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Astronomy in Ireland

ELT – Where the Secondary Mirror Becomes a Giant

KLASS – The Role of Low-Mass Galaxies from Cosmic Dawn to Cosmic Noon
ESO Science Ambassadors
The Messenger
No. 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019
ESO, the European Southern Observa- Contents
tory, is the foremost intergovernmental
astronomy organisation in Europe. It is The Organisation
supported by 16 Member States: Austria, Ray T. et al. – Astronomy in Ireland 3
­Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Cioni M.-R. L. – The ESO Users Committee: Giving Users a Voice 8
France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy,
the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Telescopes and Instrumentation
Sweden, Switzerland and the United Cayrel M. et al. – ELT – Where the Secondary Mirror Becomes a Giant 13
Kingdom. ESO’s programme is focussed Leibundgut B. et al. – MUSE Narrow Field Mode Adaptive Optics
on the design, construction and opera- Science Verification 16
tion of powerful ground-based observing Montenegro-Montes F. M. et al. – Orion-KL Observations with the
­facilities. ESO operates three observato- Extended Tuning Range of the New SEPIA660 APEX Facility Instrument 20
ries in Chile: at La Silla, at P
­ aranal, site of Cantalloube F. et al.– Peering through SPHERE Images: A Glance at
the Very Large Telescope, and at Llano Contrast Limitations 25
de Chajnantor. ESO is the European
­partner in the Atacama Large Millimeter/ Astronomical Science
submillimeter Array (ALMA). Currently Fontana A. et al. – KLASS – The Role of Low-Mass Galaxies from
ESO is engaged in the construction of the Cosmic Dawn to Cosmic Noon 33
Extremely Large ­Telescope. Barthel P., Versteeg J. – ALMA Resolves the Stellar Birth Explosions in
Distant Radio-Loud Quasars 37
The Messenger is published, in hardcopy
and electronic form, four times a year: in Astronomical News
March, June, September and December. Primas F. et al. – The New ESO Phase 1 System for Proposal Submission 41
ESO produces and distributes a wide Siebenmorgen R. et al. – Report on the ESO Event “20th Anniversary of
variety of media ­connected to its activi- Science Exploration with FORS” 44
ties. For further information, including Zafar T. et al. – Report on the ESO Workshop “Linking Galaxies from the
postal subscription to The Messenger, Epoch of Initial Star Formation to Today” 48
contact the ESO education and Public Harrison C. et al. – ESO Science Ambassadors 50
Outreach Department at: Corral-Santana J., Agliozzo C. & Anderson R. – Fellows at ESO 54
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© ESO 2019
ISSN 0722-6691
Front cover: The Milky Way stretches
over one of the Auxiliary Telescopes
of the VLTI. Credit: Y. Beletsky/ESO

2 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

The Organisation DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5133

Astronomy in Ireland

Tom Ray 1

Ken Williams
Paul Callanan 2
Masha Chernyakova 3
Brian Espey 4
Lorraine Hanlon 5
Creidhe O’Sullivan 6
Matt Redman 7
Niall Smith 8

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
(DIAS), Ireland
University College Cork, Ireland
Dublin City University, Ireland
Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Ireland
University College Dublin, Ireland
Maynooth University, Ireland
National University of Ireland Galway,
Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork,

Astronomy has been very important in

Ireland since ancient times. In the 
Victorian era, the country had not only
the largest reflector in the world, but
also the largest refractor. Modern astro-
nomical research is concentrated in
various Irish universities as well as the
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.
Astronomy is very popular among the
public at large, and also as a means of
promoting graduate uptake in Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathe-
matics (STEM). After providing some
historical background, we give a broad-
brush review of astronomical research
in the country with the intention of
encouraging collaboration with Ireland,
the newest member of the ESO family.

Interest in astronomy in Ireland can be

traced back over 5000 years. The pre-
Celtic inhabitants built magnificent struc- Figure 1. The so-called Sundial Stone decorates one
of the mounds at Knowth in the Boyne Valley and
tures such as those in the Boyne Valley
dates back 5000 years. Interpreting such art is noto-
northwest of Dublin long before the pyra- riously difficult but there is little doubt that nearby
mids — and even Stonehenge — were Newgrange was deliberately aligned with sunrise on
constructed. One in particular, at the winter solstice.
Newgrange, is renowned for marking the
winter solstice sunrise. For a few days
either side of the shortest day of the year, perfect for when the monument was built then it would have been visible directly
light from the rising Sun shines through 5200 years ago. The tilt of the Earth at at sunrise. Moreover, back when it was
the roofbox above its entrance, traverses that time was 24 degrees as opposed to built, sunlight would have penetrated to
a 20–metre long passage, and illuminates its current 23.5 degrees. To witness the just touch the back wall of the monu-
the main chamber inside the giant mound. phenomenon now, one has to wait ment; the Neolithic people who con-
The precision achieved is remarkable roughly 10 minutes after sunrise for the structed Newgrange had solved a 3D
when one considers that the alignment is light to shine into the chamber, whereas astronomical puzzle.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 3

The Organisation Ray T. et al., Astronomy in Ireland

Figure 2. Historic Birr Castle is not was glaringly obvious. As a result of an

Peter Gallagher, DIAS

only the site of what was the largest initiative from Eric Lindsay, then Director
telescope in the world for many years,
the Leviathan, but also the location of of Armagh, Ireland initially had access
Ireland’s LOFAR station (I-LOFAR) to astronomical facilities at Bloemfontein
which operates as part of the interna- (South Africa) through an international
tional LOFAR facility. I-LOFAR is man- treaty involving Armagh, Dunsink and
aged by a consortium of Irish research
institutes led by TCD and DIAS. Harvard (USA). Eventually this was
replaced by the use of the telescopes at
the La Palma Observatory (Spain) under
an agreement between the Irish National
Board of Science and Technology and
the then Particle Physics and Astronomy
Research Council in the UK.
In more modern times, Ireland was, for William Rowan Hamilton. Work at the
a brief period during the Victorian era, observatory centred on using stars to Today, Physics with Astronomy is
home to not only the largest reflector in measure time but it was also the site offered as a degree course at several
the world, the so-called Leviathan at Birr of some of the earliest attempts at Irish universities. High-tech industry is a
Castle in County Offaly, but also the larg- determining stellar parallaxes. very important component of the modern
est refractor at Markree Castle, County Irish economy and the role of astronomy
Sligo. The Leviathan, with its six-foot The modern astronomical era in Ireland in promoting STEM (science, technology,
(1.83-metre) mirror, is no doubt the better can be said to have begun in 1947 with engineering and maths) as a career
known instrument — Lord Rosse used it the acquisition by the Irish State of choice is increasingly acknowledged.
to discover and subsequently name such Dunsink Observatory as part of the fledg-
famous objects as the Crab and ling Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies Ireland was a founding member of the
Whirlpool nebulae. This interest in astron- — at that time headed by the well-known European Space Agency and this has led
omy in Ireland during the 19th century physicist Erwin Schrödinger. The impor- to its involvement in many well-known
also gave rise to a major industry: tele- tance of accessibility to remote sites to science missions, such as the ESA
scope making. Founded in Dublin by carry out serious astronomical research INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics
Thomas Grubb, and subsequently man-
aged by his son Howard, the firm of
Grubb manufactured some of the largest

Antonio Martin-Carrillo
telescopes in the world, such as the
Great Refractor of the Vienna Observa-
tory and the Great Melbourne Telescope.
Howard Grubb also made eclipse instru-
ments which proved crucial in testing
Einstein’s general theory of relativity,
100 years ago.

Ireland is also the place where the first

photoelectric experiments were per-
formed by Stephen Mitchell Dixon and
William Stanley Henry Monck. At Monck’s
observatory in the centre of Dublin, the
relative brightness of Venus and Jupiter
was recorded in 1892 using a simple
photoelectric cell made by George
Minchin. This was followed a few years
later by the earliest such measurements
of stars at William Wilson’s observatory in
County Westmeath, not far from Dublin.

The two oldest purpose-built observato-

ries in Ireland are located in Dunsink,
close to the centre of Dublin, and its
sister establishment in Armagh. Dunsink,
which was founded as part of Trinity Figure 3. Undergraduate students from UCD
undertake an astronomy observing field trip
College Dublin in 1785, was home to
to a professional observatory in their final year.
Ireland’s most famous mathematician,

4 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

Laboratory (INTEGRAL) and the Herschel

C. O’Sullivan, Maynooth University

Space Observatory, as well as a number
planned for the future like Solar Orbiter
and the James Webb Space Telescope.
Ireland is looking forward to participating
fully in ESO as its newest Member State.
Public engagement in astronomy is cer-
tainly very strong in the country, with one
of the highest per capita memberships of
amateur astronomical societies in
Europe. Here we provide just a flavour of
the main astronomical interests in our
research establishments as a basis for
possible collaboration with other mem-
bers of the ESO community.

– The Dublin Institute for Advanced

Studies (DIAS) primarily conducts
research into star formation and solar
physics although it also retains an inter-
est in high energy astrophysics. As
an example, it manages the country’s
involvement in the High Energy Stereo-
scopic System (HESS) based in Namibia
as a facility for gamma-ray astronomy. Figure 4. The ground-
based cosmic micro-
In the past few years DIAS has created wave background (CMB)
a new astronomical detector group instrument called the
concentrating on optical/near-infrared Q&U Bolometric Interfer-
Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors ometer for Cosmology
(QUBIC) being integrated
(MKIDs). Before joining ESO, the insti- in Paris before being
tute was already a partner in a number shipped to its observing
of astronomical projects in Chile, site in Argentina. The
such as GRAVITY on the Very Large QUBIC optics were
designed by the
Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). DIAS is Maynooth team.
playing a leading role in the Mid-Infrared
Instrument (MIRI) on the James Webb
Space Telescope (JWST) and on the ENGRAVE, and the 4-metre Multi-­ prising eight faculty members drawn
ARIEL Space Mission, which will explore Object Spectroscopic Telescope from the School of Physical Sciences
exoplanet atmospheres. (4MOST), a future spectroscopic survey and the School of Mathematical
instrument for VISTA. TCD builds on a Sciences. There are particular research
– Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is Ireland’s strong Irish heritage in astronomy. The strengths in observational astronomy,
oldest university and has a vibrant current TCD Astrophysics group runs computational astrophysics and gen-
astrophysics research programme undergraduate and postgraduate pro- eral relativity. Current research topics
covering theoretical and observational grammes in physics and astrophysics, range from exoplanets and weakly ion-
aspects of exoplanets, low-mass and with about 20 students graduating per ised astrophysical plasmas to high
massive stars, supernovae, electro- year and growing numbers of postgrad- energy astrophysics, supermassive
magnetic counterparts of gravitational uate opportunities. It is anticipated that black holes, gravitational waves and
wave events, and light pollution studies. the existing use of ESO facilities will mathematical relativity. Before Ireland
TCD Astrophysics has five faculty mem- expand further in the next few years joined ESO, DCU collaborated exten-
bers who have leading roles in interna- and bolster research opportunities. sively in the use of its facilities and
tional consortia for the JWST and anticipates that such collaborations will
Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment –D
 ublin City University (DCU) is one of increase in the coming years.
(CUTE) space missions (the latter being the country’s newest universities, and
an ultraviolet spectroscopy mission to consistently features as one of the top – University College Dublin (UCD) has a
study exoplanet atmospheres), as well young universities worldwide. About distinguished tradition in astrophysics,
as a number of large ESO-related pro- 15 students graduate every year from starting from pioneering work in the
jects such as the NTT transient follow-­ its Physics & Astronomy degree pro- 1960s on the development of g ​ round-
­up programme (e)PESSTO, the VLT gramme. DCU hosts the Centre for based high-energy gamma-ray
gravitational wave follow-up programme Astrophysics & Relativity1 (CfAR), com- astronomy. Astrophysics continues to

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 5

The Organisation Ray T. et al., Astronomy in Ireland

exoplanet atmospheres, ESO’s VLT and

Paul Callanan, UCC

VLTI telescope facilities, the Gemini tel-

escopes and ALMA. Development of
the Educational Irish Research Satellite
(EIRSAT-1) — Ireland’s first satellite —
is being led by UCD astrophysics stu-
dents and staff. The mission will fly
innovative Irish technology in space,
including a new detector to observe
gamma-ray bursts. Annually, 12–15 BSc
students graduate from the Physics
with Astronomy & Space Science pro-
gramme, and about the same number of
MSc students graduate from the Space
Science & Technology programme.

– Maynooth University (MU) offers

an undergraduate degree in Physics
with Astrophysics and postgraduate
research degrees in Astrophysics
at Masters and PhD level. Research
is carried out by two groups in the
Department of Experimental Physics.
The Space Terahertz Optics group has
internationally-recognised expertise
in millimetre-wave optics, electromag-
netic instrument qualification and astro-
nomical observation. They have been
core team members of a number of
important astronomical projects includ-
ing ALMA, the High Frequency Instru-
ment (HFI) on the ESA Planck Surveyor
and the Heterodyne Instrument for the
Far-Infrared (HIFI) on the Herschel
Space Observatory. The star and planet
formation group has expertise in high
angular resolution and spectroscopic
observations of outflow and accretion
activity in young stars and brown
dwarfs. The group is involved in several
international collaborations and primar-
ily works in the optical and near-infrared
regimes using ESO facilities.
Figure 5. Crawford Observatory, University College Cork.
– The National University of Ireland
Galway (NUI Galway) was established
be a vibrant research area, with about NASA’s Swift and Fermi missions and in 1845 and is the leading higher
20 staff, researchers and postgraduate ESA’s INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton education and research organisation
students. UCD astronomers are leading satellites, progenitors of supernovae in the west of Ireland. The Centre for
research on a wide range of topics, and tidal disruption events, terrestrial Astronomy (CfA) hosts one the largest
including the search for and characteri- gamma-ray flashes, development of collection of astrophysics researchers
sation of galactic and extragalactic very novel scintillators and gamma-ray in Ireland, and members of the centre
high-energy gamma-ray sources with detectors, CubeSats, robotic tele- carry out research in astronomy, astro-
the VERITAS telescope array, the scopes, electromagnetic counterparts nomical instrumentation and computa-
­Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), to gravitational wave sources, data min- tional astrophysics. Research topics
astrophysical jets with the LOw-­ ing astrophysical transients, star and include applied imaging, adaptive optics,
Frequency-Array (LOFAR), pulsar timing, planet formation research with the clusters and exoplanets, gamma-­­ray
shock acceleration theory, gamma-­ray Hubble Space Telescope, the future astronomy, high speed Stokes polarim-
bursts and other transients detected by ARIEL space mission to characterise etry, pulsars, star formation and

6 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

astrochemistry, ultra-cool stars, and (ii) Very Long Baseline Interferometry concentrates on small robotic observa-
astro-­­informatics. CfA astronomical (VLBI) and polarisation studies of active tories and high-speed photometry,
instrumentation researchers designed galactic nuclei; and (iii) theoretical which aims to minimise the negative
and built the Galway Astronomical high-energy astrophysics (including rel- effects of atmospheric turbulence
Stokes Polarimeter (GASP), which ativistic plasma astrophysics and radia- on photometric measurements. 
has had two recent runs on the ESO tive transfer problems as applied to
3.6-metre telescope at La Silla. Another gamma-ray bursts). The group is Finally, it should be mentioned that the
visitor instrument built here was the involved in ESA’s Athena X-ray mission professional organisation for Irish astron-
Galway High Speed Photometer (GUFI) and the proposed Theseus M5 mission. omy is the Astronomical Sciences Group
at the Mount Graham Observatories. of Ireland (ASGI), which was founded in
NUI Galway also houses the Irish Centre –C
 ork Institute of Technology (CIT) 1974. It is a cross-border organisation with
for High-End Computing (ICHEC) which operates the Blackrock Castle members in both Ireland and Northern Ire-
is extensively used by Irish astrophysi- Observatory2 (BCO) which houses an land, and is affiliated to the European
cists carrying out numerical simulations. internationally award-winning science Astronomical Society. The ASGI hosts the
A new MSc programme, Astronomical centre focusing on astronomy and annual Irish National Astronomy Meeting
Instrumentation and Technology, had space science; this was opened to the each September, which attracts up to
an intake of six students in 2018 and public in 2007. The objective of the around 100 delegates, with a particular
is steadily growing.  BCO is to use astronomy and space emphasis on encouraging talks from
science to enthuse visitors, young and postgraduate researchers.   
– University College Cork (UCC) can old, about the benefits of science and
trace its heritage in astronomical critical thinking. More recently, the
research back to 1880, with the con- observatory has acted as an advocate Links
struction of the Crawford Observatory for Ireland’s involvement in space. BCO 1
Centre for Astrophysics & Relativity (CfAR):
(which included instruments made by welcomes around 105 000 visitors
Howard Grubb, mentioned above) on annually, with an additional 10 000 2
Blackrock Castle Observatory:
the university campus (see Figure 5). pre-university students engaged in
Astrophysics research in UCC is formal and informal workshops. The
focused on three core themes, involv- observatory also operates as the ESO
ing: (i) multi-wavelength observations of Science Outreach Network point of
cataclysmic variable and X-ray binaries; contact for Ireland. Research at BCO

Dan O’Regan

Figure 6. Blackrock
Observatory in County
Cork. This is largely
used as an outreach
facility to promote
astronomy to a broad

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 7

The Organisation DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5134

The ESO Users Committee: Giving Users a Voice

Maria-Rosa L. Cioni 1

 eibniz Institute for Astrophysics
Potsdam, Germany

The Users Committee (UC) was intro-

duced at ESO in 1978 and since its first
meeting in September of that year it
has assisted the Director General and
the ESO management in improving the
performance of the Organisation,
including scientific access, operations
and data management facilities, and
other services related to the scientific
products. The UC is an advisory body
that represents European users of both
La Silla Paranal observatory, including Figure 1. Users Committee members visited ESO Procedure1). In practice, the UC collects
headquarters in April for the 2019 spring meeting.
the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment and distributes information, and advises,
(APEX), and the Atacama Large discusses and provides recommenda-
Millimeter/­submillimeter Array (ALMA). It ­ embers. It is also the committee with
m tions on matters directly related to the
is the main channel of communication the best gender balance, with over 50% users’ experience with ESO facilities
between the users and ESO. UC mem- female members. It has required many at different stages – from the acquisition
bers’ engagement with specific activi- years of supportive activity to reach this and processing of observational data
ties has evolved over time in line with level of diversity while ensuring no com- to the distribution of data products. More
the development of ESO’s facilities and promise in the research knowledge and details about past matters pertaining to
the expansion of the ESO community. expertise represented within this commit- the UC can be found in Wisotzki (2001)
This article provides information on the tee. An important aspect of UC members and van Loon (2009); here we focus on
composition of the UC and details of its is their hands-on experience with ESO current issues.
main activities, and highlights topics programmes — from their frequent use of
that have been discussed over the last ESO telescopes and instrument facilities, The UC formulates recommendations
decade. to the services and tools that ESO makes aimed at improving the users’ experience
available to the community with the goal with ESO facilities. These recommenda-
of advancing scientific discoveries. Their tions result from consolidated feedback
Who are we? experience encompasses the use of tools obtained from users, consultation among
to prepare, obtain and reduce ESO data, UC members and between the UC and
The current members of the UC are listed the submission of data products to the ESO representatives. The UC collects
in Table 1, alongside country of represen­ ESO archive, and the production of writ- feedback from users primarily via an
tation, host institute and role. Figure 1 ten contributions, for example to the annual poll, presenting the users with a
shows the UC at its 43rd meeting. The Messenger, as well as the advertising of set of questions that probe their experi-
UC represents all ESO users with one scientific results via the ESO press. Fur- ence with ESO facilities. Past experience
representative from each ESO member thermore, the research fields of UC mem- suggests that users seldom approach
state, one from Chile for matters related bers encompass a broad range of scien- UC members directly if not prompted to
to La Silla Paranal and ALMA, and one tific topics which closely match those that do so, and even then it is difficult to
from Australia who according to can be addressed with ESO facilities. obtain a large number of responses (only
the partnership agreement refers only to 500 in 2018). On the other hand, if UC
matters relating to La Silla Paranal. Users members proactively advertise their UC
from other countries are welcome to What do we do? role to colleagues and at events where
approach the UC chair and co-chair on astronomers are reachable, such as con-
relevant aspects at any time. UC mem- The UC serves as an interface between ferences and workshops, the amount of
bers are selected by the Director General the ESO users and ESO representatives feedback increases. At a time when users
from three suitable candidates proposed (for example, the Director General and receive regular questionnaires about
by national authorities (ESO council the heads of different departments) to aspects of their work it can be hard to
members and the national Chilean provide users with an understanding of engage with yet another poll. However,
ESO Committee). how ESO facilities are used, how services the statistical information gleaned from
and support are perceived, and to obtain the UC poll is tremendously important in
The UC is the youngest ESO committee explanations of what, why and how ESO supporting discussions with ESO repre-
according to the average age of its does what it does (see the UC Rules of sentatives and acquiring a sound view of

8 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

general aspects that are common to als (Phase 1) are prepared and evaluated. observing time; first impressions were
many users. A brilliant idea may come For some time ESO has been developing extremely positive.
from a single individual, but its imple- a new tool which is embedded in a com-
mentation requires a much larger effort plex structure linked to other parts of the Pipelines
involving many more people. observing process (for example, to the Major steps have been taken to develop
exposure time calculator). The UC has and improve data reduction tools at
The UC meets ESO representatives once monitored the criticisms from users and ESO. Initially pipelines did not exist, then
a year in spring, usually following a meet- has often discussed them with ESO rep- they were not good enough, now they
ing of the Scientific Technical Committee resentatives to make sure that they are have improved and the focus has shifted
(STC). At this meeting, updates on ESO considered in the construction of the new toward improving the documentation
activities are presented and discussed, tool. A demo of this tool was first shown (including video tutorials and cookbooks
including the following: statistical informa- at the UC meeting in 2018 while a new explaining the essential steps), bug
tion on the use of ESO telescopes with web-based tool for the preparation of the reports, sharing algorithms and imple-
updates on major happenings that have observations (Phase 2) was recently menting advanced reduction steps.
influenced operations over the past released. The latter reflects the feedback This is a gradual process that begins
year; updates on the development of new from the users who successfully obtained again each time a new instrument is
instruments and their timescales; pro-
gress reports on long-term activities
(such as the production and implementa- Table 1. Members of the Users Committee in 2019.
tion of a new observing tool); and work
towards software analysing the data (qual- Country Member, Institute
ity assessment and data reduction tools). Austria Wolfgang Kausch, University of Innsbruck
Belgium Arjen van der Wel, Ghent University
In addition, each year a special topic is
Czech Republic Michaela Kraus, Czech Academy of Sciences
addressed, with tailored questions
Denmark Lisa Bech Christensen, University of Copenhagen
included in the UC poll and invited pres-
entations by a few experienced users Finland Rubina Kotak, University of Turku
at the UC meeting. A list of the special France Nicolas Bouché, IRAP
topics addressed over the past decade is Germany Maria-Rosa Cioni, Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam
given in Table 2. A report describing the Ireland Rebeca Garcia López, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
results of the UC poll and the minutes of
Italy Maria Teresa Beitran, INAF – Observatory of Arcetri
meetings between the UC and ESO rep-
The Netherlands Karina Caputi (Chair), Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
resentatives are publicly available on the
respective UC meetings webpages2. Poland Łukasz Wyrzykowski, Obserwatorium Astronomiczne UW
­Following the spring meeting, the UC for- Portugal Nuno Pelxinho, University of Coimbra
mulates a list of recommendations that, Spain Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio, Centro de Astrobiología
once agreed with ESO representatives, Sweden Jouni Kainulainen, Chalmers University of Technology
are distributed to the users directly by the
Switzerland Miroslava Dessauges, Geneva Observatory
UC members, and are posted on the
United Kingdom Dannyu Steeghs, University of Warwick
website indicated above. Progress on
these recommendations is discussed at a Chile Sebastian Lopez Morales (co-Chair), Universidad de Chile
mid-term teleconference involving UC Australia Caroline Foster, The University of Sydney
members and key ESO staff. While some
recommendations may be resolved within
six months to a year, others may have Table 2. List of special topics and invited speakers at the UC meetings.
a wider impact on ESO operations and
the community and require a long-term Year Special topic Invited speakers
investment of resources (for example, it 2010 ALMA operations Elisabeth Humphreys, Dirk Petry
took many years to gradually remove the 2011 APEX operations Marcus Albrecht, Roberto Maiolino
platform dependence for ESO tools). 2012 Public surveys data products Magda Arnaboldi, Jörg Retzlaff
2013 VLTI operations Pierre Kervella, Claudia Paladini

Highlights of UC recommendations and 2014 Observing Tools Livia Origlia

their current status 2015 ESO Archive Celine Peroux, Chris Wegg
2016 APEX operations Claudia Cicone, Helmut Dannerbauer
Observations 2017 Multi-object spectroscopy Barbara Lanzoni, Christophe Adami
A long-standing item that has figured in 2018 ALMA support Frédérique Motte, Cécile Favre
most UC reports is the need to improve
2019 Public surveys David Sobral, Sara Lucatello
the process by which observing propos-

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 9

The Organisation Cioni M.-R. L., The ESO Users Committee: Giving Users a Voice

commissioned, but a close collaboration What has changed? scientists, the ticketing process, the qual-
with the community has rendered it ity of data products, the feedback on
smoother and faster. The large number of Nominations for the Observing observing proposals, and the archive
ESO instruments and observing modes, Programme Committee (OPC) interface are among aspects that are reg-
however, makes it difficult to maintain One recently acquired task of the UC is ularly addressed at UC meetings similarly
pipelines across platforms and include to provide nominations of astronomers to those from La Silla Paranal facilities.
external software (for example, the willing to serve on the OPC. On the one
­astronomical software collection Scisoft), hand, this process has become more Public surveys
especially when resources are shared transparent to the users, who are con- Different types of ESO programmes and
with other tasks. There is also a strong tacted directly by their country represent- public surveys gained momentum from
bimodality between the needs of expert ative, and on the other hand, this is the development of the Visible and
and novice users. The UC has supported more efficient for ESO because it has Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy
data reduction workshops and interfer- resulted in a significant decrease in the (VISTA), following the UK’s joining ESO,
ometry schools to engage the community rejection rate during recruitment. UC rep- and of the Very Large Telescope (VLT)
with the new facilities. The Very Large resentatives either scout within their survey telescope. To carry out these pro-
Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) Expertise community for suitable astronomers or grammes ESO users have formed large
Centres were established last year to are approached by astronomers them- collaborations, obtained large fractions of
assist new users with preparing VLTI pro- selves who wish to serve on the OPC. It telescope time, and are committed to
posals, and to provide advanced support is also possible to indicate an interest in making reduced data products publicly
for VLTI data reduction and interpretation. serving on the OPC via the UC poll. The available. On the ESO side, new proce-
UC members sub­sequently populate a dures to prepare the observations and
Communication database of users from which ESO to ingest the data into the archive were
The ESO ScienceNewsletter has increas- replenishes the OPC on a regular (cur- also established. Feedback from ESO
ingly become the main source of informa- rently biannually) basis. Since the UC was users involved in public surveys or using
tion for users. This is where Calls for entrusted with this task in 2016, the OPC data generated from public surveys has
­Proposals, data releases, upgrades and composition better reflects ESO users been collected and discussed at UC
major changes to ESO tools, as well with respect to gender, seniority and meetings on many occasions, resulting in
as workshops, are announced. Together nationality whilst ensuring the broad sci- recommendations, for example to
with The Messenger they are used to entific expertise required to judge observ- improve the data flow and the associated
increase transparency regarding ESO ing proposals. Recent regulations on data documentation.
operations, as requested by the UC and protection are likely to modify this process
the Visiting Committee. For example, and allow the users to enter their personal Working groups, boards and reviews
­several articles resulted from discussions data directly into an OPC candidate data- UC members have been involved in spe-
about whether to change the time alloca- base while the UC members will remain cific ESO working groups. For example,
tion owing to its possible effects on effi- their primary point of contact. the ESO Science Data Management
ciency in run completion and therefore Working Group and the Time Allocation
on the resulting publications (Primas et ALMA users Working Group (see Patat et al., 2018)
al., 2014; Sterzik et al., 2015 and 2016); ALMA is a partnership of ESO, East Asia were established as a result of the ESO
others refer to encouraging observations and North America, in cooperation 2020 analysis to review the processes
in visitor mode (Rejkuba et al., 2018). with the Republic of Chile. During the involved and to provide suggestions for
last decade, ESO has acquired an future implementations. Feedback from
Software increasing fraction of ALMA users beyond both the STC and the UC on the resulting
The UC has played a major role in prior- the traditional ESO user community. reports was important in planning for
itising the development of ESO software The procedures to obtain and analyse changes. The UC agreed with reducing
for Mac OS X, for example, to prepare ALMA data have been integrated into the the frequency of calls for proposals to
observations and reduce data. We are general ESO operations, after an initial annual calls, coupled with the possibility
also witnessing an increasing usage of period of dedicated activities. The UC has of a fast-track channel for proposals of
the Python coding language. Science en­dorsed this transition and has contrib- limited scope. It also supported the intro-
pipelines for new ESO instruments are uted to unifying the users under one duction of a filler programme and of a
written in Python by instrument consortia ESO umbrella. UC members are chosen special channel for combined ESO–
and have been developed in parallel at to cover the wide expertise of ESO users. ALMA programmes. Furthermore, the UC
ESO, using ESO tools for quality control Members with millimetre/submillimetre favoured the development of tools for
purposes. The software language and competence were retained within the UC data processing, data mining, data analy-
the possible interface between any two for more than the standard three-year sis, and data publication to support
given pipelines for the same application period to deal with specific ALMA results obtained from Principal Investiga-
keep the community divided and this aspects and to make sure that the needs tors as well as archive science.
remains one of the most highly debated of the new community (like that of ALMA
topics at the UC meetings. within ESO) were properly addressed. The original reports and the UC feedback
The support from ALMA Regional Centre are publicly available and were also

10 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

­ istributed to the users by their UC repre-
d develop pipelines, observe with ESO ing the country in which you work in the
sentatives. The UC together with ESO telescopes, extract data from the ESO UC is a highly valuable experience that I
formulated the questionnaire about archive, or process and publish scientific would definitely recommend to you. It
non-publishing programmes (Patat et al., results are not necessarily the same enhances your knowledge of ESO activi-
2017) and more recently also engaged users. Therefore, they are not always ties, and even if you do not need that,
in the review of the ESO data-flow devel- aware of the distribution of ESO resources it allows you to look at them from a differ-
opment plan (Hainaut et al., 2018). to support each of these activities, and ent point of view, taking on board the
UC members had an active role on the sometimes issues may arise as a result of views of many other users.
board for the review of the European misunderstandings or insufficient informa-
ALMA Regional Centre Network Strategic tion. The UC is a crucial means by which Acknowledgements
Plan and are regularly invited to join major the exchange of information takes place.
review panels, for example the Prelimi- The author would like to thank the head of the
nary Design Review of the Multi-AO The UC’s primary interest is in providing Users Support Department (Marina Rejkuba) and the
current chair of the UC (Karina Caputi) for their feed-
Imaging CAmera for Deep Observations feedback on current facilities and ser- back on an earlier version of this article.
(MICADO) and Call for Proposals Readi- vices, but it can also provide advice on
ness Review for the 4-metre Multi-Object what the users find important. Improve-
Spectroscopic Telescope (4MOST). ments in the collaboration between the References
UC and the STC are envisaged, and also Hainaut, O. R. et al. 2018, The Messenger, 171, 8
with the respective sub-committees (for Patat, F. 2017, The Messenger, 170, 51
Forward look example, the La Silla Paranal and the Patat, F. 2018, The Messenger, 173, 7
European Science Advisory Committee) Primas, F. 2014, The Messenger, 158, 8
Rejkuba, M. et al. 2018, The Messenger, 173, 1
There are obviously many aspects that which focus more on future develop- Sterzik, M. et al. 2015, The Messenger, 162, 2
can be improved, but there are many ments, but would also consider current Sterzik, M. et al. 2016, SPIE, 9910, 991003
day-to-day operations to support, and facilities and their use. van Loon, J. 2009, The Messenger, 136, 61
any change to a running system must be Wisotzki, L. 2001, The Messenger, 106, 46
planned and implemented carefully in Users are strongly encouraged to engage
order to avoid disrupting the ongoing with their UC representatives to ensure Links
operations. It is then a task for the UC to that their voices are heard. All the com-
identify which aspects are more relevant ments collected by the UC are passed to  he Rules of Procedure for the ESO Users Com-
for the users and to inform ESO about ESO in a consolidated way; the format mittees/uc/docs/RoP_UC_new.pdf
them, so that priorities can be adjusted to of this feedback may deviate from the 2
ESO’s governing bodies webpage: https://www.
enhance the scientific productivity. Users diverse formats and ways in which inputs
who plan and build ESO instruments, are received from the users. Represent-
ESO/M. Claro

The VLT telescopes at

twilight, the domes are
open in preparation for
another night of obser-

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 11

Telescopes and Instrumentaion

G. Hüdepohl (

Construction site of the

Extremely Large Telescope
on Cerro Armazones in
the Chilean Atacama Desert.
Telescopes and Instrumentation DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5135

ELT – Where the Secondary Mirror Becomes a Giant

Marc Cayrel 1
Michele Cirasuolo 1
Roberto Tamai 1
Christoph Haupt 1
Omar Sqalli 1
Michael Muller 1
Philippe Dierickx 1
Bertrand Koehler 1
Fabio Biancat Marchet 1
Juan Carlos Gonzalez 1
Mauro Tuti 1
& the ELT Team


The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is

at the core of ESO’s vision to deliver the
largest optical and infrared telescope Figure 1. This diagram shows the novel five-mirror mirrors, one convex (M2) and one concave (M3). The
optical system of ESO’s ELT. Before reaching final two mirrors (M4 and M5) form a built-in adaptive
in the world. Following on from our pre-
the science instruments the light first reflects off the optics system to allow extremely sharp images to be
vious Messenger article describing the telescope's giant concave 39-metre segmented formed at the final focal plane.
primary mirror (M1), here we focus on M1 mirror; it then bounces off two 4-metre-class
the secondary (M2) and the tertiary (M3)
mirrors of the ELT, outlining the com-
plexity and challenges involved, and the
current manufacturing status. K-band, thereby providing images mirrors on the 8-metre VLT Unit Tele-
15 times sharper than the Hubble Space scopes are just over 1 metre in diameter.
Telescope. Even more impressively, M2 is larger
Background: how the ELT works than the primary mirror of the VISTA tele-
Translated into astrophysical terms, this scope and indeed the primary mirrors
The optical design of the ELT is based means opening up new discovery of many other telescopes that are operat-
on a novel five-mirror scheme capable of spaces, from exoplanets close to their ing today. There is also the added chal-
collecting and focusing the light from host stars, to black holes, to the building lenge that M2 will hang upside-down
astronomical sources and feeding state- blocks of galaxies – both in the local over the 39-metre M1 mirror, about 60 m
of-the art instruments for imaging and ­Universe and billions of light-years away. above the ground, held in mid-air by its
spectroscopy. As shown in Figure 1, the Specifically, the ELT will be able to detect support structure (called the M2 cell) and
light is collected by the giant 39-metre-­ and characterise extrasolar planets in anchored to the telescope main struc-
diameter M1 mirror and relayed via M2 the habitable zone around our closest ture. The M3 mirror is similarly large and
and M3 (both of which have ~ 4-metre star, Proxima Centauri, and resolve giant complex, with its 4-metre diameter. The
diameters) to M4 and M5, which are the molecular clouds (the building blocks mirrors alone weigh more than 3 tonnes
core of the adaptive optics of the tele- of star formation) down to ~ 50 pc in dis- each; with the cell and structure the
scope. After M5 the light reaches the tant galaxies at redshifts z ~ 2, as well ­overall weight of each assembly is about
instruments on one of the two Nasmyth as even smaller structures in sources that 12 tonnes.
platforms. are gravitationally lensed by foreground
clusters — all with an unprecedented Both M2 and M3 are produced by the
This design provides an unvignetted field sensitivity. German company SCHOTT and are
of view with a diameter of 10 arcminutes made of a special low-expansion glass-
on the sky, an area of ~ 80 square arc- ceramic material called ZERODUR®. This
minutes (1/9 the size of the full moon on The secondary (M2) and the tertiary special material is ideal because it is not
the sky). Thanks to the combined (M3) mirrors sensitive to thermal fluctuations thanks to
­activation of M4 and M5, the ELT will be its very low thermal expansion coefficient.
able to correct for both atmospheric The ELT’s M2 mirror, with its 4.25-metre This means that the form and the shape
­turbulence and the vibration of the tele- diameter, will, like many aspects of the of the mirrors will not change significantly
scope structure itself induced by motion ELT, set another record in the astronomi- with temperature during observations.
and wind. This is crucial to enabling the cal landscape. M2 will be the largest sec- This material is also extremely resistant; it
ELT to reach its diffraction limit, which ondary mirror ever used on a telescope, can be polished to the required finishing
is ~ 8 milliarcseconds (mas) in the J-band and the largest convex mirror ever pro- level and has been used in telescope mir-
(at l ~ 1.2 μm) and ~ 14 mas in the duced. For comparison, the secondary rors for decades.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 13

Telescopes and Instrumentation Cayrel M. et al., ELT – Where the Secondary Mirror Becomes a Giant

The manufacture of the M2 and M3

­mirrors is a great example of the strong
­collaboration between ESO and Euro-
pean industries. The production of
the blanks is being carried out by the
­German company SCHOTT, the final
­polishing of the surface by the French
­company Safran Reosc, and the cells
to hold the mirrors will be made by the
Spanish company SENER.

Challenges with M2 and M3

The M2 mirror is a convex 4.25-metre

F/1.1 thin meniscus, about 100 mm thick,
with an 800-mm central hole. Its optical
surface shape is very aspheric, with
a departure from a sphere that is close to
2 mm. The size, convexity, aperture
ratio and asphericity make this mirror
extremely difficult to polish and test. Figure 2. This image shows some of the people
behind the scenes at the technical acceptance
of the massive 3-tonne blank for the ELT’s M2.
The M3 mirror is a concave 4.0-metre
F/2.6 thin meniscus, about 100 mm thick,
with a 30-mm central hole. Its optical sur-
face shape is mildly aspheric, with a These facilities have been refurbished Both M2 and M3 mirrors are hosted on
departure from a sphere of only about 30 to accommodate the specific require- the telescope in dedicated cells, which
µm. Besides its 4-metre size, the M3 mir- ments of figuring and testing M2 and M3. provide shape adjustment capability to
ror is easier to manufacture and test Each blank follows the same finishing compensate static errors to some extent
compared to the M2, and the required process: adhesive bonding of the invar and position control for locating the
M3 mirror production and metrology pro- interface pads, and then a series of steps ­mirrors within the telescope. The overall
cesses are more common. to achieve the final surface quality; weight of each assembly (mirror and cell)
­grinding and fine grinding to an accuracy is about 12 tonnes and the requirements
The M2 and M3 mirror blanks (i.e., the of a few µm, followed by polishing and to position such a massive structure are
“glass” made by SCHOTT) weigh about figuring to an accuracy of a few nm — really challenging — despite the weight,
3 tonnes each, and require sophisticated about 20 000 times thinner than a human the requisite accuracy of the positioning
production methods and processes. hair. Both the grinding and polishing stage is on the order of just 0.1 mm.
After an initial raw material casting in a ­processes rely on a combination of small
cylindrical mould, each blank is carefully tool figure correction and mid-size tool The cells for M2 and M3 have similar
cooled down and annealed for about smoothing on a dedicated 4-metre figur- design concepts. Each mirror is axially
three months, so as to maximise the ing machine. At the grinding stage the supported on its back surface with
material’s homogeneity, and minimise the mirror figure is monitored using a 4-metre an 18-point whiffletree, and laterally at
internal stresses and the number of bub- 3D coordinate measurement machine 14 points on the mirror’s outer edge. As
bles and inclusions. The resulting glassy (3D CMM). the M3 mirror is away from any pupil,
boule then undergoes a six-month heat the active correction of this mirror is man-
treatment to transform the material into Interferometry testing through null correc- datory. On the other hand, low-order
glass-ceramic and adjust the near-zero tors has been developed for polishing, deformations of the M2 mirror have very
coefficient of thermal expansion to a few using a giant Fizeau Test Matrix for M2 limited error propagation in the field, so
parts per billion accuracy. Each blank is and computer-generated holograms the active shaping of M2 is implemented
then machined to its final geometry, and (CGH) for M3. Both mirrors are supported as a provision only.
acid etched to remove residual subsur- on dedicated active metrology mounts
face damage and maximise the mirror during figuring to accurately match In order to align the M2 mirror with
strength. the force distribution in the mirror cells’ respect to the rest of the optics (M1, M4,
­support. Each mirror requires about two M5), the whole assembly will be moved
The blanks are then transported to Safran years for figuring and polishing, not relative to the telescope structure using
Reosc for figuring and polishing, in the including the time needed to upgrade the six position actuators (hexapod). Three
same facilities where the 8-metre VLT pri- facilities, the production of testing equip- actuators are oriented along the mirror
mary mirrors were polished in the 1990s. ment and commissioning. optical axis, the three others are located

14 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

within the plane of the centre of gravity,
as shown in Figure 3. It is worth noting
that the relative accuracy of this hexapod,
which will move every few minutes, is in
the sub-µm range, which presents a real

M2 and M3 in the making

After sixteen months of manufacturing,

the M2 mirror blank was completed by
the SCHOTT company and accepted in
December 2018 (see Figure 2). It was
then stowed in its transport container
and shipped to France for the final polish-
ing by Safran Reosc in its refurbished
facilities. The VLT M1 facilities have been
modified by Safran Reosc to host the
M2 and M3 mirrors. All aspects related to
their production have been designed,
procured, and installed and are being Figure 3. Rendering of the M2 mirror in its
mirror cell.
commissioned at the time of writing. The
metrology facilities are complete and
ready for the grinding phases. The inter- The M3 mirror blank has also been cast design of the cells is also progressing well
ferometric metrology facilities are in the and is now in its final stages of manu­ at SENER and has successfully passed
final stages of manufacturing. Grinding facturing; it is expected to be completed Preliminary Design Review (Figure 3).
of the M2 mirror started in March 2019. in line with contractual deadlines. The

The M2 blank of the ELT

being transported
to France for final grind-
ing and polishing by
Safran Reosc.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 15

Telescopes and Instrumentation DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5136

MUSE Narrow Field Mode Adaptive Optics

Science Verification

Bruno Leibundgut 1 meeting on 20 June, 16 projects were tial data. Two additional programmes
Roland Bacon 2 selected for a total of 43.5 hours of exe- were attempted but could not be
Fuyan Bian 1 cution time. observed owing to the absence of ade-
Darshan Kakkad 1 quate natural guide stars (either they
Harald Kuntschner 1 The proposers were informed about the were too extended or the on-axis tip-tilt
Fernando Selman 1 outcome of the selection on 26 June reference star turned out to be a double
Elena Valenti 1 2018. The Phase 2 deadline was 20 July star) and two programmes were not
Joël Vernet ¹ 2018. During Phase 2 preparations one started at all. All proposers were informed
Frédéric Vogt 1 of the top-ranked projects had to be about the outcome of their observations
Dominika Wylezalek 1 ­discarded as no reference guide star was on 19 September 2018.
available in the field, reducing the allo-
cated time for science verification obser-
¹ ESO vations to 35 hours. Archive and data processing
CRAL, Observatoire de Lyon,
Saint-Genis Laval, France A wide range of science targets were All raw science verification data are pub-
allocated time. They include: discs in licly available through the ESO science
T Tauri stars; Jovian moons; a circum­ archive. The MUSE NFM AO science
The Narrow-Field Mode (NFM) on the binary exoplanet; globular clusters; ­verification webpage contains direct links
Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer a black hole in a stellar cluster; ultra-­ to the raw data in the archive 4. The sci-
(MUSE) uses laser tomography to cor- compact H II regions; a nearby super- ence verification webpage also provides
rect for atmospheric turbulence at opti- nova; merging galaxies and luminous a link to the data reduction pipeline
cal wavelengths. Science verification infrared galaxies; binary supermassive together with detailed instructions on its
of this new mode of the MUSE instru- black holes; candidate gravitational installation. The new pipeline includes the
ment took place in September 2018. lenses from Gaia; and strongly lensed OCA rules a specific to the NFM and the
The science verification observations quasars. pipeline can be run within the ESO Reflex
were obtained in service mode. Out workflow (Freudling et al., 2013).
of 37 submitted proposals, 16 observ-
ing programmes were scheduled for Observations
a total of 43.5 hours of observations. First science results
The allocation assumed a seeing better The MUSE NFM science verification
than 0.8 arcseconds, i.e., the required nights were scheduled from 7 to We present a few science results that
atmospheric conditions to achieve 11 August 2018. However, the observa- have been achieved with science
effective adaptive optics correction. tions could not take place as planned verification data and demonstrate the
Some of the top priority programmes because of the failure of one of the lasers capabilities offered by this new mode.
could not be executed because the in the 4 Laser Guide Star Facility and
­reference stars were too faint to provide the run had to be postponed until early
sufficient low-order adaptive optics September 2018. Paranal science opera- Circumbinary planet/brown dwarf
­corrections. As shown by the first tions accommodated extra time in
results presented here, the NFM will ­service mode and the rescheduled sci- The recently discovered circumbinary
enable advances across a range of ence verification observations took object 2M0103 b has a mass that lies
­scientific areas, for example, character- place between 5 and 18 September 2018 at the planet/brown dwarf boundary
ising substellar/planetary mass objects, (mostly during half-nights). (Delorme et al., 2013; Janson et al., 2017).
globular clusters, and active galactic The MUSE NFM imaging quality is
nuclei. A strong constraint for MUSE NFM demonstrated by the clear ­separation of
observations is good seeing conditions, the central components of the binary A
so any time with seeing > 0.8 arcseconds and B at < 200 milliarc­seconds. The
Proposal solicitation and submission would have resulted in inadequate cor- observations were taken in good condi-
rections and was returned to regular ser- tions (outside seeing ~ 0.6 arcseconds
The call for science verification proposals vice observing. It was agreed that the and a coherence time t0 ~ 4 ms and the
using MUSE NFM adaptive optics (AO) total allocated time for science verification source as reference star with H = 9.6).
was issued on 30 April 2018 1. It was on MUSE NFM should be a maximum of The two stars are fully resolved. The faint
published in the ESO Science Newslet- 30 hours given the fact that the science low-mass companion can be easily dis-
ter 2 on that day, as was the correspond- verification observations would use the tinguished from the residual point spread
ing science verification webpage 3. By best seeing conditions. In the end a total function halo of the central pair, which
the deadline on 30 May 2018 37 propos- of 27 hours were used for science verifi- would not be possible without the high
als were received, requesting a total of cation observations. AO quality. The RGB image in Figure 1
97 hours. The science verification team has been generated from the MUSE data
ranked the proposals according to scien- Of the 15 scheduled programmes, five cube. This emphasises the extreme red-
tific relevance and at the final selection could be completed and six received par- ness of the cold substellar companion

16 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

relative to the central M-dwarf binary. A Figure 1. RGB image of

Markus Janson
a circumbinary low-
full analysis of the spectra and astrometry
mass object, either an
of both the central binary and the sub- exoplanet or brown
stellar companion is in preparation. dwarf. The central parts
of the image have been
scaled down in flux by
a factor of 200 relative
Globular Cluster to the outer parts in
order to display all com-
NGC 6440 is a massive (M = 4 × 10 5 M⊙ ) ponents of the system
Galactic globular cluster located at
8.5 kpc in the direction of the Milky Way
bulge. The extremely large stellar density
in the core (log r 0 = 10 6 M⊙ pc –3 ) pre-
vented an appropriate exploration of its
innermost kinematics so far. The unprec-
edented characteristics of MUSE NFM
have been exploited to finally probe the
internal kinematics of NGC 6440.
Figure 2 illustrates the potential of MUSE
NFM observations. The ground-based
data achieved an angular resolution com- 1″ = 47 AU
parable to that of the Hubble Space Tele-
scope. From these observations, spectra
of more than 1500 resolved stars could
be extracted and more than 900 stars extracted from the NFM data. Within the Host galaxy of superluminous
have been measured in the innermost inner 3 arcseconds (corresponding to supernova
4 arcseconds from the cluster centre (see about 0.4 pc) over 200 stars can be used
example spectra in Figure 3). for this analysis. Discrete Jeans modelling Superluminous supernovae (SLSNe)
of M54 will be performed with the three are among the most luminous stellar
This demonstrates that with MUSE the MUSE datasets. Already, three different explosions. Most SLSNe have been
radial velocity of hundreds of individual sub-populations of this nuclear star detected in star-forming dwarf galaxies.
stars can be measured in the innermost ­cluster can be distinguished well into the The environment of the hydrogen-rich
core regions of high-density systems central regions. The search for the inter- SLSN PTF10tpz is remarkable in that
at sub-arcsecond scales, opening the mediate-mass black hole continues using
­possibility of properly exploring the inter- these data.
Figure 2. Comparison between a mosaic of two
nal kinematics of Galactic globular clus- reconstructed MUSE NFM images (left) and an
ters where a variety of complex dynami- HST/WFC3 image (right) of the innermost region of
cal phenomena are expected to occur. the massive globular cluster NGC 6440.
Francesco Ferraro

M54 in the Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal


This massive cluster at the nucleus of

the dwarf spheroidal galaxy provides the
chance to explore the inner kinematics
and to search for a potential intermediate-
mass black hole. It has been observed
in all three MUSE modes (natural seeing,
wide-field mode, and now the narrow-
field mode). Images of M54 with the two
MUSE AO modes can be seen in
Figure 4. The increased angular resolu-
tion makes many more stars accessible,
which had previously been blended.
Spectra of about 400 stars with sufficient
signal to measure radial velocities and
perform a population analysis can be

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 17

Francesco Ferraro
Telescopes and Instrumentation Leibundgut B. et al., MUSE Narrow Field Mode Adaptive Optics Science Verification

Mayte Alfaro
I = 14.8
Normalised flux

I = 17.2

I = 19.7

8500 8600 8700

Wavelength (Å)

Figure 4. MUSE WFM AO and NFM observations of an enhanced velocity dispersion and
M54. The WFM image covers 1 × 1 arcminutes and
Figure 3. Examples of MUSE NFM spectra in the non-circular gas velocities (see Figure 6).
calcium triplet region for three stars with different the red box has dimensions of 7.5 × 7.5 arcseconds.
It is roughly perpendicular to the plane
luminosities: a main-sequence-turnoff star (blue), a
red giant at the level of the horizontal branch (black) of the host galaxy disc. This analysis
and a very bright giant in the region of the red giant Starburst–AGN connection used only the best observations (with
tip (red). These lines are perfectly suited to measur- seeing < 0.6 arcseconds and t0 > 6 ms).
ing stellar radial velocities, from which the velocity
The influence of a supermassive black
dispersion profile and, potentially, the rotation curve
of the cluster can be determined. hole on its surroundings can be dramatic.
It can trigger nuclear star formation and Summary
also influence the galaxy as a whole.
respect; not only is the host an At the same time, the exact process fuel- Unsurprisingly, the AO corrections vary
Sa/S0-type galaxy, but AO imaging with ling the black hole is unclear and more critically depending on the atmospheric
the Keck t­elescope revealed that the detailed observations are needed to conditions and the brightness of the
transient is only 250 pc (0.3 arcseconds) explore these connections. NGC 7130 is ­natural reference star. Users need to be
from the galaxy nucleus. This raises the a luminous infrared galaxy that displays aware that they need good conditions
question of how massive stars, which signatures of an AGN as well as nuclear (seeing better than 0.8 arcseconds) to
are thought to be progenitors of SLSNe, starburst activity. achieve a decent AO correction. The cur-
can be formed so close to galaxy nuclei. rent limit of the reference tip-tilt star is
Is star formation enhanced because of The MUSE NFM observations (Knapen, 14 magnitude in H in regular conditions,
active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback, Comerón & Seidel, 2019) have now or 14 < H < 15 under very good condi-
or are these star-forming regions clumps revealed a small kinematically decoupled tions (i.e. 0.6-arcsecond seeing as speci-
formed inside the AGN outflow? core with a radius of 0.2 arcseconds; fied at Phase 1) and represents a signifi-
this could be a very small nuclear disc. In cant restriction on the available science.
The MUSE data of the host of PTF10tpz addition, an outflow can be seen towards Several of the highest-ranked projects
show a ring-like structure rotating around the north-west, possibly a jet emanat- could not be executed because of inade-
the galaxy centre. Emission-line regions ing from the AGN. The outflow shows quate AO correction caused by the faint-
are detected throughout this structure. emission line ratios characteristic of AGN, ness of the natural reference star. A pro-
Assuming that this emission is connected
with star formation, Figure 5 shows a Star formation rate distribution Figure 5. Star formation rate map of
two-dimensional map of the star forma- the inner region of the host galaxy of
Steve Schulze

tion rate (after correcting for Galactic the hydrogen-rich superluminous

supernova PTF10tpz (its position is
and host-internal reddening). The progen- 1.5e-5 marked by +). The inner region of the
itor of PTF10tpz was formed in this ring,
SFR (Mც yr –1 spaxel –1)

S0/Sa-type galaxy reveals a rotating

but not in the region with the highest flux. ring-shaped emission-line region.

A detailed analysis will test whether an 1.0e-5

Assuming that these lines are powered
03ೀ by ionising radiation from star-forming
AGN jet could be interacting with this ring regions, the line fluxes were converted
and what the properties of the stellar into a star formation rate (SFR). Intrigu-
population(s) and the progenitor of hydro- 5.0e-6 ingly, the superluminous supernova
gen-rich SLSNe are. This observation 04ೀ 240 pc did not explode in the brightest part of
the ring complex. The contour lines
demonstrates that MUSE NFM has great indicate the distribution of the contin-
potential to provide new constraints on 329°37ಿ58ೀ 57ೀ 56ೀ 55ೀ uum emission extracted from the
the progenitors of transients. Right ascension MUSE data.

18 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

km s –1
– 150 – 100 – 50 0 50 100 150

–4 –2 0 2 4 –4 –2 0 2 4 –4 –2 0 2 4 –4 –2 0 2 4

HST F555W + ALMA CO(6 – 5 ) MUSE η 1.0 Vgas

4 4 4

2 2 0.5 2

0 0 0.0 0

–2 –2 – 0.5 –2 – 0.5 0.0 0.5


–4 –4 –4 0.0
– 1.0
– 0.5

–4 –2 0 2 4 –4 –2 0 2 4 –4 –2 0 2 4 –4 –2 0 2 4

ject to increase the limiting magnitude by References Figure 6. Comparison of the molecular gas (from
ALMA) and inner galaxy of NGC 7130 (HST image)
employing a different detector in
Delorme, P. et al. 2013, A&A, 553, L5 and the image produced from the collapsed MUSE
GALACSI, MUSE’s AO facility, has begun Freudling, W. et al. 2013, A&A, 559, A96 data cube (left panel). The middle panel shows
and will extend the brightness limit by Janson, M. et al. 2017, A&A, 599, 70 shock-dominated regions (in red) and star formation
about 2 magnitudes, enabling many more Knapen, J. H., Comerón, S. & Seidel, M. K. 2019, regions (in blue) derived from the [O III]/Hb and [N II]/
A&A, 621, L5 Ha line ratios. The velocity dispersion (right panel)
objects to be observed using MUSE NFM.
displays a kinematically decoupled region around
the core (inset) and potentially, an outflow (blue-
Links shifted material) towards the north-west. A kinemati-
Acknowledgements cally decoupled region around the core can be seen
 all for MUSE NFM science verification proposals:
C in the inset of the right panel. This figure has been
We received excellent support at the telescope from adapted from Knapen, Comerón and Seidel (2019).
the Telescope and Instrument Operators. In particu- announcements/sciann17110.html Coordinate labels are in arcseconds. North is up
lar, they accommodated the science verification 2
ESO Science Newsletter from April 2018: and east is to the left.
observations flexibly when they had to be postponed
for technical reasons. We would like to thank the apr2018.html Notes
­following Principal Investigators who kindly provided 3
MUSE NFM science verification webpage: http://
the preliminary science verification results presented a
 CA stands for organisation, classification and
in this article: Markus Janson, Francesco Ferraro, 4
Access to science verification data: http://www. association, and refers to rules which allow: the
Mayte Alfaro, Steve Schulze and Marja Seidel. classification of raw data according to the contents
of the header keywords; their organisation into
appropriate groups for processing; and association
with the required calibration data for processing.
ESO/Daniele Gasparri (

The adaptive optics

­system of Yepun
(Unit Telescope 4 of the
VLT) in operation.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 19

Telescopes and Instrumentation DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5137

Orion-KL Observations with the Extended Tuning Range

of the New SEPIA660 APEX Facility Instrument

Francisco Miguel Montenegro-Montes 1 During Science Verification of the new tral windows in which atmospheric trans-
Karl Torstensson 1 SEPIA660 facility receiver at APEX, mission is high (see Figure 1), allowing
Rodrigo Parra 1 we carried out a shallow line survey of the detection of molecular and atomic
Juan Pablo Pérez-Beaupuits 1 the archetypal Kleinmann-Low Nebula transitions to high redshifts, including
Lars-Åke Nyman 1 in the Orion star forming region (Orion- CO, HCN, HCO+, [C II], [O I]. It is particu-
Claudio Agurto 1 KL). These observations cover the larly challenging to detect interstellar
Francisco Azagra 1 ­tuning range towards the band edges, water, as extremely dry atmospheric
Mauricio Cárdenas 1 which has recently been extended conditions are required. Instrumentation
Edouard González 1 beyond ALMA Band 9 specifications. At groups therefore have to meet the chal-
Felipe MacAuliffe 1 these frequencies, atmospheric trans- lenge of producing sensitive detectors
Paulina Venegas 1 mission is very low but still sufficient to and spectrometers with large bandwidths
Carlos De Breuck 1 detect bright lines in Orion-KL. We in order to exploit premium weather
Per Bergman 2 present the collected spectra and com- ­conditions, thus facilitating the study of
Diah Setia Gunawan 3 pare with surveys from the literature, objects at these wavelengths.
Friedrich Wyrowski 4 demonstrating the capabilities of the
Thomas Stanke 1 instrument.
Victor Belitsky 2 New facility instrumentation at APEX
Mathias Fredrixon 2
Denis Meledin 2 High frequency submillimetre SEPIA is a multi-receiver instrument
Michael Olberg 2 observations (Belitsky et al., 2018) developed by the
Magnus Strandberg 2 Group for Advanced Receiver Develop-
Erik Sundin 2 Submillimetre radiation from space is ment (GARD) 2 at Chalmers University
Joost Adema 5 severely absorbed by water vapour mole- in Sweden. It comprises ALMA Bands 5,
Jan Barkhof 5 cules in the Earth’s atmosphere. This is 7 and 9 (see Figure 1 for their frequency
Andrey Baryshev 5 why ground-based submillimetre astron- coverage). The SEPIA180 dual-polarisa-
Ronald Hesper 5 omy is exclusively conducted at high tion receiver covers frequencies 159–211
Andrey Khudchenko 5 and extremely dry places in the world, GHz and was installed at APEX in 2015.
where the integrated column of precipita- This is an ESO-OSO Principal Investigator
ble water vapour (PWV) is itself submilli- receiver but is offered to APEX user com-
ESO metric. The Chajnantor plateau over the munities of all APEX partners, including
Chalmers University of Technology, Chilean Andes in Chile Is one of the most Chile. One of its main goals is to observe
Onsala Space Observatory (OSO), outstanding sites available and is where the 183.3 GHz water transition and high
Sweden the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment redshift CO lines. The SEPIA345, also
IFA Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile (APEX) a,1 has been successfully operat-
Max-Planck-Institut für Radiastronomie ing for more than a decade, joined more
(MPIfR), Bonn, Germany recently by the Atacama Large Millimeter/ Figure 1. Atmospheric zenith transmission over
NOVA Submillimetre Instrumentation submillimeter Array (ALMA). Chajnantor by Pardo et al. (2001), between 150 and
Group, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, 950 GHz with different amounts of PWV. The
­s pectral coverage of the ALMA bands is indicated
University of Groningen, the Nether- The state-of-the-art instrumentation at along the top axis, as well as the low-frequency
lands these observatories is designed to take and high-frequency ranges of the SEPIA660 band
advantage of several well-defined spec- covered in this survey.

! ! ! ! ! !
  +% '%  







20 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

developed by the GARD team, will likely Line ID f sky [GHz]/SB Signal band fLO Image band Table 1. List of the 12 spectral setups
used in the survey, including the
be delivered in 2020 as a facility receiver. F583L 583.0 LSB 581–585 589.0 593–597
local oscillator frequencies as well as
This is a dual-polarisation, two-sideband F585L 585.0 LSB 583–587 591.0 595–599
the frequency coverages for both side-
(2SB) receiver and will cover the fre- F587L 587.0 LSB 585–589 593.0 597–601 bands. All frequencies are in GHz.
quency range 275–373 GHz, with a F589L 589.0 LSB 587–591 595.0 599–603
simultaneous bandwidth of 8 GHz. More F591L 591.0 LSB 589–593 597.0 601–605
recently, the SEPIA660 receiver was F593L 593.0 LSB 591–595 599.0 603–607
developed by the NOVA instrumentation F715U 715.0 USB 713–717 709.0 701–705
group in Groningen. It was installed F717U 717.0 USB 715–719 711.0 703–707
and commissioned in 2018 and has F719U 719.0 USB 717–721 713.0 705–709
become the first of the second genera- F721U 721.0 USB 719–723 715.0 707–711
tion of facility instruments at APEX. F723U 723.0 USB 721–725 717.0 709–713
F725U 725.0 USB 723–727 719.0 709–713
In 2020, APEX will also host another facil-
ity receiver, the new FaciLity APEX erence target used to monitor instrument is moving southwards within the cluster
Submillimeter Heterodyne instrument performance and is observed regularly (Rodríguez et al., 2017).
(nFLASH), which is currently being for cross calibration of science
assembled by the Max-Planck-Institut für programmes. In this work, we targeted the coordinates
Radioastronomie (MPIfR) instrument of source I (05:35:14.5-05:22:31.0) and
development group in Bonn. This will Orion-KL is the nearest region in which our spatial resolution element is given by
be a powerful dual-band, dual-polarisation high-mass stars are being formed and the antenna half-power beam width
2SB receiver operating simultaneously is located 415 pc from the Sun (Menten et (HPBW), which ranges between 8.6 and
over the 230-GHz and 460-GHz fre- al., 2007). Given its vicinity, brightness 10.7 arcseconds at the observed fre-
quency windows, also possessing an and chemical complexity, O ­ rion-KL has quencies. Thus, our beam area covers
8 GHz intermediate frequency bandwidth. been used for years as a cosmic labora- emission from the complex inner region
tory to study the chemistry of high-mass from which strong molecular outflows
SEPIA660 is an upgraded version of star forming regions. This area contains in Orion-K are likely to originate and also
the former SEPIA Band 9 receiver that a good number of embedded young includes the hot core, source n and
was integrated at APEX in 2016. The ­stellar objects that have also been exten- SMA1. Other strong sources in the clus-
new incarnation was installed and com- sively targeted by many ground- and ter, like the Becklin-Neugebauer object
missioned in the second half of 2018 space-based facilities. Examples include (Becklin & Neugebauer, 1967) or the
and comes with important improvements, deep observations at X-ray wavelengths compact ridge, should be outside the
such as 2SB mixers (see Hesper et al., with Chandra (Getman et al., 2005); in beam coverage.
2017; 2018) with high sideband rejection the mid-infrared with Keck (Shuping et
(> 20 dB), dual polarisation, and an al., 2004); in the near infrared with the Several line surveys of this complex have
extended tuning range from 581 to Son of Isaac (SofI) on the NTT (Muench been published in the literature at
727 GHz. After technical commissioning et al., 2002) and at centimetre wave- submillimetre wavelengths, like the
a call for Science Verification 3 projects lengths with the Karl G. Jansky Very Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO)
was released inviting programmes that Large Array (VLA; Forbrich et al., 2016). observations published by Schilke et al.
could demonstrate the new capabilities of (2001) which cover the frequency range
the receiver. In this context the observa- Much earlier VLA observations of this 607–725 GHz, partially overlapping with
tions presented here were conceived to field had already revealed the presence of our SEPIA660 observations, or observa-
verify the performance of the receiver in several compact radio sources, some tions from the Heterodyne Instrument
its extended tuning range. of which are counterparts of known infra- for the Far Infrared (HIFI) on the Herschel
red sources. Source I was found to be Space Observatory in the framework of
associated with SiO maser emission, the Key Program, Herschel observations
Orion-KL: a laboratory for which is unusual amongst young stellar of EXtraOrdinary Sources (HEXOS;
astrochemistry objects. Extensive follow-up observations Crockett et al., 2014).
have been made of this object, one of
Given the low atmospheric transmission the more massive and more luminous in
at the edges of the SEPIA660 frequency the region (see for example, Hirota, Kim SEPIA660 observations
window, we decided to observe one & Honma, 2016, and references therein).
of the brightest and better-known star- Close to Source I is SMA1 and source n. The Orion-KL observations were carried
forming regions, Orion-KL (Kleinmann & The former is detected at submillimetre out on 13 October 2018 over almost
Low, 1967), where a good number of wavelengths but not at X-ray or centime- three hours, including pointing, focus,
bright transitions are expected even in a tre wavelengths; this is probably due to calibrations and the spectral survey.
relatively short exposure. Because of its being one of the youngest members in Weather conditions were not ideal for
the dense line forest in almost all mm and the evolving cluster. Source n has a dou- submillimetre observations (PWV was
sub-mm windows, Orion-KL is a key ref- ble-peaked morphology and like source I 0.7 mm) but were sufficiently good to

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 21

Telescopes and Instrumentation Montenegro-Montes F. M. et al., Orion-KL Observations

Figure 2. The composite spectrum observed with

CH 30H

CH 30H

H 2C0 2
atm- 0 3

SEPIA660. The three upper panels correspond to
H 2C0

S0 2

S0 2
S0 2

S0 2
the low-frequency coverage, and the lower ones to


the high-frequency window. The most ­p rominent
T*A (K)

detected lines of selected molecules have

20 been labelled. The portion between 715 and
716 GHz was removed for clarity as it corresponds
0 to severe absorption by atmospheric O2.
581 582 583 584 585 586 587 588 589 590
Frequency (GHz)
This approach guarantees homogeneous
coverage of all of the low and high
CH 30H

CH 30H

­frequency ranges (581–607 and 701–



S0 2

S0 2


727 GHz, respectively), combining

T*A (K)

the two sidebands. Each tuning was

observed for 60 seconds, so each part
of the spectrum was covered twice
thanks to the frequency overlap between
590 591 592 593 594 595 596 597 598
Frequency (GHz)
adjacent tunings.

CH 3CN We used the wobbling secondary at a

CH 30H
CH 30H

H 2C0

rate of 1.5 Hz to remove the contribution


S0 2
S0 2

S0 2

S0 2

S0 2
S0 2



from atmospheric emission. We switched
T*A (K)

from the target with an azimuthal ampli-

tude of +/– 150 arcseconds in symmetric
mode. Since none of the signal or image
bands include CO lines, contamination
598 599 600 601 602 603 604 605 606 607
Frequency (GHz)
from the off position should not be an
issue for the great majority of spectral
lines detected.
CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H
H 2C0

H 2S
S0 2

S0 2

S0 2

S0 2

S0 2

S0 2

The datasets were initially calibrated
T*A (K)

online by the APEX calibrator software,

which uses a single opacity correction
over each 2.5 GHz segment of the
­backend. The atmospheric variation in the
701 702 703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710
Frequency (GHz)
observed bands requires a finer fre-
quency grid for the opacity calibration
correction to effectively remove the
CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H


H 2C0

atmospheric features. Therefore, we



S0 2

S0 2

S0 2

S0 2

S0 2

re-calibrated the data channel-wise


T*A (K)

02 offline (each channel corresponds to

20 atm ~ 0.08 MHz). This vectorised method was
recently implemented by our online cali-
brator software and from 2019 onwards
710 711 712 713 714 715 716 717 718
Frequency (GHz)
has become the default method applied
to all APEX data. We compared the online
and offline calibration and could verify
CH 30H
CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H
CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H
H 2C0

that the channel-wise approach substan-

S0 2

S0 2

S0 2



tially improves the calibration around

T*A (K)

the 715.4 GHz molecular oxygen line and

a few of the strongest ozone lines. We
note, however, that owing to the very low
transmission at the lower end of the
718 719 720 721 722 723 724 725 726 727
Frequency (GHz)
low-frequency window, the calibration is
not able to fully remove the atmospheric
detect the brightest lines in our target. and overlaps with the next one by 2 GHz. ozone line at 582.14 GHz.
We covered the sky frequencies between A similar strategy was followed over the
581 and 595 GHz with six spectral set- high-frequency range, 713 to 722 GHz In order to produce the final spectra,
ups. Each setup covers 4 GHz in the sig- (see Table 1 for details). we removed the outermost 50 MHz at the
nal band (and 4 GHz in the image band) edges of the band and 100 MHz in

22 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

3GHRVNQJ /$72$/( 



Figure 3. A selected portion of the SEPIA660 spec- not subtracted any baseline to the spec- trum, resampled to 0.5 km s – 1 perfectly
trum and comparison with a similar dataset by CSO
tra shown in Figure 2. matches the 1 MHz resolution of the CSO
(Schilke et al., 2001). The temperature scale is arbi-
trary, and an offset between the spectra has been data. Since the CSO receiver had DSB
introduced to enable comparison. It is beyond the scope of this article to mixers, both sidebands are superposed
make a complete census and characteri- in the final spectrum. In order to separate
the overlap region to avoid the aliasing sation of molecular transitions; rather these, Schilke et al. (2001) had to observe
effects of the spectrometers. Spectra we show the most prominent transitions several spectra with different local oscilla-
have been resampled from their original from the species that are known to exist tor frequencies and then apply a maxi-
spectral resolution to 0.5 km s –1 which in this region, and compare these with mum entropy deconvolution algorithm.
corresponds to about 1 MHz. previous existing data in the literature. Because SEPIA660 is a 2SB receiver,
We have added labels in Figure 2 to the both sidebands are recorded separately,
strongest lines detected in our survey: and no extra deconvolution is needed.
Results and comparison with literature mostly vibrationally excited transitions In addition, the high sideband rejection
from methanol (CH3OH), methyl cyanide ratio ensures minimum contamination
Figure 2 shows the composite spectrum (CH3CN), formaldehyde (H2CO), sulphur from the signal (and noise) between side-
of the two spectral windows observed. oxides (SO, SO2, 34 SO), deuterated water bands. Even if the root-mean-square
In the low-frequency window (upper three (HDO), hydrogen cyanide (HCN), isocya- noise per channel is comparable in both
panels), a gradual increase of noise nide (HNC) and formylium (HCO+). APEX and CSO spectra, Figure 3 shows
towards lower frequencies results from that the baseline of the APEX/SEPIA660
the increase in atmospheric opacity. In Figure 3, we compare a portion of our spectrum is much flatter and that weaker
For the same reason the higher signal-to- spectrum with the same frequency cover- lines are detected with higher signal-to-
noise corresponds to frequencies age published by Schilke et al. (2001), noise ratios.
between 700 and 710 GHz. More pre- taken with the 650-GHz facility dual-side-
cisely, the noise level is around 1 K root- band (DSB) receiver at the CSO. The The part of the spectrum between 725
mean-square in the range 580–585 GHz CSO observations cover the same region and 727 GHz that is not covered by the
and ten times lower at 702—704 GHz. as ours and use a similar beam size CSO observations from Schilke et al.
There is substantial continuum emission (~ 11 arcseconds) so this is an ideal data- (2001) is shown in red in Figure 4. This is
over the band and we have set for comparison. Our SEPIA660 spec- the last tuning in our frequency range
and has only half of the integration time
(60 seconds with no overlap). In addition,
This work (APEX/SEPIA660) atmospheric transmission is very low
30 HEX0S (Herschel/HIFI) (< 10%), but one can still clearly detect
more than 15 lines.
CH 30H
CH 30H

CH 330H

CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H
CH 30H

CH 30H

CH 30H
CH 30H

CH 30H
CH 30H

CH 30H

T (K) (arbitrary scale)

H 2C0




10 Figure 4. Selected portion of the SEPIA660 spec-

trum (in red) not covered by the CSO data. Labels
5 have been added to detected lines. The HEXOS
spectrum from Herschel/HIFI is also shown for com-
parison (in black). Note that the temperature scale
725.00 725.25 725.50 725.75 726.00 726.25 726.50 726.75 727.00 is arbitrary, and an offset between the spectra has
Frequency (GHz) been introduced to enable comparison.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 23

Telescopes and Instrumentation Montenegro-Montes F. M. et al., Orion-KL Observations

While this portion of the spectrum is not The relatively short observations toward Hesper, R. et al. 2018, Proceedings of the 29th
Orion-KL presented here demonstrate International Symposium on Space THz Tech­
covered by the CSO dataset, it can be
nology, Pasadena, March 2018
compared with the Herschel-HIFI obser- the capabilities of SEPIA660 in its Hirota, T., Kim, M. K. & Honma, M. 2016, ApJ, 817,
vations from the HEXOS Key Program b. extended tuning range, a range not avail- 168
To compare our data, we need to keep in able in the previous incarnation of the Kleinmann, D. E. & Low, F. J. 1967, ApJ, 149, L1
instrument, and somewhat beyond the Menten, K. M. et al. 2007, A&A, 474, 515
mind the different spatial resolutions of
Muench, A. A. et al. 2002, ApJ, 573, 366
Herschel and APEX. At this frequency the ALMA specifications. Even with the very Pardo, J. R. et al. 2001, IEEE Trans. Antennas and
Herschel beam size is ~ 30 arcseconds, low atmospheric transmission available in Propagation, 49/12, 1683
i.e., an area that is about 11 times bigger this frequency range, we can detect more Rodríguez, L. F. et al. 2017, ApJ, 834, 140
than 100 strong lines in this archetypical Schilke, P. et al. 2001, ApJSS, 132, 281
than the APEX beam. The Herschel spec-
Shuping, R. Y., Morris, M. & Bally, J. 2004, AJ, 128,
trum therefore contains emission from star-forming region. The good sideband 363
several distinct spatial and velocity com- rejection ratio ensures very little conta­
ponentsc, namely the “hot core”, the mination between sidebands and makes
this instrument ideal for molecular line Links
“compact ridge”, the “plateau” and the
“extended ridge”; all with slightly different surveys and for studying the chemistry of 1
APEX webpage:
line widths and different velocities relative the interstellar medium in our Galaxy. 2
T he GARD team website: https://www.chalmers.
to the local standard of rest, vlsr. se/en/departments/see/research/OSO/gard
T he Call for SEPIA660 Science Verification: https://
The HIFI spectrum is also shown in band-9.html
Figure 4 (in black). The noise level is We thank P. Schilke for kindly providing the CSO
much smaller (~ 30 mK) in the Herschel spectrum displayed in Figure 4. This work was sup-
data, but with only 60 seconds integra- ported by the Chilean CONICYT astronomy pro-
gramme, ALMA-CONICYT funds, ALMA Support
tion and a very low atmospheric trans- a
 PEX is a collaboration between the MPIfR, OSO,
Astronomer Position (Project No. 31AS002).
mission, SEPIA660 can detect the most and ESO, with Chile as the host country.
prominent features. Long vertical lines b
T he HEXOS Orion-KL spectrum was obtained
through the NASA Infrared Processing and Analy-
mark the peak intensities of three References
sis Center (IPAC) Infrared Science Archive, which
selected line profiles (HNC, H2CO and is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
Becklin, E. E. & Neugebauer, G. 1967, ApJ, 147, 799
(CH3OH) and different velocity offsets are Belitsky, V. et al. 2018, A&A, 612, A23 ­California Institute of Technology, under contract
visible between the two spectra at these Crockett, N. R. et al. 2014, ApJ, 787, 112 with NASA.
See Crockett et al. (2014) for a detailed description
transitions, each of them tracing different Getman, K. V. et al. 2005, ApJS, 160, 353
Forbrich, J. et al. 2016, ApJ, 822, 93 of the different Orion-KL components.
gas components.
Hesper, R. et al. 2017, IEEE Transactions on
Terahertz Science and Technology, vol. 7, no. 6,
ESO/M. Alexander

APEX is situated on the

Chajnantor plain at
5000 metres altitude.

24 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

Telescopes and Instrumentation DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5138

Peering through SPHERE Images:

A Glance at Contrast Limitations

Faustine Cantalloube1 ESO Paranal Observatory (Beuzit et al.,

Kjetil Dohlen2 2019). The common path infrastructure of
Julien Milli 3 SPHERE is equipped with an extreme
Wolfgang Brandner1 adaptive optics (AO) system known as 9
Arthur Vigan2 SAXO (Fusco et al., 2006) and corona-
graphs (such as the apodised Lyot 7
Coronagraph, APLC; see Carbillet et al., 5
 ax Planck Institute for Astronomy,
M 2011 and Guerri et al., 2011), allowing it to 3,4
­Heidelberg, Germany recover the diffraction-limited angular
L aboratoire d’Astrophysique de resolution of the 8-metre telescope and
­Marseille, Aix Marseille Université, to reach a contrast of 10 – 4 at a few hun-
CNRS, CNES, France dred milliarcseconds in the raw images.
ESO This common path infrastructure feeds 6
three scientific instruments 1: the InfraRed
­Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph 10 λ/D
Various structures are visible within (IRDIS; Dohlen et al., 2008), the Integral
Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Field Spectrograph (IFS; Claudi et al.,
Exoplanet REsearch instrument 2008) and the Zurich Imaging POLarime- Figure 1. Typical image obtained with the SPHERE-
IRDIS instrument (H2 narrow-band filter at 1.6 µm).
(SPHERE) images that are not always ter (ZIMPOL; Schmid et al., 2018).
The various structures are highlighted with numbers
straightforward to interpret. In this referring to the figure(s) in which they are explained.
­article we present a review of these Since 2014, the SPHERE instrument has The yellow dot in the top right-hand corner indicates
­features and demonstrate their origin delivered a wide variety of astrophysical that this is a real on-sky image taken with SPHERE.
using simulations. We also identify results and impressive images (including
which expected or unexpected features nine ESO press releases 2). So far, high-order optical aberrations within
are limiting the contrast reached by SPHERE has contributed to the discovery SPHERE; and (v) photon and detector
the instrument and how they may of two confirmed exoplanets (HIP65426b, noise. The overall light path is schemati-
be tackled. This vision paves the way to Chauvin et al., 2017; and PDS70b, cally presented in Figure 2 (from left to
designing a future upgrade of the ­Keppler et al., 2018) and additional candi- right) where the light is propagated from
SPHERE instrument and the next gen- dates are being followed up with the pupil planes to focal planes by a Fourier
eration of high-contrast instruments SpHere INfrared survey for Exoplanets transform, under the Fraunhofer far-
such as those planned for the (SHINE; Chauvin et al., 2017) within the field approximation. At the entrance of
Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO). this setup, the SAXO residual phase is
From the current results, a clear paucity simulated using a Fourier-based analyti-
of giant planets appears beyond typically cal code (Jolissaint et al., 2006) from
Imaging exoplanet and circumstellar 10 astronomical units. Can we improve which an instantaneous coronagraphic
discs with SPHERE the current SPHERE limitations to access exposure is produced. “Pseudo-long
closer separations and fainter objects? exposures”, are obtained by summing
Direct imaging provides key information 500 temporally uncorrelated exposures.
for understanding the nature of exo­ The unique combination of extreme
planets, their formation and evolution AO correction and the coronagraph The final simulated images have the same
processes. It is complementary to other reveals very faint structures in the images spectral response as the SPHERE filters 3,
detection techniques since (i) it is biased that were not always expected. In order by summing images at different wave-
towards distant giant gaseous planets to better understand the images deliv- lengths over every nanometre. Most of
hosted by young stars, (ii) it enables ered by SPHERE and to provide clues the figures presented here show two sim-
direct extraction of the planet’s thermal about its current limitations, and thus to ulated images: one using an ideal coro-
emission and its spectrum and (iii) it shed light onto future high-contrast nagraph, which perfectly cancels the light
reveals the planet in its birth environment instru­mentation pathways, we present diffracted by a fully circular telescope
and its connection to the circumstellar and explain the various features visible in aperture (Sauvage et al., 2010), and
disc’s properties. Dedicated instruments the SPHERE images (see Figure 1) by which is affected only by residual phase
have been built worldwide to scrutinise comparing on-sky images to simulations. errors from the AO system in addition to
very short separations (below 500 milli- the phase term from which the feature
arcseconds), and reach very high con- To simulate SPHERE images, the follow- originates; the other one using an APLC
trasts (more than 10 – 6) between the host ing are included: (i) the VLT pupil show- coronagraph, affected by all of the main
star and its planetary companions in the ing central obstruction and spiders hold- phase error terms visible in SPHERE
near infrared (NIR). ing the secondary mirror; (ii) von ­Karman images. The figures illustrating the pupil
atmospheric turbulence (at seeing plane images are shown in blue and the
In 2014, the SPHERE instrument was ~ 0.85 arcseconds) and its correction by focal plane images are shown in red. A
installed on Unit Telescope 3 (Melipal) of the SAXO AO; (iii) the Apodized Pupil Lyot yellow circle in the top right-hand corner
the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Coronograph (APLC); (iv) the remaining indicates real images from SPHERE. All

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 25

Telescopes and Instrumentation Cantalloube F. et al., Peering through SPHERE Images

Residual VLT pupil Coronagraph Coronograph Coronagraph IRDIS detector

atmospheric apodizer focal plane mask Lyot stop (H2 band)

Figure 2. SPHERE-IRDIS APLC coronagraphic setup by placing an opaque mask in the focal (Soummer et al., 2005). As a result, under
used to produce the simulations. Phase and ampli-
plane before re-imaging the star very good conditions SPHERE can
tude are shown in the pupil planes (blue) and inten-
sity in the detector plane (red). (Figure 3b). The very central part of the reach a contrast of up to 10 – 4 at 250 milli-
image shows a bright spot where one arcseconds in the raw coronagraphic
images are cropped to 200 × 200 pixels might naïvely expect a dark spot; this is image with a 50% transmission at
(about 2.5 arcseconds). the so-called Poisson or Arago spot, 100 milliarcseconds in the H-band 4.
which is due to diffraction by the corona-
graphic focal plane mask. Effect of the VLT pupil on the corona-
Dissection of a SPHERE image graph signature (Figure 4)
To remove the diffraction pattern due to The coronagraph design, its resulting
The coronagraph is essential to reaching the telescope aperture, a Lyot stop is performance, and the central image pat-
high contrast at close separation from placed in the following pupil plane, con- tern are all driven by the shape of the
the star. Its role is to suppress as much sisting of a wider central obstruction, ­telescope pupil. From a circular pupil
diffracted light from the star as possible wider spiders and smaller outer diameter (Figure 4a) to a centrally obscured pupil
while preserving any other astrophysical (Figure 3c). In order to smooth the sharp (Figure 4b), a brighter ring appears close
signal present in the field of view. edges of the VLT pupil and thus avoid to the star. When the spiders are added
strong diffraction effects (ripples in the
Effect of the coronagraph (Figure 3) focal plane, as in the Gibbs effect), a
Without a coronagraph, the diffracted pupil apodiser is placed upstream of the Figure 3. Illustration of the APLC coronagraph effect
light of the central star, i.e., the point coronagraph focal plane mask (Figure (H2-band): (a) non-coronagraphic image, (b) corona-
graphic image with only the focal plane mask,
spread function (PSF), hides its environ- 3d). Its transmission function has been (c) adding the Lyot stop downstream of the focal
ment (Figure 3a). It is possible to block optimised to avoid these ripples while plane mask, (d) adding the SPHERE pupil apodiser
the light of the inner core of the PSF keeping a high throughput and resolution upstream of the focal plane mask.

(a) 10 λ/D (b) 10 λ/D (c) 10 λ/D (d) 10 λ/D

26 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

(a) 2 λ/D (b) 2 λ/D (c) 2 λ/D (d) 2 λ/D

this bright secondary ring is broken into 2014) wavefront sensor (WFS) to sense Figure 4. Illustration of the VLT pupil effect on the
APLC coronagraphic images (Y2-band): (a) full circu-
four petals (Figures 4c and d). These pat- the phase of the incoming wavefront at
lar aperture, (b) pupil with central obstruction, (c) VLT
terns are strongly dependent upon 1380 Hz; and (c) a real time computer to pupil including spiders and central obstruction and
the observing wavelength as the size of analyse the wavefront and compute the (d) corresponding on-sky SPHERE-IRDIS image.
the focal plane mask is fixed — Figure 4 correction command to be sent to the
shows the specific case of Y-band deformable mirrors (DMs) in real time. (Figure 5b). The seeing-limited region lies
images at 1.02 µm to highlight this effect. When the target is faint, the main error outside of this corrected area, where
comes from the measurement noise. In the contrast reached is primarily limited
A second type of feature apparent on the following, the target star is consid- by the seeing conditions.
the images originates from the SAXO sys- ered bright enough (less than 8 magni-
tem. SAXO is composed of three main tudes in the V-band) to ignore this error. In SPHERE images, the correction ring
elements: (a) a piezo stack high-order shows two bright patterns in the horizon-
deformable mirror (HODM) with 41 actua- The fitting error (Figure 5) tal direction (Figure 1, dark blue) which
tors across the pupil and a tip-tilt As the number of HODM actuators is are due to the imprint of the HODM actu-
deformable mirror (TTDM) to modulate finite, only the low frequencies up to the ator grid. The HODM is made up of linear
the incoming phase distorted by the cut-off frequency, defined by the HODM arrays of 22 piezostack actuators joined
atmospheric turbulence; (b) a inter-actuator pitch, can be corrected. in the middle. We can visualise this
Shack-Hartman (SH; Sauvage et al., The simulated AO residual phase includ- HODM grid by using the Zernike sensor
ing only the fitting error (Figure 5a) shows for Extremely accurate measurements of
Figure 5. Illustration of the correction radius due to residuals with a typical size equal to the Low-level Differential Aberrations
the fitting error (H2-band): (a) AO residual phase with inter-actuator spacing and smaller. In (ZELDA; N’ Diaye et al., 2013) that is a
only the fitting error, (b) corresponding ideal corona-
graphic image showing a perfect dark hole, (c) the
the focal plane image it creates a central phase mask placed at the location of the
real HODM physical shape is not homogeneous and circular dark zone, called the corrected coronagraph FPM converting upstream
(d) this results in additional patterns in the image. area, delimited by the correction ring phase errors into intensity. An example

(a) (c)
(b) 10 λ/D (d) 10 λ/D

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 27

Telescopes and Instrumentation Cantalloube F. et al., Peering through SPHERE Images

(b) 10 λ/D (c) 10 λ/D (d) 10 λ/D

ZELDA image taken on internal source is typical cross shape along this preferential Figure 6. Illustration of the folded light in the cor-
rected zone due to the aliasing error (H2-band):
shown in F ­ igure 5c (Vigan et al., 2018). direction. Moreover the aliasing effect
(a) AO residual phase showing lower spatial
When propagating this phase, the result- involves spatial frequencies close to the ­f requencies, (b) simulated ideal coronagraphic
ing image shows these patterns (Figure HODM cut-off frequency and therefore image, (c) simulated APLC coronagraphic image and
5d). In order to avoid the light diffracted the aliasing effect is more intense close (d) on-sky image where aliasing dominates.
by defective actuators of the HODM to the corrected radius. To bypass this
reaching the image, the coronagraph Lyot aliasing effect, a field stop (a square hole
stop was remanufactured with 6 patches of variable size) is placed upstream of
to hide dead actuators (Figure 2). the SH-WFS to filter out the high frequen-
cies that can neither be analysed nor cor- spots in the image, which are usually too
The aliasing error (Figure 6) rected (Poyneer et al., 2004; Fusco et al., faint to be observed in SPHERE images.
The WFS has limited spatial sampling of 2014). Depending on the seeing condi- In addition, owing to the finite spectral
the incoming phase and, as a result, tions, different filter sizes can be used to bandwidth of SPHERE, the satellite spots
the uncorrected high spatial frequencies minimise aliasing; the smallest filter size are always slightly radially elongated
of the atmospheric turbulence may be can be used under very good observing (Figure 7b).
seen by the WFS as low spatial frequen- conditions as this effect increases with
cies (Figure 6a). The HODM then corrects the seeing. This waffle mode is commonly applied at
these frequencies, but since they are not the beginning of the observing sequence
real some light is instead scattered into The satellite spots (Figure 7) to estimate the location of the centre
the corrected area (Figures 6b-d). This Sometimes two perpendicular sine waves of the star behind the coronagraph signa-
aliasing effect is amplified along the WFS are applied to the HODM (the so-called ture in the final image, which is precisely
sub-aperture directions, giving rise to a “waffle mode”, Figure 7a). This pattern located at the intersection of the four
creates four satellite spots in the focal satellite spots. Note that as a result of its
plane image. Each spot is a pure copy of manufacturing process, the grid of the
Figure 7. Illustration of the satellite spots (H2-band):
the star image and hence shows the HODM creates a similar pattern, provok-
(a) waffle pattern applied on the HODM with a fre- same aberrations (Figures 7b and c). The ing the presence of bright spots along
quency of 14 cycles per pupil diameter, (b) simulated intensity of the satellite spots is given by the HODM grid direction (horizontally
ideal coronagraphic image obtained with the waffle the sine wave amplitude, their position by and vertically) located at 40 l/D in the
pattern added to the AO residual phase resulting
in four satellite spots located at 14 l/D, (c) simulated
the sine wave frequency; their direction is SPHERE images (l being the observation
APLC coronagraphic image and (d) on-sky image perpendicular to the sine wave direction. wavelength and D the effective telescope
taken with the waffle mode. Secondary orders create multiple satellite diameter).

(b) 10 λ/D (c) 10 λ/D (d) 10 λ/D

28 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

(b) 10 λ/D (c) 10 λ/D (d) 10 λ/D

Figure 8. Illustration of the non-common path for in the AO arm, but that are not pres- speeds move the upper level atmos-
aberrations (H2-band): (a) non-common path aberra-
ent in the light path of the scientific sub- pheric turbulence across the pupil con-
tions phase map upstream of the coronagraph focal
plane mask estimated using the ZELDA mask, (b) systems and vice-versa. Like the AO siderably faster than the AO loop can
simulated APLC coronagraphic image using this residuals, they distort the wavefront so correct for. The AO residual phase shows
estimated ZELDA phase map, (c) internal source that each incoming light ray interferes strong atmospheric residuals with a
image and (d) on-sky image where the non-common
with the others in the focal plane to form clear directional pattern along the wind
path aberrations are dominant.
the “speckle field” (Figure 8b). The size direction (Figure 9a). When propagat-
of each speckle is typically that of one ing this phase, it produces a typical but-
The contrast killers resolution element (1 l/D), as for plane- terfly-shaped structure in the focal
tary signals, and their typical contrast plane image, along the wind direction
In the context of high-contrast imaging can go up to 10 – 4, whereas that of the (Figures 9b–d). This temporal error signifi-
with instruments such as SPHERE, sought planetary signals is less than 10 – 6. cantly affects the contrast reached by
two major aspects greatly affect the final the instrument (Mouillet et al., 2018).
­contrast performance: (i) the errors that Advanced post-processing techniques Recent studies have shown that the fast,
provoke starlight leakage out of the are then necessary to detect exoplanet high-altitude jet stream atmospheric
­coronagraph; and (ii) the errors that are signals. NCPA that are located upstream layer (typically located at about 12 km
not temporally stable, or more generally of the coronagraph focal plane mask above Cerro Paranal), whose wind speed
not deterministic, and hence cannot be have been recently measured thanks to can reach 50 m s – 1, is the main cause
removed by any current post-processing the ZELDA mask on the SPHERE internal of the wind-driven halo (for example,
techniques. In the following we focus on source (Figure 8a, Vigan et al., 2018). Madurowicz et al., 2018). Moreover, this
the errors affecting the corrected area in When comparing the image simulated halo shows an unexpected asymmetry
the images, that is to say low-order resid- using this NCPA measurement (Figure 8b) caused by interference between this tem-
ual aberrations. to the internal source image (Figure 8c), poral lag error and scintillation errors
a similar speckle field is observed. Under
The non-common path aberrations good observing conditions, such a Figure 9. Illustration of the wind-driven halo due to
(Figure 8) speckle field is indeed limiting the con- the Jetstream layer (IFS, Y-band): (a) AO residual
Under very good conditions, current trast reached in the AO-corrected zone phase map showing large atmospheric residuals as
high-contrast images are limited by (Figure 8d). ripples perpendicular to the wind direction,
(b) simulated ideal coronagraphic image using only
speckles originating from non-common this phase map, (c) simulated APLC coronagraphic
path aberrations (NCPA). These are aber- The wind-driven halo (Figure 9) image and (d) on-sky image where the wind-driven
rations that are sensed and corrected This halo appears when high wind halo dominates.

(b) 10 λ/D (c) 10 λ/D (d) 10 λ/D

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 29

Telescopes and Instrumentation Cantalloube F. et al., Peering through SPHERE Images

(b) 10 λ/D (c) 10 λ/D (d) 10 λ/D

Figure 10. Illustration of the low order residuals before the coronagraph focal plane phase error (Figure 11a). The correspond-
(K1-band): (a) Tilt phase map added to the AO resid-
mask, to estimate the position of the PSF ing PSF shape is modified, often appear-
ual phase, (b) simulated ideal coronagraphic image
with only tilt error added to the AO residuals, core every second; that is then centred ing with two bright side lobes surround-
(c) simulated APLC coronagraphic image and by the tip-tilt mirror of SPHERE. When the ing the central PSF core, and hence this
(d) on-sky image where LORs dominate. target star is faint (around 8 magnitudes is unofficially referred to as the “Mickey
in H-band) the integration time on the Mouse effect“. Since the starlight is
­differential tip-tilt sensor is longer, which no longer concentrated in the central
whose effect is also stronger with higher- potentially causes stronger low-­order core (Figures 11b and 11c), this results in
altitude turbulence (Cantalloube et al., residuals. Also, as the size of the focal strong starlight leakage off the corona-
2018). plane mask is fixed, the effect of the graph focal plane mask (Figure 11d). This
low-order residuals in the final image is effect is always present to some degree
Low-order residuals (Figure 10) stronger when the observing wavelength and becomes dominant when the wind
Tip-tilt errors (Figure 10a) create image jit- increases (Figure 10d). speed is too slow to reduce the tempera-
ter. Consequently, the PSF core is not ture difference between the spiders and
correctly centred behind the coronagraph The low wind effect (Figure 11) the ambient air (Figure 11e).
focal plane mask. In addition, the diffrac- During the night, the M2 spiders can cool
tion patterns from the pupil and the below the ambient air temperature by To mitigate the low wind effect at the VLT,
­spiders are not entirely hidden by the radiative losses as their emissivity is sig- the M2 spiders were covered with a low-
Lyot stop (Figures 10b and 10c). Fast low-­ nificantly higher than that of air. As a con- emissivity coating, thus preventing strong
order residuals may arise from residual sequence, under low wind conditions, a radiative cooling. This solution has proven
atmospheric turbulence and telescope layer of colder air — which therefore has effective, reducing the occurrence of this
vibrations, while atmospheric disper­- higher refractive index — forms around effect from 18% to 3% (Milli et al., 2018).
sion residuals and differential thermo-­ the spider (Sauvage et al., 2015). When
mechanical effects cause slow low-order the windspeed is high, the dense air
residuals. is blown away, but when the wind is slow, Figure 11. Illustration of the low wind effect
an abrupt change of air index is seen (H2-band): (a) Differential tip-tilt phase map due to
In SPHERE, these slow residuals are min- from one side of the spider to the other. low wind effect, (b) simulated non-coronagraphic
imised by a differential tip-tilt sensor As a result, and since the SH-WFS is PSF, (c) corresponding on-sky image of the
non-coronagraphic PSF, (d) simulated APLC corona-
(Baudoz et al., 2010). This differential tip- insensitive to such a phase step, each graphic image including the differential tip-tilt phase
tilt sensor uses 2% of the infrared light at quarter (or fragment) of the pupil shows a map and (e) on-sky image where the low wind effect
the observing wavelength, picked-off just different piston, and sometimes tip-tilt dominates.

(b) 1 λ/D

(c) 1 λ/D
(d) 10 λ/D (e) 10 λ/D

30 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

Towards the future generation of High deformable mirror. On the coronagraph Cantalloube, F. et al. 2018, A&A, 620, L10
Chauvin, G. et al. 2017, A&A, 605, L9
Contrast Imaging (HCI) instruments side, by designing a coronagraph that
Chauvin, G. et al. 2017, SF2A 2017, 331
is achromatic and less sensitive to Claudi, R. U. et al. 2008, SPIE, 7014, 70143E
Going from the first generation of low-order residuals (for example, pupil Delorme, P. et al. 2017, A&A, 608, A79
exoplanet imagers, such as the Nasmyth plane coronagraph) and offers a smaller Dohlen, K. et al. 2008, SPIE, 7014, 70143L
Fusco, T. et al. 2006, Optics Express, 14, 7515
Adaptive Optics System – Near-Infrared inner working angle. On the instrument
Fusco, T. et al. 2014, SPIE, 9148, 91481U
Imager and Spectrograph (NaCo) at ESO, itself, correcting for the NCPA by estimat- Guerri, G. et al. 2011, Experimental Astronomy, 30,
to the latest generation of instruments, ing them during the observing run and ­ 59
such as SPHERE, the contrast reached by applying offsets to the HODM or by Jolissaint, L. et al. 2006, JOSA, 23, 382
Keppler, M. et al. 2018, A&A, 617, A44
increased by an order of magnitude. This applying advanced post-processing
Madurowicz, A. et al. 2018, SPIE, 10703, 107036E
gain also revealed all the instrumental techniques. Milli, J. et al. 2018, SPIE, 10703, 107032A
structures that are presented in this arti- Mouillet, D. et al. 2018, SPIE, 10703, 107031Q
cle. Analysing the origin, behaviour and For ELT instruments, these different N’ Diaye, M. et al. 2013, A&A, 555, A94
Poyneer, L. A. et al. 2004, JOSA, 21, 5
effects of these structures on the current aspects will be greatly affected by the
Ragazzoni, R. et al. 1999, A&A, 350, L26
contrast performance of SPHERE offers design of the telescope itself. The AO Sauvage, J. F. et al. 2010, JOSA, 27, 157
a better understanding of high-contrast system and coronagraph will have to deal Sauvage, J. F. et al. 2014, SPIE, 9148, 914847
instruments. It also adds clear constraints with a larger central obstruction, thicker Sauvage, J. F. et al. 2015, AO4ELT4, E9
Schmid, H. M. et al. 2018, A&A, 619, A9
to lead the design of future high-contrast spiders and a segmented primary mirror
Soummer, R. et al. 2005, ApJ, 618, L161
imagers and specifically ELT instruments potentially having co-phasing errors, Sinquin, J. C. et al. 2008, SPIE, 7015, 70150O
equipped with a high-contrast mode. ­differential transmission and missing seg- Vigan, A. et al. 2018, SPIE, 10703, 107035O
Based on these considerations, SPHERE ments. Stay tuned for the ESO Messen-
has demonstrated that scintillation, pupil ger 2025 edition.
fragmentation, AO temporal errors, and
NCPA must be specifically tackled in the 1
 he SPHERE subsystems description can be found
future. Acknowledgements at:
Faustine Cantalloube acknowledges David Mouillet 2
T he SPHERE-related press releases can be found
In order to gain sensitivity, especially at and Gaël Chauvin (IPAG) for their useful comments. at:
closer separations to the star, the next Arthur Vigan acknowledges support from the Euro- search/?published_until_year=0&published_until_
generation of high-contrast instruments pean Research Council (ERC) under the European day=0&description=&title=&instruments=57&sub-
Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation pro- ject_name=&published_since_day=0&published_
can build on these different aspects. gramme (grant agreement No. 757561). since_month=0&published_until_month=0&id=&-
For instance, on the AO side, by using a published_since_year=0
WFS less sensitive to aliasing and noise 3
SPHERE filters description and transmission
measurement (such as a Pyramid WFS; References curves:
Ragazzoni et al., 1999), a faster AO Beuzit, J. L. et al. 2019, A&A, submitted, 4
SPHERE user manual:
loop (for example, more efficient real time arXiv:1902.04080 facilities/paranal/instruments/sphere/doc/VLT-
computer architecture and predictive Baudoz, P. et al. 2010, SPIE, 7735, 77355B MAN-SPH-14690-0430_v100_p2.pdf
control) and going with a faster, hence Carbillet, M. et al. 2011, Experimental Astronomy, 30,
more sensitive, detector and a fast
ESO/A. Müller et al.

This SPHERE image of

the protoplanetary disc
around the young star
PDS 70 reveals a planet
in the act of formation.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 31

Astronomical Science

EHT Collaboration

The Event Horizon Telescope leveraged a global

network of radio facilities, including ALMA and
APEX, to reveal the first image of the shadow of a
black hole. The black hole in M87 is approximately
6.5 billion solar masses.

32 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

Astronomical Science DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5139

KLASS – The Role of Low-Mass Galaxies

from Cosmic Dawn to Cosmic Noon

Adriano Fontana1 The bulk of this process occurred at red- spectroscopic observations, providing
Charlotte A. Mason2,3 shifts z > 7, and coverage of this parame- validation and cross-calibration of HST
Marianne Girard4 ter space by spectroscopic surveys is still results and enabling us to constrain the
Tommaso Treu2 sparse and incomplete. timeline of reionisation.
Tucker Jones 5 2. T
 o probe the internal kinematics of gal-
Miroslava Dessauges-Zavadsky4 At lower redshifts (0.5 < z < 2), low-mass axies at z ~ 1−3 with superior spatial
Takahiro Morishita 6 galaxies played a significant role in the resolution compared to surveys in
Laura Pentericci1 evolution of the global star formation rate blank fields.
Kasper Schmidt7 density, and they eventually contributed
Xin Wang 2 to the growth of more massive galaxies KLASS observations were carried out by
by merging processes. Feedback KMOS in the YJ bands (1−1.35 μm). The
processes are much more effective in spectral resolution R ~ 3400 is sufficient
INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico low-mass galaxies, as the energy release to distinguish Lyα from potential low-­
di Roma, Italy from supernovae and other feedback redshift contaminants with the [OII] λ3726,
Department of Physics and Astronomy, sources can exceed the gravitational 3729 emission doublet at z ~ 2.
University of California, Los Angeles, USA binding energy. We thus expect the
Harvard Smithsonian Center dynamical, morphological, dust and Observations were carried out in Service
for Astrophysics, Cambridge, USA metallicity evolution in low-mass galaxies Mode and executed in one-hour observ-
Observatoire de Genève, to be significantly different compared ing blocks with repeating A-B-A integra-
Université de Genève, Switzerland. to their more massive siblings. tion corresponding to science-sky-­
Department of Physics, science observations. Each observing
University of California, Davis, USA block comprised 1800 s of science inte-
Space Telescope Science Institute, KLASS scientific goals gration, and 900 s on sky. Exposure
Baltimore, USA times ranged between approximately
Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, KLASS is designed to exploit the 6.5 and 15 hours per target. Dither shifts
Potsdam, Germany magnification due to gravitational lensing were included, shifting the pointing
by massive clusters to observe (back- between science frames. A star was
ground) sources that are intrinsically observed in one IFU in every observing
The KMOS Lens-Amplified much fainter than objects we can block to monitor the point spread func-
Spectroscopic Survey (KLASS) is an observe in ordinary fields; the image tion (PSF) and the accuracy of dither off-
ESO Large Programme that uses the stretching in angular extent increases the sets. The PSF was well-described by a
KMOS infrared spectrograph to investi- spatial resolution. Our targets are galax- circular Gaussian and the median seeing
gate the role of low-mass galaxies at ies that are gravitationally lensed by six of our observations was 0.6 arcseconds.
several epochs of cosmic time. KLASS massive galaxy clusters, four of which are
has targeted galaxies behind massive among the well-known Frontier Fields1.
clusters, using gravitational amplifica- These are clusters that were previously Reaching the limits of KMOS:
tion and stretching to observe galaxies observed by the large Hubble Space optimising the pipeline
that are intrinsically very faint. By push- Telescope (HST) grism programme called
ing KMOS to the limits of its capabili- the Grism Lens-Amplified Survey from To reach the ambitious goals of the
ties, we have obtained new constraints Space (GLASS), which was led by KLASS survey it was necessary to
on the timescale of the reionisation pro- Tomasso Treu. GLASS observed ten squeeze the most out of our data. Obser-
cess, finding that the intergalactic clusters with a wide set of spectroscopic vations of faint Lyα emission, comprising
medium was almost completely neutral observations. Capitalising on the magnifi- half of our sample, are challenging. The
at a redshift of around 8, and that tur- cation of background sources we were main difficulties that we have had to over-
bulence plays a major role in shaping able to explore a range of redshifts and come are:
low mass galaxies at intermediate red- intrinsic magnitudes at a superior depth 1. high-redshift candidates are not
shifts (0.5 < z < 2). and quality than in blank fields located detected in the continuum with KMOS,
near the clusters — an exciting preview so we cannot rely on a robust identifi-
of JWST- and ELT-class science. cation of their position in the spaxel
In the first billion years of the Universe’s space;
life — the Cosmic Dawn — low-mass gal- We have focused on two main scientific 2. w e need to subtract the background
axies were the dominant population and goals that are well-suited to the number reliably to reach Poisson sensitivity
their stellar emission was dominated by of targets we can identify behind each limits;
massive, short-lived, bright stars. Ultra­ cluster and to the number of integral field 3. we need to identify subtle systematics
violet photons created by these stars units (IFUs) in the K-band Multi-Object that can lead to spurious identifications
were likely responsible for the most Spectrograph (KMOS): of faint lines;
important transition that the Universe 1. To investigate Lyman alpha (Lyα) emis- 4. w e need to quantify exactly the signal-
underwent after recombination: the reion- sion from star-forming galaxies at red- to-noise ratio (S/N) achieved for each
isation of the intergalactic medium (IGM). shifts z > 7 independently of HST pixel of the extracted spectra in order

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 33

Astronomical Science Fontana A. et al., KLASS

Wavelength (nm) Figure 1. Upper: 5-σ ingly neutral IGM, which progressively
1050 1100 1150 1200 1250 1300 1350 rest-frame equivalent
absorbs the intrinsic Lyα emission. The
width limits in Lyα as a
mAB = 26 function of wavelength drop in the Lyα EW distribution at z ~ 7
300 mAB = 27 for three values of the yields the best current constraint on the
mAB = 28 apparent magnitude m mid-stages of the reionisation process
Lyα EW limit (Å)
5-σ rest–frame

in the ultraviolet.
(Mason et al., 2018).
100 Lower: Comparison of
the achieved sensitivity
as a function of wave- By targeting galaxy candidates at z ~ 8,
30 length in our deepest KLASS had the explicit aim of extending
exposure with the
this analysis to higher redshifts, in order to
KMOS exposure time
10 calculator using the trace the reionisation process at its peak,
0.19 same exposure times. when newborn galaxies were producing
1.75 + 0.22
S/N ratio = 0.71 – 0.21 sufficient ultraviolet photons to significantly
S/N (achieved)/S/N (ETC)

1.50 KMOS throughput ionise the IGM. The choice of an IFU

instrument for high-redshift Lyα observa-

0.16 tions was motivated by indications that

1.00 0.15 ground-based slit spectroscopy measures
0.75 0.14 lower Lyα flux than HST slitless grism
0.50 0.13
spectroscopy. As demonstrated by recent
MUSE observations, Lyα emission can be
0.25 0.12
spatially extended and/or offset from the
0.00 0.11 ultraviolet continuum emission, making it
1050 1100 1150 1200 1250 1300 1350
Wavelength (nm) likely that slit-based spectroscopy is not
capturing the full Lyα flux. Hence, the
observed decline in Lyα emission at z > 6
to evaluate the significance of faint Armed with this careful characterisation could be partially due to redshift-­
lines or to statistically analyse the of the instrument, we have used our data dependent slit-losses as well as
significance of non-detections, to explore two hot topics in modern reionisation.
as described below. cosmology.
The answer from KLASS is unambiguous:
To reach our goals we have extensively despite the high quality of the parent
tailored, optimised and characterised the Cosmic dawn: which sources reionised photometric sample based on the best
ESO pipeline (v1.4.3). Details of these the early Universe? HST images and the depth reached
improvements are given in Mason et al. by the KMOS observations, none of the
(2019), to which we refer the reader. An The reionisation of intergalactic hydrogen 29 galaxies with photometric redshifts
example of the outcome of our efforts is in the Universe’s first billion years is likely of ~ 8 show significant Lyα emission.
given in Figure 1 (upper panel), in which linked to the formation of the first stars Crucially, our sample is composed of a
we show the effective 5-σ rest-frame and galaxies, considered to be the pri- sizeable fraction of intrinsically faint gal-
equivalent width (EW) limits in Lyα as mary producers of hydrogen-ionising axies (thanks to the effect of gravitational
a function of wavelength for three values photons. Accurately measuring the time- lensing), which are most likely to have
of apparent magnitude in the ultraviolet, line of reionisation enables us to constrain strong Lyα emission at lower redshifts.
assuming emission lines are spatially the properties of these first sources.
unresolved. It is clear that the sensitivity Using sensitivity estimates as a function
changes dramatically with variability Whilst young star-forming galaxies show of wavelength for every target, we have
in the sky emission lines, ubiquitous Lyα emission (121.6 nm) in increasing defined a robust Bayesian scheme to
in the near-infrared, and their effect abundance at higher redshifts up to derive the neutral hydrogen fraction of the
needs to be factored into the estimate z ~ 6, the fraction of galaxies detected IGM at z ~ 8. Our inference accounts for
of the survey efficiency. with Lyα emission, and the equivalent wavelength sensitivity, the incomplete
width distribution of that emission, redshift coverage of our observations, the
Another important lesson that we have decreases rapidly (for example, Fontana photometric redshift probability distribu-
learned from this exercise is shown in the et al., 2010; Pentericci et al., 2018 and tion of each target, and the patchy nature
lower panel of Figure 1, where we com- references therein). This rapid decline of of reionisation. The KLASS observations
pare the observed S/N with that predicted detected Lyα emission is unlikely to be enable us to place the first robust lower
by the ESO exposure time calculator due to the physical evolution of the gal- limit on the average IGM neutral hydrogen
(ETC). We find that, owing to inevitable axy properties, as we expect the trend fraction at z ~ 8 of > 0.76 (with 68% con-
systematics in sky subtraction, the pre- toward stronger Lyα to continue at higher fidence), > 0.46 (95% confidence), provid-
dicted S/N was about 1.5 times higher redshifts because of decreasing metallic- ing crucial evidence of rapid reionisation
than that observed. Future observers are ity and dust content. The decline is most at z ~ 6−8. This is shown in Figure 2, in
strongly advised to include this factor in plausibly due to absorption in an increas- which we compare the derived IGM neu-
their predictions.

34 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

tral fraction from KLASS with other con- Time (Gyr since Big Bang) Figure 2. The evolution
1 0.8 0.6 0.4 in redshift of the volume-­
straints. We find that the fraction that we
averaged neutral hydro-
derive is consistent with reionisation his- 1.0 MUV < –12, fesc = 20% gen fraction of the IGM.
tory models that extend the galaxy lumi- MUV < –12, fesc = 20% The lower limit from
nosity function to MUV <~ −12, with low ion- MUV < –12, fesc = 15% KLASS is the highest-­
0.8 redshift star (shown
ising photon escape fractions, fesc <~ 15%. MUV < –12, fesc = 5%
in red).
IGM Neutral Fraction
We note that the lack of detected Lyα 0.6
lines is not (only) due to the difficulty of
performing efficient near-infrared spec- KLASS
troscopy. As a counter example, we have 0.4 Lyα EW evolution
detected a faint C IV emission doublet Lyα emitter clustering
from a known z = 6.11 galaxy, that we 0.2 Dark fraction
use to showcase the capability of KMOS Quasar damping wings
to detect very faint emission lines. The Planck 2018
resulting spectrum is shown in Figure 3.
The emission lines are partly absorbed by 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
a nearby sky emission line and have a Redshift, z
total flux of the order of 10 –17 erg s –1 cm –2.

CIV λ1548, 1550 at z = 6.11 in 7.75 hours Figure 3. KMOS KLASS

1D spectrum and 2D
Cosmic high noon: the dynamical state Flux 1ೀ emission-line map of
of low-mass galaxies. 1.5 Model the galaxy at z = 6.11,
Noise centred on the faint C IV
(10 –18 erg s –1 cm –2 Å –1)

The redshift range 1 < z < 3 was the 1.0

doublet emission (in
Flux density

most active time in the Universe’s history,

covering the peak of cosmic star forma-
tion history when more than half of the
stellar mass in the Universe was built up.
Many galaxies at this epoch appear 0.0
morphologically disordered; the clear
bimodality in the galaxy population in the – 0.5
local Universe, between rotating discs 1095.0 1097.5 1100.0 1102.5 1105.0 1107.5 1110.0
and dispersion-dominated elliptical gal- Wavelength (nm)
axies has not yet been established.
How this bimodality arises and which
processes change galaxies from discs mass function (>~ 1010 M⊙). Most surveys samples, the combination of HST imag-
to ellipticals are still open questions. found samples of z ~ 1−3 galaxies which ing, the amplification and size stretching
were roughly equally separated into three due to gravitational lensing, and the mul-
Using integral field spectroscopy, we can kinematic classifications: rotation-­ tiplexing capability of KMOS makes it
ask questions about how galaxy mor- dominated systems, dispersion-­ possible to study the internal motions of
phologies and kinematics are related to dominated systems and merging/­ galaxies with low stellar masses in sizea-
their past and ongoing star formation (for morphologically unstable systems. A key ble samples, and at higher spatial resolu-
example, Förster Schreiber et al., 2009). result was that the rotation-dominated tion than natural seeing (see Girard et al.,
A key question is whether the increase in systems had systematically higher 2018 for another example). This was the
star formation rates (SFRs) is driven solely velocity dispersions than local discs, primary goal of the KLASS observations
by an increase in density and smooth gas suggesting that high redshift discs are of intermediate-redshift galaxies.
accretion rates at higher redshifts pro- highly turbulent.
ducing steady in-situ star formation, or by In the KLASS survey we have observed
more stochastic processes leading to gas However, there is no clear picture of the 50 faint galaxies, spanning the mass
infall such as major mergers. kinematic evolution of low-mass galaxies. range 7.7 < log (M/M⊙) < 10.8. Observed
It is also known that seeing-limited obser- redshifts span the range 0.6 < z < 2.3,
The first generations of integral-field vations can lead to the misclassification with 14 sources at z > 1.5 and two at
surveys using single IFU instruments (pri- of these objects, the result of seeing-­ z > 2.
marily SINFONI and GIRAFFE) as well as induced smearing of irregular rotational
recent surveys using KMOS (for example, features in the spectra. For 42 of these galaxies we are able to
KMOS3D, Wisnioski et al., 2015) have pri- obtain high-S/N kinematic maps. Some
marily targeted star-forming galaxies at While adaptive-optics assisted observa- examples are shown in Figure 4, where
the high mass end of the galaxy stellar tions are difficult and limited to small we show the HST images, the 2D emis-

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 35

Astronomical Science Fontana A. et al., KLASS

Fline (10 – 18 cgs) v (km s – 1) σ (km s – 1) Figure 4. The HST RGB composite images, 2D
emission-line spectra and velocity maps for two
M1149_1757 2 3 4 –8 0 8 15 30 45 low-mass galaxies in KLASS.
μ = 3.83
pared to local discs and thus that
the fraction of dynamically hot discs
changes with cosmic time. Clearly,
turbulence plays a major role in the set-
z = 1.25 tlement of rotating discs at low masses
log10 M = 8.76 1 kpc in the young Universe.

RXJ11347_1230 2.5 3.0 3.5 – 30 0 30 60 80 100 The power of KMOS has revealed once
μ = 40.56
more the crucial role that faint, low-mass
galaxies have had in the history of the
Universe. They produced most of the
ultraviolet photons required to reionise
the Universe in the redshift range
z = 6–9. They continued to develop
z = 1.77
log10 M = 8.76 100 pc during the peak of cosmic star-formation
* history, building stars in highly turbulent
systems. The kinematic analysis of our
full sample, which is under way at the
sion lines and the velocity maps (circular atively large ratio of SFR:M (> 0.1 Gyr−1) moment, will help to complete the picture
velocity and dispersion) for the lowest-­ suggesting that their disturbed gas regarding these fascinating systems.
mass galaxies in the sample. dynamics may be enhancing star forma-
tion (or vice versa) in some of these References
The circular velocity v and the velocity objects compared to kinematically
dispersion σ are used to classify galaxies ordered systems. We also find a strong Förster Schreiber, N. et al. 2009, ApJ, 706, 1364
as “rotationally supported” when v/σ > 1. correlation between the dispersion and Fontana, A. et al. 2010, ApJL, 725, 205
Girard, M. et al. 2018, A&A, 613, 72
Large values of v/σ > 3–5 typically indi- the stellar mass and SFR, meaning that Mason, C. A. et al. 2017, ApJ, 838, 14
cate “regular rotation”, while lower values high dispersion could be due to stellar Mason, C. A. et al. 2018, ApJ, 856, 2
indicate that the systems are dynamically feedback in these galaxies. Full results Mason, C. A. et al. 2019, MNRAS, 485, 3947
hotter, with turbulence in the disc being are given in Mason et al. (2017) and Pentericci, L. et al. 2018, A&A, 619, 147
Wisnioski, E. et al. 2015, ApJ, 799, 209
significantly higher than in local discs. Girard et al. (in preparation).

We find that the majority (77%) of our This indicates that turbulence in discs is Links
kine­matically resolved sample are rota- significantly higher at cosmic noon com- 1
HST Frontier Fields:
tionally supported, but about a half of the campaigns/frontier-fields/
sample (16/34) show particularly low val-
ues of v/σ < 3, meaning that most of the
rotation-dominated galaxies are only
marginally stable, at odds with what we
see in the local Universe. We also find z = 2.5
a mean dispersion of σ ~ 55 km s –1 2.0
in the sample, similar to previous surveys z = 1.5
at the same redshifts. 1.5
log(SFR) (M๬yr –1)

We also used the observed emission 1.0

lines in KMOS (Hα at z < 1, Hβ at z = 0.5
1 ≤ z < 1.8 or [OII] at z ≥ 1.8) to estimate
the ongoing SFR in our sample, and
investigated correlations between
rotational state, SFR and stellar mass. 0.0 Regular rotators
Results are shown in Figure 5, where we Irregular rotators
show how objects with different rotational – 0.5 Dispersion dominated Figure 5. The velocity
classifications are located in the main No rotation maps for galaxies in our
sample with resolved
sequence plane. While there is significant –1.0 kinematics, plotted at
scatter, there is some evidence that 8.0 8.5 9.0 9.5 10.0 10.5 11.0 11.5 the galaxy’s position on
merging and irregular systems have a rel- log(M ) (M๬) the SFR−M plane.

36 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

Astronomical Science DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5140

ALMA Resolves the Stellar Birth Explosions

in Distant Radio-Loud Quasars

Peter Barthel 1 physical AGN–star formation interplay is tion of the co-spatial non-thermal (syn-
José Versteeg 1, 2 an issue of great interest: where, when chrotron) 1-millimetre emission, using
and how does it occur? To answer these scaled high-resolution centimetre radio
questions, it is necessary to zoom in on images; this is essential to isolate the
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, the star formation processes in the host thermal emission and address its nature.
University of Groningen, galaxies of radio-loud AGN and to con-
the Netherlands duct a spatial and/or kinematic study of ALMA Band 7 (1-millimetre) observations
Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, the astrophysical interconnections. of five, far-infrared (FIR) luminous, z > 1
Radboud University, Nijmegen, 3C objects — three quasars and two
the Netherlands During the past decade our team has radio galaxies — took place during the
used Spitzer, Chandra, and Herschel to summer of 2016, with baselines of up to
investigate partly obscured AGN and 1.6 km, and a typical on-source integra-
Far-infrared photometry with the star formation in the ultra-massive hosts tion time of 15 minutes. Standard CASA
Herschel Space Observatory has found of z > 1 3C radio galaxies and quasars pipeline calibration was employed at the
many examples of ultra-luminous dust (for example, Barthel et al., 2012; European ALMA Regional Centre Node in
emission at around 40 K in the host gal- Podigachoski et al., 2015, 2016a). These Leiden, the Netherlands. The resulting
axies of high-redshift, radio-loud 3C objects have been and will continue to beam sizes are typically 0.18 arcseconds,
Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). The dust be landmarks in the study of active galax- and the final 1-millimetre images reach 1σ
heating could have its origin in the cen- ies through cosmic time. Herschel pho- noise levels of a few tens of µJy beam –1.
tral black hole activity or extreme cir- tometry has shown that about a third of
cumnuclear starbursts, or both. We these powerful 3C AGN are in fact radio- As millimetre radiation from the nucleus
have used the Atacama Large Millimeter/ loud Ultra Luminous InfraRed Galaxies of a radio-loud object consists of two
submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Cycle 3 to (ULIRGs) as inferred from their large cool parts: the thermal Rayleigh-­Jeans tail of
study the dust morphology on the dust masses, suggesting star formation the cool (30–40 K) host galaxy dust com-
kiloparsec scale in a sample of these rates (SFRs) of hundreds to over a thou- ponent, and the synchrotron component
AGN, and present the results for three sand M⊙ year – 1. Key questions focus of its radio source — the strength of
well-known distant quasars: 3C298, on the nature of this cool dust and its which can be extrapolated from the
3C318, and 3C454. After correction for location; is it widespread in the AGN host shape of its centimetre radio spectrum.
the non-thermal radiation at 1 mm, the ­galaxy and indeed related to massive There is also a third component in the
observations imply a starburst origin for starbursts, or is it localised and maybe form of free-free radiation, but its magni-
the cool thermal dust emission, and a somehow connected to the active tude is not significant at the rest-frame
symbiotic physical relationship with the nucleus? wavelength of 0.4 mm (Condon, 1992).
AGN-driven radio source.
Our Herschel studies have also established To establish the strength and morphology
the interesting trend that the cool dust of the cool dust thermal emission in the
The starburst-AGN symbiosis in distant luminosity is a function of the AGN age quasar hosts, that is its Rayleigh-Jeans
3C radio source hosts (Podigachoski et al., 2015), in the sense tail at 1 mm, we combined our ALMA
that old AGN — large double-­lobed radio images with the Karl G. Jansky Very
Given the well-known scaling relations sources — are characterised by less dust Large Array (VLA) U-band (2 cm, 15 GHz)
between galaxies and their central black emission than young ones with compact, images at matched angular resolution
holes, galaxies are believed to experience sub-galactic-sized radio sources. Within (~ 0.18 arcseconds), subtracting a scaled,
star formation, i.e., converting gas into the starburst scenario, this would indicate aligned version of the latter from the
stars, and central black hole growth, spe- positive feedback during the young AGN ­former. Gaia positions of the optical
cifically AGN phenomena, symbiotically. phase and negative feedback during its QSOs permitted high-precision astromet-
This symbiosis is indeed seen in observa- adult phase, or simply fading of the galaxy ric alignment of the images, to within
tions; nearby quasi-stellar objects (QSOs), growth over time. A similar trend was one 0.025-arcsecond pixel. We will
for instance, prefer blue host galaxies recently reported for high-­redshift radio describe the analysis of these quasars
(Trump et al., 2013). The symbiosis of galaxies (Falkendal et al., 2019). below; the full sample including the radio
black hole and global galaxy growth is galaxies will be discussed in a forthcom-
even more intriguing because of the pos- ing article (and quasar 3C298 was
sible feedback effects: positive (AGN-­ Zooming in using ALMA 1-millimetre already discussed in Barthel et al., 2018).
induced star formation), and/or negative observations
(AGN quenching of star formation). Con-
cerning these feedback effects, the class In 2016 ALMA was capable of 0.15-arc­ Three well-known 3C quasars and their
of radio-loud AGN is particularly interest- second resolution imaging at a wave- central dust structures
ing since these objects — radio galaxies length of 1 mm, and hence permitted a
and radio-loud quasars — have radio jets spatial study of star formation related to Within our Cycle-3 ALMA project
which are known to interact with the host cool dust on kiloparsec scales. This high (ADS/JAO.ALMA#2015.1.00754.S), three
galaxy interstellar medium (ISM). The resolution also permits optimal subtrac- 3C quasars were observed: 3C298

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 37

Astronomical Science Barthel P., Versteeg J., ALMA Observes Distant Radio-Loud Quasars

3GDQL@KQDRHCTD 5+ BNMSNTQR our ALMA 1-millimetre image shows

  a somewhat resolved core structure of
 ೀ   2.2 mJy integrated strength. As seen
from 0.03-arcsecond resolution MERLIN+
EVN radio imaging (Spencer et al., 1991),

 ೀ the compact radio double breaks up into

a multi-component structure at a position
angle of 45 degrees.
We obtained VLA Director’s Discretionary
 ೀ Time (DDT) observations in 2018 to
image 3C318 at 2 cm, permitting us to

¦ಿ ೀ
subtract the non-thermal emission from
the 1-millimetre image, at the ALMA reso-
GL R  R  R  R
lution, after careful alignment of the
images. The resulting thermal residue,
Figure 1. Thermal dust emission at 1 mm in the host We used an accurately aligned, archival with radio contours overlaid, is shown in
galaxy of 3C298, with 2-centimetre radio contours
VLA 2-centimetre image at comparable Figure 2; residual thermal emission is
overlaid; the + sign marks the location of the optical
QSO. resolution to subtract the non-thermal seen immediately north-east and south-
1-millimetre emission. Since the non-­ west of the AGN core, with a total
thermal 2-centimetre to 1-millimetre 1-millimetre flux density of 0.23 mJy,
spectral indices for the various source which is 11% of the total 1-millimetre flux
components are unknown a priori we density. These dust features are perfectly
at z = 1.439, 3C318 at z = 1.574, and used a range of indices (scaling factors) aligned with the elongated, multicompo-
3C454.0 at z = 1.757. Their (projected) in the subtraction process. Over-­ nent, cm-wavelength radio emission,
radio sizes are, respectively, 14, 10 and subtracting non-thermal centrally peaked hence their morphology and strength
10 kpc, hence they are of sub-galactic emission creates a hole in the central provide strong support for the circum­
dimensions and most likely young. Their 1-millimetre structure; we conclude that nuclear starburst picture.
model-dependent (see Podigachoski adopting a synchrotron spectral index
et al., 2015) star formation rates (SFRs), value of –1 yields the best “organic” ther- Quasar 3C454.0 displays a bent, sub-
as inferred from their spectral energy mal 1-millimetre morphology, shown in arcsecond-­­­sized radio source. We
­distributions (SEDs), are 940, 580 and Figure 1 with the 2-centimetre radio con- obtained archival VLA 2-centimetre data,
620 M⊙ year –1, respectively. Our SED tours overlaid. That structure, having a yielding an image at a resolution compa-
greybody fits to the long-wavelength 1-millimetre flux density of around 3 mJy, rable to our ALMA 1-millimetre image,
FIR data predicted thermal 1-millimetre represents roughly 16% of the core emis- which we subtracted from the latter, after
flux densities of 3, 1.5, and 1.5 mJy, for sion in 3C298 and thereby provides an accurate alignment and flux density scal-
3C298, 3C318 and 3C454.0, respectively. excellent fit to the 38 K grey-body fit of ing. The resulting residual thermal
The ALMA observations were designed Podigachoski et al. (2015). We observe 1-millimetre emission, overlaid with the
to test the SED modelling, specifically to strong dust emission towards the nearby VLA 2-centimetre radio contours, is
identify or rule out the presence of these western radio lobe, as well as a clump shown in Figure 3; it is concentrated just
massive starbursts, to determine their of faint dust emission at the location of east of the optical AGN, elongated
strength, and to study any astrophysical the jet deflection, south-east of the core/ roughly north-south, and peaking at the
interconnection with the AGN. The results AGN. The dust is likely linked to the opti- location of the bend in the radio struc-
of this study are discussed separately for cal disturbance in the 3C298 host galaxy ture. Its integrated strength is 1.9 mJy,
each quasar. observed by the HST (Hilbert et al., 2016) which is 18% of the total 1-millimetre flux
and to the CO disc reported by Vayner et density. These values do not change the
3C298 is a compact triple radio source, al. (2017). SED-­inferred SFR (Podigachoski et al.,
consisting of a radio core coinciding 2015); they in fact support the circumnu-
with the AGN, a western radio lobe The compact (1.2-arcsecond double) clear starburst picture.
0.4 arcseconds away, and an eastern radio source 3C318 was originally
lobe 1 arcsecond away. The optical QSO thought to be an extremely bright FIR
is slightly reddened and it displays strong source, but the Herschel imaging of Radio-loud ULIRGs, their ISM, and
associated CIV absorption from outflow- Podigachoski et al. (2016b) showed that feedback mechanisms
ing winds (Anderson et al., 1987). 3C298 a substantial fraction of the FIR flux
is one of the strongest FIR emitters in the ­originates from a foreground pair of inter- In summary, all three sample quasars —
3C catalogue. Its 1-millimetre ALMA acting galaxies. Nevertheless, the having compact, subgalactic-sized radio
image has the triple structure, but the updated FIR data still suggest a SFR of morphologies and strongly suspected to
central emission shows evidence of an 580 M⊙ year –1, from model-dependent have high SFRs — were found to pos-
extended underlying 1-millimetre plateau. SED fitting. At 0.18-arcsecond resolution, sess circumnuclear dust structures on

38 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

1DRHCT@K 5+ BNMSNTQR Figure 2. (far left)
Thermal dust emission
  at 1 mm in the host of
  3C318, with
  2-­c entimetre radio con-
tours overlaid; the + sign


  marks the location of


 ೀ the optical QSO.

 ೀ     Figure 3. (left)

¦ಿ ೀ Thermal dust emission
 ೀ at 1 mm in the host of
3C454.0, with

¦ಿ ೀ 2-centimetre radio con-
tours overlaid; the + sign
GL R  R  R  R  R GL R  R  R  R  R  R
marks the location of
the optical QSO.

the subarcsecond (kpc) scale. The ALMA tion imaging that the symbiotic dusty ics of the gas involved in the feedback
resolution of roughly 0.18 arcseconds starbursts are very compact circum­ mechanism, including the postulated
seems to be crucial to isolating these nuclear structures, extending a few starburst-­driven superwinds. Thirdly, con-
structures in the 1-millimetre images, kiloparsecs from the AGN at most. This is trol samples of low-SFR 3C AGN, in com-
which are otherwise dominated by in agreement with the lower-resolution pact, young as well as large, mature radio
nuclear synchrotron (non-thermal) radia- Atacama Compact Array study of FIR- sources, must be studied with ALMA and
tion. The dust morphologies are indica- bright SDSS QSOs (Hatziminaoglou et al., compared with the high-SFR objects.
tive of radio jet–ISM interaction, and their 2018). Such compact starbursts have Concerning the more distant future, JWST
ULIRG-strength FIR luminosities find a also been observed in luminous sub-­ imaging may reveal the newly formed
natural explanation in positive AGN feed- millimetre galaxies (for example, Tacconi circumnuclear star clusters.
back, i.e., extra-strength star-formation, et al., 2006; Hodge et al., 2016; Calistro-­
driven by the advancing radio jets in the Rivera & Hodge, 2018), so they may be Acknowledgements
dense central parts of the AGN hosts. In one and the same phenomenon building
other words, these AGN – which are up massive galaxies, regardless of We acknowledge our long-time collaborators Pece
Podigachoski, Martin Haas and Belinda Wilkes for
most likely young – present evidence for whether there is active massive black exciting years of study of an exciting AGN sample.
positive rather than negative feedback. hole (MBH) accretion or not. Thanks are also due to our ALMA project co-I’s
Carlos De Breuck and George Djorgovski, to the VLA
What about negative feedback — does Finally, our identification of the cool dust Director for granting us DDT time in 2018, and to
Jack Radcliffe for data processing advice. Finally, the
the present study shed light on that emission as originating from a starburst assistance of the Netherlands ALMA Regional Center
mechanism? We believe it does, but the gives confidence that the mechanism is is gratefully acknowledged.
negative feedback appears to be star- the hitherto tacitly assumed source of the
burst- rather than AGN-driven. One of the long-wavelength far-infrared emission
sample quasars, 3C298, displays outflow- (that is to say in the SED modelling — for
ing gas winds, seen as so-called associ- example, Barthel et al., 2012; Leipski et Anderson, S. F. et al. 1987, AJ, 94, 278
ated CIV absorption in the optical QSO al., 2014; Ma & Yan, 2015; Podigachoski Barthel, P. D. et al. 2012, ApJ, 757, L26
Barthel, P. D. et al. 2017, ApJ, 843, L16
spectrum, but also from other ions and et al., 2015; Pitchford et al., 2016;
Barthel, P. D. et al. 2018, ApJ, 866, L3
molecules, as observed with integral field Westhues et al., 2016). Given the frequent Calistro-Rivera, G. & Hodge, J. 2018,
spectroscopy by Vayner et al. (2017). As incidence of ultraluminous ~ 40-K dust The Messenger, 173, 33
we have argued elsewhere (Barthel et al., emission in high-redshift AGN, the symbi- Condon, J. J. 1992, ARA&A, 30, 575
Falkendal, T. et al. 2019, A&A, 621, A27
2017), there is evidence that such quasar otic occurrence of starbursts and black Hatziminaoglou, E. et al. 2018, MNRAS, 480, 4974
winds have their origin in massive ongo- hole buildup must be widespread. Hilbert, B. et al. 2016, ApJS, 225, 12
ing host starbursts, such as observed Hodge, J. A. et al. 2016, ApJ, 833, 103
locally in Messier 82; 3C298 would be a Leipski, C. et al. 2014, ApJ, 785, 154
Ma, Z. & Yan, H. 2015, ApJ, 811, 58
prime example of such starburst-driven To be continued Pitchford, L. K. et al. 2016, MNRAS, 462, 4067
negative feedback. On the other hand, we Podigachoski, P. et al. 2015, A&A, 575, A80
cannot rule out AGN quenching in more These intriguing observations call for Podigachoski, P. et al. 2016a, MNRAS, 462, 4183
mature and old radio sources (see, for several follow-up studies. Firstly, higher-­ Podigachoski, P. et al. 2016b, A&A, 585, A142
Spencer, R. E. et al. 1991, MNRAS, 250, 225
example, Falkendal et al., 2019). resolution ALMA 1-mm imaging is now Tacconi, L. et al. 2006, ApJ, 640, 228
possible, permitting the examination of Trump, J. R. et al. 2013, ApJ, 763, 133
Confirming the intermediate-resolution the morphological details of the jet-star Vayner, A. et al. 2017, ApJ, 851, 126
Wang, R. et al. 2013, ApJ, 773, 44
study of extreme-redshift QSOs by Wang formation interaction. Secondly, ALMA
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et al. (2013), we find from our high resolu- spectroscopy can determine the kinemat-

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 39

Astronomical News

Above: On 17 April 2019, the Senate of Chile awarded ALMA a medal for its Below: ESO signed contracts for the manufacture
instrumental role in capturing the first-ever image of the shadow of a black of the ELT M5 mirror with the French companies
ESO/M. Zamani

hole. The image produced by the Event Horizon Telescope image used eight Safran Reosc and Mersen Boostec.
radio facilities. ALMA and APEX, in which ESO is a major partner, played a key
role in this result.
Astronomical News DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5141

The New ESO Phase 1 System for Proposal Submission

Francesca Primas 1 from one phase to the next. Because of them from a CSV file. Finally, a submitted
Olivier Hainaut 1 its very broad scope, the project has proposal can now be updated right up
Thomas Bierwirth 1 been divided into two parts: the user to the deadline — previously changes to
Ferdinando Patat 1 interface for proposals submission, and a submitted proposal could only be made
Dario Dorigo 1 the management of the review process. by submitting a newer version and with-
Elisabeth Hoppe 1 The review of the proposals is carried out drawing earlier submissions.
Uwe Lange 1 by the Observing Programmes Commit-
Moreno Pasquato 1 tee (OPC). The interface for the proposal There are also some practical implica-
Fabio Sogni 1 submission part was released very tions, the most notable being the impos-
recently, at the start of Period 103, for the sibility of directly submitting existing
submission of DDT proposals; the peer LaTeX proposals into the new system — a
ESO review management part of the project is straightforward manual conversion is
currently being developed. required. Furthermore, each of the Co-Is
is now required to have an ESO User
On 1 April 2019 ESO released its new Probably the most relevant change at ­Portal account 5; the PI will add them to
Phase1 system (p1) for the submission the heart of this upgrade is the move the proposal using their email address.
of Director’s Discretionary Time (DDT) from the old ESOFORM package and
observing proposals for the period stand-alone tools to web-based technol-
between April and September 2019 ogy. The system is implemented using How to submit observing proposals via
(Period 103). The p1 interface will be Google’s Angular 1 and Semantic UI 2 the new p1 User Interface
extended to all types of observing pro- frameworks for the client side, whereas
posals in the Period 105 Call for Pro- the server side is based on the Java Being web-based, the new p1 system
posals, which will be released in Sep- Grails framework 3. It is expected to work does not require any specific tool or
tember 2019. This represents the first on up-to-date versions of web browsers package to be downloaded beforehand.
part of a broader overhaul of the ESO on any operating system. The new p1 Once logged into the User Portal, you
Phase 1 system that also entails a sig- proposal submission user interface uses just follow the link Submit an observing
nificant modernisation of the Observ- the same look and interface conventions proposal in the Phase 1 section. Although
ing Programmes Committee peer as the recent p2 tool, which is also some important features have changed
review process and associated tools. shared by other tools being developed — for example, the definition of an
Here we highlight the main features (exposure time calculators, and the observing setup is done via a menu and
of the new user interface for proposals Observation Preparation tool) to ensure a time constraints are expressed in a differ-
submission. seamless user experience independently ent way — all the key components of the
of the operational phase. Beyond the old classic LaTeX observing proposal are
look and feel of the interface, this sharing still there.
The new p1 system: an overall view of technologies also ensures that p1 will
be integrated with other tools that imple- The left part of the interface is a list of all
The upgrade of the current ESO Phase 1 ment the Data Flow System, i.e., p2, your proposals. Figure 1 shows the work-
system is a major undertaking, consisting ­followed by the exposure time calculators flow menu, which is displayed for each
of three main interfaces: the User Inter- and preparation software. proposal. In the following, we will guide
face (UI) for the submission of observing you through the various steps, highlight-
proposals; the interface for the evaluation The p1 interface now uses the same ing those that have changed the most.
of the proposals; and the interface for abstraction to describe the actual physi-
the management of the entire Phase 1 cal instruments on the telescope as the As soon as you create a New Proposal,
process, from the preparation of the Call other systems (Instrument Packages, a dynamical checklist appears in the
for Proposals to the release of the tele- used for instance for p2 and at the tele- main window, summarising the actions
scope schedule and user notifications at scope), ensuring that p1 is always aligned that you need to take before you can
key stages of the process. and synchronised to the latest status of submit the proposal. The checklist is
each instrument. understandably long at the very start, but
Phase 1 is fully embedded in the ESO it quickly reduces as you start to work
Data Flow System, an integrated collec- The system includes many new features, through the various steps. In this way,
tion of software and hardware that facili- including allowing the Principal Investi­ last-minute surprises, such as having a
tates the flow of scientific and operational gator (PI) and Co-Investigators (Co-Is) to proposal rejected because of some
information for the VLT (see Hainaut et al., edit proposals in a collaborative way, obscure error, are removed; once the
2018; ESO, 1998). Changes to Phase 1 graphically plotting target visibilities and checklist is empty, you can submit the
can therefore impact many other tools the probability of realising the requested proposal.
and operational phases. This provides an observing conditions. One can also
opportunity for better integration with the retrieve target information directly from The first item on the left-hand menu (Fig-
various operational workflows, ensuring a the Centre de Données astronomiques ure 1) is the Summary, which is intended
smooth transfer of all the key information de Strasbourg (CDS) Sesame 4 or upload to provide an overall view of the proposal,

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 41

Astronomical News Primas F. et al., The New ESO Phase 1 System for Proposal Submission

PI, a dPI has the same privileges as the vant to Phase 1 (i.e., necessary for sched-
PI (for example, submitting/retracting uling the observations and for perform-
the proposal, or changing the list of col- ing the technical feasibility reviews) are
laborators). Beware that as PI or dPI you available.
can strip yourself of your respective privi-
leges while assigning these roles, hence Another major improvement offered by
blocking any further management rights the new p1 user interface concerns the
for that proposal. definition of time constraints. These are
specified at run level (look for the little
The Scientific Rationale has kept its origi- clock icon) and with a customised syn-
nal structure, but now must be uploaded tax 6. The interface allows for both abso-
as a PDF file. Templates are available lute and relative time constraints and
in the following formats: Google Docs, offers an immediate visualisation of the
Microsoft Word and LaTeX. While there is constraint (see Figure 2 for an example).
no systematic check on the uploaded
PDF file, proposals whose scientific Using the Targets Runs section, you
rationale template has been tampered can assign science targets to each of
with (for example, by reducing the font or your runs. This will automatically define
Figure 1. The left-hand menu of the new p1 user narrowing the margins) will be ignored. a series of observations, one for each
interface outlines the various steps to be followed
That said, you have the freedom to adjust observing setup defined in that run for
in the preparation of an observing proposal. The
order in which the steps are listed does not neces- the layout, for instance to include figures. each assigned target.
sarily reflect the order in which these steps should
be completed. Targets can be uploaded from a CSV file The last remaining major step of any
— if several targets are required, the observing proposal is the final computa-
starting with the Programme ID, which ­minimum set of parameters is “Name, tion of the telescope time needed to
will be assigned only after you submit the Right ascension, Declination, Magnitude”. carry out the proposed observations (via
proposal. The format of the Programme Each of these can also be added to the Observations in the left-hand menu). The
ID has also changed; taking as an exam- proposal by typing its identifier in a dedi- p1 user interface offers three views of tel-
ple, 104.20C8: here 104 is the cycle in cated pop-up window that resolves it escope time: at the level of individual
which the proposal is submitted, and automatically (via Sesame). Targets will observations; at the target level (should a
20C8 is a unique identifier. Then come then have to be associated with runs target be observed in multiple observa-
the Programme Type, Cycle, and current once these have been created. Note that tions); and at the run level. Following a
Status of the application. The proposal for instruments or modes requiring a bottom-up approach, one must first
will change its status from Draft (while ­reference star, that star has to be defined define the time needed for each observa-
working on it), to Submitted once the as a target together with the science tion; here, one can simply fill in the blue
proposal has been submitted (via the objects. box labelled Telescope Time (with one
Submit button) and the status will observation; i.e., integration time + all
become “Valid” as soon as the call has The basic concept of Run has not overheads a, 7) or alternatively, specify the
closed (i.e., as soon as the proposal sub- changed with respect to the old Phase 1, details of the individual components of
mission deadline has passed). DDT pro- i.e., a run remains the minimum schedu- each observation. We recommend the
posals are an exception, as their status lable coherent entity, defining a series latter approach, at least for a small num-
goes directly from “Draft” to “Valid”. A of observations to be performed with ber of observations, so that the time
proposal that has been retracted by reo- one instrument, with a common set of request can be better evaluated during
pening an already submitted proposal (by observing constraints (that is, all the technical feasibility. Multiple exposures of
clicking on Unsubmit) will not be vali- observations require conditions that have the same observations (for example, to
dated unless it is resubmitted. Each of the same probability of realisation), and reach a deeper magnitude, to perform
the proposal sections can be edited sharing the same run type and observing a mapping mosaic, or to monitor the vari-
directly from the Summary window or via mode. ability of the target) or the wish to skip
the left-hand menu. a given observation can be specified by
Once the high-level characteristics of a using the Repeat field. These bottom-
When adding Investigators (every team run have been defined, the instrument level exposure times Telescope Time
member must be registered in the ESO setups come next. The choice of what is (with one observation) are then propa-
User Portal), the PI can search for them available is now offered via pull-down gated to compute the telescope time
by typing their (exact) e-mail address in menus, that guide the user to the suc- (Tel. Time in the blue boxes) at the target
the search field. The PI is asked to assign cessful definition of feasible combinations and run level.
a role to each of the Co-Is, the options of setup elements. Those users already
being Co-I or delegated PI (dPI). Although familiar with the ESO p2 system will rec- The Remarks & Justifications section
the ultimate responsibility for the content ognise many features but will find fewer gathers all possible explanatory/com-
of the proposal will always lie with the items because only those elements rele- mentary fields in one place. All fields are

42 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

mandatory, but one can always specify Each step in the proposal preparation Figure 2. A graphical representation of a special
case of time constraints. These are defined in the p1
N/A (Not Applicable) for some of them. workflow is introduced by a short, inform-
interface using a dedicated, intuitive and well docu-
The most important ones remain the jus- ative (blue) box, supplemented by a mented syntax (left) and immediately displayed in
tification of the specified constraints and more extended description of that spe- graphical form (right) to enable “sanity checks”. In
the telescope time requested. This sec- cific step (mini-help). Many parts of the this specific example, the user is requesting a total of
1.5 nights distributed as one 0.5-night allocation, fol-
tion also includes the more technical/ new proposal submission system resem-
lowed by 0.7 nights (at least 2 days after, and within
operation-related comments related to ble the old ESOFORM structure (Title, 10 days of, the first 0.5 nights), completed with a final
the specified telescope, observing mode Abstract, Category, Investigators, and all allocation of 0.3 nights, any time after the preceding
and requested calibration. Target duplica- ancillary information). More extensive help allocation. Note that one can now specify even the
part of the night (beginning, middle or end) when the
tions with Guaranteed Time Observation is available from the menu of the user
observations should preferably be scheduled.
(GTO) programmes and/or ESO Science interface, and via a help button at the top
Archive must be declared and clarified in of each page. The p1demo environment
the corresponding text boxes. also has some realistic proposals, and a Office (OPO) — will also benefit from
commented proposal in which each field this view in carrying out its daily business
Finally, Previous Usage and Applicants’ contains additional information and tips. in support of the OPC. This represents
Publications complete the information a major step forward compared to the
that needs to be provided in terms of pre- As already mentioned in previous sec- ­several different tools and views currently
vious time allocation (to keep track of tions, the biggest changes relate to in use, not to mention all the manual
what is happening with previous sets of how runs and observations are defined. interventions that take place.
data) and publications with relevance to Therefore, we recommend that users
the subject of the proposal from the pro- who plan to submit observing proposals At the same time, the User Portal will also
posing team. at the next deadline familiarise them- be upgraded to support the introduction
selves with the new interface beforehand. of scientific and technical keywords that
A short video-tutorial is also available9. most closely define the expertise of each
The p1demo testing environment professional astronomer registered in the
portal. We will then be able to experiment
A dedicated p1demo8 environment has The next steps with more detailed proposal assignment
been set up so that users can experiment algorithms that are based, for instance,
with the new p1 system before the official Although the feedback received so far on expertise keyword matching. Another
release of the next Period 105 Call for has been positive, the full release of the foreseen change that will impact the
Proposals (foreseen for the end of August new p1 user interface for the Period 105 ­proposal preparation is how affiliations
2019). Please remember this is a public Call for Proposals represents our next will be defined. ESO has decided to fol-
space; due care should be taken not to major milestone. Once this is accom- low the official Global Research Identifier
share confidential or sensitive informa- plished, our focus will move to the OPC Database (GRID) 10 list, which is based
tion. Any user can use this environment management part, i.e., all proposal t­raffic on a very high-level differentiation of insti-
to create a full proposal and test its sub- between the Call for Proposals deadline tutions (no more departments, groups,
mission and retraction. It includes the and the conclusion of the OPC process. addresses, etc). Finally, in order to moni-
possibility of experimenting with prepar- Our aim is to offer the OPC referees a tor — and mitigate — possible biases in
ing proposals using the entire suite of user-friendly interface whereby they will the review process, the portal will request
instruments of the La Silla Paranal Obser- be able to follow all steps for the evalua- that all users specify their gender.
vatory, selecting all observing programme tion of proposals in one view — declara-
types — i.e., Normal, Large, GTO, GTO- tions of conflicts of interest, updates in Any queries, comments and feedback on
Large, Monitoring and Calibration — review assignments, grading, review the new p1 system are very welcome
and all observing run types: Normal, Tar- comments, etc. This will mean that the via a dedicated e-mail address 11. We are
get of Opportunity (ToO)-Soft, ToO-Hard, department overseeing the review always keen to receive constructive
ToO-RRM (Rapid Response Mode). ­process — the Observing Programmes feedback.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 43

Astronomical News

Acknowledgements References 8
The p1demo interface:
The authors would like to thank all the ESO staff Hainaut, O. et al. 2018, The Messenger, 171, 8 9
A p1 video tutorial:
members and contractors who got involved in the ESO 1998, The VLT White Book, (Garching, observing/phase1/newP1tool/
project and made important contributions at differ- Germany: European Southern Observatory) p1_shortIntroVideo_new.mp4
ent development phases. In particular, special 10
G lobal Research Identifier Database (GRID):
thanks go to all the scientists in the User Support
Department and Paranal Science Operations, and Links 11
E-mails can be sent to the p1 team at
in particular Andrea Mehner. Moreover, all beta test- 12
T he p2 demo interface:
ers are thanked for their engagement and feedback, 1
Google Angular framework: p2demo/login
especially the members of the ESO Users Commit- 2
Semantic framework:
tee. Finally, special and warm thanks go to all col- 3
The GRAILS project:
leagues in the Observing Programme Office (who 4
CDS Sesame: Notes
had to bear with us on the bumpy road leading to Sesame
this release) and Gaitee Hussain, former OPO staff 5
The ESO User Portal: a
 he overheads are the same as in p2; if you are
member, for her involvement in the early phases UserPortal already familiar with the overheads that apply
of the project and for her precious proofreading of 6
The format of the time constraints is described to your particular instrument setup, you can use the
p1-related material. here: overheads table 7, otherwise it is recommended
timeConstraintsHelp that you experiment with the p2demo 12.
Overheads table:

DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5142

Report on the ESO Event

20th Anniversary of Science Exploration with FORS

held at the ESO Supernova, Garching, Germany, 12 March 2019

Ralf Siebenmorgen 1 was to discuss ways in which to foster

Credit: N. Boffin
Henri Boffin 1 the high scientific impact of the instru-
Frédéric Derie 1 ment in the future. Various suggestions
from the ESO community for upgrading
the instrument were presented and
ESO discussed.

About 50 scientists belonging to the A successful twin

“Friends of FORS” family convened at
the ESO Supernova Planetarium & The FOcal Reducer and low-dispersion
­Visitor Centre to celebrate 20 years of Spectrpgraphs, FORS, are two multi-
successful science exploration with mode instruments mounted on a VLT Unit
FORS1 and FORS2. Scientific highlights Telescope (UT) Cassegrain focus. They
from these instruments were discussed, are offered in several modes: imaging,
covering various research areas rang- polarimetry, long slit, and multi-object
ing from interstellar bodies entering our spectroscopy. In April 1999, the first of
Solar System, to the detection of exo- the twin workhorses of the VLT, FORS1,
planets and biomarkers, interstellar began science operations. In September
medium dust polarisation, binary star 1999 FORS2 arrived at Paranal, enter­-
velocities, galaxy dynamics, high-­ ing into regular service in April 2000.
redshift galaxies near the re-ionisation Over the years, the two FORS instru-
epoch, and transient astronomical ments have provided unique data leading
events such as supernovae, gamma-ray to many astronomical discoveries. Both Figure 1. The conference poster.
bursts, and gravitational waves. In addi- instruments are among the most prolific
tion to reviewing the amazing scientific instruments worldwide. In March we cele-
achievements from the FORS instru- brated the scientific discoveries made
ments, a specific goal of the conference with these successful instruments in

44 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

a one-day event. The goal of the confer- length and predefined widths between Figure 2. The conference workshop photograph.
ence was to gather, consolidate and 0.3 and 2.5 arcseconds; multi-object
understand the wishes and needs of the spectroscopy using 19 slitlets with slit 10 Science papers. Apart from those
astronomical community for upgrades lengths of 20–22 arcseconds each; and mentioned above, these papers cover a
that would ensure the high science pro- arbitrary widths created by movable slit variety of topics, including asteroids,
ductivity of FORS into the future. blades. Multi-object spectroscopy may binary stars, neutron stars, supernovae,
also use masks with slitlets of almost black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and
arbitrary lengths, widths, shapes and ­quasars. All modes of FORS2 were used
Instrument features angles in the Mask eXchange Unit mode for these discoveries.
(MXU). There are 15 grisms with resolu-
FORS is the “swiss army knife of the tions from 260 to 2600 for a 1-arcsecond A presentation of early science with
Paranal Observatory”. FORS observa- slit, which may be combined with three FORS can be found in Rupprecht et al.
tions cover a wide wavelength range different order-separating filters to avoid (2010). At that time, they stated that “if we
from 330 to 1100 nm at high sensitivity; second-order contamination. look at the number of citations of VLT
the transmission is above 60% over papers, it is symptomatic that at least one
360–1100 nm, and reaches almost 80% of the two FORS instruments was
around 440 nm. In imaging mode this Science impact involved in eight of the ten most cited VLT
leads to a typical magnitude limit of about papers”. Amongst the most cited
25.9 in U (with 1-hour integration; Both FORS instruments have been in FORS2 papers, one finds the spectro-
S/N ~ 5), 27.6 in B and 27.3 in V using an high demand since first light, and this has scopic studies of the GOODS-South
E2V detector, and — with the MIT detec- not changed; FORS2 is still among the field ­(Vanzella et al., 2008; Popesso et al.,
tor — 26.6 in R, 25.8 in I, and 24.7 in z. most requested instruments at the VLT, 2009; Balestra et al., 2010) and of the
The field of view is 6.8 × 6.8 arcminutes, with more than 100 proposals submitted Chandra Deep Field-South (Szokoly et al.,
which is the maximum unvignetted field in Period 102 (12% of all VLT proposals). 2004), which are based on MXU observa-
of the Cassegran focus at the VLT. High In terms of refereed papers, the FORS tions. In more recent years, the most
image quality is ensured by a passive instruments are the most productive cited papers are about Lyman-a emitters
flexure compensation system. instruments at Paranal; FORS1 led in the early universe (with MXU), spectro-
to 1022 refereed publications, and for polarimetry of massive stars and
The system includes a longitudinal FORS2 this number is 1511. In 2017 dust, photometric studies of young stellar
atmospheric dispersion corrector (LADC) alone, FORS2 led to 106 refereed publi- regions, astrometric studies of brown
which acts up to about 60 degrees away cations. Among these were three Nature dwarfs and transmission spectroscopy of
from zenith, i.e., airmass <
~ 1.5–1.6. The papers highlighting innovative results: exoplanets.
astrometric precision reached is about the first interstellar asteroid detected in
0.1 milliarcseconds using the high-resolu- the solar system (Meech et al., 2017;
tion collimator. The instrument can also Micheli et al., 2018); the spectroscopic The workshop
be used in spectroscopic mode with a identification of a gravitational wave
magnitude limit between 23 and 24 in V source (Pian et al., 2017); and the first In his welcome talk, the Director General
as well as in imaging and spectroscopy detection of titanium oxide in the atmos- presented some of his own science that
polarimetry. FORS2 spectroscopy con- phere of an exoplanet (Sedaghati et al. had been carried out with FORS, identify-
sists of three modes: classical long-slit 2017; Nikolov et al. 2018). Over the years, ing X-ray sources from XMM-Newton ser-
spectroscopy with slits of 6.8-arcminute FORS2 has led to 29 Nature papers and endipitous surveys (Barcons et al., 2002).

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 45

Astronomical News Siebenmorgen R. et al., 20th Anniversary of Science Exploration with FORS

He stressed the high scientific impact FORS2 the best ground-based instru- cal in creating very short period binary
that FORS has delivered over the past ment in the world for this kind of science. systems, some of which are thought
20 years. The first of several FORS pro- This is important as the VLT has access to explode as Type Ia supernovae and to
ject scientists from the past 20 years was to fainter targets that have smaller signals produce gravitational waves.
Gero Rupprecht and, in a very emotional than the Hubble Space Telescope does.
talk, he reflected on the early days of the Also, in the future all space-based instru- The dynamics of galaxies and clusters as
instrument — during commissioning. ments will only access the infrared and revealed by FORS was presented by
He explained how FORS1 received the FORS2 will be needed to provide the Magda Arnaboldi. The motions of plane-
nickname of “yellow submarine” in the optical counterpart observations, ensur- tary nebulae allow the mass distribution
early days owing to its distinctive colour. ing a unique role for FORS2 over the next in the outer halos of galaxies, and in
Former Consortium member Wolfgang 10–15 years. the cores of galaxy clusters, to be deter-
Hummel — now at ESO — highlighted mined (McNeil et al., 2010; Spiniello et
the sophisticated operational model Stefano Bagnulo showed how FORS2 al., 2018). This requires the use of a spe-
that had been put in place to make sure spectro- and imaging polarimetry have cial technique, called counter-dispersion
the best science is done with the instru- been used in the study of supernovae, imaging, which involves doing slitless
ments. He also presented a brief history to characterise interstellar dust, and to spectroscopy, combined with narrow-
of the various changes to the instruments. explore the surfaces of Solar System band filters and superposing two images
bodies. Of special interest is the study of taken 180 degrees apart. Thanks to this,
The scientific presentations started with how polarised radiation reveals biomark- it is possible to measure distances and
a review by Olivier Hainaut of the charac- ers, such as O2, in a planetary atmos- radial velocities out to 25 Mpc.
terisation of minor bodies in our Solar phere that is known to host life — i.e., the
System. Particular attention was given to Earth (Sterzik et al., 2012)! An outstanding issue in modern astro-
‘Oumuamua, the first and currently only physics is what reionised the Universe
asteroid ever detected which is of inter- The challenges associated with observ- and when and how the first objects
stellar origin. ing short-period binaries were discussed formed. Laura Pentericci showed what
by Veronika Schaffenroth. The FORS was the main initial goal of FORS when
Nikolay Nikolov presented the transmis- ­resolution is sufficient to measure radial conceived, i.e., deep spectroscopy to
sion spectroscopy technique, which is velocity curves, and hence masses of identify a large population of Lyman-a
used to characterise the atmospheres of close binaries — assuming the orbital emitting galaxies up to z > 7 (Vanzella
exoplanets, from hot gas giants down inclination is known. One notable case et al., 2008). She presented the deepest
to cooler Earth-mass worlds. He stressed involved using FORS observations to FORS2 spectrum ever obtained in the
that the resulting FORS2 light curves constrain the minimum mass a compan- reionisation epoch — a 52-hour-long
were of space-based quality, making ion must have to be able to eject the exposure that showed… nothing! This in
envelope of the primary star in a common fact indicates that reionisation might be
Figure 3. The FORS team during the preliminary envelope (CE) phase. Such a phase, a more extended process than previously
design review in 1992. which is very poorly understood, is criti- thought and not yet completed at z = 6.

46 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

Finally, Ferdinando Patat presented FORS need for specific high-spectral-resolution Acknowledgements
as a versatile tool for transient astron- grisms centered on the Na, K, and Li
We appreciate and thank the FORS Consortium
omy and presented highlights of results lines was also identified. members, and Immo Appenzeller in particular,
obtained with the instruments in the field for attending this special event. We would also like
of supernovae, gamma-ray bursts and, FORS polarimetry was reported to be to thank Svea Teupke for the very efficient logistics
more recently, on the electromagnetic excellent, though it could be further
counterparts of gravitational-wave events. improved by reducing systematic errors
The abstracts and presentations of the such as the instrumental polarisation. References
talks are available at the conference web- A higher precision in Stokes V/I could be
Appenzeller, I. et al. 1998, The Messenger, 94, 1
site 1 and a booklet 2 has been prepared attained by considering a double-wedge
Balestra, P. et al. 2010, A&A, 512, A12
that collects the highlights of 20 years of device, allowing simultaneous observa- Barcons, X. et al. 2002, A&A, 382, 522
science exploration with FORS. tions of all four components of the Stokes McNeil, E. K. et al. 2010, A&A, 518, A44
vector rather than recording just the ordi- Meech, K. et al. 2017, Nature, 552, 378
Micheli, M. et al. 2018, Nature, 559, 223
nary and extraordinary beams. In that
Nikolov, N. et al. 2018, Nature, 557, 526
The future respect, all the optical devices, including Pian, E. et al. 2017, Nature, 551, 67
the collimator, will be verified and birefrin- Popesso, P. et al. 2009, A&A, 494, 443
The conference summary focused on a gence reduced where possible. An inter- Rupprecht, G. et al. 2010, The Messenger, 140, 2
Sedaghati, E. et al. 2017, Nature, 549, 238
discussion of the various upgrade options est in imaging polarimetry with flat instru-
Spiniello, C. et al. 2018, MNRAS, 480, 1163
as presented. The need for a larger field mental polarisation across the field was Szokoly, G. P. et al. 2004, ApJS, 155, 271
of view was frequently raised; however, discussed. Besides bringing all software Sterzik, M. et al. 2012, Nature, 483, 64
the unvignetted field of the VLT Casegrain systems up to the current standards, the Vanzella, E. et al. 2008, A&A, 478, 83
focus is already in use. In terms of the importance of the pipeline was stressed,
­telescope itself, an enhanced cleaning including the need for science grade data Links
procedure to ensure optimal sensitivity of products. Finally, it was also imperative
the ADC was requested. The instrument to review all the operational constraints, 1
 orkshop programme, abstracts, and online pres-
entations are available at:
was designed for a 10-year lifetime (!), such as for example the interdiction on
so a general overhaul of the mechanics taking arcs during the night at the posi- 2
FORS science overview booklet available at:
and electronics is needed to ensure its tion of the observations.
smooth operation for the next 15 years. FORS2019/FORS20thyear_low.pdf
At the same time, the instrument will be
upgraded so that it provides higher trans- Demographics
mission in both the blue and red parts
of the optical spectral range, without the The Science Organising Committee
need — as is currently the case — to sought fair representation from the com-
exchange CCDs. The detector will come munity when voting to invite eight speak-
with better cosmetics and reduced sys- ers. The end result was a male:female
tematics in the flat field. New grisms ratio of 4:3 among the invited science
that provide flatter throughput and higher speakers.
­sensitivity will also be procured. The

Image from first light FORS BVRI observations of the

spiral galaxy NGC 1288 on the night of 15 Septem-
ber 1998.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 47

Astronomical News DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5143

Report on the ESO Workshop

Linking Galaxies from the Epoch of Initial Star Formation

to Today
held at Rydges World Square Center, Sydney, Australia, 18–22 February 2019

Tayyaba Zafar 1 are able to resolve many detailed ques- field spectrograph (SAMI), Physics at
Carlos De Breuck 2 tions about the physical processes driv- High Angular resolution in Nearby Galax-
Magda Arnaboldi 2 ing galaxy formation and evolution, ieS (PHANGS), survey with the Multi Unit
including: Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) on the
–T  he enrichment of the interstellar VLT and TYPHOON (D'Agostino et al.,
Australian Astronomical Optics, medium with metals and dust and the 2018). There is a very strong synergy
Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia subsequent effects on star formation. between these surveys — many of which
ESO –G  as infall from, and outflow to, the are conducted in Australia — and current
intergalactic medium. and future ESO facilities. One important
–T  he role of galaxy environment and aspect is the complementarity between
We report on the first joint Australia– mergers. the programmes and science data prod-
ESO conference since the start of the –T  riggering mechanisms of starbursts, ucts in the ESO science archive facility
Strategic Partnership. The conference and active galactic nuclei and their and the AAO data centres; many of these
was supported by ESO, the Australian feedback to the surrounding medium. have become available thanks to the ESO
Academy of Science (under a research –T  he role and impact of gas dynamics public surveys and the reprocessing of
grant from Elizabeth & Frederick White), and stellar kinematics. surveys carried out with Australian facili-
the Australian Government Department Cosmological simulations (Illustris 1, ties. The collaboration between these two
of Industry, Innovation and Science, the EAGLE 2, FIRE 3) indicate that the inter- data centres allows for the cross match-
Independent Research Fund Denmark, stellar medium and its constituents ing of resources for a multi-wavelength
Macquarie University, the International are important to understanding galaxy exploration of the objects in our Universe.
Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, ­formation but are vastly unconstrained
CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science observationally. The discrepancy The conference offered an opportunity to
(CASS), and Astronomy Australia Lim- between observations and simulations is summarise the current status of the field
ited. The scientific organising commit- because the roles and physics of the of galaxy formation and evolution and
tee (SOC) took several measures to above-­mentioned processes are not well to discuss how to maximise the scientific
tackle unconscious bias while preparing constrained. return in the future. In addition, several
an exciting programme with good gen- updates on small and large ongoing sur-
der balance and greater representation The five-day conference attracted a wide veys were provided. After a comprehen-
from early career researchers. We detail cross-section of the international astro- sive range of talks the main scientific out-
our approach here with the aim of help- nomical community and included repre- come of the conference was that spatially
ing organisers of future conferences. sentatives from 19 countries making up a resolved observations and simulations
total of 162 attendees (see Figure 1) with of the galaxies are being extended to the
the aim of better understanding star- circumgalactic medium of galaxies. In
Over the last two decades, surveys map- forming regions and the various physical addition, the spatial resolution and sensi-
ping the Universe have made clear that processes in galaxies. Of particular inter- tivity of the current generation of instru-
star formation activity peaks at redshift est was the availability of 3D data allow- ments is powerful enough to trace multi-
z ~ 2.5 (known as “cosmic noon”). The ing the stellar and gas kinematics to be ple physical parameters of galaxies
driver of this cosmic behaviour is still an spatially resolved, as well as other physi- (for example, gas and stellar dynamics,
open area of research. A better under- cal tracers (for example, metallicity). This metallicity, and age) out to the edges of
standing of star-forming regions and has become possible thanks to large the galaxies.
physical processes is required to explain ­surveys with integral field unit (IFU) spec-
the rise and fall around the cosmic noon. trographs, for example, the s­ urvey with The workshop webpage 4 has many more
With existing observational resources, we the Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral details, including more information

Figure 1. Conference

48 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

about the programme, participants and Sweden Denmark Figure 2. Chart showing
the fraction of attendees
organising committees. The talks have
Switzerland Belgium from various countries;
been collected and are available using there were 162 attend-
Zenodo 5. South Korea Pakistan ees in total.
Italy India
Japan Taiwan
Demographics UK Chile
The Netherlands Spain
As this was the first ESO-supported con-
ference held in Australia, it was important Canada
to attract both the ESO and Australian
communities. The timing was carefully France
chosen to be at the end of the Australian Australia
summer break, coinciding with winter USA
vacations in several European countries.
The support provided by our eight
sponsors allowed us to keep the registra-
tion fee relatively low. As shown in Fig- The conference had 26 invited and Astronomy Research (ICRAR), CSIRO Astronomy
and Space Science (CASS), and Astronomy Australia
ure 2, these factors helped to achieve our 73 contributed talks and 23 poster
Limited (AAL).
goal, with more than half of the partici- ­presentations (“sparklers”). Thanks to
pants coming from overseas — not easy, the anonymous voting, the conference
given the time and costs associated with achieved a very good gender balance, References
travel between Europe and Sydney. and there were several science presenta-
D’Agostino, J. J. et al. 2018, MNRAS, 479, 4907
tions from students and early-career
During the organisation of the confer- researchers (see Figure 3). This gives one
ence, we paid particular attention to of the best examples of an astronomy Links
including as many participants from the conference which set out to improve rep- 1
Illustris simulation:
community as possible by controlling resentation, particularly amongst female 2
Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their
various biases in the selection of partici- and young/early career researchers. Environments (EAGLE):
pants (for example, gender, seniority, We note that this selection did not com- 3
Feedback In Realistic Environments (FIRE):
and geographic distribution). The SOC promise on the science; on the contrary, 4
T he workshop homepage:
decided to anonymise the contributed many participants found it enlightening conference/australia-eso-conference-2019
abstracts prior to ranking them in order to and refreshing to see so many new faces 5
T he collection of presentations (via Zenodo):
avoid unconscious bias. Furthermore, the and topics amongst the speakers.
SOC members were asked to declare any
conflicts of interest with abstracts and
excluded from reviewing them. In addi- Acknowledgements
tion, votes from the SOC themselves We would like to acknowledge financial support for
were anonymised — i.e., the votes cast this meeting from the Australian Academy of Science
for a particular abstract were not associ- (AAS), the Independent Research Fund Denmark,
ated with the corresponding SOC mem- the Department of Industry Innovation and Science Figure 3. Left panel: The gender ratio amongst par-
Australia, ESO, the Research Centre for Astronomy, ticipants. Right panel: The distribution according to
bers. All of these measures served to Astrophysics & Astrophotonics, Macquarie Univer- career level for all invited and contributed talks, and
reduce hidden biases. sity (MQAAAStro), the International Centre for Radio poster presentations.


Female Students (PhD, MS)

46% 36%


The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 49

Astronomical News DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5144

ESO Science Ambassadors

Chris Harrison 1 scientists to visit public observatories, people in their own countries to find rele-
Fabrizio Arrigoni Battaia 1, 2 science festivals, universities and teach- vant events or groups to engage with
Lucy Moorcraft 3 ers’ conferences to promote these and this has the advantage of easing the
achievements. The project was awarded organisational aspects of the project.
a grant by the Director for Science to Crucially, people find these early-career
ESO carry out engagement activities in 2018. scientists from their own countries to be
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, With some careful budgeting and addi- fantastic role models, thus effectively
Garching, Germany tional fundraising by the fellows, the making these ESO Fellows and students
Technische Universität München (TUM), project has been carried on into 2019. great international ambassadors for ESO.
Garching, Germany
The most important concept of the Sci- The Ambassadors themselves gain many
ence Ambassador project is that the benefits from leading these activities.
The Science Ambassador project, initi- Ambassadors should directly engage Engaging with fun audiences that tend to
ated by ESO Fellows from Garching with audiences who have no familiarity be much less sceptical or critical — at
and Vitacura, is designed to dissemi- with ESO. While the ESO Supernova is least compared to researchers! — keeps
nate information about ESO’s activities an important way in which ESO can inter- the Ambassadors enthusiastic and
by sending scientists to visit countries act with the public, visitors tend to come inspired about their own research and
across Europe and Chile. The primary from Germany or privileged European they are able to hone their communica-
goals are: (1) to raise awareness of schools that are able to organise travel to tion and teaching skills. In many cases
ESO’s mission and its telescopes, with Garching. Indeed, several fellows the Ambassadors have the opportunity
a focus on the Extremely Large Tele- observed that many people they spoke to to promote their own specific research
scope; (2) to transmit the ESO Super- in their own home countries had little topics during their trips, either to profes-
nova Planetarium & Visitor Centre knowledge of ESO, its telescopes or its sional researchers or to members of the
­experience to schools and the general scientific achievements. Consequently, public.
public; and (3) to promote opportunities the main objective of the Science Ambas-
at ESO for early-career researchers. sador project is to promote ESO’s mis-
The project also provides a long-term sion in astronomy from several perspec- Events, activities and preparation
legacy through training of local educa- tives to a broader audience.
tors and donation of resources. The Science Ambassadors lead a range
The three key goals are: of different types of event to carry out
1. To raise awareness of ESO’s mission of the project’s objectives, which include:
Motivation and objectives running cutting-edge astronomical – talks / poster presentations;
facilities (with a focus on the ELT) – hands-on interactive workshops at
The last two years have seen a lot of amongst diverse audiences, including ­public science festivals or teacher
exciting progress at ESO. The construc- university students, teachers, minority conferences;
tion of the main structure for the groups and the wider public. – discussions and Q&A sessions;
Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) — the 2. T o promote and donate educational – donating educational workshop equip-
largest optical telescope ever conceived resources created for the ESO Super- ment to educational centres, such
— is now under way in Chile. ESO facili- nova to teachers and public observa- as public observatories, and providing
ties have played key roles in recent revo- tories. training for the local staff.
lutionary scientific discoveries, including 3. T o attract exceptional scientific talent
the first ever detection of an electro­ by promoting opportunities for early- Events are planned around the interests
magnetic counterpart to a gravitational career researchers at ESO in Garching and availability of the Ambassadors.
wave event (Smartt et al., 2017) and and Vitacura. There are two main types of venue for the
the first test of General Relativity around events: (a) those based in scientific insti-
a supermassive black hole (GRAVITY tutes, which are usually undertaken as
Collaboration et al., 2018). Furthermore, The Ambassadors part of a pre-planned science collabora-
2018 also saw the opening of the ESO tive visit or conference; and (2) those
Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre 1, The activities have been primarily carried based elsewhere, such as at science fes-
a facility that showcases much of the out by a team of Science Ambassadors tivals, public observatories or teachers’
fantastic educational and publicity work made up of ESO Fellows and students conferences. For the latter we make use
done by ESO and its partners, including based in Garching or Vitacura. ESO Fel- of the Ambassadors’ own local contacts
the creation of inspiring exhibition mate- lows and students are a very diverse and the ESO Science Outreach Network
rial, planetarium shows and educational international group, able to communicate (ESON) to find appropriate events or ven-
workshops. key messages and activities in many dif- ues. In some cases, we are required to
ferent languages. In most cases the Sci- write a proposal to put on a workshop or
These recent developments at ESO ence Ambassadors visit their home coun- stall at a science festival or conference.
inspired the fellows to collectively apply tries to carry out face-to-face engage- To date, these have always been suc-
for funds that could be used to send ESO ment activities. They use their links to cessful, and we have noted considerable

50 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

Figure 1. ESO student b. ELT and segmented mirrors: This
(Garching), Aleksandra
workshop uses a series of lasers and
Hamanowicz, discuss-
ing the opportunities small mirrors (with “actuator” screws
for women in astronomy on the back) to demonstrate how a
at the Galaktyka Kobiet large mirror can be made from several
(Galaxy of Women)
individual segments (see Figure 3). It
event in Poland.
also shows how light can be directed
to different focus points in a telescope.
The Ambassadors use this activity to
describe the design of the ELT primary

c. Infrared pictures and exoplanet mod-

els: This activity uses webcams
adapted to see at infrared wavelengths
to look at models of Orion via which
you can penetrate through dark clouds
of gas and dust. In addition there are
enthusiasm for having ESO representa- nities with students and postdoctoral models based on real extrasolar planet
tion at these various events; for example, researchers at Manchester University. systems (see Figure 4). This activity
at La fête de la science in France and the is used to explain the benefits of ESO
Associazione per l’Insegnamento della Hands-on and interactive educational instruments that can see in the infrared
Fisica (AIF) teacher’s conference in Italy. workshops (for example, to study dusty nebulae
Workshops developed by the ESO and to directly image exoplanets).
Several resources had to be prepared in Supernova staff (in collaboration with
early 2018 for the various activities. These Haus der Astronomie 2 in Heidelberg) Exoplanet Drawing activity and website
materials, which are described below, were presented at various public science A series of exoplanet information planet
have been created so that they can be festivals, as well as to teachers. The cards were created with some key infor-
continuously reused by ESO scientists Ambassadors also constructed and mation about these planets (for example,
during future activities. The Ambassadors donated several workshop kits in the the planet temperatures, sizes and
were trained on site at ESO headquarters places that they visited. masses). Participants in this activity (usu-
in how to use and deliver the different ally elementary school children), draw
activities (although in one case last year, These workshops are: their own impressions of what these
for a fellow based in Chile, it took place exoplanets might look like (see Figure 5).
over a telecon). a. T
 elescope designs: This workshop The drawings are uploaded to a dedi-
uses a series of lenses, mirrors, cated website3 that is maintained by the
Information posters and presentations light-emitting diodes and a “laser can- ESO Ambassadors. We also use the
Posters and presentations have been non” to showcase how refracting and activity to explain the current status and
developed that cover ESO scientific reflecting telescopes work (see Fig­- future of understanding exoplanets and
opportunities (for example, fellowships, ure 2). The Ambassadors also use this ESO’s contribution to this research.
studentships and internships) and ESO activity to explain the different designs
educational resources (for example, of various ESO telescopes.
online images, movies and information).
These have been translated into different
languages, as necessary, for the individ-
ual events. They are available to be
downloaded and printed by any ESO sci-
entist visiting another institution or con-
ference. Ambassadors have also accom-
panied their presentations with Q&A and
discussion sessions where they can
share their own knowledge and experi- Figure 2. Hugo Messias,
an ESO Fellow in
ence of the fellowships/studentships. Vitacura, presenting the
For example, student Aleksandra telescopes workshop
Hamanowicz held a discussion session to visitors of the Lake
during an event to encourage young Alqueva Observatory
(OLA) in Portugal. The
women into science in Poland (see Fig­- equipment is being
ure 1) and fellow Chris Harrison had a kept at the observatory
discussion about ESO research opportu- for use by future visitors.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 51

Astronomical News Harrison C. et al., ESO Science Ambassadors

Gavin Duthie Photography

Figure 3 (above). Teachers being Figure 4 (right). Students of a local
trained by Chiara Circosta, ESO stu- school engaging with the public at the
dent in Garching, in how to use the Celebrate Science festival in Durham
ELT/segmented mirrors workshop. (UK) to explain the benefits of using
infrared light for astronomy.

Other activities were also performed on tive. For example: a participant at the de la science who asked the ESO Sci-
an ad hoc basis. For example, during Manchester Science Festival said, “Wow, ence Ambassadors to return in 2019 as
a teachers’ conference, ESO Fellow (the Ambassadors) really opened up the part of their bid to secure funding from
­Fabrizio Arrigoni Battaia carried out two world of telescopes for the kids”; one the relevant French Ministry.
Q&A sessions from the APEX control of the school students who helped the
room to give the teachers a close-up Ambassadors deliver activities said, “The The Science Ambassador project aims to
view of observing at ESO facilities. brilliant activities I helped to carry out create a legacy so that the engagement
for ESO have helped me to find real world with ESO is not limited to one-off events.
applications for the science I have learnt In 2018, this included the manufacture
First year of activities and legacy at school” and an undergraduate student, and delivery of ESO Supernova work-
after speaking to one of the current ESO shops to Vitacura and the donation of
In 2018 the ESO Ambassadors carried PhD students simply said, “I want to work these workshops to four different educa-
out 20 activities across nine countries. in ESO!”. In several cases the Ambassa- tional centres across Europe. Further-
The target countries in 2018 were ESO dors were invited to return the following more, around 200 local teachers or stu-
Member States and Chile. A full list of the year to carry out activities again. Of par- dent ambassadors were trained to carry
events is provided in Table 1 and Fig- ticular note were the organisers of La fête on delivering our messages about the
ure 6 shows a breakdown of the different
categories of audiences. Some notable
figures: the Ambassadors engaged
directly with ~ 6000 people; 524 different
exoplanet drawings were uploaded live
onto the project website 3. It is also
impressive that, in addition to the activi-
ties listed in Table 1, which were organ-
ised under the umbrella of ESO Science
Ambassadors, ESO Fellows and students
continued to organise their own addi- Figure 5. An example
tional public engagement events in paral- of an artist’s impression
lel to this project. of an exoplanet system
drawn by one of our
young participants.
Throughout the project, feedback was ­Similar artists’ impres-
collected from the participants of the sions can be found
activities; this was overwhelmingly posi- on the project website 3.

52 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

2000 Figure 6. People engag- related to IAU Symposium 356, which
ing in activities led by
Families takes place in Addis Ababa in October.
ESO Science Ambassa-
Elementary school children
dors during 2018
1500 Undergrads divided by category (as To date, the team of Ambassadors has
High-school students explained in the legend). consisted of 19 ESO Fellows and stu-
In red we highlight the
Teachers dents. These Ambassadors have been
number of people con-
1000 Adults (general audience) supported by an additional 38 scientists,

tacting the ESO Ambas-

Postgrads sadors after the events school students or teachers who were
Legacy (for example, visits to recruited to help with presenting the
500 the website, teacher’s
activities locally. An additional 19 ESO
asking us to organise
250 trainings in 2019, etc.). staff, fellows, students and interns have
also been involved in the project by pro-
0 viding various levels of support, for
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
­example by developing activities, translat-
ing documents, or assisting with organi-
ESO mission, long after the Ambassa- thanks to careful handling of the initial sational aspects.
dors had left. The project website also funds from the SSDF. For example, when
enables members of the public to interact activities are carried out alongside exist- Based on the resources that have been
after the Ambassadors have left and pro- ing science trips the overall cost to ESO developed and the experience and
vides a portal to the main ESO website. is low. Furthermore, additional funds have knowledge already gained (for example,
been obtained by the ESO Fellows. In how to be involved in various science
particular, funds were awarded by the ­festivals), we foresee that Science
Next steps International Astronomical Union as part Ambassador activities should be able to
of an IAU100 project so that activities continue well into the future.
The Science Ambassador project is con- could be carried out in a few non-ESO
tinuing into 2019. This has been possible member countries: Croatia, Bulgaria, The ESO Science Ambassador project
Hungary, Ukraine and Slovakia. The has been a fulfilling and gratifying experi-
Table 1. Events and activities of ESO Science Ambassadors also plan to work with local ence. It has really highlighted the won-
Ambassadors in 2018. schools in Ethiopia as part of activities derful team spirit between ESO students

Country Month Event Activities

Portugal June Noites do Observatório, Navy Planetarium Public talk: Um Universo com ALMA and stargazing
Spain July XIII Biannual Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society Poster on “ESO Opportunities for Early-Career Scientists”
Portugal July Lunar Eclipse event, Lake Alqueva Observatory (OLA) Public talk. ESO Supernova workshops, presented and then
Portugal July Ser Cientista (To be a Scientist) Workshop for high-school students. ESO Supernova workshops in
France July Soirée étoilée avec Toulx-et-possible Public talk on ESO’s facilities: emphasis on ELT as mirror
segments being built close by.
Italy August A spasso tra le stelle (for people with disabilities) Mix of interactive lectures, videos, activities, exoplanet artists’
Poland September Galaktyka Kobiet (Galaxy of Women) Public talk on opportunities for women in astronomy, Q&A session
Poland September Physics teacher conference Teacher training, advertisement of the ESO Supernova materials
Poland September Nationwide conference of undergraduate astronomy Public talk & poster about ESO and possibilities for early-career
students scientists at ESO
France October Festival Atmosphere (La fête de la science) ESO Supernova workshops and exoplanet artists’ impressions for
schools and the general public
UK October Durham Science Ambassadors training session Training and donation of ESO Supernova workshop equipment for
teachers and pupils
UK October Celebrate Science Festival, Durham ESO Supernova workshops and exoplanet artists’ impressions for
the general public
UK October Durham University Q&A session for early-career researchers
UK October Manchester Science Festival, Manchester ESO Supernova workshops and exoplanet artists’ impressions for
the general public
UK October Manchester University Q&A session for early-career researchers
Italy October 57 Congresso Nazionale Associazione per l’Insegnamento Workshops for teachers on the ESO Supernova workshops.
della Fisica (AIF) Q &A sessions with ESO Fellow observing at the APEX telescope.
Netherlands December Leiden Old Observatory Donation of ESO Supernova workshop equipment.
Chile December ESO Delivery of ESO Supernova workshop equipment.
Czech Republic December Astronomical Institute in Ondrejo and University in Brno Talks and Q&A sessions for early-career researchers.
Poland December Almukantarat Astronomy Club Donation of ESO Supernova workshop equipment.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 53

Astronomical News

and Fellows and the fantastic support Education. The project is only possible thanks to the Klingner; Anne-Laure Cheffot; Giuliana Cosentino;
tremendous efforts of the ESO students and Fellows Romain Lucchesi; Mariya Lyubenova; Carlo Felice
from the wider ESO staff. The Ambassa-
(both current and former alumni) who have acted as Manara; Sara Mancino; Anna Miotello; Juliette Ortet;
dors noted in particular how they enjoyed Science Ambassadors. To date, these are: Richard Elizabeth Russell; Saskia Schutt; Nicole Shearer;
engaging with people from their own Anderson; Fabrizio ­A rrigoni Battaia; Barnabás Nelma Silva; Giustina Vietri; S
­ ebastian Wassill; and
countries and observing how inspired Barna; Chiara Circosta; Jesús M. Corral-Santana; Alex Weiss. Finally, we warmly thank the ESON
Jérémy Fensch; A ­ leksandra Hamanowicz; members who helped plan events and Jasmin Patel
they were by the ELT project. They also
Miranda Jarvis; Tereza Jerabkova; Chris Harrison; for help with coding and setting up the project web-
report how rewarding it has been to Rosita ­Kokotanekova; Kateryna Kravchenko; site.
showcase the amazing resources of the Dinko ­Milakovic; Hugo ­M essias; Stephen Molyneux;
ESO Supernova, and to help search for ­A nnagrazia Puglisi; Miguel Querejeta; Jan Scholtz
and Anita Zanella. References
the next generation of ESO Fellows and
students. We believe that a positive link The Science Ambassadors have also been sup- GRAVITY Collaboration et al. 2018, A&A, 615, L15
with society is fundamental for the devel- ported in their activities by Simon Borgniet (Meudon Smartt, S. et al. 2017, Nature, 551, 75
opment of increasingly challenging astro- Observatory), Lorraine Coghill (Durham University),
Tracy Garratt (Hertfordshire University), Lucy
nomical programmes — we hope that
­M oorcraft (TUM), Alasdair Thomson (Manchester Links
the ESO Science Ambassador project University), Kate Wetherell (Manchester University),
will continue to achieve this for years to and 32 students and teachers from the following 1
T he ESO Supernova Visitor Centre and
come. UK Schools: Wolsingham School; St Bede’s Catholic Planetarium:
School and Sixth Form College; Longfield Academy; Haus der Astronomie:
and St John’s Catholic School.
T he ESO Science Ambassador website:
Acknowledgements A lot of support with developing materials, translat-
ing documents and planning events has come from T he webpage for the International Society for
The ESO Science Ambassador project is grateful the following ESO Interns, current and past students Optics and Photonics, SPIE:
for financial support from ESO’s SSDF, SPIE 4, the and fellows, and staff: Tania Johnston; Wolfgang
IAU and the French Ministry for Culture and Vieser; Mylene Andre; Stella-Maria Chasiotis-­

DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5145

Fellows at ESO

Jesús Corral-Santana things I did not know (including planetary

nebulae, clusters, black holes). I specifi-
Like many of my colleagues, my love for cally remember the tape where they
astronomy began when I was a child. talked about the first dynamical confirma-
In my case, it really was a vocational call- tion of the first black hole ever found by
ing. I do not remember the first time I Jorge Casares — at that time a PhD stu-
started to think about it, but I do remem- dent at the IAC.
ber asking my parents about astronomy
and the possibility of going out during the During summer breaks, I used to visit my
night to observe the stars. I am originally grandmother in Madrid and ask her or my
from the Canary Islands where there is aunt to take me to the planetarium. That
a strong astronomical community thanks was simply awesome for a 10-ish year
to the good quality of the skies. For that old kid; I was fascinated by the shows
reason, there was a lot of information while my aunt snored next to me. I could
in the local media about new discoveries not understand why she was not thrilled
and scientific results produced with the about the show! For me, every summer
telescopes installed there. visit to Madrid meant a visit to the plane-
tarium and a suitcase full of posters and
I remember watching a series of docu- merchandising. Jesús Corral-Santana
mentary tapes released by a local news-
paper and produced by the Instituto de Back at home, I started to fill my bed-
Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) about room with all of that stuff: a luminescent
astronomy and being fascinated by all the clock which had the visible side of the

54 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

Moon labelled with the names of all the During my PhD we were able to identify taking care of the other two instruments
craters and plains (mares); posters with two new systems containing black holes, mounted at the telescope, the Nasmyth
all the constellations visible from the increasing the number of systems known. Adaptive Optics CONICA System (NACO)
northern hemisphere; and a lot of fluores- One of the major handicaps in this field and the FOcal Reducer/low dispersion
cent star and planet-shape stickers with is the difficulty of detecting new systems. Spectrograph 2 (FORS2). More recently,
which I covered the walls and ceiling of So far this is only possible when they I extended my duties to support UT2
my bedroom, creating my own illuminated enter into outburst. However, this hap- as the X-shooter fellow, also taking care
sky during the night. pens randomly across the sky and in of operations on the Fibre Large Array
time, so it is not very efficient. Thus, our Multi Element Spectrograph (FLAMES)
During my whole childhood I grew up understanding of the properties of these and the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle
reading about astronomy in books and sources as a whole is very limited. On Spectrograph (UVES).
watching documentaries. One Christmas, the other hand, dynamical confirmation
I got a telescope and that changed requires the system to be in quiescence, During these years I have learnt a lot.
everything! We could not afford to buy a but this is also when the system is fainter. Although I had considerable observa-
car so I could not go far with it but I will Since the vast majority of sources are tional experience as an astronomer
never forget the first time I saw the Moon locatedin the Galactic plane, the redden- thanks to my work on surveys, the way of
through that telescope. From that ing added to the faintness of the low- carrying out operations at Paranal is
moment, I knew what I wanted to do in mass star companion (which dominates completely different. I love working at the
my life. the optical/infrared spectrum in quies- observatory; I am always learning some-
cence) is also a limitation in the field of thing new and there are always a lot of
I read about all the steps required to transient X-ray binaries. new things to do and problems to solve. I
become an astronomer and started to find it challenging and stimulating and we
take decisions. There was no astronomy During my PhD, we addressed these two never get bored. I also like the working
or physics at the local university but issues, trying to develop new techniques environment; it is great working with the
there was a good faculty of physics on that can help us unveil new systems, team of engineers, scientists and opera-
the other main island of the archipelago. and using current instrumentation to con- tors during a shift which could last as
My parents and relatives supported me firm the nature of already known sources. long as 14 days! We get the opportunity
at every step, and when I was 17, I took Thus, I spent a significant fraction of to be involved in small projects to
my suitcases and moved alone from my PhD observing on La Palma (Canary improve the efficiency of the instruments
Gran Canaria to Tenerife. Islands), South Africa and Chile, where I and keep in touch with the day-to-day
learned a lot about carrying out observa- activities.
It was not easy. We did not have the eco- tions. By the end of my PhD I had nearly
nomic resources to sustain my adventure 120 nights of observational experience In October I will finish my third year as an
of living abroad so I had to work and get behind me, using all kinds of telescopes, ESO Fellow and will conclude my duties
grants in order to pay for my university instruments and observing modes. in Paranal. I still do not know where I will
years. But it was totally worth it. During be in a year’s time, but I am pretty sure
my final year I applied for the “resident” When I finished my PhD I started to look that I will miss Paranal and my colleagues
PhD grant at the IAC and I was one of the for postdoc positions everywhere; Chile at ESO.
selected candidates. That was a major was at the very top of my list because of
achievement for me because of the large the large number of observatories hosted
number of applicants and the reputation in the country, and the excellent condi- Claudia Agliozzo
of that grant. tions for observational astronomy. During
my search for a postdoc, I met Franz I grew up in a town at the foot of Mount
I started to work with Jorge Casares and Bauer from the Pontificia Universidad Etna in Sicily, Italy. When I was 11 years
Ignacio González on X-ray binaries, inter- Católica de Chile (PUC) who suggested old, I joined the Scouts and we used to
active binary systems formed by a black that I apply for a Fondecyt Postdoctoral go camping. During the hot Sicilian sum-
hole which is accreting material from a fellowship, which we got in 2013. This led mers there can be a few nights when
companion star. The project was exciting to me packing again, this time for a larger the Tramontane wind clears away the hot
and my supervisors were great. From jump over the Atlantic. sultry air and brings respite. From the
the very beginning, one of our main goals Nebrodi mountains, far from light pollu-
was to find more systems harbouring I was at PUC for almost three years tion, you get the chance to see the
black holes. At that point, only 17 had before joining ESO as a fellow, with duties Milky Way. My friends designated me the
been confirmed after more than 50 years in Paranal, and where I have now been astronomer in the group, and that
of X-ray astronomy! Transient X-ray bina- working for more than two years. Coming became one of my specialities as a scout.
ries are detected by X-ray satellites to ESO was an easy transition for me —
when they go into outburst, but to obtain from the very beginning I felt totally inte- Those were also the years after the
the dynamical solution of the system, grated at ESO. I started my training at Maastricht Treaty. I wrote an essay about
we need to observe them at optical and UT1, becoming the K-band Multi-Object it for the final exam at middle school; I
infrared wavelengths. Spectrograph (KMOS) fellow, but also had absorbed all the enthusiastic feelings

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 55

Astronomical News Corral-Santana J., Agliozzo C. & Anderson R., Fellows at ESO

Claudia Agliozzo ised a special tour for me of the ALMA

antennas and the Operations Support
Facility; it was here that I got a taste of
working life in a big observatory.

At the end of the same year I was

awarded a three-year Fondecyt fellow-
ship and continued to work at UNAB. I
was involved in observations for super-
nova searches and follow-up pro-
grammes, including the CHilean Auto-
matic Supernova sEarch (CHASE) and
the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey for
Transient Objects (PESSTO), during
which I had the opportunity to carry out
observations with telescopes at Cerro
of my parents and my teachers. I would mass loss ­during the final stages of their Tololo and with the New Technology Tele-
have been very excited to hear that one evolution, before core-collapse and their scope at La Silla. Visiting the ESO facili-
day I would become an astronomer and sub­sequent supernova explosions. ties was my dream as a kid and I felt very
work in an international organisation such lucky to have fulfilled that.
as ESO. During the first year of my PhD pro-
gramme I spent some months at Caltech I particularly enjoyed carrying out obser-
Later, I attended a classical lyceum, in California, where I learned to analyse vations, both for myself and for others,
with many hours of literature, Latin and data from infrared space telescopes and what I wished to experience next was
Ancient Greek, but my favourite class for my study and also worked on another working in a big facility such as ALMA. At
was that of my enthusiastic physics project involving Australia Telescope the conclusion of the four-year period of
teacher. After my school years, with no Compact Array (ATCA) data of a nearby my position at UNAB I applied for an ESO
hesitation at all, I signed up to study star forming region. Fellowship in Chile. I joined ESO as a fel-
Physics at the University of Catania. low at the end of 2017 and did my duties
On returning to Italy, I had become expe- at ALMA. Here there are 10 times as
During my undergraduate studies I grew rienced with ATCA data and wished many antennas as at ATCA and substan-
interested in different topics in physics, to expand my study of LBVs to lower tial team effort is necessary to make the
but by far my favourite course was the metallicity environments, similar to the observations possible. My most common
one on radio astronomy, held at Catania’s early Universe. The best laboratory for role is "Astronomer on Duty", which
INAF observatory by Corrado Trigilio. I this study is the Magellanic Clouds, which involves participating in the science oper-
was motivated to learn radio interferome- can only be observed from the southern ations at the OSF. I have also coordinated
try while working on my first research hemisphere, and the only interferometer a large observatory project with the
project for my master degree thesis — a available to observe them at that time 7-metre and total power antennas, work-
study of the radio emission of the rapidly was the ATCA. My first observations were ing on evaluating stars as potential high
evolving protoplanetary nebula CRL618 truly an experiment and finding LBV frequency calibrators for ALMA.
using data from the Karl G. Jansky Very sources in the data was very exciting.
Large Array. I presented this work at the I recently moved to ESO in Garching for
Young European Radio Astronomy I defended my PhD thesis in 2013. My the remainder of my fellowship, and I
­Conference in Portugal. This was the first first postdoc brought me to Chile. I joined work with the ALMA Regional Centre to
time I met colleagues from different parts the Supernova team at Universidad support the European ALMA community.
of the world, with different astrophysical Andres Bello (UNAB) in Santiago and I Both ESO offices in Garching and in
interests and backgrounds. I understood was encouraged by my advisor, Giuliano Vitacura attract scientists from all over
that this was another attractive aspect Pignata, to follow up my study of the globe for collaboration and on
of scientific research, and at that point Magellanic LBVs with ALMA to address observing trips. Every day is an opportu-
I decided to gain further experience their role as dust producers at low metal- nity to learn more science and meet
in research. I enrolled in the PhD pro- licities. For the first time I went to Narrabri more people. As a fellow, you get the
gramme at the University of Catania and in Australia to perform observations of my opportunity to benefit from different train-
continued to work with the radio astron- favourite sources myself. ings to improve your professional skills
omy team, this time on a study at radio At that observing site, you get to operate and you can always find somebody eager
and infrared wavelengths of the ejecta of six radio telescopes, collect the data to give you advice, both for your work
luminous blue variable stars (LBVs) in and bring them home. Meanwhile, I got and your career. I feel particularly privi-
our Galaxy, supervised by Grazia Umana. observing time with ALMA, which I leged to be spending my time at the ESO
These are blue supergiant stars that wanted to visit. I am grateful to Becky offices and facilities.
experience enigmatic violent episodes of Vega and Richard Hills for having organ-

56 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

Richard Anderson contribute to this huge project while con- GE-CeRVS also acted as a catalyser for
ducting the majority of my research in establishing a fruitful and enriching col-
In hindsight, there were clear precursors smaller collaborations. Connecting with laboration with interferometry experts
for my later career as a professional members of different research groups (notably Pierre Kervella, Alexandre
­astronomer, such as trying to photograph across Geneva observatory, I soon ­Gallenne, and Antoine Mérand). With
Comet Hale-Bopp with my father’s ­collaborated with stellar evolution experts them I led two successful Very Large Tel-
film SLR camera when I was a kid, or my (notably Georges Meynet and Corinne escope Interferometer proposals for the
interest in A Brief History of Time soon Charbonnel) on the effects of rotation Precision Integrated Optics Near-infrared
thereafter. However, the adolescent me on the evolution of Cepheids and learned Imaging ExpeRiment (PIONIER), which
was much more interested in acting than about high-precision radial velocity took me to ESO’s Paranal observatory as
academia, even though I chose to enroll measurements from the Geneva exo- a visiting astronomer. What a privilege
in a physics undergraduate degree at planet team. to have so much freedom to explore and
Augsburg University for the presumably follow my curiosity!
more stable job prospects. Joking aside, Following my interest in precision radial
my path to becoming a professional velocities, I initiated the Geneva Cepheid In my current functional work as an ESO
researcher at ESO, the world’s most pro- Radial Velocity Survey (GE-CeRVS), Fellow, I continue to pursue my interest in
ductive ground-based astronomical which I am currently working to complete. high-precision spectroscopy by contrib-
observatory, has been an exhilarating Since 2011, GE-CeRVS has gathered uting to the data reduction pipeline devel-
journey and I am grateful for the amazing more than 19 000 observations using two opment of the Echelle SPectrograph
opportunities I was offered, the profound “small” (1.2-metre) telescopes, one in for Rocky Exoplanet and Stable Spectro-
experiences I had, and the wonderful each hemisphere, namely the Mercator scopic Observations (ESPRESSO) — the
people I interacted with along the way. I on La Palma and the Euler at ESO’s most stable spectrograph ever built.
love being an astrophysicist. La Silla Observatory. Of course, I gath- ESPRESSO will be a game changer in the
ered a large fraction of these observa- search for, and characterisation of, rocky
Moving to Lund, Sweden as an ­ERASMUS tions myself over the course of 264 unfor- exoplanets, while bringing us closer to
exchange student was perhaps the gettable nights. However, GE-CeRVS directly measuring the expansion of the
best gut decision I ever made. Lund was would not have been possible without the Universe via the Sandage-Loeb test.
transformative for my development invaluable contributions of numerous col-
thanks to excellent instructors, highly leagues and friends made who helped In 2014, I secured a postdoctoral fellow-
motivated peers, and the life experi- out with observations, provided technical ship from the Swiss National Science
ence of leaving my comfort zone. After assistance, and allocated telescope time Foundation to work with Nobel laureate
the exchange, I moved to Göttingen, or other resources (Thank you all!). Adam Riess and members of the team
­Germany, where I pursued interests in Thanks to an unprecedented combina- working on the Supernovae and H0 for
both high-energy particle physics and tion of precision (as good as 2 m s –1), the dark energy Equation of State
astrophysics and seized opportunities for dense phase coverage, and multi-year (SH0ES) programme in Baltimore, USA.
research internships at DESY in Zeuthen, baselines of more than 270 Milky Way Those three years were amazing,
Germany, at ASIAA in Taipei, Taiwan, Cepheids, GE-CeRVS data have uncov- and I am particularly grateful to Stefano
and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory ered new aspects of the variability of ­Casertano, who quickly became a friend
group at Carleton University in Ottawa, Cepheids and provide unique insights and mentor to me. At Johns Hopkins
Canada. In a dream, I eventually realised into stellar pulsations and distance ­University, I began shifting my focus from
that astrophysics was my favorite subject, measurements. better understanding the stellar physics
and this was cemented by seeing
­Saturn’s rings through the University’s
50-cm rooftop telescope. Having found
my academic raison d’être, I started on
my year-long Diplomarbeit to measure
stellar magnetic fields in Ansgar Reiners’
Emmy Noether research group.

For my PhD I moved to Geneva Observa-

tory in Switzerland, where I specialised in
the astrophysics of classical Cepheid
­variable stars, under the supervision of
Laurent Eyer and Nami Mowlavi in the
group that leads the variability processing
effort for the ESA space mission Gaia
(launched 3 days after my thesis defense).
As a member of Gaia’s Data Processing
and Analysis Consortium I was able to Richard Anderson

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 57

Astronomical News

of Cepheids to improving the accuracy of an imminent breakthrough in fundamen- and the calibration of the cosmic dis-
Cepheid-related distance measurements. tal physics, as the difference between tance ladder, and to this end I am cur-
Specifically, I collaborated with Adam late- and early-Universe H0 values sug- rently working with Martino Romaniello
and Stefano to quantify parallax errors gests that the LCDM Concordance and PhD candidate Sara Mancino to
due to orbital motion and bias produced ­Cosmological Model may be incomplete. characterise the effect of chemical com-
by stars physically associated with However, before new physics can position on Cepheids and the Leavitt law.
Cepheids. be credibly invoked to resolve the Hubble Mentoring and advising graduate stu-
tension, known and unknown error dents has been a particularly rewarding
Meanwhile, the SH0ES team significantly sources must be critically assessed and experience for me, and I look forward
improved the accuracy of the extra­ further reduced, and independent, to leading a research group of my own
galactic distance ladder and established high-accuracy (1–2%) H0 measurements because this will allow me to continue
an intriguing discord between late- and pursued. pursuing my research ideas while improv-
early-­Universe values of Hubble’s con- ing the chances of contributing to a major
stant, H0. This so-called “Hubble tension” I am highly motivated to further elucidate breakthrough. In any case, I will surely
— which now figures at a significance of the Hubble tension via my experience have a blast trying!
4.4 s — leads to the exciting possibility of in the stellar astrophysics of Cepheids

DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5146

Gustav Andreas Tammann (1932–2019)

Bruno Leibundgut 1 the value of the Hubble constant. They until 1993 (together with Philippe Véron,
carefully investigated every rung of the Franco Pacini and Jean-Pierre Swings),
distance ladder until they reached dis- supported the then Director General
ESO tances in the Hubble flow to establish the Lodewijk Woltjer in scientific matters and
current cosmic expansion rate. Tammann helped build a science group at ESO
strongly advocated the use of superno- headquarters. He worked with the Swiss
Gustav Andreas Tammann died in Janu- vae as distance indicators and in other government to enable the accession
ary 2019, after a long and successful cosmological applications, for example, of Switzerland to ESO as the seventh
astronomical career. He made seminal using time dilation to test general relativ- ­Member State and served as the Swiss
contributions to extragalactic astrophys- ity. He was vindicated by the successful representative on the ESO Council from
ics and cosmology and is best known use of Type Ia supernovae to provide 1992 until 2002.
for his work to determine the Hubble con- a reliable last rung into the Hubble flow,
stant and the use of supernovae as cos- and ultimately to produce evidence for
mic distance indicators. For many years accelerated cosmic expansion. The exact
he was the leading extragalactic astrono- value of the Hubble constant remains a
mer in Europe. Tammann also had a long matter of intense debate, but the local
association with ESO and was instrumen- expansion rate is now almost exclusively
tal in convincing the Swiss government measured by Type Ia supernovae (cali-
to join the Organisation in 1982. brated by Cepheid stars), the most accu-
rate distance indicator available for cos-
After a degree from the University of mology to date.
Basel, Switzerland, Tammann spent time
as a Research Associate at the Mount Tammann received many distinctions,
Wilson and Palomar Observatories in including the Karl-Schwarzschild Medaille
Pasadena, California. After his return to of the Astronomische Gesellschaft, the
Europe he first held a professorship in Albert-Einstein-Medaille of the Einstein
Hamburg, and was then Director of the Gesellschaft Bern and the Tomalla-Preis
Astronomical Institute in Basel from 1977 by the Tomalla Foundation. He served as
until his retirement in 2002. president of the Astronomische Gesell-
schaft from 1981 to 1984 and was an
While in Pasadena, Tammann and Allan elected member of several acade­mies.
Sandage initiated a research programme
resulting in a collaboration lasting over Gustav Tammann had a close association
four decades, aimed at establishing the with ESO for nearly 40 years. He was
distance ladder and ultimately measuring an ESO research associate from 1975

58 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019

Astronomical News

Personnel Movements

Arrivals (1 April– 30 June 2019) Departures (1 April– 30 June 20199)

Europe Europe

Booth, Michael Tucker (US) Mechanical Engineer André, Mathias (FR) Web & Advanced Projects Coordinator
Del Valle Izquierdo, Diego (CL) Software Engineer Arumugam, Vinodiran (MY) ALMA Pipeline Processing Analyst
Gitton, Philippe, (FR) Opto-Mechanical Engineer Casali, Mark (IT) Technology Development &
Kammerer, Jens (DE) Student Armazones Instrumentation
Kurian, Kshama Sara (IN) Student Programme Manager
Mc Manmon, Conor (IE) Software Engineer Eftekhari, Sara (IR) Student
Péroux, Céline (FR) Astronomer/Instrument Project Scientist Gilmozzi, Roberto (IT) Deputy Director of Programmes
Poci, Adriano (AU) Student and Programme Scientist
Podgorski, Stanislaw (PL) Software Engineer Lizon à L'Allemand, Jean-Louis (FR) Senior Technical Expert
Reinacher, Andreas (DE) Control Engineer Rupprecht, Gero (DE) Quality Manager
Riffald Souza Breuer, Jean-Paul (DE) Student
Sedaghat, Nima (IR) Data Scientist (Deep Learning)
Shchekaturov, Pavel (RU) Software Engineer
Szubiakowski, Piotr (PL) Software Engineer
Würschinger, Wolfgang (DE) Administrative Clerk

Chile Chile

Cano, Raul (ES) Knowledge Management Del Valle Izquierdo, Diego (CL) Software Engineer
Program Manager Haddad, Juan Pablo (CL) Electronics Engineer
De Luca, Giuseppe (VE) Hospitality Operations Supervisor Ramírez, Andrés (CL) Software Engineer
Navarrete, Camila (CL) Fellow Wibowo, Ridlo (ID) Student
A. Ghizzi Panizza/ESO

The VLT platform

becomes reflective after
a rainshower.

The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019 59

60 The Messenger 176 – Quarter 2 | 2019