[ASA] ESO Period 103 Call for Proposals

Stuart Ryder stuart.ryder at astronomyaustralia.org.au
Fri Aug 31 11:25:32 AEST 2018

ESO Period 103 Call for Proposals

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has released the Call for Proposals for Period 103 (for observations between 1 April – 30 September 2019). Under the terms of the Strategic Partnership between ESO and Australia, Australian-based astronomers have access to the facilities of the La Silla and Paranal Observatories, specifically the:

*	3.6-m telescope;
*	New Technology Telescope (NTT);
*	Very Large Telescope (VLT);
*	Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI);
*	Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA); and
*	VLT Survey Telescope (VST).

The proposal deadline is Thursday 27 September 2018 at noon Central European Summer Time (8pm Australian Eastern Standard Time).

Complete details on how to apply can be found at https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/AperC91ZkQt3LgGMco6QSZ?domain=eso.org. All applicants should consult the Call for Proposals document for Period 103 <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/1BN-C0YZWVFoqD1McDJziC?domain=eso.org> , and will require an ESO User Portal <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/4xJjCgZowLH0OxMmC2_ieP?domain=eso.org>  account to submit proposals.

A wealth of information for Australian applicants can be found on AAL’s new Australian ESO Forum <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/hrXHCjZrzqH5KMW3u7M5oN?domain=astronomyaustralia.org.au> . Check out the latest ESO blog <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/5luICk8vAZtW86xrIJYiPi?domain=astronomyaustralia.org.au>  by ANU PhD student Dilyar Barat on his experiences observing at Paranal, and stay tuned for an upcoming post from an Australian member of the Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) with advice on preparing a successful ESO proposal. The ESO Collaboratory <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/QnFFClxwB5Cn05QAiYDLIm?domain=astronomyaustralia.org.au>  is open to enable users to share and discuss ideas for collaborative proposals.

Registration is now open for the Australia-ESO Joint Conference on “Linking Galaxies from the Epoch of Initial Star Formation to Today <https://www.aao.gov.au/conference/australia-eso-conference-2019> ”, to be held in Sydney from 18–22 February 2019.


What's new in Period 103?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the expected changes in instrumentation offered and procedures for Period 103 given in Sec. 1.1 of the Call for Proposals <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/jmAiCmOxDQtJBKOAiN5s8U?domain=eso.org> . Among the items likely to be of most interest to the Australian community are:

*	Anonymising of PIs: Following the lead of ATAC and other time allocation committees in an effort to mitigate the effects of unconscious bias, the names of the PI and CoIs will be listed alphabetically on the last page of the proposal seen by the OPC, in such a way that the identity of the PI is unknown to the reviewers. PIs are urged to avoid wording that can lead to their identification, including the use of numbers for references (e.g. “as demonstrated by [4]” instead of “as demonstrated by us in Smith et al. (2016)”).
*	Testing of distributed peer review: In parallel with the Period 103 proposal process, ESO is seeking volunteers <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/VN5fCnxyErCOAq8KI0xNPy?domain=eso.org>  for a trial of “distributed peer review” to assist the OPC.
*	Restrictions on Large and Monitoring Programmes: NACO, SINFONI, MUSE in Narrow Field Mode, ESPRESSO in 4-UT mode, VIRCAM and MATISSE are not available for Large Programmes.
*	Impending changes in instrument availability:

*	NACO is scheduled to be decommissioned at the end of Period 103.
*	SINFONI will be decommissioned during Period 103, so that its Integral Field Unit SPIFFI can be integrated into ERIS. SINFONI will be installed on UT3 at the end of Period 102 and during the first months of Period 103. As a consequence, no SINFONI observations requiring the Laser Guide Star can be executed during Period 103.
*	MUSE + GALACSI in Narrow Field Mode is offered in Period 103.
*	The 4-UT mode of ESPRESSO is offered in Visitor Mode only in Period 103, during which observations will be scheduled in groups of consecutive nights.  Users must request a total time that is an integer multiple of half-nights (corresponding to five hours in Period 103).
*	Based on early commissioning results, MATISSE is offered with a limited set of capabilities in Period 103: (a) spectral resolving powers of R = 34, 506, and 959 in the L band and 30 in the N band; (b) the possibility of combining either four UTs (with MACAO only) or four ATs in standard VLTI configurations, providing six visibilities and four closure phases in one observation.
*	VISIR is not offered in Period 103: it will be modified and installed on UT4 for the New Earths in the α Cen Region (NEAR) experiment during the first semester of 2019. It is foreseen that VISIR will be back for operations on UT3 during Period 104.
*	Following its upgrade into a cross-dispersed spectrograph, CRIRES will be installed and commissioned on the UT3 Nasmyth B focus in Periods 102 and 103. Depending on the results of the commissioning, CRIRES may be offered for observations in Period 104.
*	ESO is evaluating the possibility of offering the UT1 Nasmyth A focus, as well as a focus at the VLTI, for visitor instruments during Period 104. Interested users are invited to consult the Visitor Focus instructions <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/2G8KCoVzGQiqjLOBu2uoKF?domain=eso.org> .

*	New Large Programmes on the NTT: The fraction of the available time on the NTT committed to ongoing Large Programmes is now ∼5%.  New Large Programmes for the NTT are therefore encouraged.
*	Non-survey time on VISTA and VST: Priority is given to advance the ongoing Public Surveys on these telescopes, but open time is available on both the VST and VISTA. These observations are carried out in Service Mode only. Open time proposals should clearly justify their scientific goals and why they are not achievable through the scheduled Public Survey observations. Starting in Period 103, Normal, Monitoring and Large Programme proposals for the VST, and Normal Programme proposals for VISTA, are accepted without restrictions. Target of opportunity proposals will also be considered for both the VST and VISTA.
*	Observing at La Silla: There is a minimum length of three nights for runs to be executed with La Silla telescopes. On the NTT, users can apply for combined runs using both EFOSC2 and SOFI. The total duration of each of these runs must be at least three nights. The combined runs must be requested using the instrument name “SOFOSC”. Designated Visitor Mode (DVM) at La  Silla is offered on a best-effort basis. If you would like to use DVM on either the 3.6-m telescope or the NTT you are requested to contact opo at eso.org <mailto:opo at eso.org>  well before the proposal submission deadline.
*	Duration of one night: Proposers are reminded that one night in Visitor Mode is defined to be 8 hours in even Periods and 10 hours in odd Periods on all ESO telescopes.
*	Lunar Phase: Proposers should note that setting the Moon requirement to ‘n’ in Box 3 of the ESOFORM Phase 1 proposal form means ‘no Moon restriction’ rather than ‘no Moon’. Proposers must instead set the Moon requirement to ‘d’ if they require dark time.
*	Observing mode on the VLT: Departures from the observing mode requested by the proposers may be implemented by ESO so as to achieve a balanced distribution between Service Mode and Visitor Mode. Visitor mode runs are encouraged for those users who have never visited Paranal, even if the observations are straightforward.  Users should make use of Box 8b of the ESOFORM Phase 1 proposal form to justify their preferred mode or why an alternative mode should also be considered.



Dr. Stuart Ryder
Program Manager (Mon, Wed, Fri)
Astronomy Australia Ltd.

T: 02 9850 9372

F: 03 9214 4396
E: stuart.ryder at astronomyaustralia.org.au <mailto:stuart.ryder at astronomyaustralia.org.au> 

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