
element, i.e., its production needs the C and 18O abundances produced by most likely had prior episodes of cosmo-
pre-existing seed of the primary element, successive generations of stars. logical evolution, so the elementary abun-
C, to be present at a star’s birth. How- dances in their ISM could be affected by
ever, 13C also has a primary production In theoretical work by Romano et al. a complex star formation history may not
channel, if synthesised directly from 12C (2017), we reassessed the relative roles strictly be related to the current episode
produced through helium burning in the of stars in different mass ranges in the of star formation. We selected a sample
star itself. This may happen at the base production of the rare CNO isotopes, of dusty starburst galaxies at z ~ 2–3,
of the convective envelopes of asymptotic C, 15N, 17O and 18O, along with the more with less than 3 Gyr of cosmic time avail-
giant branch (AGB) stars going through abundant 12C, 14N and 16O. We used a able for prior episodes of evolution. So
periodic episodes of dredge-up (Renzini proprietary galactic chemical evolution they are expected to have relatively clean
& Voli, 1981), or in low-metallicity, fast-­ code for the Milky Way and stellar yields and simple star formation histories.
rotating, massive stars, in which rotation from the literature for massive stars, AGB Owing to the weakness of the isotopo-
triggers the production of primary 13C stars and novae to show that the available logue lines (13CO and C18O), we selected
by allowing the diffusion of 12C produced isotopic data for the local ISM, proto-­ the four strongest CO emitters in the liter-
in He-burning zones into zones burning solar nebula, metal-poor stars and abun- ature, which are all gravitationally lensed
hydrogen (Chiappini et al., 2008). dance gradients across the Galactic systems with their signals amplified by
disc can be reproduced satisfactorily factors of ~ 3–10.
Massive stars dominate the production of with a suitable choice of yields. Moreover,
O (Timmes et al., 1995), which is mostly we showed that our models could be We performed simultaneous observations
synthesised as a secondary element in extended to constrain the stellar IMF of of 13CO and C18O emission lines, using
the early stages of helium burning, start- star-forming galaxies across cosmic time. ALMA in its relatively compact array con-
ing from any pre-existing 16O. Therefore Among the remaining uncertainties, an figurations, in the spring of 2015 (Zhang
O production is strongly dependent on unknown star formation history is particu- et al., 2018). Between 10 and 30 minutes
the initial stellar metallicity. larly tricky to deal with. However, if gal­ were spent on each target per observa-
axies are caught during the earliest stages tion. We manually calibrated all data
These isotopes are then ejected into the of their evolution, the uncertainties are using the Common Astronomy Software
ISM via stellar winds, where they form significantly reduced. Applications (CASA) package 1 (v. 4.7.1)
molecules in the same way as their major following standard procedures. The final

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 15

Astronomical Science Zhang Z.-Y. et al., ALMA Constrains the Stellar IMF of Dusty Starburst Galaxies

angular resolution spanned 1.6 to –47°23ಿ48.0ೀ 0.56

3.7 arcseconds, corresponding to spatial 13
CO J = 3 ൺ 2 C18O J = 3 ൺ 2
resolutions of ~ 14–30 kpc at z ~ 2. We

Velocity integrated line flux

optimised for sensitivity, both in the 0.40

(Jy beam –1 km s –1 )
Declination (J2000)
observations and in the data reduction, 0.32
so the final images have limited angular 56.0ೀ 0.24
resolution — most targets are unresolved
or only marginally resolved.
24ಿ00.0ೀ 0.08
Most targeted lines are detected robustly 0.00
with signal-to-noise (S/N) > 5. Only two 04.0ೀ
targeted lines are marginally detected 08.00s 07.50s 07.00s 1h25m06.50s 07.50s 07.00s 1h25m06.50s
at ~ 4-σ level; J = 3 → 2 from SDP.17b Right ascension (J2000) Right ascension (J2000)
(­HATLAS J090302.9–014127) and
J = 5 → 4 from SPT 0103–45 (SPT-S Figure 2. Velocity-integrated flux map (zero moment) emission. Black contours show the high-resolution
of 13CO and C18O for the J = 3 → 2 transition in 336-GHz continuum image, obtained from the
J010312−4538.8). However, the high-J
SPT 0125–47. White contours show the low-resolution ALMA archive, presenting the Einstein ring structure
transitions show consistent results at 94-GHz continuum, tracing the rest-frame cold dust produced by the gravitational lensing effect.
higher S/N, so we can be confident about
the observed line ratios. See Figure 2 Global ratio or nuclei
for an example of our ALMA detections of Discs
CO and C18O, J = 3 → 2. IRAS 13120-5453 centre SMC, LMC, dwarfs
LMC IRAS 13120-5453 global
SMGs (this work)
Literature data on 13CO and C18O in
IC 10
­various galaxies
Milky Way, discs,
I( 13 CO)/I(C18 O)

We compiled a collection of line flux arms

ratios from the literature, I(13CO)/I(C18O)
at the same J transitions, in various types Star-forming nuclei
of gas-rich galaxies. ­Figure 3 shows the Mrk 231 SMGs (this work)
I(13CO)/I(C18O) ratio as a function of infra-
red luminosity, LIR (i.e., the apparent star ULIRGs/SMGs
formation rate traced by massive stars). 1

Discs of nearby normal spiral galaxies Arp 220

Resolved starburst
have I(13CO)/I(C18O) line ratios of ~ 7–10, SMMJ 2135–0102
similar to that of the Milky Way’s disc
(Jiménez-Donaire et al., 2017). Galaxies 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
with extremely high star-forming activity log10 LIR(L๬ )
(≥ 100–500 × Milky Way) all have much
lower ratios, close to unity (Henkel et al., Figure 3. I(13CO)/I(C18O) as a function of intrinsic al., 2017), local Ultraluminous infrared galaxies
2014). The lowest I(13CO)/I(C18O) ratio, an infrared luminosity (rest-frame 8–1000 μm, LIR). Our (ULIRGS; Henkel et al., 2014), a lensed submillimetre
lensed starburst sample is plotted with red symbols. galaxy (SMG), SMM J2135–0102 (Danielson et al.,
upper limit of 0.5, is found in a starburst The I(13CO)/I(C18O) measurements of nearby star- 2013), gas-rich dwarf galaxies, the Magellanic
knot — the central 500-parsec region forming galaxies, galactic nuclei (Jiménez-Donaire et Clouds (SMC and LMC) and IC 10, are presented for
of the nearby ultra-luminous infrared gal- comparison.
axy IRAS 13120–5453 (Sliwa et al., 2017).
Gas-rich dwarf galaxies, such as the dances are not biased by differential s­ ystems like the Milky Way. To verify
Magellanic Clouds and IC 10, show the astro-chemical effects and differential this, the degeneracy with star formation
highest ratios of I(13CO)/I(C18O), greater lensing effects for the bulk of the history needs to be taken into account,
than 30. I(13CO)/I(C18O) shows a clear ­molecular gas in galaxies. So the line because the lifetimes of stars can also
decreasing trend with LIR, or the apparent ratio of I(13CO)/I(C18O) can be used bias the final abundances in the ISM.
star formation rate traced by massive safely to trace the abundance ratio of
stars. CO/18O in the ISM.
Galactic chemical evolution
Both the 13CO and C18O lines are excited Such a systematic variation of isotopo-
predominantly by collisions with H2 mole- logue abundance ratios over galaxy-sized How much variation does the star forma-
cules, so they share identical excitation molecular hydrogen reservoirs indicates a tion history induce in the 13C/18O ratio,
conditions. These lines are optically thin, change of the stellar IMF from the canoni­ compared to any changes due to varia-
given their low abundances. Their abun- cal one found in normal star-forming tions of the IMF slope? To answer this

16 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Redshift, z Figure 4. Evolutionary tracks of 13C/18O abundance
5 4 3 2 1 0 ratio in the ISM, using various IMFs. Coloured lines
1000 correspond to different IMFs. a) Modelled starburst
a IMF history, which started evolving 2 Gyr after the
SFR (M๬ yr –1 )

100 Bottom-heavy
Big Bang, grew to a total stellar mass of 1011 M⊙
Kroupa and stopped forming stars 1 Gyr later. SFR is the
10 Top-heavy star formation rate. b) Corresponding 13CO/C18O (as
Ballero a proxy of 13C/18O) abundance ratio as a function
of redshift, following different IMFs. Our lensed star-
burst sample is plotted with red symbols. Blue
dots show the 13CO/C18O ratios measured in a few
b representative local galaxies.
100 SMC SMC, LMC, dwarfs
C/ 18 O

Milky Way Milky Way, discs

10 NGC 6946 disc from massive stars using an assumed

I( 13 CO)/I(C18 O) ≈

SMGs (this work) NGC 6946 nuc

Star-forming nuclei IMF. These need to decrease by a factor
1 IRAS 13120-5453 avg of at least a few, and the gas-depletion
IRAS 13120-5453 nuc times must then increase by the same
SMM J2135-0102
factor. As a result, most ­fundamental
0.1 Resolved knots parameters in the field of galaxy forma-
tion and evolution must be re-addressed,
exploiting advances in stellar physics.
2 4 6 8 10 12
Hubble time (Gyr)

question, we adopt a galactic chemical IMF can reproduce the I(13CO)/I(C18O) Acknowledgements
evolution model that accurately includes observed in starburst galaxies, near and Zhi-Yu Zhang, Rob J. Ivison and Padelis P.
the isotopic yields across the full range far. The extremely low I(13CO)/I(C18O) ratio ­Papadopoulos acknowledge support from the Euro-
of stellar mass, taking into account the measured in the centre of IRAS 13120– pean Research Council in the form of the Advanced
differential release of different elements 5453 can be explained with the top- Investigator Programme, 321302, COSMICISM. This
research was supported by the Munich Institute for
into the ISM as a function of a star’s life- heavy and the B­ allero IMF (Ballero et al., Astro- and Particle Physics (MIAPP) of the German
time, and the initial metallicity, as well 2007), which could reproduce the chemi- Research Foundation (DFG) cluster of excellence
as any prior galactic evolution. We have cal abundances of stars in the Galactic “Origin and Structure of the Universe”. This work also
benchmarked the model against the rich bulge. benefited from the International Space Science Insti-
tute (ISSI) in Bern, thanks to the funding of the team
isotopic datasets of the Milky Way and “The Formation and ­Evolution of the Galactic Halo”
shown it can reproduce the Galacto­ (Principal Investigator Donatella Romano). This paper
centric gradients of isotopic abundance Outlook and implication makes use of ALMA data.
ratios, and all the relevant local disc data
(Romano et al., 2017). Our results — finding a top-heavy IMF in References
dusty starburst systems across cosmic
With such a well-calibrated model, we time, where classical IMF measurement Ballero, S. K. et al. 2007, A&A, 467, 123
can safely build up an extreme case for methods cannot be applied — are con- Bastian, N., Covey, K. R. & Meyer, M. R. 2010,
ARA&A, 48, 339
the evolution of the 13C/18O abundance sistent with the results from other, less Chiappini, C. et al. 2008, A&A, 479, L9
ratio for a pure starburst, as shown in dusty, less extreme starburst systems, Danielson, A. L. R. et al. 2013, MNRAS, 436, 2793
Figure 4. To do that, we evolve a galaxy such as ultra-compact dwarf galaxies, Henkel, C. et al. 2014, A&A, 565, A3
from z ~ 3 (2 Gyr after the Big Bang) for progenitors of early-type galaxies, and Ivison, R. J. et al. 1998, MNRAS, 298, 583
Jiménez-Donaire, M. J. et al. 2017, ApJL, 836, L29
a span of 1 Gyr, with a high star formation compact starbursting stellar associations Kobayashi, C., Karakas, A. I. & Umeda, H. 2011,
rate, until it reaches a total stellar mass of in the Large Magellanic Cloud. MNRAS, 414, 3231
1011 M⊙. Star formation is stopped com- Kroupa, P. 2001, MNRAS, 322, 231
pletely after that, and the relic evolves The systematic variation of the IMF in Matteucci, F. 1994, A&A, 288, 57
Renzini, A. & Voli, M. 1981, A&A, 94, 175
passively to z ~ 0. This model was ­different galaxy types has an obvious Romano, D. et al. 2017, MNRAS, 470, 401
repeated with four different types of IMF, dependency on their star formation Salpeter, E. E. 1955, ApJ, 121, 161
from bottom-heavy (biased towards low- ­properties. The IMF can no longer be Sliwa, K. et al. 2017, ApJL, 840, L11
mass stars) to top-heavy (biased towards assumed to be universal, with a constant Timmes, F. X., Woosley, S. E. & Weaver, T. A. 1995,
ApJS, 98, 617
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Kroupa IMF that can reproduce average most cosmological simulations. More­ Physics, 5, 287
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formation rate and stellar mass, and their 018-0196-x
With the Kroupa IMF, the evolved 13C/18O derivatives, must be re-assessed urgently.
ratio reaches the range observed in the For example, the star formation rates in Links
discs of the Milky Way and nearby normal starburst galaxies are derived from classi-
spiral galaxies. However, only a top-heavy cal tracers, which extrapolate observables CASA software:

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 17

Astronomical Science DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5076

MIKiS: the ESO-VLT Multi-Instrument Kinematic Survey of

Galactic Globular Clusters

Francesco R. Ferraro 1, 2 black holes in star clusters can finally Thus, despite its importance, our empiri-
Alessio Mucciarelli 1, 2 be addressed, impacting our under- cal knowledge of globular cluster internal
Barbara Lanzoni 1, 2 standing of the formation and evolution- kinematics from the very centre (where
Cristina Pallanca 1, 2 ary processes of globular clusters and the most interesting dynamical phenom-
Livia Origlia 2 their interactions with the Galactic tidal ena occur) to the tidal radius (where the
Emilio Lapenna 1, 2 field. effects of the Galactic tidal field are visible)
Emanuele Dalessandro 2 is still critically inadequate. In particular, a
Elena Valenti 3 detailed knowledge of the velocity disper-
Giacomo Beccari 3 Galactic Globular Clusters are gas-free sion profile and the (possible) rotation
Michele Bellazzini 2 stellar systems, made up of a few times curve is still missing in the majority of the
Enrico Vesperini 4 105 stars of different masses (typically cases. This is essentially due to observa-
Anna Lisa Varri 5 from ~ 0.1 to 0.8 M⊙ ). They are the tional difficulties.
Antonio Sollima 2 most populous, and the oldest stellar
systems in which stars can be individually In principle, velocity dispersion and
observed. Moreover they are the sole ­rotation can be obtained from different
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, cosmic structures that, within the times- approaches. In practice, however, the
Università degli Studi di Bologna, Italy cale of the age of the Universe, undergo standard methodology commonly used in
INAF–Osservatorio di Astrofisica e nearly all of the physical processes known extra-galactic astronomy (i.e., measuring
­Scienza dello Spazio di Bologna, Italy in stellar dynamics. Galactic globular radial velocities from Doppler shifts and
ESO clusters are true touchstones for astro- velocity dispersions from the line broad-
Department of Astronomy, Indiana physics. The study of their stellar popula- ening of integrated-light spectra) can
­University, Bloomington, USA tions is crucial to validating predictions ­suffer from severe shot-noise bias in
Institute for Astronomy, University of from stellar evolution theory, and they are Milky Way globular clusters, because the
Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, UK invaluable laboratories for multi-body acquired spectrum can be dominated by
dynamics. Surprisingly, while remarkable the contribution of just a few bright stars
progress has been made in the study (for example, Dubath et al., 1997). In the
Globular clusters are collisional systems, of Galactic globular cluster s­ tellar popu­ case of resolved stellar populations, a
where stars of different masses orbit lations (see Carretta et al., 2009 and safer approach is to determine velocity
and mutually interact. They are the best Piotto et al., 2015), the kinematical charac- dispersion and rotation from the veloci-
“natural laboratories” in the Universe terisation of these systems is just in its ties of individual stars. By combining
for studying multi-body dynamics and infancy and the modelling often relies on the line-of-sight information (measured
their (reciprocal) effects on stellar evolu- a set of over-simplified assumptions. through resolved spectroscopy) with the
tion. Although these objects have been two velocity components on the plane
studied since the very beginning of In general, globular clusters are assumed of sky (from internal proper motions), a
modern astrophysics, little is known to be quasi-relaxed, non-rotating stellar full 3D view of the velocity space of the
observationally about their internal kine- systems, characterised by spherical system can be obtained. This begins to
matics, thus preventing a complete ­symmetry and orbital isotropy, with struc- be feasible in Galactic globular clusters.
understanding of their dynamical state, tural and kinematical properties (surface
and of their formation and evolutionary brightness and velocity dispersion pro- Internal proper motions require high-­
history. We present the first results from files) that are well captured by a truncated precision photometry and astrometry on
the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Multi- Maxwellian distribution function (for relatively long time baselines. These are
Instrument Kinematic Survey of Galactic example, King, 1966). However, growing finally achievable thanks to multi-epoch
globular clusters (MIKiS), which is spe- observational evidence demonstrates HST and Gaia observations. The former
cifically designed to provide line-of-sight that although this scenario is correct to are providing the necessary information
velocities of hundreds of individual a first approximation, it is largely over- on the centres of Galactic globular clus-
stars over the entire radial extension simplified. Indeed, there is accumulating ters (even if the innermost regions of the
of a selected sample of clusters. The evidence of significant deviations from densest systems might still be missed;
survey allows the first kinematical sphericity (Chen & Chen, 2010), and from for example, see Bellini et al., 2014 and
exploration of the innermost regions of a King density profile, a profile used to Watkins et al., 2015 for recent results). In
high-density globular clusters. When fit the observed distribution of stars within the meantime, Gaia is providing the com-
combined with proper motion measure- a globular cluster as a function of their plementary measures in the outskirts.
ments, it will provide the full 3D view in distance from the centre (see Carballo- The line-of-sight kinematical information
velocity-space for each system. Long- Bello et al., 2012; Lane et al., 2010). Sig- over the entire radial extension of Galactic
running open issues, such as the accu- natures of systemic rotation and pressure globular clusters is still largely missing,
rate shapes of the velocity dispersion anisotropy have been detected in several because it requires the collection of large
profiles, the existence of systemic rota- clusters (for example, Watkins et al., 2015; samples of individual stellar spectra, both
tion and orbital anisotropy (and thus Kamann et al., 2018; and references in highly crowded regions — the central
the level of relaxation), and the contro- therein). density of the Milky Way globular clusters
versial presence of intermediate-mass can reach up to 7 × 105 L⊙ parsec –3 (see

18 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Harris, 1996 and 2010) — and over large cally sample the spatial distribution of size of 0.2 arcseconds each. We have
sky areas (from 20–40-arcminute diameter stars (which is necessary to properly used the YJ grating covering the 1.00–
and even more). This is conceptually easy construct the rotation curve) we 1.35 μm spectral range at a resolution
but operationally challenging and requires planned a mosaic of between 4 and 9 R = 3400. This instrument setup is
a lot of telescope time. To fill this gap in pointings in the 125-millarcsecond especially effective at simultaneously
globular cluster studies and overcome mode (125 × 250 milliarcseconds/pixel, measuring a number of reference
these difficulties, we recently conducted 8 × 8 arcseconds field of view). In the ­telluric lines in the spectra of giant
a spectroscopic campaign based on densest clusters, an additional central stars for an accurate calibration of the
a synergic use of three different VLT pointing was also planned in the radial velocity, despite the relatively
facilities. 50-milliarcsecond mode (50 × 100 milli- low spectral resolution. Typically, 7–8
arcseconds/pixel, 3 × 3 arcseconds pointings have been secured in each
field of view). With the selected setup cluster. We selected red giant targets
The survey (K grating, R = 4000), radial velocities with J < 14, with no stars brighter than
can be properly measured from molec- J = 15 within 1 arcsecond from their
The Multi-Instrument Kinematic Survey ular CO bandheads in the coolest centre. In order to minimise the effects
of Galactic globular clusters (hereafter the giants (Teff < 5000 K) and from some of possible residual contamination
MIKiS survey; Ferraro et al., 2018) has atomic lines in the warmer stars. Note from nearby stars and/or from the
been specifically designed to provide the that, in the MIKiS approach, integral- unresolved stellar background, the
velocity dispersion and rotation profiles field spectroscopy is used in a non- 1D spectra were extracted manually by
of a representative sample of Milky Way conventional way; instead of using inte- visually inspecting each IFU and select-
globular clusters over their entire radial grated-light spectra at various distances ing the brightest spaxel corresponding
extension. With this aim, it takes advan- from the cluster centre, we extract the to each target star’s centroid. Normally,
tage of the specific characteristics of spectrum of each distinguishable indi- one star was measured in each IFU
three different instruments installed at the vidual star from the most exposed spa- though in a few cases two or more
VLT, allowing multi-object spectroscopy tial pixel (spaxel) corresponding to the resolved stars were clearly distinguish-
with the appropriate angular resolution, star centroid in the data cube. Typically able in a single KMOS IFU (see Figure 2),
depending on the radial region surveyed. several dozens of giants have been and their spectra were extracted.
The survey is based on two ESO Large observed down to K ~ 15 in each
Programmes (193.D-0232 using the ­cluster with the planned mosaics (see 3. W
 ide-field multi-object spectroscopy
K-band Multi-Object Spectrograph Figure 1). with FLAMES. This has been exploited
[KMOS] and the Fibre Large Array Multi to sample the external cluster regions,
Element Spectrograph [FLAMES], and 2. Seeing-limited observations with the i.e., out to several arcminutes. We used
197.D-0750 using SINFONI; Principal multi-integral-field spectrograph FLAMES in the combined GIRAFFE-
Investigator Francesco Ferraro) and has KMOS MEDUSA mode, which consists of 132
been designed with the core scheme These observations have been per-
described below. formed for an optimal coverage of
the intermediate radial range (a scale Figure 1. Left panels: Comparison between a recon-
1. Diffraction-limited integral-field of tens of arcseconds). KMOS is a structed SINFONI image and an HST/ACS-HR C
image of the innermost 3 × 3 arcseconds of
­spectroscopy with adaptive-optics- spectrograph equipped with 24 deploy- NGC 6388. Each SINFONI spaxel provides a spec-
assisted SINFONI able integral-field units (IFUs) that can trum. The red crosses correspond to the stellar
These observations are used to resolve be allocated within a 7.2-arcminute ­centroids identified from the HST image; 52 individual
stars in the innermost few arcseconds diameter field of view. Each IFU covers RVs have been measured within 1.5 arcseconds
from the cluster centre. Right panels: The same in
of the highest-density clusters. We a ­projected area on the sky of about the case of NGC 2808, where 700 individual spectra
adopted the S ­ INFONI K-band grating to 2.8 × 2.8 arcseconds, sampled by an of resolved stars were extracted within 10 arcsec-
achieve high Strehl ratios. To symmetri- array of 14 × 14 spaxels with an angular onds from the centre.


The Messenger 172 – June 2018 19

Astronomical Science Ferraro F. R. et al., MIKiS

Figure 2. The map in the upper panel shows the

location of the targets observed with KMOS in
NGC 6388. Lower panel: reconstructed images for
20 IFUs in a typical pointing.

deployable fibres that can be allocated

within a 25-arcminute diameter field
of view. The adopted HR 21 grating
setup, with a resolving power R = 16
200 and spectral coverage from 8484
to 9001 Å, samples the prominent
Ca II triplet lines, which are excellent
features from which to measure radial
velocities. The selected targets are
essentially red giant branch stars
brighter than I = 18.5. In order to avoid
spurious contamination from other
sources within the fibres, only isolated
stars with no bright neighbours within
2 arcseconds from each target were
selected. On average, 3–4 pointings
were performed in each cluster.

This approach was first tested, as a

proof of concept, on the Galactic globular
clusters NGC 6388 (Lanzoni et al., 2013,
­L apenna et al., 2015) and NGC 2808 (see
Figures 1 and 2). Then, for the MIKiS
­survey we selected 30 massive globular
clusters across the entire Galaxy (Fig-
ure 3), sampling both the bulge/disc stel-
lar populations close to the Galactic
plane (at z < 1.5 kpc) and the halo ones
(at 1.5 < z < 13 kpc).

The targets properly map the parameter

space most sensitive to the internal
dynamical evolution of the cluster, cover-
ing a wide range of central densities and
concentration parametersa (2.5 < c < 0.5),
and sampling all the stages of dynamical
evolution, including both pre- and post-
core-collapse globular clusters (with
2.5 a core relaxation time spanning almost
10 3 orders of magnitude). For a reliable
determination of the line-of-sight velocity
2 dispersion profile the selected globular
clusters are also populous enough (i.e.,
more luminous than MV = –6.5) to provide
0 1.5 large samples of giant/sub-giant stars.

To measure stars along a relevant portion

Figure 3. Distribution of the targets selected for the
–10 MIKiS survey (large circles) showing the height on
0.5 the Galactic plane z vs. absolute integrated V-band
magnitude MV (left) and the King concentration
parameter c vs. core relaxation time tc (right). The
–7 –8 –9 7 8 9
total Galactic globular cluster population is also
MV log tc (years)
­plotted for reference (small dots).

20 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Figure 4. Velocity dispersion profiles of NGC 6388
15 and NGC 2808 obtained from the radial velocities
NGC 6388 NGC 2808
of individual stars (blue circles) measured following
our multi-instrument approach: SINFONI+KMOS+-
FLAMES. The number of individual spectra measured
20 with each instrument is labelled. The empty t­ riangles
10 in the left-hand panel show the velocity dispersion
σP(r) (km s –1)

σP(r) (km s –1)

profile obtained from integrated-light spectroscopy
(Lutzgendorf et al., 2011), which is probably affected
by shot-noise bias.

the innermost core regions of high-­
SINFONI KMOS FLAMES density systems, thus finally opening up
(790) (96) (700)
(52) (82) (276) the p
­ ossibility of properly exploring the
kine­matics of Galactic globular clusters
0 1 2 0 1 2 3 at sub-arcsecond scales (see Figures 1
log r (arcseconds) log r (arcseconds) and 4). For comparison, note that no
proper motions have been determined in
of the red giant branch with good signal- knowledge of the visible matter density the innermost 10 arcseconds of these
to-noise in reasonable exposure times, distribution and the kinematic profiles dense globular clusters. For example, in
the horizontal branch level is always can provide reliable estimates of the the case of NGC 6388, proper motions
brighter than I = 16.5 (i.e., all the targets stellar densities, mass-to-light ratios, have been measured at only r > 20 arcsec-
are located at distances < 16 kpc). More- and total cluster masses. onds (Watkins et al., 2015).
over, we included only globular clusters 3. T  he exploration of the kinematics in
with [Fe/H] > –1.8, showing metallic lines the proximity of the cluster tidal radius, Figure 5 summarises the results obtained
deep enough to guarantee a few km s –1 which has major implications for the from the analysis of 6275 stars sampling
accuracy in the radial velocities measure- understanding of the physical origin of the entire radial extension of 11 Galactic
ments obtained from low-resolution recently claimed “extra-tidal structures”, globular clusters (Ferraro et al., 2018). This
spectra. the interplay with the external tidal dataset allowed us to accurately deter-
field, as well as the possible presence mine the systemic velocity and velocity
As a first step, the MIKiS survey is of small dark matter halos or modifica- dispersion profile of each system, as well
expected to provide the full characteri­ tions to the theory of gravity. as to investigate the presence of ordered
sation of the line-of-sight internal kine- 4. A  detailed characterisation of the kine- motions. It also provides the first kine-
matics of each target cluster, from the matics of multiple populations with matical information for two poorly investi-
innermost to the outermost regions. ­different light-element content, to gated clusters: NGC 1261 and NGC 6496.
Once combined with measurements of ­provide crucial constraints to globular In the majority of the surveyed systems
proper motion, the global project will cluster formation scenarios. we find evidence of rotation within a few
­provide the full 3D view of the velocity half-mass radii from the centre. These
space of each system, obtained from results are in overall agreement with the
hundreds individual stars, with crucial MIKiS first results predictions of recent theoretical studies,
impact on many hot topics of globular suggesting that the detected signals
cluster science. In particular, the MIKiS The results obtained so far clearly could be the relics of significant internal
survey will provide: demonstrate the revolutionary potential rotation that was set at the epoch of the
1. The very first sub-arcsecond kinematic of the approach adopted in the MIKiS cluster’s formation. This evidence, com-
exploration of Galactic globular cluster survey to study the kinematics of colli- bined with other recent results in the
cores, thus allowing a systematic search sional systems. In this section, we give ­literature (see for example, Kamann et
for signatures of systemic rotation an overview of the first set of results. We al., 2018), suggests that the vast majority
and intermediate-mass (103 –104 M⊙ ) find that the AO-corrected SINFONI of Galactic globular clusters (if not all of
black holes, providing crucial new observations attained an angular resolu- them) display some level of internal rota-
insights into the physics and formation tion comparable with that of the HST, thus tion. This might be the remnant signal of
processes of both globular clusters allowing us to extract individual spectra a much larger amount of ordered motion
and these elusive dark compact for 700 resolved stars within 10 arcsec- imprinted at birth (at the end of the initial
objects. onds from the centre of NGC 2808 (see violent relaxation phase) which gradually
2. T he determination of the mass distri- Figure 1), and even 52 individual star dissipated via two-body relaxation (see
bution and the global amount of spectra within the central 2 arcseconds Tiongco et al., 2017).
mass in dark remnants (white dwarfs, of the high-­density cluster NGC 6388 (see
neutron stars, stellar mass black Lanzoni et al., 2013). This is indeed an Figure 6 shows the unprecedented rota-
holes), since the kinematic profiles are unprecedented achievement; for the very tion curve derived for M5 (Lanzoni et al.,
sensitive to the whole mass enclosed first time, the radial velocities of hundreds 2018a). The velocity dispersion profile
within stellar orbits. The simultaneous of individual stars have been measured in and the rotation curve in this cluster were

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 21

Astronomical Science Ferraro F. R. et al., MIKiS

Figure 5. Projected velocity dispersion profiles for

11 Galactic globular clusters observed in the MIKiS 4
survey (red filled circles). The solid lines correspond
to the projected velocity dispersion profiles of the
King models that best fit the observed density/­
surface brightness distributions (from Ferraro et al.,
2018). 2

1 NGC 288 NGC 6496 NGC 6171

determined from the radial velocity of
more than 800 individual stars observed
out to 700 arcseconds (~ 5 half-mass
radii) from the centre. The rotation curve 4
obtained is the cleanest and most coher-
ent pattern ever observed in a globular
σP(r) (km s –1)

cluster. The rotation axis has been 2 NGC 6723 NGC 1261
NGC 3201
­measured in distinct concentric annuli at
different distances from the cluster centre
and it turns out to be strikingly stable
(having a constant position angle of 145 6
degrees with respect to the north-south
direction at all surveyed radii). The well- 4
defined shape of the rotation curve is fully
consistent with cylindrical rotation. The 2 NGC 1904 NGC 6254 NGC 5927
star density distribution shows a clear
10 10 100 1000
flattening in the direction perpendicular to
the rotation axis, with the ellipticity (e) 8
increasing with increasing distance from
the cluster centre, reaching a maximum 6
of e ~ 0.14 at r > 80 arcseconds. The peak 4
of the projected rotation velocity curve NGC 5272 NGC 362
(~ 3 km s−1) has been found at ~ 0.6 half- 2
mass radii, and its ratio with respect to 10 100 1000 10 100 1000
the central velocity dispersion is Vpeak /σ0 r (arcseconds)
~ 0.4. All of these results suggest that
M5 is an oblate rotator that is seen
almost edge on. 4
Figure 6. The unprece-
dented rotation curve
obtained for M5 (­L anzoni
Figure 7 shows the results obtained in et al., 2018a). The blue
another intriguing cluster: NGC 5986 2 circles mark the mean
(Lanzoni et al., 2018b). The velocity dis- stellar velocity as a
Vrot (XR) (km s –1)

function of the projected

persion profile (left panel) indicates a
distance on either sides
­significant deviation from the King model 0 of the rotation axis (XR).
in the outer region (r > 100 arcseconds) The red line represents
of the system. The clear-cut evidence the cylindrical rotation
curve, which well repro-
of systemic rotation is even more impres- –2
duces the observed
sive. Indeed, the observed rotation curve profile.
(right panel of Figure 7) is one of the best
examples of solid-body rotation ever –4
found in a globular cluster. This is the first –400 –200 0 200 400
time that these two kinematic features XR (arcseconds)
have been jointly observed in a Galactic
star cluster, and such co-existence in the physical interpretation of the struc- ubiquity of detections of even modest
makes the case of NGC 5986 particularly ture and kinematics of the peripheries of signatures of rotation in globular clusters
intriguing. In fact, these features may globular clusters and their possible role indicates that most of these s­ ystems
result from the evolutionary interplay as new tools for near-field cosmology. were born with significant amounts of
between the internal angular momentum ordered motion, thus pro­viding significant
of the system and the effect of the tidal The first results of the MIKiS survey have constraints on globular cluster formation
field of the host galaxy (Tiongco et al., highlighted the importance of an appro- models. On the other hand, the detection
2016, 2017). Such a discovery is particu- priate search for rotation signals over of intriguing features, such as those
larly timely, in light of the growing interest the entire cluster extension. In fact, the observed in NGC 5986, sheds new light

22 The Messenger 172 – June 2018



Vrot ( XR) (k m s–1)


σP(r) (km s –1)


– 200 0 200
XR (arcseconds)

Figure 7. Left panel: Velocity dispersion profile of
NGC 5986, showing a clear increasing trend in the
outskirts. Right panel: Rotation curve of NGC 5986.
The blue circles mark the mean s­ tellar velocity as
a function of the projected distance on either side of
the rotation axis (XR). The solid line is the best least-
squares fit to the observed points (from Lanzoni et
1.5 2 2.5 al., 2018b).
log r (arcseconds)

on the complex interplay between g ­ lobular Ferraro, F. R. et al. 2018, ApJ, 860, 50 Tiongco, M. A. et al. 2018, MNRAS, 475, L86
Harris, W. E. 1996, AJ, 112, 1487 Watkins, L. L. et al. 2015, ApJ, 803, 29
cluster internal evolution and the tidal
Kamann, S. et al. 2018, MNRAS, 473, 5591
field of the Galaxy. King, I. R. 1966, AJ, 71, 64
Lane, R. R. et al. 2010, MNRAS, 406, 2732 Notes
Lanzoni, B. et al. 2013, ApJ, 769, 107
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G. Hüdepohl (

A drone’s eye view of the VLT.

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 23

Astronomical Science DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5077

Constraining Convection in Evolved Stars with the VLTI

Claudia Paladini 1 between stellar parameters and con- 2013). At this stage the need for high
Fabien Baron 2 vective sizes, which are determined on angular resolution images became clear.
Alain Jorissen 3 the basis of three-dimensional stellar
Jean-Baptiste Le Bouquin 4 convection models. Our results open
Bernd Freytag 5 up a new era for the characterisation Stellar surfaces with PIONIER
Sophie Van Eck 3 of stellar convection in stars other than
Markus Wittkowski 1 the Sun. The PIONIER instrument (Le Bouquin et
Josef Hron 6 al., 2009) combines the light of four tele-
Andrea Chiavassa 7 scopes (the four Auxiliary Telescopes, or
Jean-Philippe Berger 4 The surface of the Sun is populated by the four Unit Telescopes) in the H-band.
Christos Siopis 3 about two million convective cells that PIONIER is very stable and efficient, and
Andreas Mayer 6 are roughly 2000 km in size. According is best suited to imaging bright targets
Gilles Sadowski 3 to the theory outlined by Schwarzschild (see for example, Wittkowski et al., 2017).
Kateryna Kravchenko 3 (1975), when the Sun evolves towards
Shreeya Shetye 3 the red giant branch, its atmosphere will The semi-regular variable π1 Gruis, an
Franz Kerschbaum 6 inflate and, because of the lower surface evolved star with a period of 195 days
Jacques Kluska 8 gravity, only a few convective cells will and a parallax of 6.13 ± 0.76 milliarcsec-
Sofia Ramstedt 5 survive at the surface. On the other hand, onds, was observed with PIONIER in
it is known that stars evolving along the September 2014 (Figure 1). Given the
giant branch lose mass via stellar winds. complexity of the target, we collected
ESO Mass loss from evolved stars is one of as many uv points as possible, which
Department of Physics and Astronomy, the c ­ rucial processes for galactic chemis- resulted in a total of two nights of obser-
Georgia State University, USA try. Stellar convection is one of the vations. The data were obtained using
Institut d’Astronomie et d’Astrophysique, dynamical processes that plays a crucial the compact and the medium arrays of
Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium role in shaping the inner atmospheres the VLTI, which are best suited to imaging
Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, of evolved stars. In particular, through its targets with a diameter of about 20 milli-
IPAG, France interplay with dust formation, it contrib- arcseconds, as in the case of π1 Gruis.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, utes to the mass-loss process. The switch between the array configura-
Uppsala University, Sweden tions was done within one week to mini-
Department of Astrophysics, University The angular resolution of optical interfer- mise the effect of variability of the star.
of Vienna, Austria ometry allows the stellar discs of evolved The H-band (like the K-band) gives access
Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de stars to be resolved, as well as smaller to the photospheres of evolved stars.
la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Lagrange, Nice, structures such as convective granulation. AGB stars with oxygen-rich chemistry,
France However, for several years we have been such as π1 Gruis, are ideal candidates for
Institute of Astronomy, KU Leuven, limited by the number of available aper- studies of the stellar surface convection,
Belgium tures. Several papers have reported as oxygen-rich dust is transparent at
asymmetric structures in evolved giants. those wavelengths.
The departure from spherical symmetry
We used the Precision Integrated-Optics was measured either by comparing We collected 303 spectrally dispersed
Near-infrared Imaging ExpeRiment ­visibilities observed at different position visibilities (three spectral channels at
(PIONIER) at the Very Large Telescope angles, or via measurements of closure 1.625, 1.678, and 1.730 micrometers) and
Interferometer (VLTI) to image the stellar phase different from zero or ±180 degrees. 201 closure phases. Model-independent
surface of the S-type Asymptotic Giant The observations were then interpreted images have been reconstructed for
Branch (AGB) star π1 Gruis. The angular by superimposing bright spots with vary- each spectral channel using the software
resolution of two milliarcseconds allowed ing contrasts on limb-darkened discs packages SQUEEZE (Baron et al., 2010),
us to observe the surface of this giant (Young et al., 2000; Ragland et al., 2006; and the Multi-aperture image Reconstruc-
star in unprecedented detail. At the Montarges et al., 2016, 2017). In other tion Algorithm (MiRA, Thiebaut, 2008).
observed wavelength the stellar disc cases, the interpretation was done using Figure 2 shows the result of the recon-
appears circular and dust-free. More­ physical models including radiative trans- struction algorithms, which use d ­ ifferent
over, the disc is characterised by a few fer (for example Cruzalebes et al., 2013, principles but give two very robust and
bubbles of a convective nature. We Arroyo-Torres et al., 2015). However, similar results in this case. The stellar
determine the contrast, and the charac- because of the scarce uv coverage, the disc is nearly round, populated by several
teristic horizontal length-scale of the interpretation of the data was highly non- patterns of a convective nature.
convective granules. The latter is deter- unique, and asymmetric structures could
mined, for the first time, directly from also be interpreted as indications of the
the image, without involving the usual presence of a binary companion (Mayer Characterising stellar convection
geometric modelling that has been used et al., 2014), or even an increase of the
in the literature. The measurements density scale-height in the equatorial The three quantities characterising con-
fall along empirical scaling relations plane due to rotation (van Belle et al., vective granules are the contrast, the size

24 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

ESO & B. Lazareff (LAOG)

C. ­Paladini
Figure 1. (Above) Left: λcentre = 1.625 µm λcentre = 1.678 µm λcentre = 1.730 µm

Paladini et al. 2018

the PIONIER instrument 1.0
in the VLTI Lab. Right: a) b) c)
the four Auxiliary Tele- 10 10 10
scopes in the compact
Declination (mas)

Declination (mas)

Declination (mas)
configuration. 5 5 5
0 0 0
–5 –5 –5
–10 –10 –10

–10 –5 0 5 10 –10 –5 0 5 10 –10 –5 0 5 10
Right ascension (mas) Right ascension (mas) Right ascension (mas)

aಿ) bಿ) cಿ)
10 10 10
Figure 2. (Right) Upper
Declination (mas)

Declination (mas)

Declination (mas)

panels: the three images 5 5 5

in different spectral 0.6
channels of the surface
0 0 0
of π1 Gruis reconstructed
with SQUEEZE. The 0.4
white circle in the upper –5 –5 –5
left panel represents 0.2
the angular resolution of –10 –10 –10
the observations. Lower
panels: same as above, 0.0
using the image recon- –10 –5 0 5 10 –10 –5 0 5 10 –10 –5 0 5 10
struction algorithm MiRa. Right ascension (mas) Right ascension (mas) Right ascension (mas)

of the granules, and their characteristic derived the power spectrum density of that best fits the spectral energy distri­
lifetime. The last of these cannot be the image; this method is commonly used bution; 2) a Gaussian profile; and 3)
determined as we currently only have in several fields of astronomy, especially a square mask that excludes the steep
observations obtained at one epoch. when modelling stellar con­vection. How- decrease in brightness of the limb
The contrast was obtained for every ever, a mere power spectrum of our ­darkening in the image.
­individual spectral channel after correct- image would simply provide the diameter
ing the image for limb darkening. We of the star. As we are interested in the After subtracting the limb darkening,
obtained a contrast between 12% and characteristic size of granulation, we sub- we scaled the background of the image
13%, with a slight increase towards short tracted the stellar disc from the image using the average over the image, and
wavelengths where the contamination using dedicated masks. Three masks then added space around the image to
from molecular opacities becomes more were designed: 1) a limb darkening profile better isolate the maximum power scale.
­significant. To derive the characteristic obtained from the Model Atmospheres The resulting power spectrum density is
scales of the granules in the images, we in Radiative and Convective Scheme shown in Figure 3. The maximum power
did not use any geometric model, but (MARCS) model (Van Eck et al., 2017) corresponds to a typical granulation size

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 25

Astronomical News Paladini C. et al., Constraining Convection in Evolved Stars with the VLTI

of the order of 5.3 (±0.5) milliarcseconds MiRa

Paladini et al. 2018

–2.5 –2.5
(mas), which corresponds to a linear 1.625 µm SQUEEZE
1.678 µm MiRa
size of 1.2 (± 0.2) × 1011 m at the distance –3.0 –3.0

log (SQRT[ ξ power])

log (SQRT[ ξ power])

1.730 µm
of π1 Gruis.
–3.5 –3.5

Granulation size across the Hertzprung– –4.0 –4.0

Russell diagram
–4.5 –4.5
The predictions from a three-dimensional
model including convection for AGB stars –5.0 –5.0
–2.5 –2.0 –1.5 –1.0 –0.5 0.0 0.5 –2.5 –2.0 –1.5 –1.0 –0.5 0.0 0.5
are still at an exploratory stage. The log ( ξ [cycles mas –1]) log ( ξ [cycles mas –1])
model grids available in the literature can
reproduce solar observations. However, Figure 3. (Left) The power spectrum density of the of the box, while the area on the right is the angular
three spectral channels of the SQUEEZE images. resolution of the observations. (Right) The power
they cover a different stellar parameter
The peaks of the three curves have been averaged spectrum density obtained for the first spectral
space from that of our star (Freytag et al., after smoothing to derive the power carrying length. channel and the two different image reconstruction
1997; Tremblay et al., 2013; Trampedach The grey shaded area on the left represents the size algorithms.
et al., 2013). Under the assumption that
stellar convection works in the same way
across the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram, 14 Figure 4. The characteristic
Paladini et al. 2018

we extrapolated our results and com- ­granulation size of convection

derived from the π1 Gruis
pared the granulation size determined so ­PIONIER images (triangle),
12 log g = –0.4
far with model prescriptions relating the ­c ompared with theoretical
characteristic scale to stellar parameters. ­p redictions extrapolated from the
Figure 4 shows that our result, repre- Sun.
sented by the triangle, is well reproduced
log xg (m)

by the model prescriptions.


Outlook log g = 4.4

6 Trampedach
The next step of this work will be to add Tremblay
the vertical scale information by using Freytag
the high spectral resolution mode of the 3.9 3.8 3.7 3.6 3.5 3.4
VLTI/GRAVITY instrument (Eisenhauer log Teff (K)
et al., 2011). The characteristic lifetime of
convection should involve a monitoring Observations of convective granules for Austrian Science Fund (FWF) under project
AP23006-N16. We thank all the ESO/VLTI staff for
programme that acquires at least an stars less evolved than π1 Gruis would
supporting our observations.
image per month. require higher angular resolution than the
one currently available. The latter could
A deeper understanding of convection, be achieved either with longer baselines, References
and how this process depends on stellar or moving to shorter wavelengths.
Arroyo-Torres, B. et al. 2015, A&A, 575, A50
parameters, will require extending such Baron, F. et al. 2010, SPIE, 7734, 77342I
studies to several other targets. An imag- Cruzalebes, P. et al. 2015, A&A, 446, 3277
ing survey of AGB stars will be rather Acknowledgements Eisenhauer, F. et al. 2011, The Messenger, 143, 16
Freytag, B. et al. 1997, Science with the VLT
straightforward as the VLTI reaches the Claudia Paladini acknowledges the support of the Interferometer, in Proceedings of the ESO work-
right angular resolution to resolve the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.- shop, (Berlin, New York: Springer), 316
convective granules on the surface of FNRS), Belgium. Christos Siopis and Gilles Sadowski Haubois, X. et al. 2009, A&A, 508, 923
such stars. Given the interplay of convec- are supported by the PRODEX office, Belgium. This Le Bouquin, J.-B. et al. 2011, A&A, 535, A67
research has been funded by the Belgian Science Mayer, A. et al. 2014, A&A, 570, A113
tion with pulsation and dust formation, Policy Office under contract BR/143/A2/STARLAB Montarges, M. et al. 2016, A&A, 588, A130
the optimum strategy for future follow up (Shreeya Shetye, Alain Jorissen, Sophie Van Eck). Montarges, M. et al. 2017, A&A, 605, 108
observations would be to use all of the Katheryna Kravchenko is s­ upported by a FRIA grant Paladini, C. et al. 2018, Nature, 533, 310
various wavelength bands available at (Belgium). Fabien Baron acknowledges funding by Ragland, S. et al. 2006, ApJ, 652, 650
the National Science Foundation, NSF-AST numbers Schwarzschild, M. 1975, ApJ, 195, 137
the VLTI — from H- to N-bands, using 1445935 and 1616483. Jaques Kluska acknowl- Thiébaut, É. 2008, SPIE, 7013, 70131I
PIONIER, GRAVITY, and the Multi AperTure edges the Philip Leverhulme Prize (PLP-2013-110). Tremblay, P.-E. et al. 2013, A&A, 557, A7
mid-­Infrared SpectroScopic Experiment Sophie Van Eck thanks the Fondation ULB for its Trampedach, R. et al. 2013, AJ, 769, A18
(MATISSE) — as simultaneously as possi- support. The research leading to these results has Van Eck, S. et al. 2017, A&A, 601, A10
received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Wittkowski, M. et al. 2017, A&A, 601, 3
ble so all the s­ patial scales could be cap- 2020 research and innovation programme under Young, J. S. et al. 2000, MNRAS, 315, 635
tured at the same time. Grant Agreement 730890 (OPTICON) and from the van Belle, G. T. et al. 2013, ApJ, 775, 45

26 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Astronomical Science DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5078

A Planet with a Disc? A Surprising Detection in Polarised

Light with VLT/SPHERE

Christian Ginski 1, 2 With the Spectro-Polarimetric High- The SPHERE instrument (Beuzit et al.,
Rob van Holstein 1 contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) 2008) is perfectly suited to this task.
Attila Juhász 3 instrument at ESO’s Very Large Tele- Recently van Holstein et al. (2017) were
Myriam Benisty  4, 5 scope (VLT) we can study the linear able to constrain the polarisation degree
Tobias Schmidt 6 polarisation of directly detected planets of the planets around HR 8799 to be lower
Gaël Chauvin 4, 5 and brown dwarfs, to learn about their than 1% and the companion to PZ Tel
Jos de Boer 1 atmospheres and immediate environ- to be lower than 0.1% with measurements
Mike Wilby 1 ments. We summarise here the recent performed with the SPHERE Infra-Red
Carlo F. Manara 7 discovery of a low-mass companion in Dual Imaging and Spectrograph (IRDIS).
Philippe Delorme 4 polarised light by Ginski et al. (2018). Here, we highlight another recent result:
Francois Ménard 4 The object shows an extreme degree of the first detection of a new substellar
Gabriela Muro-Arena 2 polarisation, indicating the presence of companion to a young nearby star in
Paola Pinilla 8 a circumplanetary disc. polarised light.
Til Birnstiel 9
Mario Flock 10
Christoph Keller 1 High-resolution polarimetry of Observations of the CS Cha system
Matthew Kenworthy 1 substellar companions
Julien Milli 7 The CS Cha system contains a spectro-
Johan Olofsson 11, 12 In the past 15 years, numerous substellar- scopic binary, both components of
Laura Pérez 13 mass companions to young nearby stars which appear to be solar-type pre-main-
Frans Snik 1 have been discovered with high-contrast sequence stars (called T Tauri stars).
Nikolaus Vogt 11 and high-angular-resolution imaging. The system is located in the nearby
Using resolved photometry and spectros- ­Chamaeleon I molecular cloud at a dis-
copy we can study the atmospheres of tance of 165 pc and was previously
Sterrewacht Leiden, the Netherlands these objects, which range from plane- ­studied by means of unresolved photo-
Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astron- tary to brown dwarf masses. This makes metric measurements, which revealed a
omy, University of Amsterdam, the them especially interesting targets to test large infrared excess. This suggests
Netherlands planet formation theories. At the same the presence of a circumstellar disc (see,
Institute of Astronomy, University of time, the formation of these objects at a for example, Espaillat et al., 2007). The
Cambridge, UK few tens or hundreds of astronomical observed spectral energy distribution
Université de Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, units is particularly challenging, given the shows a dip at 10 microns, which hints at
IPAG, France limited spatial extent and lifetime of circum- the presence of a large cavity in the disc,
Unidad Mixta Internacional Franco-­ stellar discs. a possible sign of ongoing evolution.
Chilena de Astronomía, CNRS/INSU
UMI 3386 and Departamento de High-spatial-resolution polarimetry is a On 18 February 2017 we used SPHERE/
Astronomía, Santiago, Chile powerful tool that can provide a plethora IRDIS to observe the CS Cha system
LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL of information about these companions. in near-infrared polarised light with the
Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne While the thermal emission of substellar aim of resolving its surrounding disc for
Universités, UPMC Université Paris 06, objects is not usually intrinsically polar- the first time. Our observation resolved
Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne ised, scattering by patchy clouds or a ­circumbinary disc with a diameter of
Paris Cité, France atmospheric haze can introduce an over- ~ 110 astronomical units (au). We show
ESO all linear polarisation. Rotational flattening, this disc in Figure 1a.
Department of Astronomy, Steward the presence of orbiting moons, magnetic
Observatory, The University of Arizona, fields, or circumplanetary discs can also However, the disc was not the only
Tucson, USA cause polarisation. By measuring the detection made that night. We noticed
University Observatory Munich, degree and angle of linear polarisation that a faint companion candidate was
Faculty of Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians- with high accuracy we can distinguish ­visible at approximately 1.3 arcseconds
University, Munich, Germany between these effects and extract atmos- to the west of the primary stars. Remark-
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, pheric parameters as well as information ably, this companion is not only visible
Heidelberg, Germany about the circumplanetary environment. in intensity (see Figure 1c), but also in
Instituto de Física y Astronomía, polarised light (see Figure 1a). It is
­Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile Polarisation has been measured in the extremely faint, with an apparent magni-
Núcleo Milenio Formación Planetaria – past for field brown dwarfs, but only tude of 19.2 magnitudes in the J-band.
NPF, Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile the latest generation of extreme adaptive-­ Such flux levels are predicted by planetary
Departamento de Astronomía, optics imagers at large aperture tele- atmosphere models for objects with a
­Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile scopes are allowing us now to open the few times the mass of Jupiter. A particu-
parameter space to detect these interest- larly intriguing property of this companion
ing low-mass companions to nearby is its high level of polarisation. In our
stars. J-band data we measured a degree of

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 27

Astronomical Science Ginski C. et al., A Surprising Detection in Polarised Light with VLT/SPHERE

linear polarisation of ~ 14%. This value Figure 1. Observations

was later confirmed with a follow-up 0.5 a) SPHERE/Polarised light of the CS Cha system
at multiple wavelengths
SPHERE/IRDIS observation in the H-band. and with various instru-
ments. The companion
To prove that the companion is associ- 0.0 is always marked by a
dashed circle.
ated with the CS Cha system one needs
(a) SPHERE polarised
to measure the common proper motion light image. The com-
using archival data. CS Cha was observed 02/2017 panion is seen in polar-
with the Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System ised light along with the
disc around the central
Near-Infrared Imager and Spectrograph
binary star. The corona-
(NACO, Lenzen et al., 2003) at the VLT in 0.5 b) HST/WFPC2/I-band
graph that was used is
the K-band 11 years prior to our SPHERE indicated by a grey
observations. Furthermore, we found hatched circle.
(b–e) Total intensity
I-band observations taken in February 0.0 unpolarised images of
1998 with the Hubble Space Telescope’s the companion. The
Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (HST/ stellar PSF was partially
WFPC2). Re-reducing these data sets, subtracted to increase
–0.5 02/1998 the companion contrast,
we were able to recover the companion
also creating the dark-
(see Figures 1 b and e). With a 19-year bright patterns visible.
ΔDeclination (arcseconds)

baseline, we could then show that CS Cha 0.5 c) VLT/SPHERE/J-band The position of the
and the companion have nearly the same ­c entral binary is marked
with a star s­ ymbol.
proper motion on the sky (see Figure 2).
The small differential motion that we
found is consistent with the orbital motion
that is expected for a low mass com­
panion. This makes it very likely that this
object is gravitationally bound to CS Cha. –0.5 02/2017

The next step in our analysis was to 0.5 d) VLT/SPHERE/H-band

investigate the possible causes for the
high degree of polarisation. One possi­
bility could be the presence of a large
amount of interstellar dust between the 0.0
Solar System and the CS Cha system.
This would be especially likely if CS Cha
is located deep within the Chamaeleon I –0.5 06/2017
molecular cloud. We measured the
degree of polarisation of the unresolved
0.5 e) VLT/NACO/K-band
primary stars in our J- and H-band
SPHERE data sets and found that their
light was polarised to less than 1%. This
strongly suggests that the degree of 0.0
polarisation of the companion is intrinsic
and not caused by interstellar dust.
–0.5 02/2006

A planet with a disc? –1.0 –0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
ΔRight ascension (arcseconds)
Since we have multiple observations of
the companion in various photometric tude relative to the host star. We then phere models for substellar objects.
bands we can attempt a characterisation. use the known brightness of the host to In Figure 3, we show two model spectra,
In particular, we are interested in con- translate these relative measurements obtained for an object of 5 Jupiter
straining its mass and determining the into absolute fluxes. The SPHERE H-band masses (MJup) and one of 20 MJup. These
causes of its high degree of polarisation. photometry has larger uncertainties model spectra include clouds in the
because the observations were taken in atmosphere models, but do not include
In Figure 3 we show all the available poor weather conditions. circumplanetary material.
­photometric measurements along with
upper limits for non-detections. We We compared the companion photometry We found that the J-H colour of the com-
always measure the companion magni- to PHOENIX (Helling et al., 2008) atmos- panion is somewhat consistent with a

28 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

272 5-MJup planet. However, the model spec-
VLT/SPHERE trum overpredicts the flux in the NACO
270 K- and L-bands and underpredicts it in
268 if background VLT/NACO
the HST I-band. A 20-MJup planet, on the
Position angle (degrees)

other hand, completely overpredicts the

266 flux across all photometric bands. We
conclude that no standard atmosphere
264 model could reproduce these peculiar
photometric measurements. Additionally,
clouds in planetary atmospheres are
260 not expected to cause linear polarisation
if bound of more than a few percent (Stolker et al.,
258 2017).

256 The presence of a circumplanetary disc

seen at a high inclination, i.e., close to
1.7 edge-on, can produce a high degree of
linear polarisation in the companion.
Such a strongly inclined disc would then
Separation (arcseconds)

1.6 also block some of the light from the

companion itself. This would naturally
explain why “naked” planetary atmos-
phere models are a bad fit to the available
photometry. We can put one further con-
straint on a potential circumplanetary
disc. It needs to be small enough that we
are not able to resolve it in our SPHERE
1.3 images. This means that its diameter
must be less than 4 au.
1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020
Time (year) After some first attempts at modelling the
Figure 2. (Above) Astro- observations we realised that an inclined
metric measurements
10 –12
CS Cha disc alone still does not explain the high
AMES-DUSTY 5 MJup of the companion rela-
tive to the unresolved degree of polarisation. In fact, our models
primary stars. The grey underpredict the degree of polarisation
CS Cha b/B
“wobbled” area is the by a few percent and do not fit the pho-
area where background
tometry. However, if we include a very
objects would be
10 –13
expected, while the area thin dusty halo, then we can nearly repro-



between the dashed duce all of the measurements. This halo

lines is where gravita- has a dust mass two orders of magnitude
tionally bound objects
NACO/k s


less than that of the disc itself. We show

are expected.
the best-fitting models in Figure 4. For
10 –14
simplicity, each model is computed for
λF λ (W/m – 2 )

a single dust grain size only. The models

with 0.1- and 1.0-micron particle sizes
reproduce the companion photometry
10 –15 well. The smaller grains, on the other
Figure 3. (Left) Photo- hand, lead to an overprediction of the
metric measurements
(circles) and upper limits
degree of polarisation, while the larger
(triangles) of the com- grains slightly underpredict the polarisa-
panion (red symbols) in tion, especially in the J-band. It is thus
10 –16 different bands and with reasonable to assume that a more com-
different instruments.
For comparison we also
plex mixture of differently sized grains
plot the photometry of should be able to reproduce the meas-
the unresolved primary ured polarisation.
10 –17 stars (blue symbols),
as well as theoretical
models for a 5-MJup and
Since the flux of the companion is attenu-
10 0 10 1 a 20-MJup planet (solid ated by its surrounding disc, we need a
λ (µm) and dashed lines). higher-mass object to fit the photometry

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 29

Astronomical Science Ginski C. et al., A Surprising Detection in Polarised Light with VLT/SPHERE

compared to the “naked” atmosphere 10 –15 Figure 4. (Left) Com-

panion photometry and
models. In this case we use a 20-MJup
degree of linear polari-
planet. sation along with our
best fitting models.
These first models fit well with the ­D ifferent colours and
line styles denote differ-
­measurements, but they still suffer a
ent inclinations of the
degeneracy between the mass of the
λF λ (W/m – 2 )
10 –16 circum-companion disc
central object, the inclination of the as well as different dust
­circumplanetary disc and the dust grain grain sizes. Triangles
show upper limits, while
sizes. Therefore we caution that the solu-
circles are current
tion we find is likely not the only one. measurements.
However, since the modelled disc inclina-
tion of ~ 80° is rather high, we can be 20 MJup /0.1 µm/77°
sure that the companion is not signifi- 10 –17 20 MJup /1.0 µm/80°
cantly more massive than our current 20 MJup /2.0 µm/75°
estimates. More massive central objects
would require a stronger attenuation to
fit the photometry and thus a higher disc
Polarisation degree (%)

We show a schematic of the full CS Cha

system in Figure 5 as described in our
model. The elevation of the companion 30
along the line of sight is unknown, so
we do not know if it is partially illuminated
by the central binary, or completely 20
­shadowed by the circumbinary disc. We
conducted tests to investigate the possi-
bility of additional illumination of the com-
panion by the central binary and found
that this had only a marginal effect on our 0 Figure 5. (Below)
modelling. 0.5 1.0 3.0 ­Schematic of the
λ (µm) CS Cha system.
­D istances and sizes
are not to scale.
Planet formation in the CS Cha system

~ 165 pc

Given what we know about the CS Cha

system, we can speculate on how the
companion may have formed. The circum-
stellar disc that we detected in polarised Dusty halo
scattered light only extends out to ~ 55 au.

It is possible that the disc extends further,

but we do not see it in scattered light
because it is partially self-shadowed.
However, it seems unlikely that the disc
extends out to the companion position < 30.6 au
at 214 au.

Given the available astrometry, we com-

puted possible orbits of the companion. ≥ 214 au
We found that orbits that are circular and
co-planar with the circumstellar disc do the primary stars. Furthermore, the multiple stellar system. In multiple stellar
not fit the available data. We further find ­circumplanetary disc may be misaligned systems such misalignments are quite
that the companion’s orbit must be at with both the orbital plane and the stellar common (see, for example, simulations
least slightly eccentric if the companion spin axis. Such misalignments would by Bate, 2012).
mass is indeed as low as our modelling not be predicted if the companion formed
work predicts. The orbital plane is likely in the disc around the primary stars. In the future we will need follow-up
misaligned with the plane of the circum- Thus we speculate that the companion observations with the Atacama Large
stellar disc and thus with the spin axis of may have formed as a component of a ­Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA),

30 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

to constrain the dust mass around the Acknowledgements (2004–2008), grant number 226604 for FP7 (2009–
2012) and grant number 312430 for FP7 (2013–
companion as well as the extent of the
Our new observations were performed with SPHERE 2016). Christian Ginski would like to thank Donna
gas disc of the stellar spectroscopic at the VLT. SPHERE is an instrument that has been Keeley for language editing of the manuscript.
binary. Also, spectral observations in the designed and built by a consortium consisting of
near-infrared are needed to better charac- IPAG (Grenoble, France), MPIA (Heidelberg,
­G ermany), LAM (Marseille, France), LESIA (Paris, References
terise the companion. In particular, we
France), Laboratoire Lagrange (Nice, France), INAF–
will need (HST/WFC3) observations as Osservatorio di Padova (Italy), Observatoire de Bate, M. R. 2012, MNRAS, 419, 3115
the limitations of current ground-based Genève (Switzerland), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Beuzit, J.-L. et al. 2008, SPIE, 7014, 18
instruments do not allow us to detect the NOVA (Netherlands), ONERA (France) and ASTRON Espaillat, C. et al. 2007, ApJ, 664, L111
(Netherlands) in collaboration with ESO. SPHERE Ginski, C. et al. 2018, A&A, submitted
spectrum of the companion.
was funded by ESO, with additional contributions Helling, C. et al. 2008, ApJ, 675, L105
from CNRS (France), MPIA (Germany), INAF (Italy), van Holstein, R. G. et al. 2017, SPIE, 10400, 15
The CS Cha system offers concrete FINES (Switzerland) and NOVA (Netherlands). In Lenzen, R. et al. 2003, SPIE, 4841, 944
­evidence of a formation pathway for addition, SPHERE received funding from the Euro- Stolker, T. et al. 2017, A&A, 607, 42
pean Commission Sixth and Seventh Framework
wide planetary-mass companions and
Programmes as part of the Optical Infrared Coordi-
shows the power of polarimetry as a tool nation Network for Astronomy (OPTICON) under
for planet characterisation. grant number RII3-Ct-2004-001566 for FP6
ESO/H. Avenhaus et al./DARTT-S collaboration

SPHERE image of the enormous dust disc

surrounding the T Tauri star IM Lup.

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 31

Astronomical News

ESO/P. Horálek
Upper: A planetarium show at the ESO Supernova Lower: ESO and VDL ETG Projects B.V. (the
Planetarium & Visitor Centre, which opened its ­N etherlands) sign a contract for the manufacture,
doors to the public on Saturday 28 April 2018. assembly, testing and delivery of the Segment
Support Mechanics, responsible for holding and
controlling the 798 mirror segments of the primary
mirror of the Extremely Large Telescope.

32 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Astronomical News DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5079

Report on the ESO Workshop

Planning ESO Observations of Future Gravitational Wave Events

held at ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 31 January –1 February 2018

Bruno Leibundgut 1 gamma-ray burst (GRB170817A) two events. The programmatic aspects of
Ferdinando Patat 1 ­seconds later, the search for an optical/ ESO observations were also exhaustively
infrared counterpart was on. Within a explored.1
few hours, an optical counterpart was
ESO detected in the galaxy NGC 4993. Spec- The first session was focused on
troscopic follow-up observations began GW170817 observations. The gravita-
immediately, resulting in a detailed record tional wave signal was presented
Understanding the nature and results of the evolution of the event over the fol- and compared to that from black hole
of black hole and neutron star mergers lowing two weeks. mergers by Sarah Antier (Laboratoire de
has become a hot topic in astrophysics. l’Accélérateur Linéaire Orsay), followed
The combination of gravitational wave ESO and ESA telescopes and instru- by a description of the event as seen
and electromagnetic observations of ments participated in this global observ- at optical and near-infrared wavelengths
GW170817/GRB 170817A has triggered ing campaign. Parts of the community (Stephen Smartt, Queen’s University
new and exciting science projects. The focused on the search of the optical ­Belfast), in X-rays (Maria Grazia Bernardini,
timeline for observations of gravitational counterpart with ESO’s Visible and Infra- Laboratoire U ­ nivers et Particules de
wave events lies between seconds and red Survey Telescope for Astronomy Montpellier) and in gamma rays (Roland
days, and coordinated observations (VISTA) and the VLT Survey Telescope Diehl, Max Planck Institute for Extrater-
of electromagnetic radiation are critical (VST), but as soon as the GRB detected restrial Physics [MPE] in Garching).
when probing the nature of these events. by the ESA INTErnational Gamma-Ray
The great success of the observations Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) Marina Rejkuba (ESO) reported on the
of GW170817/GRB 170817A from more ­satellite and its optical counterpart had ESO observations and the activities
than 50 observatories has highlighted been identified, the event was followed up ­associated with the release of the data
the importance of coordination between using several spectrographs and imagers. to the community. Optical observations
different instruments and facilities. This of GW170817 could only be conducted
two-day workshop focused on what has for a couple of hours before the object
been learned from ESO observations of Workshop goals set each evening in Chile, with several
GW170817/GRB 170817A, and discussed instruments being used simultaneously
strategies for coordinating observations The goal of the workshop was to bring on the VLT. The ESA satellites INTEGRAL
of future events. the community together to discuss the and X-ray Multi-Mirror satellite (XMM-
best way to obtain ESO observations of Newton) also participated in the observ-
future gravitational wave events. Despite ing campaign, and Peter K ­ retschmar
Background the speed with which the workshop was (European Space Agency, ESA) gave
organised — it was announced in the an account of the activities required at
The first detection of an electromagnetic ESO Science Newsletter on 20 December the operations centres in order to obtain
counterpart of a gravitational wave event 2017 — 55 participants had registered these data at short notice.
had a historic dimension, as it connected by the deadline in early January.
two seemingly separate “universes”. Since it is still very early days for the
­Several mergers of black holes had been The speaker list was partially defined ­electromagnetic observation of gravita-
observed prior to that, indicating black through the Principal Investigators (PIs) tional wave events, Anders Jerkstrand
holes of several tens of solar masses; this of exisiting proposals. Eight of the 26 (Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics,
presented a puzzle, as black holes of speakers were female (corresponding to Garching) gave a theorist’s view of what
these sizes had not previously been antici- 31%), which reflected the gender distribu- we should expect and how to make
pated. The detection of gravitational tion amongst the registered participants sense of the observations of GW170817.
waves — a technical feat requiring meas- (29% female). The first day of the pro- He gave a comprehensive overview of
urements of strains of a few times 10 –20 gramme was dedicated to assessing the what the signatures of the r-process ele-
— in 2015 was epochal, and was recog- status of the gravitational wave detec- ments would look like in the optical and
nised with the Nobel Prize in Physics in tions and their follow-up observations, near-infrared spectral sequences, and
2017. While black hole mergers are not in particular for GW170817; while the sec- outlined where we still have significant
expected to carry an electromagnetic ond day focused on the planning and gaps in our interpretation of the spectra.
­signal, theoretical modelling predicted that coordination of future observations. Each There remains plenty of room for future
the merger of two neutron stars would day finished with an extensive discussion observations to clarify the many questions
lead to short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), session. On 31 January, the past and and uncertainties we still have in respect
and would potentially be site of the current ESO observations of (fast) tran- of these events. The session ended with
­formation of heavy elements through sients were discussed, and potential a presentation by Nial Tanvir (University
the r-process. ­lessons for future observations debated. of Leicester) on his experience of ESO
The afternoon of 1 February was entirely observations of fast transient phenomena,
When, on 17 August 2017, an unusal devoted to a community discussion of focusing on gamma-ray bursts. Target
gravitational event (GW170817) was the best strategies for future electromag- of Opportunity observations have been
observed that coincided with a short netic observations of gravitational wave offered at the VLT since the beginning of

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 33

Astronomical News Leibundgut B. & Patat F., Report on the Workshop “Planning Future GW Observations”

operations, with the addition of refine- The discussion session covered past mean a serious interruption to the
ments such as the rapid response mode ESO observations, and aimed to identify uploaded schedule, requiring the corre-
about 10 years ago. This frank presenta- what worked and where difficulties were sponding recovery of the schedule time-
tion was an excellent basis for a discus- encountered. The panel members were line afterwards. There may also be point-
sion on how ESO operations could help ­Stefano Covino, Marina Rejkuba, Steven ing constraints for satellites which need
to secure critical data for similar events in Smartt and Nial Tanvir. The open discus- to be evaluated before schedule interrup-
the future. sion yielded some interesting comments, tions. Aitor Ibarra (ESA) and Richard
and comparisons were made with the ­Saxton (ESA) set out a new tool for the
The afternoon session was reserved for experience of using ESO telescopes for improved coordination of observations
presentations of ongoing projects dedi- observations of gamma-ray bursts. It and information sharing.
cated to the follow-up of transient events. was concluded that overall ESO provided
ESO is supporting several such pro- valuable — and sometimes unique — The afternoon was devoted to a discus-
grammes, either with its own telescopes resources that can be essential, providing sion centred on the optimal planning of
or by hosting dedicated experiments at insights in areas where theoretical predic- future observations, including the best
its sites. These include the following tions are lacking. Recommendations possible coordination of ESO telescopes
­projects: the public survey called VIsta were made to strengthen the communi- and instruments. Ferdinando Patat, Enzo
Near-infraRed Observations Unveiling cations between various observatories Brocato, Peter Jonker and Erik Kuulkers
Gravitational wave Events (VINROUGE), and facilities in order to avoid duplication were the panel members, and a lively
which uses VISTA to obtain infrared and to increase synergies. discussion ensued between the panel
light curves (Andrew Levan, University and the audience. Several important
of W
­ arwick); the extended Public ESO The second day of the workshop con- points were raised, among them the wish
Spectroscopic Survey of Transient centrated on the planning of future that ESO accept Large Programmes
Objects (ePESSTO), which uses the ESO observations. The schedule of science with Target of Opportunity observations.
Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera 2 observations with the Laser Interfer­ Additionally ESO was asked to provide
(EFOSC2) at the New Technology Tele- ometer Gravitational-wave Observatory rapid delivery of pre-reduced data so that
scope (NTT) to ­provide optical spectros- (LIGO)-Virgo collaboration was presented quick assessments and scientific deci-
copy (Maria Teresa Botticella, INAF–­ by Marica Branchesi (Gran Sasso Science sions can be made, potentially to then
Osservatorio di Capodimonte); the Rapid Institute). The next science run is planned interactively modify observation blocks
Eye Mount t­elescope (REM) at La Silla, to start in October 2018 and is scheduled for follow-up observations. ESO will have
which is part of a larger collaboration set to last for approximately one year. The to investigate which of these requests
up to follow the optical counterparts of principal investigators of the current ESO can be implemented operationally. As a
gravitational wave events (Eliana Palazzi, programmes to search for and follow first step, Target of Opportunity Large
INAF–IASF Bologna); and the Gamma- up electromagnetic signals from gravita- Programmes were accepted again for
Ray burst Optical/Near-infrared Detector tional wave events then presented their ESO Period 102 (from October 2018 to
(GROND) instrument on the Max-Planck- plans for the next semester. Elena Pian March 2019). An important discussion
Gesellschaft/ESO 2.2-metre telescope (INAF–IASF Bologna) and Paolo D’Avanzo point was whether the (European) com-
at La Silla, which obtains photometry in (INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera) munity could agree to submitting a single
seven filters simultaneously (Janet Chen, presented their VLT proposals. A proposal ESO proposal for observations of future
MPE Garching). to obtain spectropolarimetry of such gravitational wave events. As a result of
events was detailed by Stefano Covino this discussion one single Period 102
A new project that is just starting opera- (INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di proposal was submitted before the dead-
tions is the Gravitational-wave Optical Brera). Aniello Grado (INAF–Osservatorio line of 28 March 2018. ESO was also
Transient Observer (GOTO), which was Capodimonte) then presented two ongo- invited to attend the LIGO–Virgo town hall
described by Danny Steeghs (University ing programmes with the VST. meeting in April 2018 in Amsterdam,
of Warwick). In addition, the long-running where these discussions will continue.
Télescopes à Action Rapide pour les A special session on the observing
Objets Transitoires (TAROT) project was opportunities with ESA satellites followed.
presented by Michel Boer (Centre National The capabilities of INTEGRAL, and in Acknowledgements
de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS). particular its operational constraints, We thank Svea Teupke for providing logistical sup-
Future facilities to detect and characterise were introduced by Erik Kuulkers (ESA), port at very short notice. We would also like to thank
the electromagnetic counterparts of followed by a presentation on XMM-­ all of the speakers for providing the slides ahead
­gravitational wave events are: BlackGEM, Newton by Norbert Schartel (ESA). Jan- of their presentations so that a seeing-impaired
­c olleague could follow them on his own laptop.
to be installed at La Silla (Paul Groot, Uni- Uwe Ness (ESA) described some pro-
versity of Nijmegen); the Son Of X-Shooter grammatic aspects of the planning and
(SOXS), to be installed on the NTT in 2020 coor­dination of space-based observa- Links
(Sergio Campana, INAF–Osservatorio tions. The INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton 1
Workshop programme:
Astronomico di Brera); and the Zwicky schedules are built well in advance of meetings/2018/gw2018.html
Transient Facility in California (Ulrich he observations and the rapid observa-
Feindt, Oskar Klein Centre Stockholm). tion of an unexpected transient may

34 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Astronomical News DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5080

Report on the ESO Workshop

Imaging of Stellar Surfaces

held at ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 5–9 March 2018

Markus Wittkowski 1
Liz Humphreys 1


There have recently been tremendous

advances in observational techniques
enabling the resolution of the surfaces
of stars other than the Sun. Current
VLTI instruments, SPHERE on the VLT,
and ALMA, as well as other interfero-
metric facilities, have recently succeeded
in resolving stellar surfaces. The work-
shop aimed to bring together observers
specialising in different techniques and
wavelength regimes, and theoreticians
working on stellar atmospheres and
stellar structure. We aimed to organise
a focused workshop with ample time
devoted to the discussion of recent Figure 1. Conference photo. The workshop programme was com-
images of stellar surfaces and their ex­­ posed of five sessions:
tended atmospheres out to a few stellar Multi-BEam combineR (AMBER) and the 1. The Sun as a star;
radii, as well as observational strategies Precision Integrated Optics Near-infrared 2. F
 rom the Sun towards evolved stars;
and the relevant underlying physical Imaging ExpeRiment (PIONIER), have 3. Imaging results;
processes. The workshop was the first already demonstrated their capability to 4. Image reconstruction techniques;
to be held in the seminar room of the resolve stellar surfaces, while the second- 5. Prospects.
new ESO Supernova Planetarium & generation VLTI instruments including the
­Visitor Centre, and it was also the first AO-assisted two-object multi-beam com- Claudia Paladini, Wouter Vlemmings, and
workshop for which the new code of biner GRAVITY and the Multi AperTure Alain Chelli led topical discussions on the
conduct for ESO workshops & confer- mid-Infrared SpectroScopic Experiment approaches and challenges to imaging
ences was in place. (MATISSE) are coming into operation. techniques, the coordination of optical
and radio programmes, and observa-
The VLT instrument Spectro-Polarimetric tional strategies for imaging, respectively.
Until very recently, all of our information High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instru- Discussion sessions on individual objects
about the mechanisms affecting the stel- ment (SPHERE) is also resolving the were also held. Andrea Dupree, Lynn
lar surface came either from indirect ­surfaces of the some of the largest stars. Matthews and Christian Hummel led the
observations or from studies of the Sun. At the same time, ALMA observations discussions on Betelgeuse, Mira and Vega
The stellar surface is the locus that inter- using long baselines have succeeded in respectively. These discussion sessions
faces the mechanisms taking place in the resolving stellar surfaces at millimetre led to a new collaboration to study
stellar interior (such as convection and wavelengths. A number of other interfer- ­Betelgeuse using multiple facilities quasi-
magnetic fields) and diffusion processes ometers at optical and radio wavelengths simultaneously. We enjoyed the confer-
which can produce abundance anoma- have also successfully resolved stellar ence venue in the seminar room of the
lies. Studying stellar surfaces is important surfaces, including the Center for High new ESO Supernova Planetarium and
for advancing our understanding of these Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA), Visitor Centre, which we could use for the
key physical processes. the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array first time as a test run. We also had a
(VLA), and the Multi-Element Radio Linked nice time with two shows in the new
There have recently been an increasing Interferometer Network e-MERLIN. Stellar ESO planetarium that were presented by
number of developments in the different atmosphere models have also been the ESO Supernova coordinator, Tania
observational techniques that enable advancing over a similar time frame, from Johnston.
us to resolve the surfaces of stars other 1D to 3D models that now include the
than the Sun. The Very Large Telescope effects of convection. The connection
Interferometer (VLTI) is transitioning from between observations and theoretical The Sun as a star
its first-generation instruments, which stellar atmosphere models is important
focused on spectro-interferometry, to to constrain models and advance our The “Sun as a star” session opened with
second-generation instruments, which understanding of physical processes such an invited talk by Sami Solanki, introduc-
focus on spectro-imaging and astrometry. as pulsation, convection, and chromo- ing the main physical processes acting in
The VLTI instruments, the Astronomical spheric activity. the solar photosphere and the structures

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 35

Astronomical News Wittkowski M. & Humphreys L., Report on the Workshop “Imaging of Stellar Surfaces”

Figure 2. ALMA images


of sunspots in the solar

chromosphere at
1.25 and 3 millimetres.

and dynamics that they produce. Sven supergiant stars. She described how these dynamical processes. Kateryna
Wedemayer then outlined what can be spatially resolved spectra reveal complex Kravchenko and Gioia Rau showed
learnt from solar observations using ALMA structure in these extended stellar atmos- comparisons between 3D models and
in an invited talk (Figure 2). pheres that we do not understand, and observations using both the tomographic
which impacts our understanding of method and near-infrared interferometry
The radiation observed by ALMA origi- ­stellar activity, magnetic fields, angular with the GRAVITY instrument. Gioia
nates mostly from the chromosphere — momentum loss, and stellar cluster Rau also showed modelling of ultraviolet
a complex and dynamic layer between populations. spectra that contain chromospheric
the photosphere and corona that plays emission lines.
a crucial role in the transport of energy Agnes Lèbre (in an invited talk), and the
and matter and, ultimately, in the heating next speakers described the techniques
of the outer solar atmosphere. The ses- and recent results from spetropolarimetry, Imaging results
sion ended with a presentation by Oskar detecting magnetic fields and star spots
von der Lühe, in which he described the on the surfaces of Sun-like stars (Emre A major theme of the meeting centred on
facilities for the high-angular-resolution Isik, Torsten Böhm) a giant and super- recent imaging results of stellar surfaces
imaging of the Sun. Bringing together giant stars (Agnes Lèbre, Arturo López obtained at visible/infrared and radio/­
solar and stellar physicists at this work- Ariste). Susanne Höfner (in an invited talk) millimetre wavelengths, and comparing
shop proved to be particularly fruitful. and Bernd Freytag presented the recent them with models and other complemen-
Throughout the meeting, discussions fre- status of 3D simulations of convection tary observations. Gail Schaefer started
quently revealed the increasing similarities for different types of stars, and in particu- this session by providing an invited over-
between these fields. lar, the extension of those simulations view on imaging stellar surfaces with the
from solar-type stars to red giant and red CHARA array. This included imaging
supergiant stars. gravity darkening on rapid rotators, star
From the Sun towards evolved stars spots on magnetically active stars, con-
Basic physical considerations and vective cells on red supergiants, winds
The workshop programme continued to detailed numerical simulations predict from massive stars, and observations of
illustrate the application of physical con- a dramatic increase in the sizes of con- tidal distortions from Roche lobe filling in
cepts from the Sun towards evolved stars, vection cells during the late phases of interacting binaries.
including processes such as chromo- stellar evolution. The interplay of large
spheric activity, surface magnetic fields, and small convection cells, waves, pulsa- In an invited talk, Rachael Roettenbacher
pulsation and convection. In an invited tions, and shocks can give the surface concentrated on active giants, which
talk, Andrea Dupree highlighted the of an AGB star an appearance that is have been imaged using photometry,
­ubiquitous signatures of chromospheric very different from the granulation pattern spectroscopy, and, only recently, interfer-
activity, variable outflows, and winds in across the solar surface. Detailed time- ometry (Figure 3). Here, interferometry
spatially unresolved spectra of giant and resolved imaging is needed to constrain has provided a way to unambiguously

36 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Figure 3. Surface image Miguel Montarges discussed recent stud-
Roettenbacher et al., 2016

of the magnetically
ies of red supergiant stars obtained with
active star ζ And.
the PIONIER instrument in an invited talk,
and emphasised the different techniques
used to analyse these observations,
including intriguing comparisons of inter-
ferometric results with spectropolarimetry
— as presented earlier in the workshop
by Arturo López Ariste and Agnes Lèbre.
Claudia Paladini presented stellar surface
imaging of the asymptotic giant branch
star π1 Gruis in the PIONIER spectral
channels (Figure 5; also see Claudia’s
article on p. 24). The images of this star
are relatively uncontaminated by molecular
ESO/K. Ohnaka

and dust opacity and show a stellar

­surface characterised by large convective
granulation, constraining the model-­
expected increase in the sizes of convec-
tion cells during late phases of stellar
evolution (as also discussed earlier during
the workshop by Susanne Höfner and
Bernd Freytag).

Markus Wittkowski showed PIONIER

results for the carbon-rich asymptotic
giant branch star R Scl, whose images
are dominated by dust seen against the
photosphere. This dust is formed in
clumps at a few stellar radii, caused by
giant convection cells, resulting in large-
scale shock fronts, and clumpy molecule
Figure 4. VLTI reconstructed view (left) and VLTI He presented a monitoring campaign of and dust formation; this had also been
velocity map (right) of the surface of Antares.
R Doradus that revealed features on predicted by 3D modelling shown earlier
the stellar disc varying on timescales in the workshop by Susanne Höfner.
image stellar surfaces without the degen- of a few weeks, showed results for Mira, Markus also showed PIONIER images
eracies (for example, across hemispheres) and emphasised the benefit of multi- of a few red supergiant stars, which are
experienced by other methods. She wavelength observation campaigns. consistent with the typical contrasts
­discussed recent comparisons of simul- ­predicted from 3D convection models,
taneous interferometric and Doppler Keiichi Ohnaka, Miguel Montarges, but with a distribution of convection
images. The CHARA array is the only ­Claudia Paladini, and Markus Wittkowski cells across the stellar disc that are not
optical facility presently capable of presented recent aperture synthesis randomly distributed but rather appear
obtaining the sub-milliarcsecond spatial images of various types of evolved star ­concentrated in certain areas of the
resolution necessary to resolve surface obtained with the instruments AMBER stellar disc.
features of these stars. and PIONIER at the VLTI. Keiichi Ohnaka,
in an invited talk, presented recent For imaging results in the radio/millimetre,
Ryan Norris complemented the talks AMBER observations of the red super- Eamon O’Gorman gave an invited talk on
based on CHARA results with an over- giant Antares (Figure 4), which succeeded the history of stellar radio imaging, before
view of the optimised telescope place- in not only imaging the surface in the showing new results from ALMA (Fig-
ments for interferometric imaging. Theo 2.3-micron CO lines in unprecedented ure 6) and the JVLA. Wouter Vlemmings
Khouri presented spatially resolved detail, but also for the first time showing went on to present the current status of
observations of giant stars obtained with the complex gas dynamics over the their ALMA long-baseline observations
the VLT instrument SPHERE in an invited ­surface and atmosphere of the star in a of four asymptotic giant branch (AGB)
talk. SPHERE is optimally designed to way that is similar to observations of the stars: W Hya, R Leo, R Dor and Mira. The
obtain spatially resolved images of the Sun. The observations showed upwelling line and continuum observations at ALMA
closest and apparently largest giant and downdrafting motions of large gas Bands 4, 6 and 7 trace the temperature
evolved stars, especially at the shortest clumps in the atmosphere, suggesting and dynamics in their extended atmos-
visual wavelengths, where its spatial that mass loss in red supergiants may be pheres. The preliminary analysis confirms
­resolution is about 20 milliarcseconds. launched in a turbulent clumpy manner. a previous detection of a hot spot on

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 37

ESO/C. Paladini
Astronomical News Wittkowski M. & Humphreys L., Report on the Workshop “Imaging of Stellar Surfaces”

ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/E. O’Gorman/P. Kervella

Figure 5. The surface of the red giant star π1 Gruis and Mira performed in late 2017, with a Figure 6. ­B etelgeuse, as captured by ALMA.
from PIONIER on the VLTI. particular emphasis on HCN.

W Hya, and reveals unexpected lines in Finally, Liz Humphreys described how potential impact on the physical interpre-
most of the sources, as well as possible ALMA long-baseline observations had tation of the results. His talk was illustrated
fast rotation in the atmosphere of one of revealed an unusual morphology for the with examples of stellar surface imaging
the stars. Lynn Matthews described their SiO maser emission towards the binary from real datasets.
JVLA and ALMA studies, which reveal system Mira AB. The effect of binary
the evolving shapes of the radio photo- companions on the near-circumstellar For the radio to millimetre regime, Bill
spheres of AGB stars. The data provide environment of AGB stars is, in general, Cotton gave an invited talk on radio imag-
evidence that the shapes of the radio an open question. The ALMA data ing of the envelopes of evolved stars,
photospheres of AGB stars change on probed this region of Mira A using SiO paying particular attention to the technical
timescales of several months or more. emission. Most importantly, the data differences between radio and optical/
Additionally, the data reveal signatures locate SiO masers with respect to the infrared interferometry. He described how
of brightness asymmetries and non-­ star, unlike with lower-frequency obser­ milliarcsecond resolution of very bright,
uniformities. The results are consistent vations. They also indicate an impact i.e., non-thermal, emission from molecular
with manifestations of large-scale ­irregular of the binary companion on gas within masers in the envelopes of evolved stars
convective flows on the stellar surfaces. about 10 stellar radii of Mira A. These can be achieved using VLBI techniques
types of studies, using high-frequency with baselines of thousands of kilometres.
The application of new imaging tech- SiO masers, can provide a new avenue
niques to the interpretation of these data for understanding the influence of binaries
was also discussed. Ka Tat Wong out- on AGB mass loss and shaping their Prospects
lined a recent study of the non-equilibrium envelopes.
chemistry of oxygen-rich AGB stars, Gioia Rau started the session on future
­performed using ALMA. Chemical models prospects with an invited talk about
suggest that pulsation-driven shocks Image reconstruction techniques imaging the surfaces of stars from space.
propagating from the stellar surfaces of She reviewed results obtained so far from
oxygen-rich evolved stars to the dust John Young was invited to provide an space with the benefit of extending the
­formation zone trigger non-equilibrium overview of the various available algo- wavelength coverage, including ultraviolet
chemistry in the shocked gas near the rithms for synthesis imaging at visible spectra taken with the International Ultra-
star, including the formation of carbon- and infrared wavelengths. He described violet Explorer (IUE), as well as ultraviolet
bearing molecules in the stellar winds reconstruction biases that can follow images obtained with the Hubble Space
dominated by oxygen-rich chemistry. The from non-optimal choices of regularisation Telescope (HST) of Mira and Betelgeuse.
talk focused on observations of IK Tau functions and their strengths, and their She then investigated the prospects for

38 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

infrared imaging with the James Webb Main conclusions and the way ahead highlights and overviews in the different
Space Telescope (JWST), and finished sessions. The result was a fairly balanced
with a forward look towards space-based A number of recurring themes were representation of invited speakers in
large-baseline Fizeau interferometers ­identified over the course of the work- terms of gender, career stage and geo-
such as the ultraviolet-optical Stellar shop. It was noted that an increasing graphical distribution. Invited speakers
Imager (SI) Vision Mission. synergy arises from interdisciplinary (40% female, 60% male) came from
approaches using fundamentally similar ­Belgium (1), Chile (1), ESO (1), France (1),
In an invited talk, Dainis Dravins explained techniques developed for solar observa- Germany (1), Ireland (1), Sweden (4), UK
the technique of intensity interferometry as tions, spectropolarimetric observations (2), and USA (3). Participants who sub-
pioneered by Robert Hanbury Brown and of stars, and spectro-interferometric mitted contributed talks and poster
Richard Twiss (Hanbury Brown & Twiss, imaging of stars. Comparisons of detailed ­presentations were accommodated as
1956). He suggested a possible applica- surface features derived at similar epochs requested. In total, the workshop had 60
tion of this technique using the Cherenkov from spectropolarimetry, Doppler imag- participants (25% female, 75% male) from
Telescope Array (CTA), enabling spatial ing, and interferometric imaging, both for USA (13), ESO (11), France (8), S ­ weden
resolutions of tens of micro­arcseconds, magnetically active stars and red super- (8), Germany (5), Belgium (3), Turkey (2),
as well as a possible application using giants, were intriguing and worth continu- UK (2), Poland (1), Austria (1), Spain (1),
the mirror segments of ESO’s Extremely ing. Comparing interferometric images Australia (1), Ireland (1), Chile (1), and
Large Telescope (ELT). Anita Richards with 3D modelling was also valuable. ­Singapore (1). Among the participants,
gave an invited talk on using the full capa- These approaches require time-domain 10% were PhD students (4 female, 2 male).
bilities of ALMA, e-MERLIN, the Next- imaging and ideally involve observing We did not ask participants beyond PhD
Generation VLA (NG-VLA) or the Square the same sources with multiple facilities students for their career stage, but
Kilometre Array (SKA) with long baselines over the same time period. believe that they were evenly distributed
to investigate the transport of mass and across the early-, mid-, and late-career
energy through the layers above the Another recurring theme was the hypoth- stages.
­photosphere, and to test whether the esis that clumpy mass loss, at least for
clumpiness of the wind could be related red supergiants, is related to localised
to local ejection of mass from the stellar ejection from the stellar surface. Again, in Acknowledgements
surface. order to test this hypothesis, coordinated The other members of the scientific and local
multi-wavelength, multi-facility observa- ­o rganising committees — Stella Chasiotis-Klingner,
Antoine Merand concluded the workshop tions are required to follow the transport Bernd Freytag, Xavier Haubois, Tania Johnston,
with an invited talk on the VLTI facility of energy and mass from the stellar sur- ­K ateryna Kravchenko, Lisa Löbling, Lynn Matthews,
Claudia Paladini, Oskar von der Lühe, and Ke Wang
as an imaging machine, outlining how the face to the outermost layers of the atmos- — are warmly thanked for their continuous support.
VLTI could evolve to include and operate phere and the wind. While it was generally We are grateful to everybody else who was involved
additional telescopes, as well as the accepted that stars, including cool in the preparations for this workshop, and in
improvements and limitations related to evolved stars, show chromospheric emis- particular to those who helped make this workshop
happen in the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor
imaging stellar surfaces. Earlier in the sion, no conclusion was reached about Centre before its official opening, including Sandor
workshop, Xavier Haubois had shown the impact of this emission on the mass- Horvath, Tania Johnston, Fabian Reckmann, Jürgen
how some improvements were already loss processes in evolved stars. Riesel, Erich Siml, Ana Vukovic, and the teams
being implemented, with a description of from the ESO ­e ducation and Public Outreach
Department, Facility Logistics Transport and catering
the newly introduced imaging operations In technical terms, there was an interest- at ESO.
scheme at the VLTI to allow optimised ing suggestion that optical interferometric
and adaptive uv plane coverages. imaging could benefit from combining
different baseline lengths for the same References
Julien Woillez presented the idea of source using different interferometric Hanbury Brown, R. & Twiss, R. Q. 1956, Nature,
deploying an agile 12-telescope single- facilities operating at comparable wave- 178, 1046
mode visible interferometer on the lengths. The workshop concluded with a O’Gorman, E. et al. 2017, A&A, 602, L10
Paranal mountain that would be opti- discussion of the impact of stellar surface Ohnaka, K. et al. 2017, Nature, 548, 310
Paladini, C. et al. 2018, Nature, 553, 310
mised to image bright stars. Earlier in imaging on the field of stellar physics in Roettenbacher, R. et al. 2016, Nature, 533, 217
the workshop, Anders Jorgensen and general, as well as on the further develop-
Gerard van Belle had considered the ment of interferometric facilities.
Navy Precision Optical Interferometer Links
(NPOI), proposing its use for the imaging 1
 orkshop programme:
of stellar surfaces with the new Classic Demographics sci/meetings/2018/Imaging-Stellar-Surfaces/­
beam combiners, the Visible Imaging program.html
System for Interferometric Observations The Science Organising Committee (SOC)
(VISION) beam combiners, as well as with consisted of seven members (3 female,
its upgrade, the Precision Array of 4 male) from ESO, Germany, Sweden,
Large-Aperture New Telescopes for and the USA. The SOC suggested and
Image Reconstruction (PALANTIR). voted on invited speakers to present

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 39

Astronomical News DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5081

Report on the Workshop

Dispersing Elements for Astronomy: New Trends and Possibilities

held at the Civic Aquarium of Milan, Italy, 9–11 October 2017

Andrea Bianco 1 ground-based facilities, the current The focus was mainly on dispersing
Rebecca Bernstein 2 Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) projects ­elements based on gratings and prisms;
Antonio de Ugarte Postigo 3, 4 provide clear evidence for this, and spec- alternative approaches such as Fabry-
Francisco Garzon 5 trographs play an essential role in their Perot interferometry or Fourier-transform
Wayne Holland 6 planned instrument suites. Dispersing spectrometers were not considered. The
Antonio Manescau 7 elements are at the core of these instru- workshop was organised into the follow-
Ramon Navarro 8 ments, since they define the spectral ing three main sessions:
Marco Riva 1 ­resolution and dispersion of the spectro- – A n overview of the scientific questions
graph and hence the final performance to be addressed, both with large and
of the instrument. On the other hand, small ground-based astronomical facili-
INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di because of their nature, dispersing ele- ties. In this session, the status of the
Brera, Merate, Italy ments are often the least efficient optical three ELTs currently under construction
Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, elements of the whole spectrograph, was presented, including their instru-
USA and therefore dominate the final instru- mentation programmes.
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía mental throughput. This, of course, also – Properties of dispersing elements for
(IAA-CSIC), Granada, Spain holds true for smaller telescopes, which astronomy, their evolution, the issues
Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr can typically address a broad range and constraints of the optical design
Institute, University of Copenhagen, of science cases provided they have ade- of spectrographs for large telescopes
Denmark quate instrumentation. and, finally, their calibration.
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, – Technologies for the production of
Tenerife, Spain Starting from the design phase of any ­gratings and prisms. This session was
UK Astronomy Technology Centre, spectrograph, it is crucial to be aware of divided according to the different manu-
Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, UK the different possibilities that are available facturing technologies and spectral
ESO on the market, including those that have range of use of the diffractive elements.
NOVA Optical Infrared Instrumentation not specifically been developed for
Group, ASTRON, the Netherlands astronomy. Indeed, thanks to new tech-
nologies, the possibilities in the field Discussions and outcomes
of diffraction gratings and dispersing ele-
Astronomical spectrographs play an ments are increasing as a result of a In general, the instrumentation suites
important role in addressing some of number of different approaches, for ­proposed for the three ELT projects
the biggest challenges in modern example, holography, lithography and are similar, and require a wide range of
astronomy. One of the most critical micro-­machining. This is not always easy, spectral and spatial resolutions. They
components of any spectrograph is its since the requirements can vary across resemble the instruments developed for
dispersing element, since it determines different fields. However, it can be possi- the 8–10-metre-class telescopes and all
the resolution and dispersion of the ble to adapt the latest technological face the challenges of wide focal planes
spectrograph, and is typically one of advances to specific scientific needs. On and the conservation of the “étendue” —
the least efficient optical components the other hand, it is also important for a property of the light used to character-
of the instrument. The aim of this work- companies and research institutes that ise the area and angle over which it is
shop was to bring together researchers are active in the design and production of spread out. Large-sized gratings/prisms
and engineers involved in the design, dispersing elements, and that are involved are required to reach the target resolu-
development and construction of in the design of the spectrographs, to tion, but it is important to keep the total
­spectroscopic instrumentation, with understand how to adapt technological size of the instrument within bounds by
companies and institutes that produce developments towards becoming feasible means of strategic choices in the optical
dispersing elements and associated products for astronomical research. design (through pupil and image slicing).
optical components. The forum provided
the opportunity to discuss the scientific This workshop 1 brought together The 8–10-metre-class telescopes will
needs of future instruments, and to researchers and engineers involved in require new instrumentation and new
address the technological challenges the design, development and construc- concepts in the era of the ELTs. One
that will allow the development of new tion of spectroscopic instrumentation, example may be the efficient spectro-
types of dispersing elements in the as well as companies and institutes that scopic telescopes currently under study,
coming years. produce dispersing elements and asso­ which are designed to simultaneously
ciated optical components. The forum collect thousands of spectra of targets
provided an opportunity to discuss the that are fed from wide field surveys. The
In order to adequately address open scientific needs of current and future same approach applies to small- and
questions in astronomy, there is a drive instruments and to address the techno- medium-class telescopes, where the sci-
for the development of bigger, more logical challenges that will enable the entific cases are often diverse, and which
­sensitive telescopes and instruments — community to progress with the develop- may also need to develop or focus on
both ground-based and in space — with ment of new types of dispersing elements specific science cases with very efficient,
a very wide spectral range. In respect of in the coming years. dedicated instruments.

40 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

the polarisation. A completely different
approach is related to the use of photonic
techniques, which exploit the dispersion
induced in an optical waveguide system.

Conclusions and Remarks

This very focused workshop was

­characterised by a good mix of science
and industry. There were more than
70 ­participants, coming mainly from
Europe but also from the USA, Japan
and Australia, interacting with representa-
tives from 15 companies and research
institutes that develop and manufacture
dispersing elements and instrumentation.

Figure 1. Workshop participants. large formats, it is now feasible to reach The three days involved many animated
sizes of the order of a square metre, and discussions that extended beyond the
The dispersing elements for the spectro- these possibilities are worth considering workshop schedule. Indeed, there were
graphs have a large set of requirements. when designing future instrumentation. several opportunities to network and dis-
Aside from achieving the highest possible cuss a range of related topics, including
diffraction efficiency, it is also important specific projects as well as new ideas.
to understand and know their dispersion, Dispersing elements for the infrared
price, weight/size, availability on the One of the issues identified, was that
­market, ghosts, wavefront error (WFE), In the infrared, immersed gratings have numerous large gratings would be
etc. Being able to obtain repeatable and become an interesting option since the required over the next years to satisfy the
consistent wavelength calibrations is availability of materials with high refractive requirements of the ELT instrumentation
essential to get the best out of the spec- index makes it possible to increase the programmes as well as other existing and
trographs, especially for highly stable high- resolution significantly while keeping the future spectroscopic facilities. Although
resolution spectrographs. size under control. Moreover, other tech- astronomy is not a big industrial market,
nologies, such as VPHGs, are not suitable it is clear that there is room for many
The different technologies discussed at for wavelengths above 2.5 µm (new players as the requirements are challeng-
the workshop related to the manufacture approaches based on direct laser inscrip- ing. The availability of many new tech­
of diffraction gratings can be summed up tion are being developed to extend the nologies and capabilities will open up
under the following headings. range to longer wavelengths). Depending new alternatives, but in order to fully take
on the material, different spectral ranges advantage of all of the possibilities, inter-
can be covered and non-standard mate- actions between instrument designers,
High-performance first-order diffraction rials (like silicon, germanium, zinc selenide, industry and research institutes is crucial.
gratings indium phosphate) show excellent proper- This workshop was a successful first step
ties and results, especially in terms of in this direction.
Volume Phase Holographic Gratings roughness and WFE.
(VPHGs) are considered the baseline for Acknowledgements
instrumentation in the visible and near- High-precision machining techniques
infrared bands, on the basis of the excel- (in particular diamond turning) make it We are grateful for the financial and logistical sup-
lent results obtained over the last decade. possible to obtain unconventional gratings port that made this workshop possible. In particular,
we would like to mention the financial support
However, some limitations were appar- on curved surfaces or freeform gratings. received from ESO, INAF (Italian National Institute of
ent, such as their size, WFE, and their The benefit of this could be a simplification Astrophysics), and the Optical Infrared Coordination
­efficiency at high dispersion. Other tech- of the optical design or an improvement Network for Astronomy (OPTICON; an EU Horizon
niques are becoming available, in particu- of the capabilities (such as in the case of 2020 research and innovation programme under
grant agreement No. 730890). We are also grateful
lar lithographic gratings based on either multi-blazed gratings). Moreover, such to the staff of the INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico
electron-beam lithography or on hologra- machines are suitable for working on large- di Brera for their consistent support over the course
phy. There are some degrees of freedom sized substrates, matching the require- of the workshop.
in the structure of the periodic pattern ments of modern telescopes and instru-
and in the material, which allow for the mentation. In the case of spectropolarim- Links
maximisation of the diffraction efficiency eters, the use of liquid crystal gratings
— even in the ultra-violet. As there are can provide interesting advantages, being 1
 orkshop web page:­
markets that require such gratings in very able to control both the dispersion and DispersingElements2017

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 41

Astronomical News DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5082

Report on the ESO–Radionet Workshop

Submillimetre Single-dish Data Reduction and Array Combination Techniques

held at ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 15–16 March 2018

Carlos De Breuck 1

ESO/L. Calçada
Peter Teuben 2
Thomas Stanke 1

University of Maryland, USA

Single-dish submillimetre facilities pro-

vide an essential complement to the
Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter
Array (ALMA) interferometry data, but
require a set of special observing tech-
niques and data reduction software
that are different from those applied to
radio and millimetre facilities. As there
has not been a dedicated workshop to
inform the ESO user community about
these specific aspects, we decided to
organise such a workshop, with the
generous financial support of Radionet Figure 1. Workshop participants. Schuller, 2012); and the Interactive Data
which made the workshop possible. Language IDL pipeline using the map-
making software Scanamorphos for
ALMA total power data using the radio ArTéMiS data (­Roussel, 2013; Figure 3).
The workshop was attended by 42 par- data processing package Common All of these packages are freely available
ticipants (Figure 1), of whom 43% were Astronomy Software Applications (CASA). from either the Institut de Radioastronomie
women. The majority of the participants Two additional tutorials showed how to
were PhD students or postdocs, likely reduce APEX heterodyne data using vari-
Figure 2. Example from CLASS tutorial: an on-the-
reflecting those members of the wider ous alternative software packages: the fly data cube of the giant molecular cloud W43
community who are most actively work- Continuum and Line Analysis Single-dish observed in CS with the Swedish Heterodyne Facility
ing on this kind of data reduction 1. Software (CLASS; see Figure 2); the Instrument (SHFI) on APEX. Tmb is the main beam
Bolometer Array analysis software (BoA; brightness temperature.
The workshop began with a general over-
view by Thomas Stanke on the challenges
(17.68ೀ, 19.81ೀ) (23, 25)
of observing with single-dish telescopes
at submillimetre wavelengths. In contrast
Channel 153 (k [Tmb ])

2 2
to observing with interferometers, where Intensity (k [Tmb ])
the spatially extended sky signal is re­­
solved, for single-dish telescopes, the sky 0
1 1
dominates over the source signal by
many orders of magnitude. Moreover, the
sky signal varies significantly on times- –50
cales on the order of seconds. Most of the 0 0
observing and data reduction techniques
therefore need to concentrate on the 100 50 0 –50 –100 60 80 100 120
removal of this bright sky emission. Addi-
tional challenges come from the atmos- 0.4
ΔDeclination (arcseconds)

pheric absorption bands and other instru- 50

Mean intensity (k [Tmb ])

Area (k [Tmb ] km s –1)

mental effects. The subsequent lectures

presented an overview of the ALMA and
Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX) 0 10 0.2
observing capabilities and observing
strategies, followed by an introduction to
the data reduction software used. –50
More than half of the time was reserved 0
for (four) hands-on tutorial sessions. 100 50 0 –50 –100 60 80 100 120
The first tutorial illustrated how to reduce ΔRight ascension (arcseconds) VLSR (km s –1)

42 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Orion A OMC1 — ArTeMiS 350 µm Orion A OMC1 — ArTeMiS 350 µm

–5°15ಿ00ೀ –5°15ಿ00ೀ
10 2

–5°20ಿ00ೀ –5°20ಿ00ೀ

10 1

–5°25ಿ00ೀ 100 –5°25ಿ00ೀ


–5°30ಿ00ೀ –5°30ಿ00ೀ
10 –1
5 h35 m40 s 20 s 00 s 40 s 5 h35 m40 s 20 s 00 s 40 s
Right ascension (J2000) Right ascension (J2000)

Figure 3. Example from the ArTéMiS data reduction Figure 4. Top left: A channel from
tutorial. The image on the left shows the image after an ALMA total power observation
running through the basic ArTéMiS IDL pipeline. of CO from a small region in the
Note the negative bowls next to the bright emission, Small Magellanic Cloud. Overlayed
which are due to the over-subtraction of the sky on this greyscale are the pointing
­signal. The image on the right shows the full reduction centres of the 12-metre array. For
using the Scanamorphos pipeline, which uses the one pointing, the true extent of the
full redundancy of the data. 12-metre field of view is given as
well with the larger green circle.
Top right: The reconstructed total
Millimétrique (IRAM) website for the power map from the pseudo-­
visibilities generated from a virtual
Grenoble Image and Line Data Analysis
interferometer emulating the short
Software (GILDAS 2; Pety, 2005), or the spacings. Lower left: The pure
APEX ArTéMiS pages 3. interferometeric map combining
the 7- and 12-metre data. Lower
right: Combining the total power
One of the advantages of a single dish
visibilities with those of the 7- and
observation is that it can complement 12-metre data recovers the large-
interferometric data by supplying infor- scale flux as well as the fine scale
mation corresponding to short spacings structure. The size of each rectan-
gle is ~ 5 × 3 arcminutes and the
that are filtered out by the interferometer,
­c olour scale is in Jy/beam.
but that are necessary to recover the 0.54 1.1 1.7 2.2 2.8 3.4 4 4.5 5.1
larger-scale emission. It is not uncommon
to miss half of the flux in a more extended
component when considering only inter- the single dish map with pseudo-visibilities References
ferometric data. that can be used in a standard joint
Pety, J. 2005, SF2A-2005, ed. Casoli, F. et al.,
deconvolution method to create images. EdP-Sciences, Conference Series, 721
The majority of the second day in the Roussel, H. 2013, PASP, 125, 1126
workshop was spent on a number of Talk slides, example scripts and example Schuller, F. 2012, SPIE, 8452, 84521T
techniques that have been developed and data are linked from the workshop web
fine-tuned over the past 30 to 40 years, page 1, the workshop Zenodo repository 4, Links
including a tutorial following the standard as well as via a github repository 5 that
example of the M100 spiral g ­ alaxy using was updated throughout the workshop. 1
 eeting web page:­
CASA, supplemented with two new tech- 2
IRAM GILDAS website:
niques. The default method in CASA is
called “feather”, but two new techniques Acknowledgements 3
A PEX ArTéMiS pages 3: http://www.apex-telescope.
were also highlighted: Short Spacing This event received funding from the European
T he workshop Zenodo web page: https://zenodo.
Corrections (SSC) — which combines Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation org/communities/sd2018
two images — and the Total Power to ­p rogramme under grant agreement No. 730562. 5
G ithub repository for the material used in the
Visibility tool (TP2VIS) — which replaces ­m eeting:

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 43

Astronomical News DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5083

Report on the ESO Workshop

La Silla Paranal Users Workshop

held at ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany, 12–14 March 2018

Henri M. J. Boffin 1
Marina Rejkuba 1


In March, ESO organised the La Silla

Paranal Users Workshop, providing
­current and future users of its observa-
tories with an overview of the available
instruments, as well as the most com-
monly used tools and processes at
ESO, from proposal submission to data
reduction and data archive. One full day
of the event was dedicated to hands-
on data reduction tutorials and one-to-
one sessions between participants and
ESO staff to work jointly on the issues
brought up by the participants. The
workshop attracted about 50 on-site
participants as well as a dozen remote new Principal Investigators (PIs) per Figure 1. The workshop participants outside the
ESO library.
attendees, mostly from Australia. semester submitting proposals to use
ESO telescopes. As a result, there is a
continued need for support and help for bility, scientific productivity and versatility
ESO’s ground-based observatories in new users, especially those who are still of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. The
Chile serve a very diverse astronomical in the early stages of their careers; this Observatory instrumentation provides
community. The La Silla Paranal obser­ was one of the main aims of this fields of view up to 1 degree, and a range
vatory offers astronomers the possibility workshop. of spatial resolutions with the smallest
of observing with a variety of telescopes, one less than 2 milliarcseconds, and
instruments and observing modes, Moreover, ESO has recently signed a a wide spectral coverage (from visible to
including both Visitor Mode and Service partnership with Australia and many infrared), which allows astronomers to
Mode observations. Furthermore, the ­Australian colleagues were very keen to probe the Universe in complementary
Observatory provides support to its learn about ESO. The original idea behind ways. Bruno focused on some examples,
users, monitors the quality of all observa- the workshop was to enable face-to-face such as the unique ESO exoplanet
tions and the status of its instruments, interaction between users and ESO staff. “machinery”, comprising an unequalled
archives data, and for many instruments, However, given the strong interest from suite of instruments: the High Accuracy
delivers science grade pipelines and the new Australian community and con- Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS);
reduced data products. This level of sup- sidering the cost and time to travel to the Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System
port relies on complex machinery that, Garching from Australia, remote participa- Near-Infrared Imager and Spectrograph
although efficient, may be daunting for tion via Zoom was set up by our Australian (NACO); the Spectro-Polarimetric High-
members of ESO’s user community. ESO colleagues to enable them to follow the contrast Exo­planet REsearch instrument
therefore decided to host a three-day various presentations and demonstra- (SPHERE); the VLT Interferometer (VLTI);
workshop, in order to present the various tions in real-time. A few other colleagues, the FOcal Reducer/low dispersion
tools and services available and, at the mostly from South America, also took ­Spectrograph 2 (FORS2); and, soon, the
same time, provide help with improving advantage of this possibility. In total there CRyogenic high-resolution InfraRed
the technical aspects of their proposals, were about 50 on-site participants, with Echelle Spectrograph (CRIRES+). He also
and with reducing data obtained with a good gender balance (45% female), and emphasised the possibility of performing
instruments at La Silla and Paranal. strong participation from another recent long-term observations, for example,
ESO member state, Poland. Among the of SN 1987A which has been observed
Opening the workshop with a welcome presenters, chairs and tutors, all from over three ­decades at ESO observatories.
address, Michael Sterzik, head of the ESO (20 in total), the gender balance was Finally, he also outlined the various pro-
Data Management and Operations divi- not quite as good (33% female), but still grammes, workshop series, and publica-
sion at ESO, reminded the audience that representative of ESO staff. tions — such as the ESO Messenger —
the La Silla Paranal Observatory uses a that allow ESO to maintain a link with its
sophisticated and successful operational The Very Large Telescope (VLT) Pro- community.
model, at the centre of which is the user gramme Scientist, Bruno Leibundgut,
community. This community is continu- presented an overview of ESO and its Henri Boffin presented the impressive
ously growing, as there are about 100 observatories, stressing the great flexi­ suite of instruments available at La Silla

44 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

and Paranal and the science that they with observing, and to become familiar web pages contain invaluable material for
enable. Astronomers who wish to with the sites and the people running preparing one’s observations. There is
observe in the visible or infrared wave- operations. This helps to facilitate later even the possibility that people may be
length range are sure to find something interactions when observing in SM. SM overwhelmed by the quantity of informa-
that will suit their scientific goals. This observations provide a different educa- tion available. Hence, the need for a
will continue to improve, as ESO aims for tional opportunity, as they require the clearer structure; the principal gateway
the La Silla Paranal Observatory to main- ability to structure one’s observing strat- for science users is the User Portal. How-
tain its world-leading position for at least egy and clearly communicate it to the ever, it is still necessary to review the
another 10–15 years by means of con­ Observatory’s staff who will be perform- information contained in the ESO Science
tinued instrument upgrades, as well as ing the observations following these web pages, as it is not possible to link
the addition of powerful new instruments instructions. The advantages of SM seem to everything relevant directly from the
(as Bruno Leibundgut had previously clear to the community. Michael showed User Portal.
explained). This concerns not only the that currently the fraction of VM requests
VLT but also the VLTI, the 3.5-metre New is only around 15%, and more and more The ESO Science Archive, which was
Technology Telescope (NTT), the ESO PIs are requesting SM. presented in detail by Martino Romaniello,
3.6-metre telescope, and the 4-metre is an important resource for astronomers.
Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for The choice of observing mode, SM or Martino explained the various flavours in
Astronomy (VISTA). VM, is made at the time of proposal which data can be downloaded, and also
preparation. Dimitri Gadotti and Nando the archive services that allow users to
Among the impressive advances that Patat gave a talk about writing a success- easily find the science frames and the
will enhance the Observatory’s capabili- ful proposal. They strongly suggested associated calibrations needed to reduce
ties in the coming years, new observing that everyone read the Call for Proposal data. Around 2.6 million processed sci-
modes and future instruments were (CfP) regularly, as this is the contract ence files are present in the archive, ready
highlighted: the Echelle SPectrograph between ESO and the PIs. There is no to be analysed and published. However,
for Rocky Exoplanet and Stable Spec­ miracle recipe for making a proposal Martino emphasised that the user may
troscopic Observations (ESPRESSO); ­successful, but Dimitri gave some guide- need to fully understand the dataset and
­GRAVITY’s astrometric mode; the lines and advice to follow when preparing triple-check the original files and data
Multi-AperTure mid-Infrared Spectro- and submitting a proposal — much of it processing steps, especially in cases that
Scopic Experiment (MATISSE); the Multi based on common sense. involve unexpected findings. It is not
Unit Spectro­scopic Explorer (MUSE) always safe to blindly accept reduced data.
AO ­Narrow Field Mode; CRIRES+; the For those who are successful in getting
Enhanced Resolution Imager and Spec- their proposals approved and scheduled, If the science data have not already been
trograph (ERIS); the Multi-Object Optical Monika Petr-Gotzens explained how to processed, one needs to use the data
and Near-infrared Spectrograph for make the most of the allocated observing reduction process. Wolfram Freudling
the VLT (MOONS); the Son Of X-Shooter time, i.e., how to define the right strategy explained how this can be done, using
(SOXS); and the Near Infra-Red Planet and carefully plan the observations. A SM ESO pipelines and also the ESO data
Searcher (NIRPS). user should submit their observing mate- organiser tools (EsoReflex and the com-
rial by the Phase 2 deadline, and check mand line ESO Recipe Execution tool
Most of these instruments can be used well in advance if any of the SM rules EsoRex), which help to run the pipeline
in Service (or queue) mode (SM) or in cannot be followed — in which case they recipes in a structured way. Wolfram
­V isitor (classical) mode (VM). Francesca would need to request a waiver. Too showed how EsoReflex organises the
Primas and Michael Hilker highlighted the often users realise a waiver is needed the data, runs the recipes in order, displays
differences between these two observ- day before the Phase 2 deadline and final results and sometimes also interme-
ing modes, setting out their pros and start to panic. In SM, it is also crucial to diate products that facilitate the optimisa-
cons. For example, VM allows real-time monitor the progress of the scheduled tion of parameters for a given reduction
decisions and is best suited to challeng- observations and check the data immedi- step. Once the optimal data reduction
ing observations by experts. SM is most ately after they are acquired, so as to be strategy is known, EsoRex offers another
appropriate for demanding observing con- able to react quickly in case there is any possibility to script and further automate
ditions — for example, transparency and ­need for correction. In addition, Christian data processing.
seeing — as the observations are per- Hummel encouraged the audience to
formed when the weather conditions fulfil use the interferometric mode of the VLT An important aspect of the workshop
the user’s requirements. SM is also best as it is easier than most think. was to provide demonstrations and
suited to special observing strategies such ­tutorials of the various tools and services
as monitoring a particular target or field. John Pritchard presented an overview of available from ESO. Accordingly, Giacomo
the wealth of information available on the Beccari presented the new Phase 2 (p2)
There is a clear educational aspect to ESO website, including the possibility of tool used to prepare observations in SM
observing in VM and, as Francesca seeing that the lasers are being used at or VM. Jörg Retzlaff and Alberto Micol
pointed out, everyone should go at least Paranal while riding the Munich subway presented the archive services, illustrating
once to the telescope to get acquainted on the way to the workshop. The Science the forthcoming new interface, and the

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 45

Astronomical News

possibility of making queries in a In the afternoon, participants were able future workshops were also received,
­programmatic way. Lodovico Coccato to interact with ESO staff and discuss with opinions differing, depending on the
gave a demonstration of how to reduce topics of their choice, including help with previous experience and knowledge of
data with EsoReflex, as well as how to data reduction, help with proposal writing, participants. It is our aim to repeat this
use the software Molecfit to remove finding information on ESO web pages, workshop approximately every two years
atmospheric signatures from science installing ESO software, help with obser- to promptly address questions from the
spectra. Finally, John Pritchard showed vation preparations, and using the Science continuous flow of new users of ESO
how to modify Eso­Reflex workflows to Archive either to access data or to return facilities.
tailor them to the user’s aims. reduced data to the archive. At registra-
tion, participants were asked to indicate
One full day of the workshop was dedi- the area of the programme (proposal Acknowledgements
cated to hands-on sessions. In the first preparation, observing strategies and We would like to thank Véronique Ziegler for her help
part, on Wednesday morning, three tools usage, data reduction) they would with the practical organisation, Stuart Ryder from
­parallel tutorial sessions were held, during like to explore further. Participants were the International Telescopes Support Office (ITSO)
which participants were guided in using then split into small groups with overlap- for setting up the remote participation via Zoom, and
Sandor Horvath and the Information Technology (IT)
EsoReflex for three instruments, MUSE, ping interests, or had scheduled one-to- staff for their help during the workshop. We most
the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectro- one sessions with the ESO staff member warmly thank all speakers and tutors for the great
graph (UVES) and X-shooter. These who was best placed to help with their effort they made to provide clear and instructive
instruments were chosen as the majority specific topic. talks or demonstrations and to efficiently help the
participants in individual sessions.
of the participants expressed an interest
in them when registering for the work- At the end of the workshop, the organisers
shop. In each case, after a first step-by- asked participants to provide feedback, Links
step demonstration, the participants and an extremely large number of people, 1
A ll presentations as well as some of the video
could choose to reduce a set of data more than 50% of the attendees, did so. recordings are available on the workshop web
­provided by the organisers or to work on The feedback was unanimously positive page:
their own data. Two or three tutors were with all respondents saying they would Users-Workshop/program.html
available for each session, helping and recommend such a workshop to their
advising the participants in this endeavour. colleagues. A few suggestions for similar

DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5084
Report on the

ESO–NEON Observing School at La Silla Observatory

held at ESO Vitacura, Santiago & La Silla Observatory in Chile, 18 February–2 March 2018

Fernando Selman 1 During the two weeks between 19 Feb- scientific community at Vitacura. In
Claudio Melo 1 ruary and 2 March 2018, the Office addition to learning about the observing
Giacomo Beccari 1 for Science at Vitacura and the La Silla techniques that were used during
Henri M. J. Boffin 1 Observatory were the hosts of the the school, the students also attended
Valentin Ivanov 1 ­second ESO/NEON (Network of Euro- several lectures covering the current
Eleonora Sani 1 pean Observatories in the North) La Silla and future capabilities of the Atacama
Linda Schmidtobreick 1 Observing School. Thanks to the Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
Michel Dennefeld 2 ­generous funding from ESO, the Optical (ALMA), the telescopes at Paranal, and
Heidi Korhonen 3 Infrared Coordination Network for the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT),
Astronomy (OPTICON), and the La Silla as well as talks on what makes a good
Observatory, a group of 20 students, scientific presentation, time manage-
ESO consisting of mostly PhD but also some ment, effective proposal writing, and
Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (IAP), advanced MSc students, from different career choices.
France parts of the world, were guided by five
Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr ESO tutors. The students prepared
Institute, University of Copenhagen, and carried out complex observations, Over the course of three nights at La Silla,
Denmark reduced and analysed the data, and the students used the ESO Faint Object
finally presented the results to the ESO Spectrograph and Camera (EFOSC2) and

46 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Figure 1. Left: The
­a rticipants, organisers,
and tutors in front of the
NTT telescope. Right:
Giacomo Beccari´s
group in front of their

the infrared spectrograph and imaging Giacomo Beccari guided a group study- nature of the accretors in the observed
camera SOFI attached to the New Tech- ing Ha-excess sources in the Orion objects spectroscopically. Similarly,
nology Telescope (NTT) as well as the ­nebula and in Chamaeleon. In particular, DFOSC was used to perform broad-band
Danish telescope, equipped with the the students acquired low-resolution V, R, I and narrow-band Ha imaging of
Danish Faint Object Spectrograph and spectra with EFOSC2 to study the equiva- young stars in Chamaeleon. The images,
Camera (DFOSC). Divided into five lent width of the Ha emission line of targeting a number of T Tauri stars with
groups, the students worked on a variety 12 young T Tauri stars in Orion. Such Ha emission studied by the Gaia–ESO
of astrophysical topics, supported by emission in young stars is typically used
Heidi Korhonen at the Danish telescope, to identify ongoing accretion from a Figure 2. Students getting real-life experience at the
and by Monica Castillo and Ariel Sanchez protoplanetary disc. The measurements consoles of the NTT (left), and the ­D anish telescope
at the NTT 1. allowed the students to confirm the (right).

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 47

Astronomical News Selman F. et al., Report on the “ESO–NEON Observing School at La Silla Observatory”

S1 S2




–0.1 0.0 0.1


Figure 4. Distribution of CN and CH differential indi-

ces for Red-Giant Branch (RGB) stars of the globular
cluster NGC 3201 determined by Bruno Dias’s group
in the 2016 school. Three groups are identified: the
main, well-populated sequence 1 (S1); a second, less
populated sequence 2 (S2); and a group of CN-weak/
CH-weak peculiar stars (pec). Mean error bars are
displayed in the top right corner. The dashed line was
fitted to S1 stars and shifted by 1 magnitude in CH
Figure 3. An interesting part of the school is the also monitored the behaviour of the binary to match the S2 and pec stars (Dias et al., 2018).
scheduling of the different programmes that com-
brown dwarf LUH 16AB over one night.
pete for observing slots. Here the groups are trying
to coordinate their observations in the La Silla
School “War Room”. Eleonora Sani’s group used SOFI to targets was obtained with EFOSC2. Two
obtain the spectra of two quasars falling of these objects were classified as
in the redshift range 2.5–3.5, i.e., at the Type I a supernova and the third one as
survey 2, were used to confirm their peak of activity of cosmic active galactic a galactic nova. The students contributed
nature photometrically (i.e., whether or nuclei. The rest-frame optical emission, to writing the corresponding astronomer’s
not they are accretors). redshifted into the H- and K-bands, was telegrams. These observations, together
observed by means of low-resolution with a specific lecture about the “transient
Henri Boffin led a group studying plane- spectra. While the observation of the sky”, aimed to draw the attention of the
tary nebulae, using both EFOSC2 and nearer quasar was affected by technical participants to this increasingly important
DFOSC to discover the binary stars that problems, the quality of the data for topic, given the development of gravita-
lurk at the centre of these majestic and the z ~ 3.5 source allowed the complex tional wave and neutrino detectors and
colourful cosmic bubbles. The students profile of the emission lines to be decom- the future arrival of the Large Synoptic
were able to obtain the radial velocity posed into narrow and broad compo- Survey Telescope (LSST) in the southern
curve and the BVRI photometric light nents. The students were therefore able hemisphere.
curves of the binary star inside the plane- to spot the signature of the broad-line
tary nebula DS1, and use these to deter- region and to measure its size and the An interesting aspect of these observing
mine the parameters of the binary. They gas velocity dispersion, allowing them to schools is that they can lead to publi­
also tried to uncover new binaries in make an estimate of the mass of the cations, even though this is not a require-
some other planetary nebulae, providing supermassive black hole of 2–3 108 solar ment. Bruno Dias was a tutor at the
useful upper limits as well as impressive masses. school in 2016, and led a group which
colour images showing the intricate carried out multi-object spectroscopy
­morphology of these objects. They finally Linda Schmidtobreick’s group worked on using EFOSC2 to study abundances in
derived the abundances in one of the the spectral classification of variable star globular clusters. He recently published a
planetary nebulae. candidates; low-resolution optical spectra paper with his students entitled “Galactic
of the candidates were obtained with or extragalactic chemical tagging for
Valentin Ivanov’s group followed the EFOSC2 and cross-correlated with cata- NGC3201? Discovery of an anomalous
­transit of two exoplanets: WASP-43b with logue spectra to obtain the spectral types CN-CH relation” (Dias et al., 2018). Bruno
SOFI, and WASP-19b with DFOSC. The of the objects. Together with externally describes the work as follows:
data were processed and both transits provided light curves, the variability type
were successfully detected. Light curves of each object was discussed. “Globular clusters (GCs) are known to
were fitted with publicly available transit host stars with different light-element
analysis tools and various parameters of In addition to the above projects, low-­ chemical abundances, such as C, N, O,
the planets were measured. The students resolution spectroscopy of three transient Na, Al. In particular, the distributions of

48 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Figure 5. The students at the school, waiting for a
green flash at the end of the first day.

C-N, Na-O are anti-correlated in typical “I want to thank the organisers and Acknowledments
GCs. A few anomalous clusters present tutors of the summer school. Both the
We would like to express our gratitude to ESO’s
multiple sequences of CN-CH anti-­ talks and the research projects were Director General, the La Silla Paranal Observatory
correlation, a proxy for C-N. These spe- ­tremendously interesting, and I am sure (LPO) Director and the Director for Science, without
cial GCs also share a few other odd they will be very useful in the future. I also whose unconditional support this school would not
have materialised. We would also like to thank the
­characteristics; this is often interpreted as want to mention what was said among
invited speakers at the school: Michele Cirasuolo,
these GCs having originated in dwarf the students, that despite the level of Alain Gilliote, Pascale Hibon, Yara Jaffe, Bruno
­galaxies that were captured and destroyed stress generated, the school exceeded ­Leibundgut, Adele Plunkett, Alain Smette and
by the Milky Way. Our results show that the expectations. This type of school Frédéric Vogt. Hans Zinnecker was a special con­
tributor to the school, first with a lecture on star
NGC 3201 presents multiple sequences is extremely useful for any astronomer
­formation, and second, contributing to lively dis­
of CN-CH, however it does not show regardless of the area chosen in the cussions and debates about the different topics
other anomalous characteristics. We have future. All the activities, from the talks to ­c overed — heartfelt thanks to him! The logistical
therefore discovered the first GC that is the visit to the observatory motivate aspects of the school were handled by Paulina Jirón
and María Eugenia Gomez, to whom we extend our
neither completely typical nor completely us even more than we already are to con-
deep gratitude.
anomalous, which means that the extra- tinue doing research in our PhD.”
galactic origin scenario needs revision,
and likely requires new stellar evolution It was intense and exhausting but we all References
models that can better explain how the feel that the process was well worth the
Dias, B. et al. 2018, arXiv:1803.05124
CN-CH anti-correlation forms.” effort. With this and the previous version
of the school we have reached a total of
The spirit of the school was accurately 40 students who are now familiar with Links
summarised by an email from one of the the way ESO does astronomy at the 1
 SO–NEON Observing School: https://www.eso.
students at the school, Gabriela Navarro observatories in Chile. More importantly, org/sci/meetings/2018/lasilla_school2018.html
from Universidad Andrés Bello (UNAB) in we have been able to share our passion 2
G aia–ESO Survey:
Santiago: and, hopefully, helped the next genera-
tion of astronomers.

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 49

Astronomical News DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5085

Fellows at ESO

Cyrielle Opitom Cyrielle Opitom

I was born and grew up close to Liège in

Belgium. As far as I can remember, I have
always been interested in astronomy,
space exploration and science in general,
even if at the time I could not imagine
that I would someday become an astron-
omer. I was simply curious to under-
stand how things work, from inside the
human body to the distant Universe.
Later, in high school, I majored in mathe-
matics and sciences, and I was lucky
to have great maths and physics teachers
who allowed me to cultivate and develop
my interest in science.

After graduating from high school, I hosted at the La Silla Observatory in first experience at Paranal in addition to
­vacillated between biology and physics, Chile. my previous ones at La Silla (and the
but I finally decided to follow my first incomparable beauty of Chile) played
­passion and to start a Bachelor in phys- I really enjoyed this first encounter with an important role in my decision to apply
ics, with the intention of specialising in research, especially with such fascinating for an ESO fellowship after the end of
astronomy. The choice of university was objects as comets. I was lucky enough my thesis.
easy since Liège University, which was to get a grant, so could start a PhD in
just next door, was the only one in the Liège, continuing with my Master’s thesis This is how I ended up in Chile, living
French-speaking part of Belgium to offer work to study and compare the chemical abroad for the first time. I have never
a Masters in space sciences. Because composition of a large number of comets regretted my decision to come to ESO
I enjoy sharing my passion for space and observed with the TRAPPIST telescope. Chile and highly appreciate the stimulating
astronomy, during my university years Less than two weeks after starting my multi-disciplinary environment and the
I had a summer job at the “Euro Space PhD, I flew to La Silla. This was a tech­ opportunity to learn about very different
Center” in Belgium, developing activities nical mission, and my first contact with a scientific topics. I also enjoy the freedom
aimed at kids and centred on the theme professional telescope was with a screw- that I have to pursue my own research,
of space exploration. This was a great driver in my hand. I immediately loved and to try to expand our understanding of
experience and encouraged me to con- being at an observatory, especially work- the composition of small bodies of the
tinue to do outreach. ing on a small telescope, where you can Solar System.
have direct contact with the instrument
During my Master’s degree, I took a class you are using. Being part of the TRAPPIST ESO offers a lot of opportunities that I
called “Small Bodies of the Solar Sys- team gave me the opportunity to have an would not have elsewhere, especially as
tem”. At that time, I became fascinated by overview and get involved in all aspects a young scientist; I get to mentor stu-
comets. In addition to being incredibly of the facility, from technical aspects to dents, define my own projects, take up
beautiful objects, they are types of fossils scheduling to observing. responsibilities, and organise confer-
that allow us to study the history of the ences. Thanks to my duties in Paranal, I
Solar System. There is a quote from From the scientific point of view, I am have learned a lot and gained familiarity
David Levy, which I think describes com- thankful to my supervisor because I was with new instruments and new tech-
ets particularly well: “Comets are like given a lot a freedom to work on the niques. Being assigned to the HAWK-I
cats; they have tails and they do precisely ­project my own way as well as pursue infrared imager, I have also participated in
what they want”. This summarises how, new ideas. One of the most exciting parts the commissioning of its adaptive optics
after studying them for more than a cen- of my thesis was my involvement in the module, working with a really great team.
tury, comets remain mysterious objects ground-based support campaign of the The teamwork is something I particularly
and keep surprising us; and it is the rea- ESA Rosetta mission. Sending a space appreciate about Paranal. In the future,
son I chose comets as the subject of my mission to orbit a comet, and eventually I hope I can continue to do research and
Master’s thesis, during which I had the landing on its surface was an incredible keep observing regularly, as I love being
chance to work with the TRAnsiting achievement, and it was a fabulous in an astronomical observatory. In any
­Planets and PlanetesImals Small Tele- opportunity to follow the results and new case, I feel lucky to have a family who
scope (TRAPPIST) project, which consists developments of the mission while trying always encouraged me to pursue a career
of two 60-centimetre telescopes, one to link those to what we were observing in astronomy. It made it so much easier
each in the northern and southern hemi- from the ground. It is also in the frame- to get here.
spheres. At the time I worked on it, only work of this ground-based campaign that
the southern telescope existed, which is I came to Paranal for the first time. This

50 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Chris Harrison My PhD evolved into using Herschel Space
Observatory data to study star formation
What a luxury it is to be a professional rates in distant active galaxies. Then I
astronomer. I actually get paid to use started working on data that I had been
huge telescopes to study supermassive awarded as Principal Investi­gator and
black holes destroying galaxies. Yet, began to take charge of my own research.
­perhaps surprisingly, my journey to an During my PhD I also took advantage of
ESO Fellowship has not been a clear many exciting opportunities to do out-
­predefined path towards astronomy after reach, for example, delivering planetarium
some inspirational events during my shows, giving public talks, and designing
childhood. Instead, my route to becoming exhibitions for science festivals. For my
an ESO Fellow has been filled with inde- first postdoctoral position, I stayed on at
cisiveness, difficult decisions and self- Durham, taking control of large ESO pro-
doubt, but also, most importantly, influen- jects involving the K-band Multi-Object
tial and supportive people. Spectrograph (KMOS) to study the inter-
nal gas kine­matics and dynamics on
Beyond wanting to go to university in ­hundreds of distant galaxies; some of
my home country of the UK, at the age Durham’s Guaranteed Time on KMOS.
of 17, I really did not know what I wanted
to do after school. I ordered around 40 With a wife, a one-year old daughter and
university prospectuses and spent hours a son on the way, it was difficult to decide
flicking through the pages looking for to move the whole family to Germany in
inspiration. After a systematic approach Chris Harrison order to take up the ESO Fellowship.
to whittle down the options (involving an However, the pull of the fantastic oppor-
Excel spreadsheet), I was left with either my wife). However, on getting wind of this, tunities that working at ESO would bring,
astrophysics or digital ­multimedia design. Rob Ivison took me into his office and and of living in Munich, were too great to
It was almost a flip-of-a-coin decision said, “you should consider a PhD”. Conse- resist. It is such a privilege to be working
that resulted in my opting to enroll on an quently, I thought it might be ­sen­sible to at the Headquarters, alongside such a
integrated (four-year) Master’s Degree in make some initial enquiries about doing a broad range of people. I now am working
astrophysics at the University of PhD when I returned from my travels. This on a range of datasets, from programmes
Edinburgh. is when I first met Dave Alexander with his I am leading involving radio interferometry
infectious enthusiasm for anything related (eMERLIN; VLA; ALMA), more IFS data
After a couple of months of my degree I to supermassive black holes. (ESO/VIMOS; ESO/SINFONI) and X-ray
had my first experience of what is now data (Chandra); these are mostly driven
widely known as “imposter syndrome” Four months of backpacking in Southeast by the goal to establish the connection
and nearly dropped out, believing that I Asia and five months of bush camping between supermassive black holes and
didn’t have what it takes. Thanks to sup- in Western Africa gave me a considerable their host galaxies. I am also lucky enough
port from my parents and a new friend amount of time to reflect upon what I to have two excellent students working
(who ended up being the best man at wanted from life. I concluded that it might alongside me on these projects.
my wedding), I decided to try a second be quite fun to undertake a PhD. I was
semester. I eventually found my feet and lucky enough that Dave Alexander was I am elated to be working alongside the
started to feel a real passion for astron- able to take me on as his student at Supernova coordinator Tania Johnston
omy. This was especially true for the ­Durham University. He set me off on on the ESO Supernova Planetarium &
third-year research projects, particularly reducing integral field spectroscopy (IFS) Visitor Centre for 25% of my time (my
when I was using a small telescope on data from the Near-Infrared Integral Field “ESO project”). I feel honoured to have
the roof to make colour-magnitude dia- Spectrometer (NIFS). These data were been part of developing the educational
grams of stellar clusters under the super- of distant star-forming galaxies that host workshops and planetarium shows, and I
vision of Rob Ivison. During this time, I rapidly accreting black holes, and the am now getting to see them in action,
also found great joy in volunteering to goal was to search for evidence of gas since we opened in April of this year. At
do outreach at the Visitor Centre at the being expelled from the galaxies. The ESO, I also have the role of being one of
Royal Observatory. project was certainly exciting, and I was the fellow representatives, which gives me
delighted to have a set of data that the opportunity to improve and refine the
Eventually I came to the conclusion that nobody else was working on. Despite Fellowship programme for the other ESO
my skills would be best used by becom- this, I briefly felt again that I did not have Fellows. Indeed, this has lately become a
ing a physics teacher. I decided to not what it takes to be an astronomer and strong ambition — to ensure that astron-
take a full Master’s qualification, but to the other students were much more intel- omy can be a safe, supportive and enjoy-
leave after my third year with a Bachelor’s ligent and better researchers. However, able career for everyone. After all, it is a
degree and take the “spare” year to go thanks to supportive people around me, luxury to be able to do this job, and we
travelling with my girlfriend (who is now I managed to continue. should all be having a fun time doing it.

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 51

Astronomical News Opitom C., Harrison C., Querejeta M., Fellows at ESO

Miguel Querejeta Miguel Querejeta

I was six years old when I first looked

through a telescope. It was in a small
town called Ezcaray, in the Spanish wine-
producing region of La Rioja. I used to
spend long summer periods there with
my family and those dark night skies
always fascinated me; I distinctly remem-
ber the feeling of the chilly breeze on a
deck chair on the roof terrace, watching
shooting stars for hours on end. In such
a setting, it seems natural to wonder
about the physical nature of those shiny
objects — and here I am, more than
20 years later working as a professional
astronomer! scopes in La Palma, and it was one of world; the result was a most enjoyable
the most memorable summers of my life. and ­productive workshop, leading to a
However, the fact that I felt such an early healthy exchange of ideas and triggering
fascination for astronomy did not mean At that point, I was fully convinced that new projects and collaborations.
that I always wanted to pursue studies in I wanted to embark on a PhD in astro-
that direction. As a teenager, I seriously physics by the end of my undergraduate My main research focus at ESO is trying
considered the option of studying mathe- studies, and my colleagues from Tenerife to understand the factors that regulate
matics, neurobiology, classics, and even informed me about an interesting oppor- the conversion of gas into stars in nearby
history of art, which drove my parents a tunity: a Marie Curie Initial Training Net- galaxies; for that goal, I rely on observa-
bit crazy. Despite my whims, the support work called Detailed Anatomy of GALaxies tions from interferometers such as the
from my parents was always admirable, (DAGAL). This included several positions VLA, NOEMA, and ALMA. This research
and they encouraged me to follow my across Europe in the field of nearby is largely pursued in the context of inter-
passion for astrophysics. This eventually ­galaxies, and I opted for the project in national collaborations, and working with
took me to Madrid, where I studied Phys- Heidelberg: a decision that I did not such a wide range of people makes it
ics with Astronomy at the Universidad regret! I conducted my PhD at the Max particularly attractive to me. In addition,
Complutense. Planck Institute for Astronomy, super- my functional duties include developing
vised by Eva Schinnerer and working outreach material for the ESO Supernova
From 2011–2012, I was fortunate enough closely with Sharon Meidt, to whom I Planetarium and Visitor Centre, and I am
to spend a year abroad at the University owe a lot. My PhD area was quite broad one of the visiting observers for the APEX
of Nottingham through the Erasmus and included investigating how stellar telescope in Chile.
scheme, which is a European community mass is distributed in galaxies, molecular
action scheme to encourage the mobility gas flows, and nuclear activity, while Ironically, very soon after I started in
of university students. I was guided by a spanning a wide range of wavelengths Garching, I was awarded a permanent
brilliant tutor, Alfonso Aragón-Salamanca, and techniques. position at the Observatorio Astronómico
and I had some excellent lecturers there, Nacional in Madrid, where I will move in
such as Mike Merrifield, Chris Conselice, Obtaining an ESO Fellowship straight a few months. I tried my luck with the
and Omar Almaini. The atmosphere of the after the PhD was like a dream come application encouraged by colleagues
Nottingham Astronomy Group was very true, as it was at the very top of my list from Madrid, honestly thinking that my
enthusiastic, and I was able to undertake of preferences. One of the most attractive chances were vanishingly small. But life
a year-long research project under the aspects of working at ESO is interacting is full of surprises, and if there is one
supervision of Loretta Dunne: using data with such a wide range of people; the thing that I have learned over the years,
from the Herschel Space Observatory to atmosphere is extremely friendly, and it is that one should always try, no matter
study dusty early-type galaxies — which everyone is very approachable and willing how hard or unlikely something may
I very much enjoyed. to help. As an example of the coopera- seem! In retrospect, I can hardly believe
tion among ESO Fellows, I would like to the chain of coincidences that has
That initial research experience at highlight a workshop that we recently brought me to where I am. I feel most
­Nottingham motivated me to look further organised on galaxy interactions and privileged to work in a field like astronomy,
for possible internships, and I obtained a mergers. The entire journey from the ini- which is so exciting and full of inspira-
studentship to spend a whole summer at tial seed of a crazy idea to the final event tional people.
the Intituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, in was the result of the fruitful collaboration
Tenerife. There, I analysed dynamical res- of five ESO Fellows. The conference
onances in galaxies with John Beckman took place in Sexten (Italy) in March 2018,
and Joan Font. I was stunned by the tele- and it attracted experts from all over the

52 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Astronomical News DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5086

Raymond Wilson, 1928–2018

Martin Cullum 1


Ray Wilson, who worked at ESO for

21 years, died on 16 March 2018. He made
an indelible impression on ESO, as well
as on the design of modern large tele-
scopes worldwide.

Ray was born in Sutton Coldfield in the

UK, the youngest of four children. At
school he excelled in Latin and history,
but made much less impact in mathe­
matics. Nevertheless, he had an early
interest in astronomical optics and even
built himself a telescope as a teenager. It
was his mother who, influenced by a fam-
ily friend, later persuaded him to study
physics rather than the humanities. She
thought — probably rightly — that it
would offer better employment possibili-
ties. Ray took his first degree in physics
at Birmingham University and then went
on to Imperial College in London as a
postgraduate. It was here that he discov-
ered his love of optics and optical design
and his PhD thesis, presented in 1953, Carl Zeiss. In 1959, there was no position After five years at Carl Zeiss, Ray was
was entitled “The Production of Aspheric free in optical design at Zeiss, and he made head of department and his career
Surfaces”. was offered a position in the photographic seemed settled and secure for life, but
laboratory, which was responsible for clouds were forming on the horizon. In
After leaving Imperial, Ray joined the testing and quality control. This was 1970, German industry was hit by a mas-
­traditional British optical firm Ross and partly theoretical, which suited him, and sive financial crisis. Carl Zeiss was also
Company doing, as he said, what he partly practical, which did not, but he seriously affected by this recession and
liked doing best — designing optics. was happy to be working for such a pres- many of the staff in Ray’s department
Unfortunately, this was not to last long. tigious firm. were made redundant, through no fault
In the post-war decades the European of their own. While at Zeiss, Ray had
optics industry was in flux. Many tradi- In September 1960, Ray received an already had contact with ESO through
tional commercial optics firms in England offer to return to Imperial College London preliminary design contracts for the ESO
and France were going bankrupt in the as an assistant lecturer to conduct theo- 3.6-metre telescope. The unpleasant
face of German, and later, Japanese retical research on the application of ­situation at Zeiss motivated him to look
competition. Ross went bankrupt and computers to optical design. He stayed elsewhere and, in 1972, he was offered
Ray moved to the National Physical there until the summer of 1963, and a position as head of the optics group in
­L aboratory (NPL) in Teddington in South then returned once again to Carl Zeiss in ESO’s Telescope Project Division at
West London in 1955. Earlier, the NPL Oberkochen, who had offered him his CERN in Geneva.
had been very strong in optical design “dream position” in the optical design
and aberration theory, but a new man- department for astronomical and analyti- Even several years before Ray moved to
ager decided to concentrate on practical cal instruments. ESO, ideas about the active control of
optics research which did not appeal to ­telescope optics, now commonly known
Ray. So, after three years at the NPL, he In the early 60s there was a small epi- as Active Optics, had been brewing in
decided to look for employment in the demic of poliomyelitis in the region of his mind. His collaboration with Gerhard
thriving German optical industry. Through Baden-Württemberg where Ray lived, Schwesinger, who had developed an
a former German colleague at Ross, Ray and he contracted this disease shortly analytical model of the aberrations intro-
was offered a position in a small optics after returning to Zeiss. He was away duced by support errors of primary mir-
firm in Trier, called Karl Foitzik. This firm from work for 10 months convalescing rors, furthered these ideas. However, two
also went bankrupt within 10 months of and, although he recovered, he was left problems remained: how to measure the
Ray’s joining and his next job was with with a slight disability. support errors and how to correct them.

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 53

Astronomical News Cullum M., Raymond Wilson, 1928–2018

The ESO 3.6-metre telescope was Fortunately, Switzerland and Italy pro- Ray Wilson, changed the way future large
equipped with a so-called Hartmann vided the solution. In 1982, both coun- tele­scopes would be designed and fully
screen. This was a metal plate, the same tries became ESO Member States and validated the decision of the ESO Council
diameter as the primary mirror, with an with their entry fees ESO decided to to go ahead with the construction of the
array of high precision holes bored in it. build another telescope to ease the load Very Large Telescope (VLT).
This was placed just in front of the primary on the already oversubscribed 3.6-metre
mirror and a series of extra-focal photo- telescope. At the same time, this pro- Ray was a reluctant manager. He never
graphic images were taken at different vided the Organisation with the opportu- strived for power or influence and,
telescope positions. After scanning and nity to gain experience with innovative although justly proud of his achievements,
analysing these images, the optical aber- ­telescope technologies. Ray Wilson, by was always self-deprecating. But with
rations could be estimated. Not only now head of the ESO Telescope Group, his abundant enthusiasm he very effec-
was this a cumbersome and risky proce- saw the opportunity to design a modern tively led and inspired the dedicated
dure, but the possibilities of correction 3.5-metre alt-azimuth telescope that group of physicists, engineers and tech-
with the 3.6-metre telescope were limited eliminated some of the recognised prob- nicians who developed Active Optics
by the very heavy and stiff primary mirror. lems with the 3.6-metre. technology at ESO, implementing it on
Nevertheless, Ray’s position at ESO the NTT and later — in a more extreme
allowed him to develop the idea of Active Ray persuaded the then Director General, form — on the VLT. He was happy to give
Optics for future telescopes, and even­ Lodewijk Woltjer, to build the new tele- credit to his colleagues and was always
tually to provide solutions to these prob- scope with an actively controlled thin pri- willing to listen and explain. He could talk
lems. Even in the late 70s, ESO, along mary mirror. Woltjer agreed under the as naturally to the Director General as
with other major observatories, was condition that the New Technology Tele- he could to the ESO janitor and was thus
already thinking about the next generation scope (NTT), as it would be known, must greatly respected within the Organisation
of giant telescopes. have a performance no worse than the on a personal level as well as for his tech-
3.6-metre telescope even if the active nical expertise.
From 1979–1980, Ray spent a year at control did not work as planned. Another
La Silla working with the optical group to innovation of the NTT was the free air- During his final three years at ESO, and
gain experience in the operation and flow enclosure design. This concept had after he retired in 1993, Ray worked
maintenance of large telescopes. This been pioneered at the Multiple Mirror on a two-volume monograph “Reflecting
convinced him even more that future tele- ­Telescope on Mt. Hopkins in Arizona and ­Telescope Optics”. These two volumes,
scopes should have thin flexible primary differed markedly from that of classical published in 1996 and 1999 respectively,
mirrors with an active control system telescope domes, which had small aper- remain classical works on the develop-
that would be able to correct optical mis- tures to “protect” the telescope from the ment and design of optical telescopes
alignment and compensate for gravita- outside environment. Having a relatively that represent a lasting epitaph to Ray’s
tional and thermal mirror distortions. thin primary mirror and effective air flow lifetime achievements.
About this time, Ray visited a former stu- through the enclosure allowed the tele-
dent colleague from Imperial College, scope — and in particular the primary In the latter part of his career, Ray was
Roland Shack, who was now professor at mirror — to be in thermal equilibrium with awarded numerous prizes and honours
the Optical Sciences Center in Tucson, the ambient environment, instead of for his contributions to the advancement
­Arizona. Shack had invented a compact being isolated from it. Ray recognised the of telescope technology. These include
and efficient optical test device that was importance of this development and the Medal of Geneva University in 1993,
based on the classical Hartmann test, it became an important feature of the the Karl Schwarzschild Medal of the
but could be mounted directly in the tele- NTT concept. ­German Astronomical Society in 2003,
scope focal plane. Ray immediately saw the Chevalier of the French Légion
the importance of this device for future The First Light of the NTT in March 1989 d’Honneur in 2004, the Prix Lallemand
telescopes and set about having one took place under excellent seeing condi- of the French Academy of Sciences in
built at ESO. The device became known tions, allowing the NTT to demonstrate its 2008, the Kavli Prize of the Norwegian
as the Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensor. performance to the full. This it certainly Academy of Science and Letters (together
When this was later coupled to a CCD did, producing probably the best images with Roger Angel and Jerry N ­ elson), as
detector for image readout, ESO had a ever obtained from a ground-based tele- well as the Tycho Brahe Prize of the Euro-
practical device to measure telescope scope at that time, and three times better pean Astronomical Society in 2010.
aberrations in real time. However, to than had ever been obtained with ESO’s
actively correct aberrations would require 3.6-metre telescope. And all of this was He leaves his wife, Anne, and two sons
a telescope with a much thinner primary at a third of the cost of the 3.6-metre from his first marriage, Geoffrey and
mirror than classical large telescopes like tele­scope! Almost overnight, ESO’s repu- Peter.
the ESO 3.6-metre. But to propose the tation as an innovative and leading organ-
construction of a very large telescope isation for astronomical research was
based on untested technology would established. The overwhelming success
have been a giant leap of faith that would of the NTT, founded to a very large
hardly be accepted by the ESO Council. extent on the insight and perseverance of

54 The Messenger 172 – June 2018

Astronomical News

Personnel Movements

Arrivals (1 April–30 June 2018) Departures (1 April–30 June 2018)

Europe Europe

Kravchenko, Kateryna (UA) Student Guillard, Nicolas (FR) Student

Sagatowski, Jakob (SE) Software Engineer Man, Wing Shan (CN/HK) Fellow
Peest, Peter Christian (DE) Student
Scholtz, Jan (CZ) Student

Chile Chile

Gallilee, Mark (UK) Mechanical Technical Lead Faez, Robinson (CL) Telescope Instruments Operator
Mejia-Restrepo, Julian (CO) Fellow
Sánchez Sáez, Paula (CL) Student
Wibowo, Ridlo (ID) Student

The ESO Annual Report 2017 is available

online now at

The Messenger 172 – June 2018 55

ESO, the European Southern Observa- Contents
tory, is the foremost intergovernmental
astronomy organisation in Europe. It is Telescopes and Instrumentation
supported by 15 countries: Austria, Romaniello M. et al. – Enhanced Data Discovery Services for the
­Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, ESO Science Archive 2
France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Leibundgut B. et al. – HAWK-I/GRAAL Science Verification 8
Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland and the United Astronomical Science
Kingdom. ESO’s programme is focused Zhang Z.-Y. et al. – ALMA Constrains the Stellar Initial Mass Function of
on the design, construction and opera- Dusty Starburst Galaxies 14
tion of powerful ground-based observ- Ferraro F. R. et al. – MIKiS: the ESO-VLT Multi-Instrument Kinematic Survey
ing f­ acilities. ESO operates three obser- of Galactic Globular Clusters 18
vatories in Chile: at La Silla, at P
­ aranal, Paladini C. et al. – Constraining Convection in Evolved Stars with the VLTI 24
site of the Very Large Telescope, and at Ginski C. et al. – A Planet with a Disc? A Surprising Detection in
Llano de Chajnantor. ESO is the Euro- Polarised Light with VLT/SPHERE 27
pean partner in the Atacama Large Milli-
meter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA).­ Astronomical News
Currently ESO is engaged in the con- Leibundgut B. & Patat F. – Report on the ESO Workshop
struction of the Extremely Large “Planning ESO Observations of Future Gravitational Wave Events” 33
­Telescope. Wittkowski M. & Humphreys L. – Report on the ESO Workshop
“Imaging of Stellar Surfaces” 35
The Messenger is published, in hard- Bianco A. et al. – Report on the Workshop “Dispersing Elements for
copy and electronic form, four times a Astronomy: New Trends and Possibilities” 40
year: in March, June, September and De Breuck C. et al. – Report on the ESO–Radionet Workshop
December. ESO produces and distrib- “Submillimetre Single-dish Data Reduction and
utes a wide variety of media c ­ onnected Array Combination Techniques” 42
to its activities. For further information, Boffin H. M. J. & Rejkuba M. – Report on the ESO Workshop
including postal subscription to The “La Silla Paranal Users Workshop” 44
Messenger, contact the ESO education Selman F. et al. – Report on the ESO-Neon Observing School
and Public Outreach Department at: at La Silla Observatory 46
Opitom C., Harrison C., Querejeta M. – Fellows at ESO 50
ESO Headquarters Cullum M. – Raymond Wilson, 1928–2018 53
Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2 Personnel Movements 55
85748 Garching bei München, Germany
Phone +49 89 320 06-0

The Messenger:
Editors: Gaitee A. J. Hussain,
Anna M­ iotello;
Graphics, Layout, ­Typesetting:
Mafalda Martins;
Design, Production: Jutta B
­ oxheimer;
Proofreading: Peter Grimley;

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Unless otherwise indicated, all images Front cover: JHK colour-composite image of the central
in The Messenger are courtesy of ESO, region of The massive star forming region RCW 38
except authored contributions which from HAWK-I using the ground-layer adaptive optics
are courtesy of the respective authors. ­module, enabling a study of the detailed influence
of photo­ionisation from massive stars on star formation
© ESO 2018 across a wide range of stellar masses down to brown
ISSN 0722-6691 dwarfs. Credit: ESO/Muzic et al.

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