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European ELT Phase B Progress

The Galactic Centre with VLT and APEX

VLTI of Active Galactic Nuclei
The Supernova Legacy Survey
The Messenger
No. 133 – September 2008
Telescopes and Instrumentation

Progress on the European Extremely Large Telescope

Jason Spyromilio, Fernando Comerón, org/sci/facilities/eelt/­science. A brief syn- essary background for the decisions
Sandro D’Odorico, Markus Kissler-Patig opsis is given below. on the trade-offs to be made during the
Roberto Gilmozzi detailed design work on the telescope.
ESO The basic idea of the DRM is to be able
to predict and monitor the ability of the A number of workshops will be held in
telescope to effectively and efficiently the near future to discuss the E-ELT sci-
In December 2006 the ESO Council address the challenges of the science ence cases. In September, during the
gave the go-ahead for the European cases. For this purpose, a number of key JENAM meeting in Vienna, there will be a
Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) science cases proposed by the Science major workshop “Science with the E-ELT”
three-year Phase B study. The Baseline Working Group are being simulated in (see
Reference Design (BRD) was presented detail (see also Hook, 2007). For most science/meetings/jenam08/). Two work-
to the ESO committees in 2006 and to science cases, simulations address key shops are being prepared for next year.
the community at the Marseille meeting results to be achieved as a function tele- The first, in March 2009, is organised
in December 2006. Phase B has been scope and instrument parameters. In together with the ALMA, GMT and TMT
­running for one and a half years and some cases, the simulations will be per- projects (see announcement on page 65).
a progress report is presented cover- formed end-to-end in order to provide The aim is to explore the synergies be-
ing science activities, telescope design, additional feedback to the operations tween ALMA and the up-coming giant
instrumentation, site selection and op- models. optical and near-infrared telescopes. The
erations. The designs are maturing, in second workshop (May 2009) will be
close synergy with industrial contracts, A large amount of technical data is re- dedicated to the DRM and DRSP work in
and the proposal for E-ELT construction quired for the simulations (such as at- the frame of the FP7 activities.
is expected to be presented to the ESO mospheric behaviour, telescope parame-
Council in June 2010. ters and instrument models, as well as
simulated adaptive optics point spread Telescope design
functions), and is made available to the
The decision by the ESO Council to fund public on the web pages under “Techni- The design activities undertaken by in-
the Phase B for the E-ELT at their meet- cal data for simulations” (http://www.eso. dustry as part of the Phase B, and their
ing in December 2006, and the adopted org/sci/facilities/eelt/science/drm/tech_ impact of the current version of the BRD,
baseline telescope design, were de- data/). A workshop was held in Garching are described in the following sections.
scribed in Gilmozzi & Spyromilio (2007). on 20 and 21 May bringing together One significant evolution of the five-mirror
The meeting “Towards the European a number of the astronomers engaged in design (see Gilmozzi & Spyromilio, 2007)
Extremely Large Telescope”, which was simulations for the DRM and/or instru- has been the movement of the tertiary
held in Marseille immediately preceding ment concept studies. The programme mirror from below the primary mirror to
the Council decision, was reported in and presentations of this workshop the same level. This change was made to
the same issue of the Messenger (Hook, can be found at improve the ventilation of the tertiary mir-
2007; Monnet, 2007; Cuby, 2007). Now facilities/eelt/science/drm/workshop08/ ror. As a by-product the secondary mirror
one and a half years later there has been programme.html. has become slightly smaller in diameter
much progress as well as evolution of the (now 6 m rather than 6.2 m). The adaptive
design of the telescope. While the DRM provides a detailed insight quaternary mirror has increased slightly
into the expected performance of the in diameter, thereby marginally improving
E-ELT, the DRSP is intended to explore its performance.
Science activities the parameter space to be covered
by the telescope and instruments. The
Science activities for the E-ELT Phase B DRSP will be a large collection of cases Industrial activities
have now ramped up to full speed. Be- directly provided by the ESO commu-
sides focussing on the Design Reference nity, and reflecting their interests. A web Immediately after the approval by the
Mission (DRM), a small science office, questionnaire is being made available ESO Council, a set of contracts were
under the guidance of and in close col- from September 2008 on. This collection ­tendered to validate the BRD for the tele­
laboration with the Science Working of cases will be analysed and will be scope and to explore the expertise in
Group, is developing a Design Reference used as one of the drivers for the tele- industry regarding the construction of
Science Plan (DRSP) and consolidating scope modes and instrument implemen- such massive structures. The general
the top level requirements for the ob- tation plans. ­policy has been to let two contracts to
servatory. These activities are supported study a specific subsystem of the tele-
by the EU FP7 sponsored programme Beyond the work on the science case, scope, thus allowing different options to
which has been funded (see Gilmozzi et the E-ELT science office is currently con- be explored whenever possible.
al., 2008). Details about the science case, solidating the top level requirements
the science working group activities and for the observatory. Telescope and instru- By May 2007 two contracts had been
the DRM can be found at http://www.eso. ment requirements are being reviewed placed for the validation of the telescope
and justified in order to provide the nec- main structure design as proposed by

2 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

ESO. The contracts included the study of
the industrialisation of the concept, cost
estimates and construction schedules.
We encouraged the suppliers to consider
variations on the design. Both these de-
sign contracts have now been concluded.
The contractors considered variants on
the ESO baseline and proposed alterna-
tives that appear to perform better and
are estimated to be cheaper to manufac-
ture. The ESO design team has adopted
these ideas and the new baseline tele-
scope main structure appears significant-
ly different to the original concept (see
Gilmozzi & Spyromilio, 2007). Instead of
four cradles supporting the primary mir-
ror, only two are now seen as necessary
to provide the required stiffness. By re-
moving a significant fraction of the mass
from below the telescope, the mount bal-
ances naturally, alleviating the necessity
of significant additional mass in the upper
parts of the telescope (see Figure 1). This
change has increased the overall perform-
ance of the telescope and the first eigen-
frequency of the structure is now around
2.6 Hz. The reduction in moving mass is Figure 1 (above). A CAD Figure 2 (below). A
rend­e ring of the E-ELT Finite Element Model of
also an overall cost saver, both in quantity
Baseline Reference the E-ELT main struc-
of steel and in all the associated hard- Design version 2 for the ture is shown. The differ-
ware. telescope and mount. ent coloured compo-
nents encode different
cross sections of the
The design for the telescope mount has
structural elements.
been extensively analysed using Finite
Element Models and fairly sophisticated
control simulations (see Figure 2). Al-
though the role of the mount may be sim-
plified to “Keep the primary pointing at
the right place on the sky, and the other
mirrors at each other (sequentially)”, not
only is this a non-trivial problem but the
optimisation of the design can lead to
significant cost savings in other subsys-
tems. For example, the range of the actu-
ators for the primary mirror is directly
related to the extent to which the cell will
deform as the telescope is inclined from
the zenith towards the horizon.

Around the same time as the call for con-

tracts for the telescope main structure,
two contracts were placed for a prelimi-
nary design of the telescope dome. The
companies that provided the best bids in
response to the ESO tenders were new to
telescope enclosure design, but brought
their expertise in the design and construc-
tion of enormous buildings, and in par­
ticular sports stadia, to bear. The E-ELT
dome will be of similar size to that of

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 3

Telescopes and Instrumentation Spyromilio J. et al., Progress on the European Extremely Large Telescope

a football stadium, with a diameter at its

base of order 100 m and a height of or-
der 80 m. These contracts were particu-
larly interesting to follow as the indus-
trial expertise in this area is extensive, but
also the requirements of a telescope
dome are sometimes quite peculiar. Of
the many challenges faced during the
design of the dome, two stand out as
having required ingenious solutions: the
wind screen that shields the telescope
from the effects of the wind; and the
twenty-tonne crane that can access the
entire volume of the dome. We are
pleased to say that both designs pro-
posed have elegant solutions for these
two aspects. The two designs are simi-
lar to the extent that both assume a
­hemispherical dome but quite different in
how the dome is supported and in the
nature of the observing doors. One de-
sign proposes a single pair of large
doors (see the image on the front cover),
while the other proposes two sets of Figure 3 (above). A
diametral cross section
nested doors. Both suppliers have pro-
of one of the two con-
vided schedules for construction and the cepts developed for the
estimated costs for the dome. Figure 3 E-ELT dome.
shows a cross-section through one of the
E-ELT dome designs.

Extensive investigation is being under-

taken in the area of the impact of the
wind on the telescope and the effect of Figure 4 (left). A CAD
figure of one of the mir-
the dome. Wind tunnel measurements ror segment assemblies.
have already started, computational fluid The segment is shown
dynamical (CFD) simulations are ongo- on the 27 point wiffle
ing and a campaign of fast sonic ane- tree; the three blue cyl-
inders are the actuators
mometer measurements was undertaken for tip-tilt control.
at Paranal.
taken with a wiffle tree structure, while requirements for the extreme perform-
A contract was placed in mid-2007 for the lateral loads are taken by a mem- ance of the telescope, the former pro-
the design of the primary mirror cell and brane implanted in the centre of the seg- vided for a small but significant margin.
the supporting elements. The support ment. The concept for the support In addition to the design of the seg-
of the 984 1.45-m hexagonal mirror seg- ­structure has evolved significantly from ment support, we have also been testing
ments that form the primary mirror of the BRD. A moving frame carries the the prototype edge sensors in a climat-
the telescope is a critical component of wiffle tree and the central membrane. The ic chamber and continue to explore the
the telescope design. The 50-mm thick- moving frame is moved in piston and tip- actuator market.
ness of the mirror segments is necessary tilt by three actuators (see Figure 4). Addi-
to reduce the weight of the mirror. How- tionally six motorised warping harnesses In the third quarter of 2007, three large
ever, the thin segments are susceptible are foreseen to allow for the necessary contracts for the adaptive optics system
to deformation due to imperfections in corrections to the segment shape. A fur- of the telescope were placed. Two of
their supports and the print-through of ther restraint is designed to limit the the contracts were for a preliminary de-
these supports onto the reflecting sur- clocking (i.e. rotation in the plane of the sign and prototyping of the adaptive qua-
face, which could limit the performance segment). The side of the segment not ternary mirror (M4; see Figure 5) and
of the telescope. The mirror cell contrac- facing the sky is likely to be very complex the third was for the design and 1:1 scale
tor analysed two types of support, one as Figure 4 implies. The contract for the prototype of the electro-mechanical unit
with 27 points and one with 18. The sup- design has been concluded with ESO to support the fifth tip-tilt mirror (M5; see
porting principle is that the axial loads (i.e. selecting the 27-point over the 18-point Figure 6) in the telescope optical train.
in the direction through the segment) are support. While the latter fulfilled the All three contracts have gone through the

4 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

first preliminary design phase (Figures 5
and 6) and there is great interest in the
prototyping activities. Real hardware is
being built for these prototypes, including
some very sophisticated actuators em-
ploying some of the biggest piezo-stacks
currently available, tests of cooling cir-
cuits, etc. While the prime contractors
leading the activities are well known com-
panies in their areas of expertise, it is very
reassuring that they have engaged other
companies with differing expertise, such
as in the areas of optics and/or complex
opto-mechanical systems, to form pow-
erful teams demonstrably able to address Figure 5 (above and
right). Two preliminary
the challenges of the adaptive optics for
designs for the M4
the E-ELT. deformable mirror unit.

Two further large contracts were placed

in late 2007. They entail the production of Figure 6 (left). The pro-
totype design of the tip-
seven prototype segments for the primary
tilt M5 mirror unit.
mirror of the telescope. While seven seg-
ments, out of the 1148 that will need to
be produced, may not sound very many,
the contractors are required to demon-
strate the industrialisation of the produc-
tion process and test their mass produc-
tion techniques on a variety of mirror
substrates. Here again real hardware is
being prepared for the manufacturing
of the mirror segments. A new big polish- Figure 7 (below). CAD
ing machine is under manufacture for rendering of a Nasmyth
the 1.45-m segments and the design of platform populated
the test set-up used to determine the with indicative instru-
ment volumes and the
performance of the polishing is well ad- pre­focal unit.

In May 2008 a further significant con-

tract was placed for the design study of
the secondary mirror cell. The tendering
process is already progressing well for Adapter/Rotator
the tertiary mirror cell and the pre-focal
unit (adapter/rotator and M6 housing; see
Figure 7). It is expected that contracts Rotator
with industrial firms will be placed by the
end of this year. A significant amount
of work has been undertaken at ESO to
understand the wavefront sensing needs
of the telescope and to develop strate-
gies for phasing the primary mirror, dis-
tributing the aberrations amongst the var-
ious mirrors, sensing lasers and natural
guide stars. The progress has been sig- Common framework
nificant and modern systems engineering structure
processes and modelling languages have
been employed to help.
M6 unit

One significant modification, relative to

the BRD version 1, in the area of the Nasmyth platform

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 5

Telescopes and Instrumentation Spyromilio J. et al., Progress on the European Extremely Large Telescope

adaptive optics instrumentation has been

the merger of the two adapters at each
Nasmyth focus into a single unit, and
the reduction of the number of lasers Adapter/Rotator
necessary for the Ground Layer Adaptive
Optics (GLAO) mode of the telescope
from six to four (see Figure 8). The tele-
scope will in any case be equipped
with more than four lasers for the benefit
of Laser Tomography Adaptive Optics
(LTAO) and Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Op-
tics (MCAO) instruments. Natural guide
star adapter
The effort in integrated modelling under-
taken under the auspices of the FP6
study (see next section) has been further
funded by the telescope project office.
It is expected that great insight into the
project will come through such efforts.
Additionally many smaller, but no less
significant, investigations are ongoing in
areas such as the coating chambers for
the mirrors, mirror segment replacement,
general handling issues, etc. A detailed
manpower estimate for technical opera- Figure 8 (above). Detail
Photo: H. H. Heyer, ESO

of the CAD model for the

tions is currently under review.
adaptor rotator housing
for the Nasmyth focus
showing the laser and
Activities undertaken within the FP6 ELT natural guide star units.
Design Study

There has been good progress in the

areas of study funded through the broad
consortium of institutes and industrial Figure 9. The ESO
partners within the EU FP6 ELT Design E-ELT team, arrayed
behind a model of the
Study programme (see Gilmozzi & Spyro- E-ELT dome, during
milio, 2007). The edge sensor work is the Baseline ­Reference
providing excellent results. Testing of the Design meeting held
inductive edge sensors in a climatic from 29 February to
4 March 2008 at ESO
chamber is being undertaken and they Headquarters.
are performing remarkably well. The
ac­tuators which have been developed are inputs. The transition from BRD version 1 Instrumentation
being produced for the Wind Evaluation (i.e. that presented to the ESO Council
Breadboard of the primary mirror seg- and the committees and community at The E-ELT programme requires an early
ments, an activity that will begin at the the end of 2006) to BRD version 2 took start on the instrumentation studies in
end of the year. place at the end of February 2008. order to confirm the scientific capabilities
of the telescope, to identify those sub­
The process of bringing together all the systems that need more research and
Consolidation of the Phase B activities inputs generated a series of open issues development and to prove the feasibility
that are being addressed in what we of the instruments at an affordable cost
With so many industrial studies continu- refer to as the ‘consolidation phase’. We and within the project schedule. In ad-
ing in parallel and together with the in- are progressing rapidly towards the dition, the instrumentation studies at this
house work on a broad range of topics ­baseline BRD version 3 that we expect to phase of the project provide very useful
from interfaces, error budgets, align- achieve by the end of this year. As the feedback to the telescope design and
ment strategies, presetting sequences to project advances we are also accreting the observatory infrastructure. An E-ELT
mirror phasing plans and primary mirror more people from within ESO to work Instrumentation Project Office has been
segment exchanges, the project has on various activities. Figure 9 shows the established to work on the instrument
established milestones that allow it to re- members of the team present at our BRD studies and the telescope interface. A
baseline the design in response to these version 2 review, held in spring 2008. plan for instrument and post-focal adap-

6 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Table 1. Instrument and AO Module Studies (as of August 2008).

Name Instrument Type Principal Investigator

EAGLE Wide Field, Multi IFU NIR Spectrograph with MOAO Jean-Gabriel Cuby, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM);
Observatoire Paris-Meudon (OPM), Laboratoire d’Etudes des Galaxies, Etoiles, Physique et
Instrumentation (GEPI) and Laboratoire d’Etudes Spatiales et d’Instrumentation en Astro­
physique (LESIA); Office National d’Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiale (ONERA); United King-
dom Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC); Durham University, Centre for Advanced Instru-
CODEX High Resolution, High Stability Visual Spectrograph Luca Pasquini, ESO;
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Osservatori Trieste and Brera; Instituto de Astrofísica de
Canarias (IAC); Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge; Observatoire Astronomique de
l’Université de Genève
MICADO Diffraction-limited NIR Camera Reinhard Genzel, Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE);
Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA); INAF, Osservatorio Padova; Nederlandse Onder-
zoekschool Voor Astronomie (NOVA), Universities of Leiden and Groningen
EPICS Planet Imager and Spectrograph Markus Kasper, ESO;
with Extreme Adaptive Optics Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de l’Observatoire de Grenoble (LAOG); LESIA; Université de Nice;
LAM; ONERA; University of Oxford; INAF, Osservatorio Padova; ETH Zürich; NOVA, Universities
of Amsterdam and Utrecht
HARMONI Single Field, Wide Band Spectrograph Niranjan Thatte, University of Oxford;
Centre de Recherche Astrophysique, Lyon; Departamento de Astrofísica Molecular e Infraroja,
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid; IAC; UK ATC
METIS Mid-infrared Imager and Spectrograph with AO Bernhard Brandl, NOVA, University of Leiden;
MPIA; Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA) Saclay, Direction des Sciences de la Matière
(DSM)/Institut de Recherches sur les lois Fondamentales de l’Univers (IRFU)/Service d’Astro-
physique (SAp); Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; UK ATC
OPTIMOS Wide Field Visual MOS tbd
Negotiations under way with a Consortium of Science and Technology Facilities Council,
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; University of Oxford; LAM; INAF, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale
e Fisica Cosmica, Milan; GEPI; NOVA, University of Amsterdam; INAF, Osservatori ­Trieste and
Brera; Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
SIMPLE High Spectral Resolution NIR Spectrograph Livia Origlia, INAF, Osservatorio Bologna;
INAF, Osservatorio Arcetri; INAF, Osservatorio Roma; Uppsala Astronomical Observatory;
Thüringer Landessternwarte; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
MAORY Multi Conjugate AO module Emiliano Diolaiti, INAF, Osservatorio Bologna;
INAF, Osservatorio Arcetri; INAF, Osservatorio Padua; University of ­B ologna; ONERA
tbd Laser Tomography AO Module Thierry Fusco, ONERA;

tive optics studies, to be carried out in the 10 consortia, with a combined effort ment that has been made available to the
collaboration with institutes in the ESO over two years of more than one hundred instrument consortia (see Figure 10). As
community, was presented to the ESO FTEs. the studies of the telescope subsystems
Council in June 2007. The plan identified are taking place in parallel with those of
six instrument concepts, two post-focal All the studies are structured in two the instruments, very useful exchanges
AO modules (MCAO and LTAO) of high phases. During the first, the scientific are continuing to take place during this
priority and two other instruments to requirements are defined and a trade- phase between the telescope and instru-
be chosen after an open call to the com- off between different concepts is made. ment teams to arrive at a common set of
munity for additional concepts. By Sep- After a review of the results by ESO, in requirements.
tember 2008, all ten instrument consortia the second phase a detailed study of the
have been formed and the studies are chosen concepts, including cost and
under way (see Table 1). In two cases the construction schedule, is carried out. All Site selection
consortia are led by ESO, two have been studies are expected to deliver a re-
set up with a direct negotiation with port and to go through a final review in Several sites, both in the Northern and
external institutes and all the others have late 2009 or early 2010. Southern hemispheres, are being charac-
been selected after an open Call for terised, in large part with the help of the
­Proposals. In this study phase, the instru- On the basis of these studies, ESO will community through the FP6 initiative. A
mentation activities are supported by include in the E-ELT proposal for con- Site Selection Advisory Committee has
2.4 Million Euros (of which ~ 85 % is com- struction ­an outline of the first generation been appointed by the Director General
mitted to support external institutes of instruments and a plan on how to ­pro- to help ESO towards a decision. It is fore-
involved in the studies) and 30 ESO FTEs. ceed with their construction. In parallel to seen that site selection will occur at the
On the community side, 36 institutes in launching these studies, the opto-mech- end of 2009.
10 ESO member states and one in Chile anical interfaces with the telescope have
are contributing to the studies as part of been defined and incorporated in a docu-

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 7

Telescopes and Instrumentation Spyromilio J. et al., Progress on the European Extremely Large Telescope

Figure 10. Figures taken from the E-ELT telescope 15 m). Right: Side view showing the volume reserved will be exchanging data on a short time-
interface document distributed to the instrument for an instrument in the gravity-invariant focal station scale over fast data distribution channels.
consortia, showing the layout of the Nasmyth plat- below the floor of the platform. This space is
form with its four focal stations. Left: View from intended for large instruments that have to rotate
above (the dimensions of the platform are 24 by during observations. Preliminary estimates of the science
operations staffing needs, in terms of
number and qualifications, have been
Operations Service mode without real-time interac- produced. The estimate is based on fac-
tion between the users and the facility tors such as the breakdown of tasks to
The science operations planning that is provides the greatest level of flexibility be carried out in end-to-end operations,
being developed during Phase B takes as and is taken as the baseline observing the complexity of the systems being
a basis the current end-to-end model of mode for the E-ELT. However, it is antici- operated, the personnel working sched-
the VLT, since the scientific requirements pated that a fraction of programmes ule, the location of each operations
are similar to those currently encountered will require real-time interaction, allowing group, and the syn­ergies with the opera-
at the VLT. Specifically, as reflected in the users to make decisions in the course of tion of other facilities. It may be noted
DRM, the E-ELT will have to be able to the observations at short notice. We in this regard that significant cost savings
execute a broad range of programmes expect to better quantify the fraction of in operations are achieved by having
using a variety of instruments and modes, time that the E-ELT will spend executing operations groups sharing the E-ELT sup-
many of them requiring performance of such classes of programmes as a re- port tasks and infrastructure with the
the telescope and instruments that can sult of the DRSP questionnaire described support to other ESO facilities, particu-
be achieved only under rare atmospheric ­earlier. To satisfy this requirement, we larly in the areas of user support, data
conditions. The flexibility to schedule are studying the implementation of new processing, and archive operations.
at short notice those programmes that observing modes that allow users to
can make best use of the prevailing con- interact with the facility in near-real time
ditions is thus a requirement for the effi- without being present in the control Prospect
cient use of the facility. room, while retaining much of the sched-
uling flexibility necessary for the proper The E-ELT Phase B was funded for
The E-ELT design permits such flexibility. exploitation of the atmospheric condi- 57.2 Million Euro, including manpower.
Several instruments, able to exploit differ- tions. Some specific implementation as- The majority of these funds have already
ent ranges of atmospheric conditions, pects of these modes have been studied been committed and technically the pro-
will be either online or on standby at any in the FP6 activities on observatory oper- ject is advancing well. We are on sched-
given time. As specified in the top-level ations. ule to produce the construction propos-
requirements and the telescope design, it al in time for the June 2010 ESO Council
will be possible to switch from one instru- We have produced estimates of the typi- meeting.
ment to another with a moderate over- cal and peak data rates expected from
head of a few minutes, including the each instrument based on their Phase A
set-up of the post-focal adaptive optics study specifications, in order to quantify References
module if needed. The telescope and the capabilities needed from the commu- Cuby, J.-G. 2007, The Messenger, 127, 25
dome will be able to preset from any po- nications infrastructure between the Gilmozzi, R. & Spyromilio, J. 2007, The Messenger,
sition of the sky to any other, acquire observatory and the outside. E-ELT oper- 127, 11
the target field, and close the telescope ations planning assumes that support Gilmozzi, R., Monnet, G. & Robinson, M. 2008,
The Messenger, 132, 48
adaptive optics loop on a similar time­ to science operations will be provided by Hook, I. 2007, The Messenger, 127, 20
scale. geographically distributed groups, who Monnet, G. 2007, The Messenger, 127, 24

8 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

The next VLT instrument to be com-
missioned, X-shooter, is shown
mounted on a telescope Cassegrain
focus simulator in the integration
lab at ESO, Garching. At the centre is
the cryostat with the near-infrared
spectrograph and at the left is the
visual spectrograph. Commissioning
begins in November this year.
Photo: H. H. Heyer, ESO
Telescopes and Instrumentation

E-ELT and the Cosmic Expansion History – A Far Stretch?

Jochen Liske1 The redshifts of all cosmologically dis- to understand its origin and nature within
Andrea Grazian 2 tant sources are expected to experi- the standard model of (particle) physics.
Eros Vanzella 3 ence a small, systematic drift as a func-
Miroslava Dessauges 4 tion of time due to the evolution of the Instead of introducing a new mass-en-
Matteo Viel 3,5 Universe’s expansion rate. Here, we ergy component, the models of the sec-
Luca Pasquini 1 briefly review the motivation for measur- ond type seek to explain the accelera-
Martin Haehnelt 5 ing this effect and summarise our rea- tion by replacing General Relativity with a
Stefano Cristiani 3 sons for believing that the E-ELT will be ­different theory of gravity. Again, there
Francesco Pepe 4 the first telescope to detect it. are many ways in which the field equa-
Piercarlo Bonifacio 6, 3 tions can be modified in order to repro-
François Bouchy 7, 8 duce the late-time accelerated expansion,
Sandro D’Odorico1 Accelerated expansion without spoiling the standard theory’s
Valentina D’Odorico 3 success in explaining early structure for-
Sergei Levshakov 9 1998 was a remarkable year for astron- mation. In this case the challenge is to
Christoph Lovis 4 omy. Not only did the VLT see first physically motivate the more complicated
Michel Mayor 4 light, but it was also the year in which two structure of the field equations.
Paolo Molaro 3 research groups independently an-
Lauro Moscardini 10,11 nounced a result that would profoundly Whatever the correct explanation for the
Michael Murphy 12 change cosmology (again), if not all acceleration will turn out to be, it is clear
Didier Queloz 4 of physics: the measured distances to that it will have far-reaching implications.
Stephane Udry 4 remote type Ia supernovae seemed That is why cosmologists have taken
Tommy Wiklind 13,14 to indicate that the expansion of the Uni- such an intense interest in exploring dif-
Shay Zucker 15 verse was accelerating (Riess et al., 1998; ferent ways of measuring the expansion
Perlmutter et al., 1999)! history of the Universe.

ESO Since its discovery by Hubble in 1929
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di it had been assumed – more or less as a Observing the expansion history
Roma, Italy matter of course – that the universal ex-
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di pansion was forever being slowed down Observables that depend on the ex-
­Trieste, Italy by the gravitational pull exerted by all pansion history include distances and the
Observatoire de Genève, Switzerland of the matter in the Universe. Without any linear growth of density perturbations;
Institute of Astronomy, University of proof to the contrary, this was indeed so SN Ia surveys, weak lensing (Heavens,
Cambridge, United Kingdom a rather sensible assumption, because an 2003) and baryon acoustic oscillations
Cosmological Impact of the First STars accelerating expansion has quite funda- (BAO) in the galaxy power spectrum (Seo
(CIFIST) Marie Curie Excellence Team, mental consequences: it requires new & Eisenstein, 2003) are all generally
GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, Centre physics. ­considered to be excellent probes of the
National de la Recherche Scientifique acceleration.
(CNRS), France Most of the models that have been put
Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de forward to explain the acceleration can In practice, however, extracting informa-
­Marseille, France be assigned to one of two categories. tion on the expansion history from weak
Observatoire de Haute-Provence, The first class of models assumes that lensing and BAO requires a prior on the
France General Relativity is indeed the correct spatial curvature, a detailed understand-
Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute, theory of gravity, and accounts for the ing of the linear growth of density pertur-
St. Petersburg, Russian Federation observed acceleration by postulating that, bations and hence a specific cosmologi-
Università di Bologna, Italy in the latter half of the Universe’s history, cal model. Given the uncertain state of
INFN – National Institute for Nuclear its mass-energy was dominated by an affairs regarding the source of the accel-
Physics, Sezione di Bologna, Italy unusual form of energy – unusual in that it eration, these are conceptually undesira-
Swinburne University of Technology, has negative pressure. In its simplest ble features and the importance of tak-
Melbourne, Australia incarnation this so-called dark energy is ing a cosmographic, model-independent
Space Telescope Science Institute, Bal- the cosmological constant L, but numer- approach to determining the expansion
timore, USA ous other – some quite exotic – possi­ history is evident. Using SN Ia to meas-
Affiliated with the Space Sciences bilities have been suggested (e.g. quin- ure luminosity distances as a function
Department of the European Space tessence, phantom energy, Chaplygin of redshift is conceptually the simplest
Agency gas), which all differ in the details of their experiment and hence appears to be the
Tel Aviv University, Israel equation of state and evolution. A feature most useful in this respect. The caveats
that is common to all of these variants, are that distance is ‘only’ related to the
however, is that it has so far proven very expansion history through an integral
difficult to underpin any form of dark over redshift and that one still requires a
energy with a viable physical theory, i.e. prior on spatial curvature.

10 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Sandage (1962) first discussed an effect Measuring the redshift drift with E-ELT The next question is how the properties
that suggests an extremely direct meas- of the Lyman-a forest (the number and
urement of the expansion history. He The trouble with the redshift drift is that it sharpness of the absorption features),
showed that the evolution of the Hubble is exceedingly small. From Figure 1 we and the signal-to-noise (S/N) at which it is
expansion causes the redshifts of distant see that at z = 4 the redshift drift is of the recorded, translate to the accuracy, su,
objects partaking in the Hubble flow to order of 10 – 9 or 6 cm/s per decade! with which one can determine a radial
change slowly with time. Just as the Putting meaningful data points onto Fig- velocity shift. In order to obtain this trans-
­redshift, z, is in itself evidence of the ex- ure 1 will clearly require an extremely lation we have performed extensive
pansion, so is the change in redshift ­stable and well-calibrated spectrograph Monte Carlo simulations of Lyman-a for-
(ż = (1 + z) H0 – H(z)), as well as a lot of photons. Let us as- est spectra. Mindful of the forest’s evolu-
evidence of its de- or acceleration be- sume that the first requirement has been tion with redshift, we have derived a
tween the epoch z and today, where H is met, i.e. that we are in possession of a quantitative relation between the su of the
the Hubble parameter and H0 its present- spectrograph capable of delivering radial Lyman-a forest on the one hand, and
day value. This equation implies that it velocity measurements that are only lim- the spectral S/N and the background
is remarkably simple (at least in principle) ited by photon-noise down to the cm/s QSO’s redshift on the other hand (Liske
to determine the expansion history: one level. In this best possible (but by no et al., 2008).
simply has to monitor the redshifts of a means unrealistic) scenario, how well can
number of cosmologically distant sources we expect the E-ELT to measure the red- Now in a photon-noise limited experiment
over several years. shift drift, and hence constrain the cos- the S/N only depends on the flux density
mic expansion history? of the source, the size of the telescope
This simple equation has two remarkable (D), the total combined telescope/instru-
features. The first is the stunning simplic- First of all, we need to define where we ment throughput (e) and the integration
ity of its derivation. For this equation to be want to measure the redshift drift. There time (t int ). Unfortunately, the photon flux
valid all one needs to assume is that the are several reasons to believe that the from QSOs is not a free parameter that
Universe is homogeneous and isotropic ­so-called Lyman-a forest is the most suit- can be varied at will. In Figure 2 we show
on large scales, and that gravity can be able target, as first suggested by Loeb the fluxes and redshifts of all known high-
described by a metric theory. That’s it. (1998). These H i absorption lines are seen z QSOs. Assuming values for D, e and t int
One does not need to know or assume in the spectra of all QSOs and arise in the we can calculate the expected S/N for
anything about the geometry of the Uni- intervening intergalactic medium. Using any given Nphot. Combining this with a
verse or the growth of structure. One hydrodynamical simulations we have given zQSO and using the relation derived
does not even need to assume a specific explicitly shown that the peculiar motions above, we can calculate the value of su
theory of gravity. The redshift drift is an of the gas responsible for the absorption that would be achieved if all of the time
entirely direct and model-independent are far too small to interfere with a red- t int were invested into observing a single
measure of the expansion history of the shift drift measurement (Liske et al., 2008). QSO with the given values of Nphot and
Universe which does not require any cos- Similarly, other gas properties, such as zQSO. The background colour image
mological assumptions or priors what­ the density, temperature or ionisation and solid contours in Figure 2 show the
soever. state, also evolve too slowly to cause any result of this calculation, where we
headaches. Furthermore, QSOs exist have assumed D = 42 m, e = 0.25, and
The other remarkable feature of the equa- over a wide redshift range, they are the t int = 2 000 h. Note that t int denotes the
tion is that it involves observations of the brightest objects at any redshift, and total integration time, summed over all
same objects at different epochs (albeit each QSO spectrum displays hundreds epochs.
separated only by a few years or dec- of lines. These are all very desirable fea-
ades). Other cosmological observations, tures.
such as those of SN Ia, weak lensing
and BAO also probe different epochs but
use different objects at each epoch. In
0 0
other words, these observations seek to
deduce the evolution of the expansion by DE =–
2 /3
mapping out our present-day past light-
dv/dt (h 70 cm/s yr –1)
dz /dt (10 –10 h 70 yr –1)

Ω – 0.5
cone. In contrast, the redshift drift directly
Ω M’

’ Ω
Λ =
measures the evolution by comparing our

3, Figure 1. The solid lines and left axis

past light-cones at different times. In this –1 0.

7 show the redshift drift ż as a function

sense the redshift drift method is qualita-

of redshift for standard relativistic cos-



tively different from all other cosmological mology and various combinations of

W M and W L as indicated. The dotted


observations, offering a truly independent


–1.5 lines and right axis show the same in


and unique approach to the exploration


velocity units. The dashed line shows ż

of the expansion history of the Universe. –2 for the case of an alternative dark
–2 energy model with a different equation
0 1 2 3 4 of state parameter w DE (and W M, W DE =
z 0.3, 0.7).

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 11

Telescopes and Instrumentation Liske J. et al., E-ELT and the Cosmic Expansion History – A Far Stretch?

We can see that, although challenging, a 2 × 10 5

Figure 2. The dots show the known,
bright, high-redshift QSO population
reasonable measurement of the redshift
as a function of redshift and estimated

Equivalent V-band magnitude

drift appears to be possible with a 42-m 10 5
2 4 6
σ υ (cm/s)
8 10
15 photon flux. The right-hand vertical
telescope. The best object gives su =

log N phot (s –1 m – 2 µm –1)

axis shows the photon flux converted
1.8 cm/s and there exist 18 QSOs that are to a corresponding Johnson V-band
magnitude. The background colour
bright enough and/or lie at a high enough 5 × 10 4 16
image and solid contours show the
redshift to put them at su < 4 cm/s. value of su that can be achieved for
2 × 10 4 a given photon flux and redshift, as-
Figure 2 tells us which QSO delivers the 17 suming D = 42 m, e = 0.25, and
t int = 2 000 h. The contour levels are at
best accuracy and is hence the most 10 4
su = 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 10 cm/s. The
suitable for a redshift drift experiment. 18 ­dotted contours show the same as the
However, for many practical reasons it Veron-SSS solid ones, but for D = 35 m or, equiv-
will be desirable to include more than 5 000 Veron alently, for e = 0.17 or t int = 1389 h.
just the best object in the experiment. 2 3 4 5
Doing so comes at a penalty though: the zQSO
more objects that are included into the
experiment the worse the final result will Figure 3. The colour image and the
contours show the final, overall value
be because some of the fixed amount 5
of su achieved by targeting the NQSO
of observing time will have to be redistrib- best objects and by employing a given
uted from the ‘best’ object to the less 4
combination of telescope size, effi-

suited ones. ciency and total integration time. The

3 contour levels are at s utot = 2, 3, 4 and

30 5 cm/s.
The dependence of the full experiment’s
final, overall su on the telescope diameter,

system throughput, total integration time

and number of QSOs is shown in Fig- 20
ure 3. We can see that an overall accu-
racy of 2–3 cm/s is well within reach of
the E-ELT, even when 20 or so objects 10
are targeted for the experiment. However,
the figure also shows that for a 30-m tele-
scope it would be very time consuming
0.5 1 1.5 2
indeed to achieve an accuracy better
[D/(42 m)] 2 × ¡/0.25 × tint /(2 000 h)
than 3 cm/s.

To further illustrate what can be achieved 0.5

Figure 4. The three sets of ‘data’
ΩM’ ΩΛ = 0.3, 0.7 points show simulations of three differ-
we show in Figure 4 three different si-
ent implementations of the redshift
mulations of the redshift drift experiment. drift experiment. In each case we
The blue dots show the results that can 0 have assumed D = 42 m, e = 0.25,
be expected from monitoring the 20 best t int = 4 000 h and a total experiment
pu (h 70 cm/s yr –1)

duration of 20 years. Blue dots: best

QSOs over a 20-year period, investing
overall su, NQSO = 20 (binned into
a total of 4 000 h of observing time. By – 0.5 Ω
M’ Ω four redshift bins). Yellow squares:
construction these points represent the Λ
most significant redshift drift detec-
most precise measurement of ż that is tion, NQSO = 10 (in two redshift bins).
Brown triangles: best constraint on
possible with a set of 20 QSOs and the –1
W L, NQSO = 2. The solid lines show the
given set-up. However, since many of expected redshift drift for different
the selected QSOs lie near the redshift parameters as indicated. The grey
where ż = 0 this experiment does not 0 1 2 3 4 5 shaded areas result from varying H0 by
± 8 km/s Mpc –1.
actually result in a positive detection of z

the effect. If we want to detect the effect

with the highest possible significance we region where ż > 0. Ideally, this would be straint on the slope of ż(z). The brown tri-
need to choose a different set of QSOs. achieved by obtaining a ż measurement angles in Figure 4 show the result of a
The yellow squares show the result of at z ≈ 0.7 – were it not for the atmosphere simulation using appropriately selected
selecting the 10 best QSOs according to that restricts observations of the Lyman‑a QSOs: clearly, given these data one could
this criterion. forest to z > 1.7. The best thing to do is confidently conclude that ż must turn
to combine a measurement at the lowest positive at z ≈ 2 for any reasonably well-
However, neither of these datasets is par- possible redshift with a second measure- behaved functional form of ż(z), i.e. re-
ticularly well suited to proving the exist- ment at the highest possible redshift, gardless of the cosmological model. Thus
ence of accelerated expansion, i.e. of a thereby gaining the best possible con- we find that a redshift drift experiment on

12 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

the E-ELT will indeed be capable of pro- sion history using ż is not only entirely in- will not only be highly competitive, it will
viding unequivocal proof of the existence dependent of all other cosmological ob- have the edge. Even in 2037.
of past acceleration. servations, it is fundamentally different
from them – indeed unique. Moreover, it
So will these constraints be able to does not assume spatial flatness or References
­compete with those coming from SN Ia, require any other cosmological or astro- Heavens, A. 2003, MNRAS, 343, 1327
weak lensing or BAO measurements physical assumptions whatsoever. In Liske, J., et al. 2008, MNRAS, 386, 1192
in 2037? No, they will not. However, the fact, it does not even rely on any specific Loeb, A. 1998, ApJ, 499, L111
­statistical significance of its constraints theory of gravity being correct. Instead, Perlmutter, S., et al. 1999, ApJ, 517, 565
Riess, A. G., et al. 1998, AJ, 116, 1009
is not the only criterion by which to judge it can provide us with the most direct and Sandage, A. 1962, ApJ, 136, 319
the value of a cosmological experiment. inescapable evidence of acceleration Seo, H.-J. & Eisenstein, D. J. 2003, ApJ, 598, 720
As we have seen, measuring the expan- possible. In that sense the redshift drift
Photo: H. H. Heyer, ESO

The VLTI PRIMA instrument is shown during testing shipped to Paranal in July 2008 and underwent
in Garching. The two combined beams of the PRIMA assembly, integration and verification in August. On-
fringe sensor unit (FSU) B are seen, in red metrology sky commissioning will begin in Period 82, and
laserlight, joining the FSU’s beam combiner in the when complete the facility is expected to provide
background to the fibre injection optics. The second improvements in VLTI sensitivity, along with astrome-
FSU is seen to the right. The PRIMA hardware was try to better than 100 microarcseconds.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 13

Telescopes and Instrumentation

The Quest for Near-infrared Calibration Sources

for E-ELT Instruments

Maria Aldenius 1 spectrometer at ESO. The most interest- will be optimised during the conceptual
Florian Kerber 1 ing sources will then be studied at atomic design, based on the proposed science
Paul Bristow 1 physics laboratories in order to produce and technical feasibility. Nevertheless,
Gillian Nave 2 accurate wavelength standards and cali- it is obvious that the emphasis of E-ELT
Yuri Ralchenko 2 bration reference data directly applicable spectrographs will be in the NIR, and
Craig J. Sansonetti 2 to operations of E-ELT instruments. covering a large range of spectral resolu-

ESO Requirements of E-ELT spectrographs
 ational Institute of Standards and
N Hollow cathode lamps and their selection
Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, Instruments at ELTs will cover a variety
USA of wavelength regions and spectral reso- Gas discharge sources such as hol-
lutions. The projected large size of E-ELT low cathode lamps have been used as
instruments will make it possible to de- sources for wavelength calibration of
Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) liver excellent calibration by combining astronomical spectrographs for many
and most of their instrumentation will optimised sets of calibration lamps, pro- decades. HCLs are mass-produced for a
be optimised for operation in the Near- vided such lamps can be identified in commercial market and more than fifty
InfraRed (NIR) because of the wave- advance. elements are readily available from manu-
length dependent performance of adap- facturers. However, few have been stud-
tive optics. Few established sources Recent developments indicate that fre- ied for use in astronomy. The successful
for wavelength calibration exist in this quency-based systems such as the laser characterisation of a Th-Ar HCL (Kerber
wavelength domain. A project is de- frequency comb (Araujo-Hauck et al., et al., 2008) – a joint ESO/NIST project –
scribed which aims to provide the 2007) may provide wavelength calibration for CRIRES has improved the calibration
basic data to select the best calibration of unprecedented accuracy and stability of NIR high-resolution spectrographs;
sources for NIR instruments at the for future high-resolution spectrographs while at lower resolution improved data
European ELT (E-ELT) as a function of such as CODEX. At lower resolution, and for the noble gases have made it possible
wavelength range and spectral resolu- for instruments with less stringent cali­ to model and quantitatively predict the
tion. This work directly supports the bration requirements, classical calibration IR performance of the calibration system
Phase A studies of E-ELT instruments; sources such as hollow cathode lamps for X-shooter (Kerber et al., 2007).
in addition its results will be highly (HCLs) are expected to remain the pre-
­valuable for future use in analysis of NIR ferred choice for many ELT instruments. Ideally, existing databases of atomic
science observations. spectra based on laboratory measure-
Currently, conceptual designs for six in- ments would make it straightforward
struments suitable for the E-ELT are to select good calibration sources. The
Since the focus of astronomy and labora- being made, with another two designs to NIST Atomic Spectra Database (ASD)
tory atomic physics has been on ultravio- start soon. Our project will directly sup- (Ralchenko et al., 2008) is probably the
let and visible wavelengths for more than port these studies by providing informa- most extensive database of experimental
100 years, a wealth of reliable atomic tion on possible calibration sources for a data, and NIST is continually expanding
data exists in this wavelength range. In given spectrograph. Figure 1 shows the the data volume by adding critically com-
contrast, existing data for most elements parameter space of the suite of spec- piled data from various sources. For
are sparse at Near-InfraRed (NIR) wave- trographs currently under study. The val- the NIR, the most recent comprehensive
lengths and a better knowledge of the ues used in the diagram are very pre­ compilation of many elements dates back
spectral properties is clearly needed for liminary since both wavelength range and 30 years (Outred, 1978). A careful analy-
both the analysis of astronomical spec- spectral resolution are parameters that sis has demonstrated that it is currently
tra and for selecting possible calibration
sources. No comprehensive database of 2

NIR spectra is available. The European 10 5

Southern Observatory (ESO) and the US 5

National Institute of Standards and Tech-

Spectral resolving power

nology (NIST) are collaborating on a 10 4

project to provide the necessary basic 5

data to help select the best calibration

sources for the European Extremely

Large Telescope (E-ELT) instruments. 10 3

About 20 different hollow cathode lamps

CODEX Figure 1. Parameter space covered
HARMONI by some of the projected E-ELT spec-
are chosen for this study. We are inves­ 2
trographs. The numbers are prelimi-
tigating their spectral and operational 10 2
nary since both wavelength range
properties through laboratory measure- 5
and spectral resolving power will be
1000 2 000 3 000 4 000 5 000
ments using a Fourier Transform (FT) Wavelength (nm) optimised during the initial design.

14 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Metal Al Ti Cr Fe Ni Ge Se Zr Ce Ce Dy Ho Tm Hf Table 1. Hollow cathode
Atomic no. 13 22 24 26 28 32 34 40 58 58 66 67 69 72 lamps selected so far
for investigation of their
Work function (eV) 4.28 4.33 4.5 4.7 5.15 5 5.9 4.05 2.84 2.84 – – – 3.9
First ionisation potential (eV) 5.99 6.29 6.77 7.90 7.64 7.90 9.75 6.84 5.54 5.54 5.94 6.02 6.18 6.65
Gas Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ar Ne Ne Ne Ar

not possible to select calibration sources sen elements dominated by even iso- added for each spectrum in order to
in the NIR based on the existing data- topes, as hyperfine structure in odd iso- increase the signal-to-noise of all lines. In
bases, since these are not adequately topes may produce asymmetric spectral order to further investigate the spectral
populated with spectral data for many of lines. For the calibration of low-resolu- properties of the lamps, spectra are also
the relevant elements. tion spectrographs, the line strengths are recorded with lower resolution (1, 4 and
more important and any line structure 8 cm –1).
Since HCLs are commercially available will be negligible compared to instrument
for more than 50 elements, it would be profiles. Theoretical calculations have The spectral lines are identified using
very convenient if their spectra could be also been made, in order to estimate the available compilations, databases, indi-
predicted with some accuracy based possible number of spectral lines. At vidual publications, and comparisons
on first principles. Unfortunately, reasona- the present time, 14 different lamps have to Ritz wave numbers, that is wave num-
ble accuracy can only be achieved with been selected (see Table 1). bers calculated from the difference in
very considerable effort. We have used energy between published energy level
the freely available code by R. D. Cowan values. Gaussian profiles are fitted to
(Cowan, 1981) that calculates atomic Fourier Transform spectrometry all observable spectral lines and the inte-
energy levels, transition rates and spec- grated intensity is studied as a function
tra. For a more detailed description see Spectra of the HCLs are being recorded of lamp operating current. For each spec-
Aldenius et al., 2008. with the commercial ­Fourier Transform tral line the ratio of the intensity of the line
(FT) spectrometer at ESO. This type of to the intensity of the same line in the
While the Cowan code can produce good spectrometer is mainly used for industrial 10-mA spectrum is calculated. The ratios
results for many atomic systems, espe- applications using absorption spectros- are then averaged for all lines of the cor-
cially the light elements, the calculation of copy, but it also provides a port for exter- responding species at each current,
spectra for heavier species is greatly ex- nal sources. In order to duplicate the showing a distinct difference between the
acerbated by strong correlation effects optical path used for internal sources, the behaviour of the gas and the metal lines.
resulting from a large number of overlap- light from the external source is colli- The average behaviour of line intensi-
ping low-excited configurations. Such mated using an elliptical and a parabolic ties as a function of current is displayed
correlations are especially important for mirror (see Figure 2). Spectra are re- in Figure 3 where only resolved lines pres-
atoms with open d- and f-shells that have corded in the spectral range between ent at all currents are included.
rich NIR spectra of importance to the 3 000 cm –1 and 14 000 cm –1 (3.3 µm
present work. A proper ab initio account to 0.7 µm). For each lamp the spectrum This distinctive behaviour, which can be
of correlation effects would have to in- is recorded at six different operating qualitatively explained in terms of the
clude an exceedingly large number of ­currents (4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 mA) with a sputtering effect in HCLs (Kerber et al.,
configurations. Any attempt to survey 20 resolution of 0.125 cm –1. Between 128 2006), provides a useful tool in distin-
or more elements in this manner would and 1200 scans (1 h to 10 h) are co- guishing between gas and metal lines
incur long-term computational efforts,
and hence such an approach is impracti-
cal for our project.

In the absence of good line data or relia-

ble calculations, we restricted ourselves
to using some very basic and practical
considerations to guide our selection of
elements for procuring HCLs for labora-
tory measurements.

In the process of choosing suitable

lamps, the properties of different metals
have been considered in terms of e.g.
availability, possible line structure, and
possibility to produce a number of ob-
servable spectral lines in the wavelength Figure 2. Set-up of a
region of interest. For calibration of high- hollow cathode lamp
and the Fourier Trans-
resolution spectrographs, we have cho- form spectrometer.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 15

Telescopes and Instrumentation Aldenius M. et al., The Quest for NIR Calibration Sources for E-ELT Instruments

3.0 3.0

2.5 2.5
Intensity (normalised to 10 mA)

Intensity (normalised to 10 mA)

2.0 2.0

1.5 1.5

1.0 1.0

0.5 0.5
Neon Argon
Titanium Hafnium
0.0 0.0
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Lamp current (mA) Lamp current (mA)

Figure 3. Line intensities as a function of operating rier gas and the metal respectively. The error bars References
current in the Ti-Ne and Hf-Ar HCLs. The intensities are statistical uncertainties and represent one stand-
are normalised to the intensity at 10 mA and average ard deviation. Aldenius, M., et al. 2008, Proc. SPIE, 7014, 70145U,
values are calculated for identified lines from the car- in press
Araujo-Hauck, C., et al. 2007, The Messenger, 129,
Cowan, R. D. 1981, The Theory of Atomic Structure
when trying to identify the presently bration sources. We focus our effort
and Spectra, (Berkley: University of California
­unidentified lines in the spectra. In addi- on the needs of currently planned spec- Press),
tion to line identification, the results of trographs for the E-ELT, which will require Kerber, F., Saitta, F. & Bristow, P. 2007,
the investigations of current dependence good calibration sources for various res­ The Messenger, 129, 21
Kerber, F., et al. 2006, Proc. SPIE, 6269, 626942
should also provide important informa- olutions across the NIR range. In a sec-
Kerber, F., Nave, G. & Sansonetti, C. J. 2008, ApJS,
tion on how to optimise the operation of ond phase we plan to establish the best in press
the calibration lamp. qualified elements as wavelength stand- Outred, M. 1978, J. of Phys. Chem. Ref. Data, 7, 1
ards by conducting dedicated laborato- Ralchenko, Y., et al. 2008, NIST Atomic Spectra
ry measurements with high-precision FT Database version 3.1.5, (National Institute of
Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Mary-
Results and outlook spectrometers at qualified atomic spec- land),
troscopy laboratories.
Five lamps have to date been thoroughly
analysed resulting in solid knowledge
about the number of lines available and
their intensity ratios. Also the behaviour of
line intensities as a function of lamp cur-
rent has been well established. In general 1.5
the spectra are dominated by lines from Ce-Ne
the carrier gas, but many metal lines are 1.0
present as well. A small spectral region
for the Ce-Ne, Zr-Ne and Ti-Ne lamps is 0.5

displayed in Figure 4. The three lamps

have the same carrier gas and the spec-
Intensity (arb. unit)

tra are therefore similar, but significant

differences are evident. Different metals
produce lines in different spectral regions 0.5
and lamps can thus be used in combina-
tion in order to optimise their utility. 0.0
Ti-Ne Figure 4. Observed spectra of the
Our laboratory project to conduct a pre- 1.0 Ce-Ne, Zr-Ne and Ti-Ne lamps
liminary survey of about 20 elements at operating current 10 mA in a small
with a small commercial FT spectrometer 0.5 wave number range (0.99 µm to
0.94 µm). The spectra are dominated
forms the basis for developing a more by lines from Ne (the lines common to
robust understanding of the NIR spectra 10 200 10 300 10 400 10 500 10 600 all spectra), but metal lines contribute
of elements suitable as wavelength cali- Wavenumber (cm –1 ) to significant differences.

16 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Telescopes and Instrumentation

Detector Upgrade for FLAMES: GIRAFFE Gets Red Eyes

Claudio Melo, Luca Pasquini, Mark 2 k × 4 k. It is electrically and mechani- available read-out modes of Carreras are
Downing, Sebastian Deiries, Dominique cally identical to the existing detector summarised in Table 1.
Naef, Reinhard Hanuschik, Ralf Palsa, (Bruce), thus making the upgrade a sim-
Roberto Castillo, Eduardo Peña, ple plug-in replacement. Bruce is a stand-
­Eduardo Bendek, Mark Gieles ard silicon (nominal thickness 16 μm) Cosmetics and linearity
ESO CCD44-82 and has a single layer AR
coating optimised for the blue. Carreras As far as cosmetics are concerned, Car-
(the new detector) is a Deep Depletion reras is a very good detector. The mas-
In May 2008, a new CCD, called Carre- device (nominal thickness 40 μm) that ter bias shows no hot pixels. Similarly, the
ras, was installed in the GIRAFFE has a special custom two-layer coating master dark (1-h-long) shows only one
­spectrograph to replace Bruce, the old (HfO/SiO2) optimised for broadband QE bad pixel. Image flats show 62 dark pixels
detector. Carreras is more sensitive response over the wavelength range of (i.e., pixels with less than 50 % of the
to wavelengths redward of 700 nm. The 370–950 nm. local mean). As expected, the cosmic hit
main characteristics and results ob- rate is higher for Carreras than for Bruce
tained in the commissioning of Carreras The upgrade was performed by assem- because Carreras has over twice the
are reported. bling a new cryostat and installing Carre- thickness. The cosmic hit event rate meas-
ras. Carreras was fully characterised in ured in Paranal is 3.14 ± 0.18 events/min/
this new system. The GIRAFFE detector cm 2. Translated into pixels, 20 000 pixels
FLAMES is the multi-object, intermedi- head and cryostat were then shipped out of a total of 2 k × 4 k (or 0.25 %) are
ate and high resolution fibre facility of the from Paranal to ESO Garching to enable affected by cosmic ray hits for a 1-h dark.
VLT. Mounted at the Nasmyth A plat- the field lens to be swapped into the new
form of UT2 it offers a rather large cor- system. The linearity of both the left and right
rected field of view (25 arcmin diame- amplifiers was measured to be better
ter) and consists of several fibre modes than ± 0.5 % in the main default scientific
(see ­Pasquini et al., 2002 for details). Read-out modes mode (225 kpx, 1 × 1, low-gain).
Most of the FLAMES fibre modes feed
GIRAFFE, a medium-high resolution For scientific applications (in service
spectrograph (R = 6000–33 000) for the mode) it was decided to retain the Fringing
entire visible range (370–950 nm). 225 kpx, 1 × 1, low-gain (read-out noise
4.3 electrons (e –)) as the default mode. In addition to the QE improvement,
Shortly after the beginning of operations, The improvement in signal-to-noise (S/N) ­Carreras was expected to have much
we started to look for a new detector ratio of the 225 kpx, 1 × 1, high-gain lower fringing due to its increased
for GIRAFFE to boost the instrument’s (read-out noise 3.1 e –) with respect to the ­thickness and reduced reflectivity at red
red quantum efficiency (QE) capabilities, low-gain is negligible as soon as the ­wavelengths. The reduction of the fring-
while still retaining very good blue re- counts go over 110 e – (S/N ratio 7.5, as- ing amplitude is immediately seen by
sponse. We aimed also at reducing the suming that the signal is extracted over looking at the raw flat frames taken with
strong fringing present in the red spec- six pixels). Since this mode has a much the L881.7 wavelength setting (Figure 1).
tral range. It has taken some time for higher dynamical range, we decided to The improvement is impressively shown
devices to become available which meet keep it as the standard one. in Figure 2, where flat-field spectra of fibre
our strong requirements. The solution flats are compared. Flats collected with
finally offered by e2v was a custom two- Other interesting modes such as the Bruce (black line) have a fringing level
layer AR (Anti-Reflection) coated Deep ultra-fast read-out 625 kpx, 1 × 1, low- of 30 % with respect to the continuum.
Depletion CCD (CCD44-82). This device gain and the 50 kpx, 1 × 1, high-gain This level is reduced to about 5 % with
was made in a new e2v AR coating plant (with a read-out noise of only 2 e –) were Carreras.
and delivered to ESO in mid-2007 with commissioned and can be offered in
a performance that matches predictions. ­visitor mode for instance. The low read-
out noise in the 50 kpx, 1 × 1, high-gain QE improvement
mode, along with the improvements in
Carreras the QE and the reduction of the fringing The QE curves for both detectors were
(see below), make this mode very appeal- measured in Garching. The QE ratio is
The new detector Carreras (e2v serial ing for studies of faint objects, especially shown in Figure 3. Flats taken prior to the
number 06383-13-01) is a CCD44-82 if coupled with the binning 1 × 2. The dismounting of Bruce from GIRAFFE

Mode Read-out speed (kHz) Dynamics* (Ke –/pixel) Conversion factor (e –/ADU) Read-out noise (e – ) Read-out time (s) Table 1. Summary of
1 50 kpx, 1 × 1, high 45 0.69 ± 0.1 2.2 ± 0.1 190 performance of the sci-
entific read-out modes.
2 225 kpx, 1 × 1, low 142 2.35 ± 0.1 4.3 ± 0.1 43
3 625 kpx, 1 × 1, low 142 2.4 ± 0.1 5.2 ± 0.1 24 * L imit of the 16 bit
­A nalogue to Digital
Converter (ADC).

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 17

Telescopes and Instrumentation Melo C. et al., Detector Upgrade for FLAMES: GIRAFFE Gets Red Eyes

Figure 1. Comparison of flat-field images

(~ 25 000 e – ) at wavelength 900 nm with 5 nm band-
width. Top: Previous CCD Bruce. Bottom: New CCD
Carreras. Carreras is a much thicker device (40 μm
versus 16 μm) and thus has much less fringing.

90 000 Figure 2. Extracted fibre flats for LR8

(881.7 nm) set-up taken with the same
LR8 new exposure time. Blue line is for the flat-
80 000 LR8 old field obtained with Carreras whereas
the black line is the flat-field collected
70 000 with Bruce.

60 000

50 000

40 000

30 000

20 000

10 000
0 500 1000 1500 2 000 2 500 3 000 3 500 4 000 4 500

were used to validate this curve. For the Data reduction pipeline to find and trace the fibres and
recent flats found in the ESO archive, compute the wavelength solution. We
the agreement of the observation with the During the commissioning, calibrations were happy to see that the pipeline with
lab prediction is very good in the red were taken for all set-ups in all five slit the default parameters could reduce all
regime as shown in Figure 3, but slightly systems (two Medusa, two IFU and one wavelength settings blueward of 650 nm.
below the expectations for the blue set- Argus) in order to re-adjust the exposure
tings. times. These first flats and arcs allowed A first trial was made to reduce a flat and
us to check whether the present default an arc spectrum with the Geneva pipeline
parameters are good enough to allow the (Blecha et al., 2000; Royer et al., 2002).

18 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

QE Carreras (new CCD)/QE Bruce (old CCD)

2.5 50 000

40 000

Pixel Value
30 000

20 000

10 000

1000 2 000 3 000
0.5 Position (Pixel)
300.0 400.0 500.0 600.0 700.0 800.0 900.0 1000.0
Wavelength (nm)

Figure 3. Quantum Efficiency ratio (Carreras/Bruce; Figure 4. 10-min LR8 observations (low-resolution
new/old detector). The blue line shows the laboratory grating centred on 881.7 nm) for a V = 13.5 star in the
measurements. The green circles are the QE ratio globular cluster M15 (NGC 7078) observed with the
measured using archive flat-field frames. old CCD Bruce (black and blue lines) and the new
one Carreras (red and cyan lines). The blue (old
observations) and the cyan (new observations) plots
are the extracted spectra without flat-field correction,
whereas the black (old observations) and the red
(new observations) are spectra for which flat-field
corrections were made.

The reduction took place without prob- individual stars by Armandroff & da Costa red spectrum and 60 for the black one,
lems. This implies that those using this (1991). It has the advantage that the lines respectively. Even if the newer observa-
pipeline will probably be able to do so in are broad enough to be accurately meas- tions were taken in better seeing con­
the future. The static calibration database ured with moderate spectral resolution ditions (0.7 versus 1.1 arcsec) and after
was prepared and installed at Paranal (e.g. Cole et al., 2004). Since RGB stars the M1 recoating, the impressive S/N
Observatory. A release of the new cali- are bright, this method can be success- improvement (higher than what was ex-
bration database will be made public fully used to observe stars in other gal­ pected from photon noise only) is due
soon. Quality Control pages are available, axies. As mentioned in section 1, the im- to the QE enhancement and also (largely)
fed by the QC parameters produced by provement of the QE and the drastic to a much better fringing correction.
the pipeline1. reduction of the fringing provided by Car-
reras are extremely interesting for studies
using set-ups redder than 700 nm. Acknowledgements
Science tests – Calcium triplet region We are indebted to Vanessa Hill, Carine Babusiaux
In Figure 4 we show 10-min LR8 set-up and Giuseppina Battaglia who kindly provided us
An important aspect for a full under- observations (low-resolution grating cen- with their own data collected with Bruce. We also
standing of galactic evolution is the me- tred on 881.7 nm) for a V = 13.5 star in thank Samantha Milligan who helped us to improve
the text.
tallicity distribution function of the stellar the globular cluster M15 (NGC 7078) ob-
population with time. There is an em- served with the old CCD (black and blue
pirically developed, simply calibrated lines) and the new one (red and cyan References
method available which allows an efficient lines). The blue (old observations) and the
Pasquini, L., et al. 2002, The Messenger, 110, 1
estimate of metallicity ([Fe/H]) for individ- cyan (new observations) plots are the Battaglia, G., et al. 2008, MNRAS, 383, 183
ual red giant branch (RGB) stars using extracted spectra without flat-fielding Blecha, A., et al. 2000, Proc. SPIE, 4008, 467
the strength of the Ca ii triplet (CaT) lines whereas the black (old observations) and Royer, F., et al. 2002, Proc. SPIE, 4847, 184
at 849.8 nm, 854.2 nm and 866.2 nm. the red (new observations) are spectra Armandroff, T. E. & Da Costa, G. S. 1991, AJ, 101,
This method was pioneered for use on for which flat-field correction was made. Cole, A. A., et al. 2004, MNRAS, 347, 367

Health Check pages can be accessed at http://
From Figure 4 we can see that the differ- ence in signal is almost a factor of three.
reports/HEALTH/trend_report_BIAS_HC.html. The measured S/N ratios are 220 for the

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 19

Astronomical Science

Colour-composite of the spiral gal-

axy M83 (NGC 5236) formed from
B, V, R and H-alpha filter images
taken with the WFI on the ESO/MPG
2.2-m telescope (see ESO Press
Photo 25/08). Image credit: Davide
De ­Martin.

20 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Astronomical Science

Behind the Scenes of the Discovery of Two Extrasolar

Planets: ESO Large Programme 666

Dante Minniti 1, 2 ets and brown dwarfs), and to measure The telescopes and instruments
Claudio Melo 3 their masses, radii, and mean densities.
Dominique Naef 3 We hunt selected OGLE transit candi- We use the Very Large Telescope UT2
Andrzej Udalski 4, 5 dates using spectroscopy and photom- in order to measure radial velocities, and
Frédéric Pont 6 etry in the ‘twilight zone’, stretching UT1 and 2 for photometry in order to
Claire Moutou 7 the limits of what is nowadays possible measure the transits. Most of the spec-
Nuno Santos 8 with the VLT. troscopic observations required real-time
Didier Queloz 6 decisions to be taken and therefore were
Tsevi Mazeh 9 made in visitor mode, whereas photom­
Michel Gillon 6 The programme etry collected at precise transit times was
Michel Mayor 6 carried out in service mode by expert
Stephane Udry 6 Transiting extrasolar planets are essential mountain personnel.
Rodrigo Diaz 10 to our understanding of planetary struc-
Sergio Hoyer 11 ture, formation and evolution outside the The spectroscopic runs were done with
Sebastian Ramirez 1 Solar System. The observation of transits FLAMES in GIRAFFE mode which allows
Grzegorz Pietrzynski 4,12 and secondary eclipses gives access to simultaneously more than 100 stars to
Wolfgang Gieren 12 such quantities as a planet’s true mass, be observed at resolutions ranging from
Maria Teresa Ruiz 11 radius, density, surface temperature and about 5 000 to 20 000. At the same time,
Manuela Zoccali 1 atmospheric spectrum. the other seven to eight fibres feed UVES
Omer Tamuz 9 at the other Nasmyth focus of the tele-
Abi Shporer 9 The OGLE search for transiting planets scope, collecting spectra with a resolu-
Marcin Kubiak 4, 5 and low-mass stellar companions has tion of 50 000. Both GIRAFFE and UVES
Igor Soszynski 4, 5 been the first photometric transit survey allow us to acquire spectra of a compari-
Olaf Szewczyk 4, 5 to yield results. Follow-up of existing son lamp simultaneously with the target
Michal Szymanski 4, 5 OGLE low-amplitude transit candidates observations. The lamp spectrum is used
Krzysztof Ulaczyk 4, 5 prior to our Large Programme has un­- afterwards to correct spectrograph shifts.
Lukasz Wyrzykowski 5,13 covered five extrasolar planets and has This is essential in order to be able to
yielded the measurement of their radii measure radial velocity with a precision of
and therefore their densities. Despite a few m/s. Accurate radial velocity meas-
Departamento de Astronomía y these successes, many important points urements require high-resolution spectra,
Astrofísica, Pontificia Universidad remain to be understood: how hot Jupi- for this reason we placed the best can­
Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile ters form, how they evolve, what is the didates in the UVES fibres in order to
Specola Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, frequency of hot Jupiters, why the density measure more accurate velocities. The
Italy range of hot Jupiters is so large, etc. The photometric runs were acquired with
ESO main difficulty in answering these ques- FORS1 or FORS2, yielding milli-magni-
Warsaw University Observatory, Poland tions is the limited number of transiting tude photometry and a high-quality light
The OGLE Team planets detected so far. curve, essential to derive accurate physi-
Observatoire de Genève, Sauverny, cal parameters for the transiting planets.
Switzerland Our Large Programme 177.C-0666
L aboratoire d’Astrophysique de (LP666 for short) proposed to enlarge
­Marseille, France this sample of confirmed OGLE extra- The team preparations
Centro de Astrofísica, Universidade do solar planets, and also to populate the
Porto, Portugal mass-radius diagram for low-mass ob- Three teams were competing for the
School of Physics and Astronomy, jects, including planets, brown dwarfs same resources: the OGLE team, the
R. and B. Sackler Faculty of Exact and late M-type stars. 177 transiting can- Geneva team, and the Chilean team. The
­Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel didates from the OGLE survey had been idea arose of working together and the
Instituto de Astronomía y Física del published when we started this LP666, final details were discussed at the work-
Espacio, Buenos Aires, Argentina and as part of this programme three new shop in Haute-Provence “10 years of
Departmento de Astronomía, OGLE seasons produced 62 new candi- 51 Peg”. In preparation for this Large
­Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile dates. ­Programme, we had to re-examine the
Departamento de Astronomía, OGLE database to check old candidates
­Universidad de Concepción, Chile We used VLT+FLAMES to obtain radial and improve the ephemeris, and to run
Institute of Astronomy, University of velocity orbits in order to measure the OGLE pipelines to select new can­
Cambridge, United Kingdom the mass of all interesting OGLE transit- didates. Our teams have put together
ing candidates, and also VLT+UVES their respective spectroscopic and pho-
and VLT+FORS to measure their precise tometric databases in order to select the
This is the story of the Large Pro- radius from high-resolution spectroscopy most promising candidates, but it was
gramme 666, dedicated to discover of the primary and high-definition transit not easy to decide which were these best
sub-stellar objects (extrasolar plan­- light curves. candidates, and this was extensively dis-

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 21

Astronomical Science Minniti D. et al., ESO Large Programme 666

cussed by many team members. The (2005) for Carina, and Bouchy et al. can­didates from season VI (up to OGLE-
spectroscopic run of February 2006 by (2005) for the Galactic Bulge. In addition, TR-238) are still being analysed.
the Swiss team was used to cull some the flexibility of the OGLE telescope
candidates. The photometric run of the has allowed us to obtain the candidates The spectroscopic runs had two goals:
last period of March 2006 of the Chilean needed, producing a new set of candi- (1) to sort out the non-planetary can­
team was used to observe some of dates for this LP666, which we have fol- didates; and (2) to measure an orbital
these most promising candidates. We lowed-up during periods P78–P82. These motion for the planetary candidates. The
finally started the planet hunting for were selected carefully among periodic need to discard as quickly as possible
this Large Programme in April 2006 with low-amplitude transits observed with the impostors required that data reduc-
many promising candidates. the Warsaw telescope during the last tion and radial velocity measurement had
seasons: season IV from candidates to be done in real time. This was achieved
The first step is to acquire radial-velocity OGLE-TR-178 to TR-200; and season V by a combination of the FLAMES/UVES
information for the most promising OGLE from candidates OGLE-TR-201 to pipeline and our own code. The previous
planetary transit candidates, and to iden- TR-219. These are listed in Table 1. New nights results were analysed by our team
tify real transiting planets among them.
This requires five to eight radial velocity
points with UVES in good observing con- Object Period I Depth Status
ditions. As the OGLE candidates are dis- OGLE-TR-178 2.97115 16.56 0.016 faint target, not observed
posed in a few square degrees of the sky, OGLE-TR-179 12.67106 15.13 0.034 flat CCF
a few of them (typically two to five targets) OGLE-TR-180 1.99601 16.74 0.012 faint target, not observed
can be observed simultaneously using OGLE-TR-181 2.3896 16.29 0.01 fast rotator (synch.?)
the FLAMES configuration. The weather OGLE-TR-182 3.98105 15.86 0.01 transiting planet
conditions of this first run were rather OGLE-TR-183 4.78217 15.32 0.015 fast rotator (synch.?)
poor, with five clouded nights and three OGLE-TR-184 4.92005 15.57 0.015 fast rotator (synch.?)
clear nights. As our targets are faint and OGLE-TR-185 2.78427 16.72 0.035 fast rotator (synch.?)
we need < 100 m/s radial velocity accu- OGLE-TR-186 14.81481 16.54 0.054 faint target, not observed
racy, the clouded nights were of very lim- OGLE-TR-187 3.45686 14.07 0.008 double-lined spectroscopic binary (SB2)
ited use, despite the occasional gaps in OGLE-TR-188 6.87663 16.38 0.031 blend of two line systems
the clouds. OGLE-TR-189 1.73937 15.03 0.006 not observed
OGLE-TR-190 9.38262 16.06 0.043 not observed
This Large Programme had another com- OGLE-TR-191 2.51946 15.57 0.007 fast rotator (synch.?)
ponent, many hours of service observa- OGLE-TR-192 5.42388 14.41 0.008 flat CCF
tions on FORS to obtain high-accuracy OGLE-TR-193 2.95081 14.99 0.008 not observed
measurements of the transits of the plan- OGLE-TR-194 1.59492 14.69 0.006 flat CCF
ets that we expected to discover. In fact, OGLE-TR-195 3.62174 14.19 0.006 not obseved
the results of these initial runs suggested OGLE-TR-196 2.1554 15.57 0.012 fast rotator (synch.?)
three possible planets, but because of OGLE-TR-197 2.40587 14.59 0.019 flat CCF
bad weather we could not reach solid OGLE-TR-198 13.63141 15.44 0.018 not observed
conclusions on these objects. Due to the OGLE-TR-199 8.8347 14.88 0.017 single-lined spectroscopic binary (SB1)
bad weather, it was more important OGLE-TR-200 6.48845 15.63 0.023 not observed
at this initial stage to recover some of the OGLE-TR-201 2.368 15.6 0.016 fast rotator
spectroscopic time that was lost. We OGLE-TR-202 1.6545 13.6 0.017 not observed
therefore requested to ESO to swap some OGLE-TR-203 3.3456 15.6 0.014 not observed
of our photometric time for spectroscopic OGLE-TR-204 3.1097 14.8 0.026 SB2
time in service mode, a request that was OGLE-TR-205 1.7501 16 0.015 not observed
kindly (and quickly) approved. OGLE-TR-206 3.2658 13.8 0.006 no variation
OGLE-TR-207 4.817 14.3 0.021 SB2
OGLE-TR-208 4.5025 15.3 0.022 SB2
The candidates OGLE-TR-209 2.2056 15 0.022 no variation
Table 1. List of targets
OGLE-TR-210 2.2427 15.2 0.032 fast rotator selected for ­follow-up
We measured and analysed the various OGLE-TR-211 3.6772 14.3 0.008 planet from OGLE seasons IV
candidates found during the OGLE OGLE-TR-212 2.2234 16.3 0.016 blend? and V. The photometric
period, I-band magni-
­season III, from OGLE-TR-138 to OGLE- OGLE-TR-213 6.5746 15.3 0.036 SB2
tude and transit depth
TR-177. This was done using new data OGLE-TR-214 3.601 16.5 0.023 SB1 are based on the OGLE
from the present LP666 in combination OGLE-TR-215 4.9237 14.8 0.016 no variation data. The last column
with data already in hand. A detailed pub- OGLE-TR-216 1.9763 14.6 0.011 blend? is our final assessment
of the status of the
lication for these candidates is in prepa- OGLE-TR-217 5.7208 16.1 0.037 no CCF
OGLE transit candidates
ration. This paper would be a large effort, OGLE-TR-218 2.2488 14.5 0.02 fast rotator after the spectroscopic
like the previous papers by Pont et al. OGLE-TR-219 9.7466 15.1 0.032 SB2 follow-up with FLAMES.

22 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

members in Europe. Based on their feed- 177.C-0666 FLAMES/P78 Figure 1. The cross-cor-
relation functions (CCF)
back, FLAMES configuration files were 1
from the spectra of the
updated or simply discarded. We will 0.98 different candidates
here discuss the first two confirmed plan- shown as an example of
ets, but along this work we have analysed all the typical bad CCF
about 100 OGLE candidates (from OGLE- 0.94

TR-138 to OGLE-TR-238), including sev- 0.92

eral new ones that were selected for this 0.9
Bad #1 Asymmetric Bad #2 SB2 Bad #3 No Dip

programme from OGLE seasons IV, V

Cross-Corrrelation Function

and VI.


The non-planets 0.94

A vast number of candidates are pro- Bad #4 No Dip Bad #5 No Dip Bad #6 Broad
duced by OGLE, which needed to
be confirmed spectroscopically and pho-
tometrically. Therefore, a large part of 0.98

the work we did was dedicated to elimi- 0.96

nate non-planetary candidates from the 0.94
OGLE selection.
Broad Broad
Bad #7 SB2? Bad #8 Dip? Bad #9 Faint
The shape of the cross correlation func- 0.9
tion (CCF) can be efficiently used for bad –100 – 50 0 50 100 –100 – 50 0 50 100 –100 – 50
Radial Velocity (km/s)
0 50 100

candidate detection and rejection. Fig-

ure 1 represents the CCFs obtained for
some new P78–P80 targets for which 177.C-0666 FLAMES/P78 Figure 2. The CCF of a
good candidate (OGLE-
we were able to conclude, after a single 1 TR-235).
FLAMES observation, that a follow-
up was useless. All these data were ob-
tained in the February 2007 run, when
five new fields were started. Only one con-
Cross-Corrrelation Function

tained a good candidate out of 10 new

objects; that is OGLE-TR-235, shown in
Figure 2. From the photometric point of
view, the light curve produced by OGLE
was always compatible with a planet.
That is one of the reasons why a follow-
up is mandatory (the other important
­reason being the need to determine an
accurate planetary mass, of course). 0.6

Following the procedure described in the

papers, we have discarded several candi-
dates. For example, we analysed 42 new
OGLE candidates, finding two planets –100 – 50 0 50 100
plus the following: Radial Velocity (km/s)
– obvious or suspected single- or double-
lined spectroscopic binaries (blend, FLAMES has been very efficient in identi- planetary candidates and measuring their
binary with high-mass companion): fying bad candidates. It is not an exag- parameters. In the near future we would
11 candidates; geration to say that FLAMES-UVES is in a go back and sift through the whole data-
– broad CCF (synchronised, fast rotator): league of its own for follow-up of faint set, looking for low-mass companions
9 candidates; transit candidates, such as the ones dis- (M-dwarfs and brown-dwarfs), fitting the
– no CCF dip detected, no radial velocity covered by OGLE. We have observed best parameters. We expect some more
(false detections, faint candidates): the complete sample of all accessible interesting results, other than the few new
8 candidates; new OGLE candidates. We note that all planets that we have found, which are
– too faint candidates, outside the field the data acquired with FLAMES-UVES still being analysed, along with hundreds
(not observed): 11 candidates; are fully reduced already. We have so far of eclipsing binary stars, for which we
– others: 3 candidates. concentrated on looking for the best have radial velocities.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 23

Astronomical Science Minniti D. et al., ESO Large Programme 666

The first planet OGLE-TR-182-b 1.01

Figure 3. Transit light curves for OGLE-
TR-182 from OGLE (top panel), and
FORS1 for the nights of 6 June (middle
After the first year, we had discarded 1
panel), and 9 June 2007 (bottom
­several candidates, but we also had ten- 0.99
tative orbits for three planet candidates.
These good ones, however, did not have 0.98

enough velocities to exclude random

radial velocity fluctuations as the cause of
the orbital signal. In addition, the ephem-

eris was not confirmed by the photome-

try: there was a slight discrepancy, which
required collection of more data to re-
solve. Then we started the year 2007, full 1.01
of hopes about these three objects.
Below we tell the story of the first two. 1

The masses and radii of the stars were
not accurately measured, and therefore 0.98

we could not estimate precisely the – 0.05 0 0.05

masses and radii of our good planet can-
didates. We again asked ESO to allow a
change in strategy, swapping a few hours Planet ID OGLE-TR-182-b OGLE-TR-211-b Table 2. Measured
parameters for the new
of FORS time into UVES time in order Period (days) 3.97910 +/– 0.00001 3.67724 +/– 0.00003
to get high S/N echelle spectra of a cou- Transit epoch (JD) 2454270.572 +/– 0.002 2453428.334 +/– 0.003
ple of stars to confirm that they are main- RV semi-amplitude (m/s) 120 +/– 17 82 +/– 16
sequence stars and to measure their Semi-major axis (AU) 0.051 +/– 0.001 0.051 +/– 0.001
parameters (temperature, gravity, lumi- Radius ratio with primary 0.102 +/– 0.004 0.085 +/– 0.004
nosity, and chemical abundances). ESO Orbital inclination angle 85.7 +/– 0.3 > 82.7
kindly and quickly approved our change, Planet Radius (RJ ) 1.13 (+ 0.4 – 0.06) 1.36 (+ 0.18 – 0.09)
which allowed us to measure the stellar Planet Mass (MJ ) 1.01 +/– 0.15 1.03 +/– 0.20
mass, M = 1.14 +/– 0.05 MA, and radius,
R = 1.14 + 0.23 – 0.06 RA.
Figure 4. Radial velocity curve for
OGLE-TR-182 measured with FLAMES,
The main effort has been devoted to 22.6
phased with the photometric transit
obtaining the ephemeris, which for the signal.
two most promising candidates has
proven to be difficult. In one case we sus-
pect that we missed the transit because 22.4
Vr (km/s)

it was observed during the flat bottom

portion before the observations ended,
and in another case we just caught the
ingress, but we observed a full transit on
19 June 2007 (Figure 3).

Finally, we succeeded in confirming can-

didate OGLE-TR-182-b as a planet, in 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
a paper that also contains analysis Phase
of OGLE-TR-178 to TR-200 (Pont et al.,
2008). In Figure 4 we show the fit to The second planet OGLE-TR-211-b the FLAMES orbital fit for OGLE-TR-211
the OGLE-TR-182 radial velocities ob- obtained with a radial velocity amplitude
tained with P = 3.9789 days. This object The second planet was not easier to con- of 82 m/s and period P = 3.67718 days.
was very difficult to confirm because firm, but we managed to conclude that It can be seen that the velocity curve is
the period is almost a multiple of one day. OGLE-TR-211 is also a planet, in a paper very well sampled, from which we meas-
Table 2 summarises the derived parame- that contains the analysis of candidates ure a planetary mass of M = 1.0 MJupiter.
ters. OGLE-TR-201 to OGLE-TR-219 (Udalski
et al., 2008). Again, we used UVES to The photometric transit measured with
determine the stellar parameters: mass FORS (Figure 6) gives a radius of R = 
M = 1.33 +/– 0.05 M A, and radius R = 1.36 RJ (see Table 2). This radius is about
1.64 + 0.21 – 0.07 MA. Figure 5 shows 20 % larger than the typical radius of

24 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Figure 5. Radial velocity of impostors in an efficient way, and that
curve for OGLE-TR-211
V0 = 18.827 +/– 0.11 km/s K = 81.5 +/– 16 m/s the candidates that cannot be observed
measured with FLAMES.
spectroscopically will remain candidates.
In particular, we pushed to the limit the
FLAMES radial velocity capabilities, and
after careful characterisation of these
radial velocities, found a precision around
Vr (km/s)

30–50 m/s. More recently, we under-

stood why these two (or three) planets re-
quired so much time to be confirmed.
They lay in a place that we called the Twi-
light Zone (Pont et al., 2008). When both
the photometric and spectroscopic
­signals are marginal, many more obser-
vations are necessary until reasonable
certainty can be achieved about the
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 presence of a planetary companion. The
Phase uncertainties on the light curve make it
difficult to phase the radial velocity data.
hot Jupiters with similar masses. Indeed, ets around metal rich stars (Torres et The high radial velocity uncertainties
this new planet seems to be one of the al., 2008). The issue is clearly not settled hinder the identification of an orbital
rare examples of an inflated hot Jupiter, and, in this sense, every new planet motion with the correct period, and the
with an unusually low mean density, like counts. elimination of eclipsing binary blend sce-
HD 209458b. In this case there is some narios. The OGLE survey is the first to
evidence that the velocity of the centre of The question can be asked if it isn’t more explore this ‘twilight zone’ in real condi-
the mass of the star-planet orbit is chang- efficient to have a space mission like tions, since other ground-based surveys
ing. Also, slight variations of transit times COROT that focuses on brighter targets? target brighter stars, for which very pre-
lead us to suspect that there may be Aside from the obvious answer that cise radial velocities can be obtained, so
another massive planet in the system that a space mission is much more risky and that the significance of the radial velocity
may be perturbing the orbit, but only expensive, the LP666 programme, signal can be established relatively easily.
future observations can confirm if this is and the observations carried out prior to All this savoir-faire is already being used
real (e.g. due to a companion in the sys- it, helped the whole team to gain enor- in the COROT mission, and would again
tem), or to an instrumental artefact. mously in experience. The team learned be useful when the KEPLER mission flies.
how to obtain milli-magnitude photom­
etry, and more importantly, to understand
Lessons learned the systematics involved in these kinds References
of observations (e.g. the red-noise – Bouchy, F., et al. 2005, A&A, 431, 1105
We discovered two new planets! We can Pont, 2006). This understanding led to a Guillot, T., et al. 2006, A&A, 453, L21
now tell with certainty that they are gas­ better (more realistic) prediction of the Pont, F. 2006, MNRAS, 373, 231
eous planets like Jupiter and Saturn, and space mission yields. Pont, F., et al. 2005, A&A, 438, 1123
Pont, F., et al. 2008, A&A, in press
not rocky like Earth or Venus, nor most- Torres, G., et al. 2008, ApJ, 677, 1324
ly liquid like Uranus or Neptune. Transit- In terms of spectroscopic follow-up we Udalski, A., et al. 2008, A&A, 482, 299
ing planets are the only way to get infor- learned how to identify the signatures
mation about their internal structure (and
therefore mechanism of formation). De-
spite the scarce number of such plan- OGLE-TR-211
ets, the number starts to be large enough
to reveal interesting features. For exam-
ple, it seems that in order to explain the
observed radii, one needs to add a cer- 14.52
tain quantity of metals in the form of a
I (mag)

solid core. It turns out that the mass of 14.53

this solid core is proportional to the met-
allicity of the parent star. This trend sup- 14.54
ports the mode of formation via core
accretion (Guillot et al., 2006). However 14.55
Figure 6. Light curve of
it seems that metallicity is not the only the transit of OGLE-
parameter controlling the size of these 0.92 0.94 0.96 0.98 1 1.02 1.04 1.06 1.08 TR-211 measured with
giant planets, since there are inflated plan- Phase FORS2.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 25

Astronomical Science

Probing Sagittarius A* and its Environment at the Galactic

Centre: VLT and APEX Working in Synergy

Andreas Eckart 1, 2 11
Astronomical Institute “Anton Panne- understand the physics and possibly the
Rainer Schödel 3 koek”, University of Amsterdam, evolution of SMBHs in the nuclei of gal­
Macarena García-Marín1 the Netherlands axies. Variability at radio through sub-mil­
Gunther Witzel 1 12
L ATT, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, limetre (sub-mm) wavelengths has been
Axel Weiss 2 Toulouse, France studied extensively, showing that varia-
Frederick Baganoff 4 13
DAMIR, Instituto de Estructura de la tions occur on timescales from hours to
Mark R. Morris 5 Materia, Consejo Superior de Investi- years (e.g. Mauerhan et al., 2005; Eckart
Thomas Bertram1 gaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain et al., 2006a; Yusef-Zadeh et al., 2008;
Michal Dovčiak 6 14
National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Marrone et al., 2008). Several flares have
Dennis Downes 7 Socorro, USA provided evidence for decaying mm and
Wolfgang Duschl 8, 9 15
Department of Astronomy, University of sub-mm emission following NIR/X-ray
Vladimír Karas 6 Maryland, College Park, USA flares.
Sabine König1 16
IRAM, Granada, Spain
Thomas Krichbaum 2 17
W. M. Keck Observatory, CARA,
Melanie Krips 10 ­Kamuela, USA The combined APEX/VLT measurements
Devaky Kunneriath 1, 2
Ru-Sen Lu 2,1 The sub-mm regime is of special inter-
Sera Markoff 11 On 3 June 2008 an international team of est for simultaneous flare measurements.
Jon Mauerhan 5 researchers observed one of the bright- Here synchrotron source components
Leo Meyer 5 est near-infrared flares close to SgrA*, that radiate also in the infrared domain
Jihane Moultaka 12 the black hole at the centre of the Milky become optically thick, and represent
Koraljka Muži ć 1 Way. For the very first time the flare the dominant reservoir of photons that
Francisco Najarro 13 emission was detected in infrared light, are then scattered to the X-ray domain
Jörg-Uwe Pott 5,17 with one of the VLT telescopes, and through the inverse Compton process.
Karl Schuster 7 time delayed in sub-millimetre radiation Substantial progress was made during a
Loránt Sjouwerman 14 with the APEX telescope. Recent simul- global observing session on SgrA* in
Christian Straubmeier 1 taneous X-ray and infrared flares from May/June 2008. On 3 June, for the first
Clemens Thum 7 SgrA* have been detected and can be time, observations of the Galactic Centre
Stuart Vogel 15 explained by spots on relativistic orbits were performed with ESO telescopes
Helmut Wiesemeyer 16 around the central, accreting super- operating in the NIR and sub-mm wave-
Mohammad Zamaninasab 1, 2 massive black hole. The observations of length domains, that resulted in the simul-
Anton Zensus 2 flares now also show some evidence for taneous successful detection of strongly
time evolution of the spot properties. variable emission. Such a clear detec-
The investigation of dusty stars and fila- tion with ESO telescopes at both wave-
University of Cologne, Cologne, ments in the central stellar cluster also lengths had not been achieved in several
­Germany indicates the presence of a wind from pre­vious attempts. It was made possi­-
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastro­ the central region – possibly with a con- ble through a special effort by the APEX/
nomie, Bonn, Germany tribution from SgrA* itself. ONSALA staff to have the LABOCA bo-
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, lometer ready for triggering.
Granada, Spain
Centre for Space Research, Massa- At the centre of the Milky Way, at a dis- At an angular resolution of 100 milliarc-
chusetts Institute of Technology, tance of only about 8 kpc, stellar orbits seconds, K- and L;-band (2.2 µm and
­Cambridge, USA have convincingly proven the existence of 3.8 µm respectively) images were taken
Department of Physics and Astronomy, a supermassive black hole (SMBH) of with the NAOS/CONICA adaptive optics
University of California, Los Angeles, mass ~ 3.7 × 10 6 MA at the position of the assisted imager at VLT UT4 (Yepun). The
USA compact radio, infrared, and X-ray source calibrated images were deconvolved
Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sagittarius A* (SgrA*; see Eckart et al., using a Lucy-Richardson algorithm. Sub-
­Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic 2002; Schödel et al., 2002; Eisenhauer et millimetre data were taken with LABOCA
Institut de Radio Astronomie Milli­ al., 2003; Ghez et al., 2005; and following on APEX. The Atacama Pathfinder
métrique, St. Martin d’Heres, France publications). Additional strong evidence Ex­periment (APEX) is a new-technology
Institut für Theoretische Physik und for an SMBH at the position of SgrA* 12-m telescope, based on an ALMA
Astrophysik, Christian-Albrechts-­ comes from the observation of rapid flare (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) proto-
Universität, Kiel, Germany activity both in the X-ray and near-infra- type antenna, and operating at the Llano
Steward Observatory, The University of red (NIR) wavelength domain (Baganoff et de Chajnantor at an altitude of 5105 m.
Arizona, Tucson, USA al., 2001; Genzel et al., 2003; Ghez et al., APEX is a collaboration between the
Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astro- 2004; Eckart et al., 2006). Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie,
physics, Cambridge, USA the Onsala Space Observatory and ESO.
On account of its proximity, SgrA* pro-
vides us with a unique opportunity to

26 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

– 28.98

SgrA* 04:57 UT

– 28.99
– 28.90

– 29.00

δ (J2000) [deg]

– 29.01
– 28.95 Circum Nuclear Disc

– 29.02


δ (J2000) [deg]

– 29.03

– 29.00

– 29.04

266.44 266.43 266.42 266.41 266.4
α (J2000) [deg]

– 28.98

SgrA* 06:14 UT – 29.05 Position of SgrA*


– 28.99

– 29.00
δ (J2000) [deg]

– 29.10

– 29.01

266.55 266.50 266.45 266.40 266.35 266.30

– 29.02
α (J2000) [deg]

– 29.03 Figure 1 (above). Left: Sagittarius A* at the beginning

and the peak of the APEX measurements. Right: A

section of the larger map of the Galactic Centre. The

– 29.04
266.44 266.43 266.42 266.41 266.4
location of Sagittarius A* is indicated by a circle. The
α (J2000) [deg] colours code the flux density in Janskys.

The radiation collected by the APEX tele- Figure 2 (right). The near-infrared (top) and sub-mm 0.1
(bottom) light curve of Sagittarius A*. The data points
scope is directed to the LArge BOlom- I
are represented by vertical red bars (with ± 1s error NACO at VLT (Yepun)
eter CAmera (LABOCA) in the Cassegrain bars) with a black connecting line between them.
cabin. LABOCA consists of an array of The dashed line represents a smoothed version of
295 composite bolometers, which the data (after application of a seven point sliding II
average for all data points except the first). The mod- III
are cooled to a temperature of less than 0.05
el – as described in the text – is shown as a thick
0.3 K, and are very sensitive to contin- solid line. To select the intra-day variable part of the
uum radiation (see Siringo et al., 2007). sub-mm data, a flux density of 3.25 Jy has been
With a total bandwidth of about 60 GHz subtracted. This amount is attributed to more ex- IV
tended (many Schwarzschild radii) source compo-
the system is optimised for the 345 GHz
Flux Density in Jansky

atmospheric window. The final relative 0 L�-band K-band

calibration was obtained by comparison 4 6 8 10
to and subtraction of a high signal-to- flux density at the time of the first NIR
noise reference map in which SgrA* was flare. The gap in the sub-mm data oc- 1
subtracted out and therefore effectively curred during culmination of SgrA*, when
set in an off state (see Figure 1 right). The the source rises above the elevation limit
resulting light curves are shown in Fig- (80˚) for observations with APEX. A pre-
ure 2. Each data point of the sub-mm liminary model fit to the variable sub-mm
light curve was derived from a full 48; × emission is shown in comparison to the 0.5

25; fully sampled map obtained with the data in Figure 2. We attribute the time dif-
19.2? APEX beam. ference between the NIR and sub-mm
flares to an adiabatic expansion of syn-
The combined K- and L;-band data (Fig- chrotron source components with an ex-
ure 2) show violently variable emission pansion speed of about 0.5 % of the II I IV

with at least four prominent flare events speed of light (1500 km/s). With a spec- 4 6 8 10
(I–IV). The sub-mm data start with a low tral index between the sub-mm and the Universal Time in Hours

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 27

Astronomical Science Eckart A. et al., Probing Sagittarius A* and its Environment at the Galactic Centre

a = 0.7 i = 70 Figure 3. Left: Fit of the 2006 flare
data with an evolving spot model. We
show the total flux and degree of
20 polarisation for a single spot during
two revolutions for a perpendicular
E-field configuration (for details see
Eckart et al., 2008). Right: Sketch of
Flux (mJy)

an expanding hot spot within an

10 inclined temporary accretion disc of
SgrA*. The black centre in­dicates
the event horizon of the massive black
hole; the solid line the outer edge of
the accretion disc. The long dashed
0 line marks the inner last stable orbit.
0 50 100 150 200 250
Time (min)
The dotted line represents a random
reference orbit to show the effect
a = 0.7 i = 70 of differential rotation of an extended
emission region. The red solid line
across the grey shaded extended
spots depict the magnetic field lines
that, through magneto-hydrody­
Polarisation Degree (%)

namical instabilities, provide a cou-

40 pling between disc sections at differ-
ent radii.


0 50 100 150 200 250
Time (min)

infrared of about – 0.8 ≤ a ≤ –1.4, we find Simultaneous multi-wavelength observa- ments have revealed that the emission
that the flares are associated with source tions indicate the presence of adiabati- of SgrA* is significantly polarised during
components that have sizes of the order cally expanding source components with flares. It consists of a non- or weakly-
of one Schwarzschild radius and spectra a delay between the X-ray and sub-mm polarised main flare with highly polarised
that peak around 1–3 THz with flux den­ flares of about 100 minutes (Eckart et al., sub-flares (Eckart et al., 2006a; Meyer
sities of a few Janskys. In the sub-mm 2006a; Yusef-Zadeh et al., 2008; Marrone et al., 2007 and references therein). These
domain the flares blend with each other. et al., 2008). From modelling the mm- are the first NIR polarimetric observa-
Models with significantly different expan- radio flares at individual frequencies, tions of a source clearly operating in the
sion speeds or source sizes fail to repre- Yusef-Zadeh et al. (2008) invoke expan- strong-gravity regime. Therefore they are
sent either the extent or the shape of the sion velocities in the range from vexp = important to test general relativity models
observed flare features. These data show 0.003 – 0.1 c, which is small compared to of accreting SMBHs. In several cases
that the VLT/APEX combination is espe- the expected relativistic sound speed in the flare activity suggests a quasi-perio-
cially well suited for very long simultane- orbital velocity in the vicinity of the SMBH. dicity of ~ 20 min. By simultaneous fit-
ous light curves between the NIR and the The low expansion velocities suggest ting of the light curve fluctuations and the
sub-mm domain. that the expanding gas cannot escape time-variable polarisation angle, we show
from SgrA* or must have a large bulk that the data can be successfully mod-
The adiabatic expansion results in a time motion (Yusef-Zadeh et al., 2008). There- elled with a simple relativistic hot spot/ring
difference between the peaks in the VLT fore the adiabatically expanding source model. In this model the broad NIR flares
and APEX light curves of about 1.5 to components either have a bulk motion (~ 100 minutes duration) of SgrA* are
2 hours. This compares well with the val- larger than vexp or the expanding material due to a sound wave that travels around
ues obtained in a global, multi-wave- contributes to a corona or disc, confined the SMBH once. The sub-flares, su-
length observing campaign by our team to the immediate surroundings of SgrA*. perimposed on the broad flare, are then
in 2007. Two bright NIR flares were traced caused by the Doppler-boosted spot
by CARMA (Combined Array for Research emission, which is thought to be due to
in mm-wave Astronomy; 100 GHz) in Polarised emission from an accretion transiently heated and accelerated elec-
the US, ATCA (Australia Telescope Com- disc? trons of a plasma component. Recent in-
pact Array; 86 GHz) in Australia, and vestigations of infrared light curves show
the MAMBO bolometer at the IRAM 30-m X-ray and polarised infrared emission that significant contributions due to a
in Spain (230 GHz; first results given by of flares allow an even deeper insight into red noise process (i.e. larger amplitudes
Kunneriath et al., 2008). This light curve the processes that show some of their towards lower frequencies) are likely as
complements our parallel 13, 7, and 3 mm dominant signatures in the sub-mm do- well (Do et al., 2008; Meyer et al., 2008).
VLBA run (Lu et al., 2008). main. Recent NIR polarisation measure-

28 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

In the presence of an extended disc bination with X-ray observations should tre ISM. The V-shapes of both sources
structure, such a contribution can also be lead to a set of light curves that will al- are pointed towards the position of SgrA*
modelled through multiple components low us to prove the proposed model and and therefore represent the most direct
with properties following power spectrum to discriminate between the individual indication for a wind from SgrA*. The wind
distributions (Eckart et al., 2008; and higher and lower energy flare events. responsible for the V-shape of the sources
below). The spots would then be the Here Chandra’s high angular resolution may in fact be the same wind that was
brightest contributors to the overall flux is ideally suited to separate the thermal claimed to be responsible for the forma-
density. Scenarios in which spiral wave non-variable bremsstrahlung from tion of the mini-cavity in the mini-spiral.
structures contribute to the observed the non-thermal variable part of the SgrA*
­variability are also under discussion (e.g. X-ray flux density for weak flares.
Karas et al., 2007). Further evidence for young stars in the
central cluster
Indications for an outflow from
VLT and Chandra provide indications for Sagittarius A*? The presence and formation of stars in
spot evolution the central parsec is a long standing
Well within the central stellar cluster problem. Only half an arcsecond north of
The May 2007 polarimetric NIR measure- (Schödel et al., 2007), L;-band (3.8 µm) IRS 13E there is a complex of extremely
ments showed a flare event with the images of the Galactic Centre show a red sources, called IRS 13N. Their nature
­highest sub-flare contrast observed until large number of long and thin filaments is still unclear. Based on the analysis of
now. In the relativistic disc model these in the mini-spiral, located west of the their colours, they may either be dust-
data provide direct evidence for a spot mini-cavity and along the inner edge of embedded sources, older than a few
expansion and its shearing due to differ- the Northern Arm (Figure 4). Mužić et al. Myrs, or extremely young objects with
ential rotation (Figure 3). An expansion (2007) present the first proper motion ages less than 1 Myr. Mužić et al. (2008)
by only 30 % will lower the Synchrotron- measurements of these filaments and pre-sent the first proper motion mea-
Self-Compton (SSC) X-ray flux signifi- show that the shape and motion of the surements of IRS 13N members and give
cantly. Therefore this scenario may ex- ­filaments do not agree with a purely proper motions of four of IRS 13E stars
plain the July 2004 flare (Eckart et al., Keplerian motion of the gas in the poten- resolved in NACO L;-band images. They
2006a) and possibly also the 17 July 2006 tial of the SMBH. The authors argue that show that six of seven resolved northern
flare reported by Hornstein et al. (2007). the properties of the filaments are proba- sources show a common proper motion,
In these events a strong NIR/X-ray flare bly related to an outflow from a disc of thus revealing a new comoving group
was followed by a weaker NIR flare with young mass-losing stars or (in part) from of stars in the central half a parsec of the
no X-ray activity. the SMBH itself. In addition Mužić et al. Milky Way. The common proper motions
(2007) also present the proper motions of the IRS 13E and IRS 13N clusters
In summary, a combination of a tempo- of two cometary shaped dusty sources are also significantly different. By fitting
rary accretion disc with a short jet can close (in projection) to SgrA* (Figure 4). the positional data for those stars onto
explain most of the properties associated The proper motion of the stars X7 and X3 Keplerian orbits, assuming SgrA* as the
with infrared/X-ray SgrA* light curves are at large angles to its V-shape. There- centre of the orbit, Mužić et al. (2008)
(Eckart et al., 2008). The close correlation fore these dust shells indicate an interac- could demonstrate that the IRS 13N as-
between the NIR and X-ray flares can be tion with a fast wind in the Galactic Cen- sociation also indicates a dynamically
explained by combining relativistic amp­
lification curves with a simple SSC mech-
anism. This explanation allows a zeroth
order interpretation within a time-depend-
ent flare emission model. We use a X7
­synchrotron model with an optically thin
spectral index of 0.4 ≤ a ≤ 1.3 and relativ-
istic electrons with boosting factor ge ~
relative Dec.

10 3. The source component flux densities −1

are represented by a power spectrum
N(S) ∝ S ams with a S close to –1. Such a Figure 4. A 3.8? × 3.8? section of an
multi-component model explains possible L;-band image showing SgrA* and the
quasi-periodic sub-flare structure at infra- two cometary shaped sources X3 and
X7, which have proper motions of
red wavelengths, and shows that with −2 No 155 ± 30 km/s and 463 ± 30 km/s
adequate sensitivity and time resolution A r r the respectively. The V-shaped dust shells
m rn
they should be detectable in the X-ray indicate an interaction with a strong
domain as well. wind in the local Galactic Centre ISM.
mini-cavity The V-shapes of both sources are
pointed toward the position of SgrA*,
Further simultaneous radio/sub-mm data, 0 −1 –2 suggesting that the wind originates in
NIR K- and L-band measurements in com- relative R. A. the immediate surroundings of SgrA*.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 29

Astronomical Science

young system of stars and therefore is in lar resolution of about 9 mas (74 AU) and Genzel, R., et al. 2003, Nature, 425, 934
Ghez, A. M., et al. 2004, ApJ, 601, 159
favour of the very young star hypothesis. 45 mas (370 AU) for the NIR and MIR,
Ghez, A. M., et al. 2005, ApJ, 620, 744
respectively. The first K-band fringe de- Karas, V., et al. 2007, Proceedings of the Workshop
tection of a star in the central parsec on Black Holes and Neutron Stars, eds. S. Hledik
New VLTI results in the central stellar ­suggests that IRS 7 is possibly marginally & Z. Stuchlik, 99 (astro-ph0709.3836)
Kunneriath, D., et al. 2008, JPhCS, accepted
cluster resolved at 2 µm. At 10 µm wavelength,
Hornstein, S. D., et al. 2007, ApJ, 667, 900
IRS 7 is strongly resolved with a visibility Lu, R.-S., et al. 2008, JPhCS, accepted
In addition to the MIDI VLTI results on of approximately 20 % of the total flux Marrone, D. P., et al. 2008, ApJ, in press
IRS 3 (Pott et al., 2008a), Pott et al. density. This would imply that the photo- (arXiv0712.2877M)
Mauerhan, J. C., et al. 2005, ApJ, 623, L25
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Meyer, L., et al. 2007, A&A, 473, 707
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The observations resulted in an angu- Eisenhauer, F. 2003, ApJ, 597, L121

False colour near-infrared image of the

central parsec of the Milky Way as
obtained from data taken in the H, Ks,
and L; filters with the VLT adaptive
optics camera system NACO in 2004.
Red sources are brighter at longer
wavelengths. The image is dominated
by the bright stars of the central star
cluster and the diffuse emission of the
dusty mini-spiral. Image credit: Rainer
Schödel and Andreas Eckart.

30 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Astronomical Science

Stellar Populations of Bulges of Disc Galaxies in Clusters

Lorenzo Morelli 1, 5 brightness radial profile of large bulges is assembly. We present a photometric and
Emanuela Pompei 2 well described by the de Vaucouleurs spectroscopic study of the bulge-domi-
Alessandro Pizzella1 law, although this law can be drastically nated region of a sample of spiral galax-
Jairo Méndez-Abreu1, 3 changed taking into account the small- ies in clusters. Our aim is to estimate the
Enrico Maria Corsini 1 scale inner structures, smoothed by the age and metallicity of the stellar popula-
Lodovico Coccato 4 seeing in ground-based observations. tion and the efficiency and timescale of
Roberto Saglia 4 Some bulges are rotationally-flattened the last episode of star formation in order
Marc Sarzi 6 oblate spheroids with little or no anisot- to disentangle early rapid assembly from
Francesco Bertola1 ropy. But, the intrinsic shape of a large late slow growth of bulges.
fraction of early-type bulges is triaxial, as
shown by the isophotal misalignment
 ipartimento di Astronomia, Università
D with respect to their host discs and non- Sample, photometry, and spectroscopy
di Padova, Italy circular gas motions. The bulk of their
ESO stellar population formed between red- In order to simplify the interpretation of
INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di shifts 3 and 5 (~ 12 Gyr ago) over a short the results, we selected a sample of disc
Padova, Italy timescale. The enrichment of the inter- galaxies, which do not show any mor-
Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterres- stellar medium is strongly related to the phological signature of having undergone
trische Physik, Garching, Germany time delay between type II and type Ia a recent interaction event. All the ob-
Department of Astronomy, Pontificia supernovae, which contributed most of served galaxies are classified as non-
Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, the a elements and iron, respectively. barred or weakly barred galaxies. They
Chile are bright (BT ≤ 13.5) and nearby (D <
Centre for Astrophysics Research, On the contrary, the bulges of late-type 50 Mpc) lenticulars and spirals with a
­University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, spiral galaxies are reminiscent of discs. low-to-intermediate inclination (i ≤ 65˚ ).
United Kingdom They are flat components with exponen- Twelve of them were identified as mem-
tial surface brightness radial profiles bers of the Fornax, Eridanus and
and rotate as fast as discs. Moreover, the Pegasus clusters and a further two are
Photometry and long-slit spectroscopy stellar population in late-type bulges members of the NGC 7582 group.
are presented for 14 S0 and spiral is younger than in early-type bulges. They
­galaxies of the Fornax, Eridanus and appear to have lower metallicity and The photometric and spectroscopic ob-
Pegasus clusters and the NGC 7582 lower a/Fe enhancement with respect to servations of the sample galaxies were
group. The age, metallicity and a/Fe early-type galaxies. carried out in three runs at ESO La Silla
enhancement of the stellar population in in 2002 (run 1), 2003 (run 2) and 2005
the centres and their gradients are In the current paradigm, early-type (run 3). We imaged the galaxies with
obtained using stellar population mod- bulges were formed by rapid collapse the Bessel R-band filter. In runs 1 and 2
els with variable element abundance and merging events, while late-type spectra were taken at the 3.6-m tele-
ratios. Most of the sample bulges dis- bulges have been slowly assembled by scope with EFOSC2; in run 3 spectra
play solar a/Fe enhancement, no gra­ internal and environmental secular were obtained with EMMI on the NTT in
dient in age, and a negative gradient of ­processes (Kormendy & ­Kennicutt, 2004). red medium-dispersion mode.
metallicity. One of the bulges, that of But many questions are still open. For
NGC 1292, is a pseudobulge and the instance, the monolithic collapse scenario In order to derive the photometric param-
properties of its stellar population are cannot explain the presence in bulges of eters of the bulge and disc, we fitted iter-
consistent with a slow build-up within a kinematically-decoupled components. atively a model of the surface brightness
scenario of secular evolution. Moreover, the environment plays a role in to the pixels of the galaxy image using a
defining the properties of galaxies. Re- non-linear least-squares minimisation. We
cent studies of early-type galaxies in dif- adopted the technique for photometric
The relative importance of dissipative ferent environments have shown that age, decomposition developed in GASP2D by
­collapse (Gilmore & Wyse, 1998), major metallicity, and a/Fe enhancement are Méndez-Abreu et al. (2008, see Figure 1).
and minor merging events (Aguerri, more correlated with the total mass of the We measured the stellar kinematics from
­Balcells & Peletier, 2001), and redistribu- galaxy than local environment. the galaxy absorption features present
tion of disc material due to the pres- in the wavelength range and centred on
ence of a bar or environmental effects To investigate the formation and evolu- the Mg line triplet at 5 200 Å by applying
(Kormendy & Kennicutt, 2004) drives tion of bulges, there are two possible the Fourier correlation quotient method
the variety of observed properties in approaches: going back in redshift and (Bender et al., 1994). We also measured
bulges. The bulges of lenticulars and looking at the evolution of galaxies the Mg, Fe, and H b line-strength indices
early-type spirals are similar to low-lumi- through cosmic time; or analysing nearby from the flux-calibrated spectra. We indi-
nosity elliptical galaxies and their photo- galaxies in detail to understand the cate the average iron index with <Fe> =
metric and kinematic properties satisfy ­properties of their stellar population in (Fe5270 + Fe5335)/2, and the magne-
the same fundamental plane (FP) cor- terms of the dominant mechanism at sium-iron index with [MgFe]; = Mg b (0.72
relation found for ellipticals. The surface- the epochs of star formation and mass × Fe5270 + 0.28 × Fe5335) (see Fig-

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 31

Astronomical Science Morelli L. et al., Stellar Populations of Bulges of Disc Galaxies in Clusters

NGC 1351 Model Residuals

26.0 26.0 0.4
100 100 100

µ R (mag/arcsec 2 )
µ R (mag/arcsec 2 )

µ R (mag/arcsec 2 )
50 50 50

Y (arcsec)
Y (arcsec)
Y (arcsec)

20.5 20.5 0.0

0 0 0

– 50 – 50 – 50

15.0 15.0 – 0.4

–100 – 50 0 50 –100 – 50 0 50 –100 – 50 0 50
X (arcsec) X (arcsec) X (arcsec)

14 1.0 150

16 0.8
µ R (mag/arcsec 2 )

18 0.6



20 0.4

22 0.2

0.4 0.4 0.4

0.2 0.2 0.2
∆µ R

0.0 0.0 0.0

– 0.2 – 0.2 – 0.2
– 0.4 – 0.4 – 0.4
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
R (arcsec) R (arcsec) R (arcsec)

Figure 1 (above). Two-dimensional photometric de-

NGC 1351
composition of a sample galaxy, NGC 1351. Upper r (kpc)
panels (from left to right): Map of the observed, 0 0.5 1 1.5 2
modelled and residual (observed-modelled) surface-
brightness distribution of the galaxy. Lower panels 3
H β (Å)

(from left to right): Ellipse-averaged radial profile 2

of surface-brightness, position angle, and ellipticity 1
measured in the observed (dots with error-bars) 0
and modelled image (solid line). Residuals on the ob- 6
[MgFe]� (Å)

served model are shown in the bottom plots.
ure 2). The H b line-strength index was 5
measured from the resulting H b absorp-
<Fe> (Å)

tion line, after the emission line was 2
­subtracted from the observed spectrum. 1

Mg b (Å)

Age, metallicity, and a/Fe enhancement: 3 Figure 2. The line-strength indices
central values 2
0.3 measured along the major axes of one
of the sample galaxies, NGC 1351.
Mg 2 (mag)

From the central line-strength indices we From top to bottom: East-west folded
radial profiles of H b, [MgFe];, <Fe>,
derived the mean ages, total metallici- 0.15
Mg b, and Mg2. Asterisks and dots refer
ties and total a/Fe enhancements of the 0.1
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 to the two sides (east/west) of the gal-
stellar populations in the centre of the r (arcsec) axy.

32 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

/Fe] = 0.0 dex T<
/Fe] = 0.5 dex T>0

1 Gyr
(Z/H) = 0.35

<Fe> (Å)
H ` (Å)

2 Gyr (Z/H) = 0.00




3 Gyr

(Z/H) = – 0.33



5 Gyr


/ F ] = 0.

0. 0


= .3




10 Gyr




[α / Fe
15 Gyr 1.0








=0 Age = 3 Gyr



(Z/H) = –1.35

T>0 Age = 12 Gyr


(Z/H) = – 2.25

1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0
[MgFe]� (Å) Mg b (Å)

Figure 3 (above). The distribution of the central val-

ues of H b and [MgFe]; indices (left panel) and <Fe>
and Mg b indices (right panel) averaged over 0.3 re for
the 15 sample galaxies. Points are coloured accord-
ing to their RC3 galaxy type. The lines indicate the
models by Thomas et al. (2003). Left panel: The age–
metallicity grids are plotted with two different a/Fe 5 5 5
enhancements: [a/Fe] = 0.0 dex (continuous lines)
and [a/Fe] = 0.5 dex (dashed lines). Right panel: The
[a/Fe]–metallicity grids are plotted with two different
ages: 3 Gyr (continuous lines) and 12 Gyr (dashed
4 4 4
sample bulges by using the stellar popu-
lation models of Thomas et al. (2003)
shown in Figure 3. These models predict
the values of the line-strength indices
for a single stellar population as function 3 3 3
of the age, metallicity, and [a/Fe] ratios.

Three classes of objects were identified,

according to their age and metallicity
(Figure 4). The young bulges are scat- 2 2 2
tered about an average age of 2 Gyr with
hints of star formation, as shown by the
presence of the H b emission line in their
spectra. The intermediate-age bulges
span the age range between 4 and 8 Gyr. 1 1 1
They are characterised by solar metal-
licity. Finally, the old bulges have high
metallicity and a narrow distribution in
age around 10 Gyr.
0 0 0
Although the correlations are not statisti- 2 4 6 8 10 – 0.6 – 0.4 – 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.4 – 0.4 – 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.4
cally very strong, the elliptical and S0 Age (Gyr) [Z/H] (dex) [α/Fe] (dex)

­galaxies (T < 0, where T is the numerical Figure 4. Distribution of age (left panel), metallicity
RC3 galaxy type) have bulges older and (central panel) and a/Fe enhancement (right panel)
more metal-rich than the spirals (T > 0) for the central regions of the sample galaxies. The
in the central region. Most of the sample solid line in the right panel represents a Gaussian
centred at the median value [a/Fe] = 0.07 dex of the
bulges display solar a/Fe enhancements distribution. Its width, s = 0.11, is approximated by
with the median of the distribution at the value containing 68 per cent of the objects of the
[a/Fe] = 0.07 dex (Figure 4, right panel). distribution.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 33

Astronomical Science Morelli L. et al., Stellar Populations of Bulges of Disc Galaxies in Clusters

Age is mildly correlated with velocity dis- 7 7 7

persion, and a/Fe enhancement. We
conclude that the more massive bulges
of our sample galaxies are older, more
metal-rich and characterised by rapid 6 6 6
star formation.
Med = 0.4 Med = – 0.15 Med = 0.00
σ = 1.1 σ = 0.15 σ = 0.09
5 5 5
Age, metallicity and a/Fe enhancement:

Different formation scenarios predict dif- 4 4 4

ferent radial trends of age, metallicity, and
a/Fe enhancement. Therefore the radial

gradients of the properties of the stellar
populations of bulges are a key piece of 3 3 3
information to understand the processes
of their formation and evolution. In the
monolithic collapse scenario, gas dissipa-
tion towards the galaxy centre, with sub- 2 2 2
sequent occurrence of star formation and
galactic winds, produce a steep metallic-
ity gradient. A strong gradient in a/Fe 1 1 1
enhancement is expected too. The pre-
dictions for bulges forming through long
time-scale processes, such as dissipa-
tionless secular evolution, are more con- 0 0 0
tradictory. In the latter scenario the – 2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 – 0.4 – 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.4 – 0.4 – 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.4
bulge is formed by redistribution of disc ∆Age (Gyr) ∆[Z/H] (dex) ∆[α/Fe] (dex)
stars. The gradients possibly present in
the p­ rogenitor disc could be either ampli- Figure 5. Distribution of the gradients of age (left of the distribution. The width of the distributions, s,
panel), metallicity (central panel) and a/Fe enhance- are approximated by the value containing 68 per
fied, since the resulting bulge has a
ment (right panel) within radius r bd at which bulge cent of the objects and are also listed. The green
smaller scalelength than the progenitor, and disc give equal brightness contributions for the and blue arrows show the average gradient found
or erased as a consequence of disc heat- sample galaxies. Dashed line represents the median for early-type galaxies and bulges by ­M ehlert et
ing (­Moorthy & Holtzman, 2006). of the distribution and its value is listed. Solid line al. (2003) and Jablonka et al. (2007), respectively.
represents a Gaussian centred at the median value

An issue in measuring the gradients of

age, metallicity, and [a/Fe] in bulges of age, metallicity, and a/Fe enhance- and gradient of a/Fe enhancement, while
could be the contamination of their stellar ment following Thomas et al. (2003) and the central value and gradient of metallic-
population by the light coming from are shown in Figure 5. ity are correlated. All these hints suggest
the underlying disc stellar component. that a pure dissipative collapse is not able
This effect is negligible in the galaxy cen- Most of the sample galaxies show no to explain formation of bulges and that
tre but it could increase going to the gradient in age with the median of the other phenomena like mergers or acquisi-
outer regions of the bulge, where the light distribution at 0.4 Gyr. Negative gradients tion events need to be invoked.
starts to be dominated by the disc com- of metallicity were observed and the
ponent. In order to reduce the impact of number distribution shows a clear peak
disc contamination and extend as much at [Z/H] = − 0.15 dex. The presence of Pseudo-bulges
as possible the region in which gradients a negative gradient in the metallicity radial
were derived, we mapped them inside profile favours a scenario with bulge for- Classical bulges are similar to low-lumi-
r bd, the radius where the bulge and disc mation via dissipative collapse. Dissipa- nosity ellipticals and are thought to be
give the same contribution to the total tive collapse implies strong inside-out formed by mergers and rapid collapse.
surface brightness. For each galaxy, we ­formation that should give rise to a nega- Pseudo-bulges are disc or bar compo-
derived the Mg2, H b , and <Fe> line- tive gradient in the a/Fe enhancement nents which were slowly assembled by
strength indices at the radius r bd. The gra- too. But no gradient was measured in the acquired material, efficiently transferred
dients were set as the difference be- [a/Fe] radial profiles for almost all the gal- to the galaxy centre where it formed
tween the values at centre and r bd, and axies. All the deviations from the median stars. Pseudo-bulges can be identified
their corresponding errors were calcu- values of the other objects can be ex- according to their morphological, photo-
lated through Monte Carlo simulations. plained by their errors alone. No correla- metric, and kinematic properties following
The indices were converted into gradients tion is found between the central value the list of characteristics compiled by

34 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

3.5 – 22
n<2 n<2
n>2 n>2

NGC 1292
NGC 7515 IC 5267
NGC 1425

– 20 NGC 1351
ESO 584-44

2.5 NGC 7557

NGC 7631

IC 5309 NGC 1425

2.0 NGC 1366

M R (mag)
Vmax /σ0

NGC 7531

ESO 358-50
–18 ESO 358-50
NGC 1351
IC 5267

NGC 7515

NGC 7643
NGC 7531
NGC 7557

IC 5309

ESO 548-44
NGC 1366

1.0 IC 1993
NGC 1292
NGC 7631

NGC 7643
IC 1993


0.0 –14
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4
ε log σ

Figure 6. The location (left panel) of the sample only by rotation. The location (right panel) of the
bulges in the (Vmax /s0, e) plane. Filled and open sample bulges with respect to the Faber-Jackson
­circles correspond to bulges with Sèrsic index n ≤ 2 relation by Forbes & Ponman (1999, blue dashed
and n > 2, respectively. The continuous line corre- line). Filled and open circles correspond to bulges
sponds to oblate-spheroidal systems that have iso- with Sèrsic index n ≤ 2 and n > 2, respectively and
tropic velocity dispersions and that are flattened the linear fit is shown (red continuous line).

Kormendy & Kennicutt (2004). The more or equivalently a higher luminosity, with Jablonka, P., Gorgas, J. & Goudfrooij, P. 2007, A&A,
474, 763
characteristics applied, the safer the respect to their early-type counterparts
Kormendy, J. & Kennicutt, R. C. 2004, ARA&A, 42,
­classification becomes. Pseudo-bulges (Figure 6, right panel). According to the 603
are expected to be more rotation-domi- prescriptions by Kormendy & Kennicutt Mehlert, D., et al. 2003, A&A, 407, 423
nated than classical bulges, which are (2004), the bulge of NGC 1292 is the most Méndez-Abreu, J., et al. 2008, A&A, 478, 353
Moorthy, B. K. & Holtzman, J. A. 2006, MNRAS, 371,
more rotation-dominated than giant ellip- reliable pseudo-bulge in our sample. In-
tical galaxies. We measured the maxi- formation about its stellar population Thomas, D., Maraston, C. & Bender, R. 2003,
mum rotation velocity Vmax within r bd from gives more constraints on its nature and MNRAS, 339, 897
the stellar velocity curve and the cen- formation process. In fact, the NGC 1292
tral velocity dispersion s0 from the veloc- bulge population has an intermediate
ity dispersion profile. For each galaxy we age and low metal content. The a/Fe
derived the ratio Vmax /s0. In Figure 6 (left enhancement is the lowest in our sample
panel) we compare it to the value pre- suggesting a prolonged star-formation
dicted for an oblate spheroid with an iso- history. The presence of emission lines in
tropic velocity dispersion and the same the spectrum shows that star formation
observed ellipticity (Binney & Tremaine, is still ongoing. These properties are con-
1987). sistent with a slow build-up of the bulge
of NGC 1292 within a scenario of secular
Another defining characteristic of pseudo evolution.
bulges are their position on the Faber-
Jackson relation. The pseudo-bulges fall
above the Faber-Jackson correlation References
between the luminosity of the elliptical Aguerri, J. A. L., Balcells, M. & Peletier, R. F. 2001,
galaxies and early-type bulges and their A&A, 367, 428
central velocity dispersion (Kormendy & Bender, R., Saglia, R. P. & Gerhard, O. E. 1994,
Kennicutt, 2004). Sample bulges, ex- MNRAS, 269, 785
Binney, J. & Tremaine, S. 1987, Galactic Dynamics,
cept for ESO 358-50 and NGC 1292, (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University
are consistent with the R-band Faber- Press), 747
Jackson relation we built from Forbes & Forbes, D. A. & Ponman, T. J. 1999, MNRAS, 309,
Ponman (1999, L ∝ s 3.92). They are char- 623
Gilmore, G. & Wyse, R. F. G. 1998, AJ, 116, 748
acterised by a lower velocity dispersion,

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 35

Astronomical Science

Mid-infrared Interferometry of Active Galactic Nuclei:

an Outstanding Scientific Success of the VLTI

Klaus Meisenheimer 1 and below the torus are visible. The ob- time (Leinert et al., 2003). The sensitivity
David Raban 2 ject then appears as a Seyfert 2 galaxy. required for most AGN observations
Konrad Tristram 1, 3 Spectropolarimetric observations of ­(correlated flux Fcorr ≤ 1 Jy in the N-band)
Marc Schartmann 1, 4, 5 ­Seyfert 2 galaxies, showing broad lines in can only be reached by the combination
Walter Jaffe 2 scattered light, support this idea (see of two Unit Telescopes (UTs) of the VLTI.
Huub Röttgering 2 review by Antonucci, 1993). The UV-opti- The highest sensitivity for detecting
Leonard Burtscher 1 cal light which is trapped by dust in the and tracking the interferometric fringes is
torus should heat the dust to a few hun- obtained by inserting a prism into the
dred Kelvin, and the dust should re-radi- interferometric beams, that spectrally dis-
 ax-Planck-Institut für Astronomie,
M ate in the mid-infrared. Indeed, the Spec- perses the N-band light with a spectral
­Heidelberg, Germany tral Energy Distributions (SEDs) of both resolution Q 25. For brighter objects a
Sterrewacht Leiden, the Netherlands Seyfert 1 and Seyfert 2 galaxies display grism with a higher resolution of 250 can
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastro­ signatures of AGN heated dust between be used. In both cases MIDI delivers
nomie, Bonn, Germany l Q 3 and 30 µm. It is an open issue two spectra (phase-shifted by 180 de-
Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterres- whether dust obscuration plays a similar grees) onto its detector, containing spec-
trische Physik, Garching, Germany role in radio galaxies. tral and interferometric information at
Universitäts-Sternwarte, München, the same time. A special analysis pipeline
­Germany Before the advent of the VLT Interferom- is needed to extract this information. We
eter (VLTI), the size, shape and internal use the Expert Work Station (EWS) pipe-
structure of the torus remained unknown, line developed in Leiden by Walter Jaffe.
Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are pow- although the mid-infrared spectra located
ered by accretion onto a supermassive the dust within a few parsec of the core. Observations of the scientific target have
black hole. The unified scheme for Single 8-m-class telescopes cannot re- to be complemented by standard star
strongly accreting AGN postulates that solve mid-infrared structures of this size. observations obtained with an identical
the central engine is enshrouded by a Even in the L-band (3.6 µm) a diffrac­tion- instrumental set-up. The essential result of
doughnut-shaped structure of gas and limited 8-m telescope is limited to 93 mas the pipeline analysis is a spectrum of the
dust – the so-called torus. We report resolution (Full Width at Half Maximum, (calibrated) correlated flux Fcorr (l) in the
observations with the MID-Infrared FWHM). At the distance of nearby range 7.8 to 13.2 µm (see Figure 1b, c, d).
Interferometric Instrument (MIDI) at the Seyfert galaxies, such as NGC 1068 and Fcorr (l) corresponds to the Fourier Trans-
VLT Interferometer, which resolve the NGC 4151 (14 Mpc), this corresponds to form of the source emission evaluated
tori in the nearest Seyfert 2 galaxies, 6.5 parsec. at a coordinate (called ‘uv-point’ or ‘base-
and suggest a complex structure, con- line’) given by the projected separation
sisting of a compact inner disc embed- The situation changed dramatically between the telescopes as viewed from
ded in a patchy or filamentary outer in December 2002, when MIDI, the MID- the source. Spatial information about the
torus. The prominent nearby radio gal- Infrared Interferometric Instrument, source structure can be obtained com-
axy Centaurus A, however, shows little became operational at the VLTI. MIDI paring Fcorr (l) at different uv-points. To
sign of a torus. Instead, its mid-infrared observes in the N-band (wavelengths 8 to the actually measured uv-points can be
emission is dominated by non-thermal 13 µm). Using the widest telescope sepa- added the total flux Ftot (l) registered by
radiation from the base of the radio jet. ration (UT1–UT4) of 125 m, the width of a single telescope, essentially equivalent
Thus, not all classes of AGN contain a the point-spread function at 8 µm is only to an observation with zero baseline (see
thick torus. 7 mas, or 0.5 parsec at the distance of Figure 1a). Different baselines can either
NGC 1068. But at the start of MIDI’s op- be realised by using different telescope
erations two major questions remained: combinations or by observing the target
The unified scheme for Active Galactic first, would MIDI be sensitive enough during its movement across the sky with
Nuclei (AGN) explains various types of to reach extragalactic targets? Second, a fixed telescope combination.
AGN by a line-of-sight effect: it postulates would observations with a handful of
that the central engine – an accreting baselines allow us to reconstruct the dust As evident from Figure 1, the AGN spec-
supermassive black hole – is embedded distribution in the torus and thus provide tra between 8.5 and 12.5 µm are often
in a doughnut-shaped torus of gas and scientifically meaningful insights? This dominated by a broad absorption trough,
dust. Thus, the hot accretion disc and the article demonstrates that today both caused by silicate dust grains. The exact
surrounding Broad Line Region (BLR) is questions can be answered unequivo- profile of this ‘silicate feature’ depends
only visible when looking along the torus cally: yes! on the chemical composition, size and
axis. This is the case in Seyfert 1 galaxies, crystalline structure of the grains. Thus
the optical spectra of which are charac- the N-band interferometry of an AGN not
terised by a blue continuum and broad Mid-infrared interferometry with MIDI only resolves the spatial structure of the
emission lines. In an edge-on case, how- nuclear dust but also can give insight
ever, the direct view onto the core is MIDI operates as classical stellar interfer- into the dust properties within the inner
blocked by the dusty torus and only nar- ometer of the Michelson type. It com- few parsecs.
row emission lines from regions above bines the beams of two telescopes at a

36 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

25 of 14.4 Mpc, one parsec corresponds to is about 3.5 pc, but its exact shape re-
an angular scale of 14 mas, i.e. parsec- mains to be determined by shorter base-
20 scale structures can just be resolved with lines along the East-West direction.1
MIDI at the VLTI.
The major axis of the hot component is
Total Flux (Jy)

The earliest MIDI observations of perfectly aligned with a spur of water
NGC 1068 were obtained half a year after masers extending about 20 mas towards
MIDI became operational, during VLTI NW from the (radio-)core, although the
Science Demonstration Time (SDT). Jaffe relative astrometric position cannot be
et al. (2004) demonstrated for the first determined. Surprisingly, the orientation
time that a compact, geometrically thick of its minor axis (P. A. = 48˚), which might
8 9 10 11 12 13
dust structure – as expected for the dust mark the symmetry axis of an inclined
Wavelength (µm) torus – indeed exists in Seyfert 2 galax- disc, does not fit well to the source axis
ies. Essentially only two visibility points as determined from outflow phenome-
6 were observed at that time. The corre- na. The inner radio jet points almost ex-
5 Ozone lated fluxes were best modelled by two actly North (P. A. = 2˚), while the ionisa-
components, a small, relatively hot one tion cone opens between P. A. Q – 5 –
(T > 800 K, diameter about 1 pc), embed- – 30˚. For the standard torus scenario this
3 ded in a larger component of 320 K and is a puzzle: the open funnel which allows
2 about 3.5 pc diameter. the ionising UV-photons to escape should
1 be caused by the angular momentum
New observations with MIDI (Raban et al., barrier and thus be aligned with the rota-
2008b) cover the uv-plane much better: tion axis of the gas distribution. How
Correlated Flux (Jy)

2.5 15 visibility points were obtained with the could a tilted disc form out of this gas?
2 tele­scope combinations UT1–UT3, Perhaps the hot inner component is
UT1–UT4, and UT2–UT3. An additional not a rotationally supported structure
measurement with the orthogonal base- (disc) but rather a filament or hot channel.
1 line UT3–UT4 proved essential for the
0.5 (c) ­following results. To study the details of Further insight into the dust properties
the silicate absorption profile, the higher can be inferred from the depth of the sili-
(R Q 230) resolution grism was used. cate feature. In the total flux, which is
2 Even with this more complete uv-cover-
1.5 age, direct image reconstruction is not
possible because MIDI observes only two
telescopes at a time and rapid atmos-
0.5 (d) pheric phase shifts cannot be recovered
0 by phase closure techniques. The meas-
8 10 12 ured Fcorr (l) spectra for different baselines
Wavelength (µm) still have to be interpreted by simple mod-
els. Remarkably, a model of two compo- 40 – 40
Figure 1. Results of MIDI observations of NGC 1068. nents with Gaussian brightness distribu-
(a) Total flux Ftot (l): the contribution of the hot com-
tion and black-body spectrum describes
ponent is shown in red, that of the extended compo-
nent in blue. (b) Correlated flux Fcorr (l) obtained with the correlated flux data reasonably well.
a 40-m baseline orientated along position angle With the inclusion of the longest VLTI
P. A. = 36˚. The red dotted line gives the model fit baselines UT1–UT3 and UT1–UT4, the
and the blue shaded area shows the contribution of
measurements perfectly constrain the 1 pc
the extended component. (c) Fcorr (l) for 52 m base- – 40
line along P. A. = 112˚. (d) Fcorr (l) for 97 m baseline size, shape and orientation of the hot,
along P. A. = 36˚. The comparison between (b) and inner component of the dust torus: major
(c) shows that the hot component is more extended axis 20 mas (1.4 pc FWHM), oriented Figure 2. Observational model of the dust torus in
(better resolved) in SE–NW direction. NGC 1068. A hot component (yellow) is embedded
along P. A. = 138˚. It is rather elongated,
in an extended cooler component (brown). The
with an axis ratio of 0.25, indicating a ­orientation of the radio axis is indicated by a purple
geometrically thin (disc-like?) structure. dotted line and the blue wedge gives the open-
The dust torus in NGC 1068 Only a lower limit, T > 800 K, can be set ing angle of the ionisation cone, observed on 100-pc
to its temperature. The lack of short
The first AGN observed with MIDI was the baselines, < 50 m in the East-West direc- 1
 uch baselines are provided by the Auxiliary Tele-
prototypical Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1068. tion makes the determination of the over- scopes (ATs). A MIDI observation programme
It is the brightest extragalactic N-band all size and shape of the more extended with the ATs is under way and has already detected
source in the southern sky. At its distance ‘torus component’ uncertain. Its diameter fringes from NGC 1068.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 37

Astronomical Science Meisenheimer K. et al., Mid-infrared Interferometry of Active Galactic Nuclei

dominated by the outer component (Fig- 200

ure 1a), the absorption optical depth at
10 µm is moderate, Q 0.4, whereas the
depth towards the inner component is al- 100
most five times larger at Q 1.9 (Figure 1b,
c, d). Obviously, most of the dust column DEC (mas)
is located in the outer component. 0

The dust torus in the Circinus galaxy –100

The Circinus galaxy at a distance of

4 Mpc is the closest Seyfert galaxy. It
– 200
shows all signs of a classical Seyfert 2: 200 100 0 –100 200 100 0 –100 – 200
narrow allowed and forbidden emis- RA (mas) RA (mas)
sion lines, strong silicate absorption and
a heavily absorbed X-ray spectrum. An Figure 3. The dust torus in the Circinus galaxy. The component would also have to be inter-
left panel shows the smooth model (composed preted as a rotationally supported disc.
extended cone of emission line gas and
of two Gaussian brightness distributions, the right
the presence of broad lines in the po- panel visualises the best-fitting patchy model.
larised optical flux (caused by scattering) Dashed lines indicate the opening angle of the ioni- It is worth noticing that the depth of the
provide direct evidence that the cen- sation cone. silicate absorption towards the dust com-
tral engine is hidden from our direct view ponents in Circinus shows a different be-
behind a substantial amount of dust. haviour than that observed in NGC 1068.
Circinus is a spiral galaxy seen almost ness with that of a black body leads to a In Circinus the depth of the silicate fea-
edge on. Thus, several magnitudes covering factor of only 20 %. Moreover, ture towards the inner component is shal-
of ­visual extinction might be caused by the observed correlated flux values are lower than towards the outer component.
the dust lanes in the spiral disc, behind poorly reproduced by the smooth Gaus- Obviously the dust column through the
which the nuclear region is located. sian model, but rather seem to ‘wiggle’ outer dust component is not very high
around it when plotting them as function and the absorption trough is partly filled
The high southern declination of Circinus of baseline orientation. In order to test by silicate emission from the dust disc.
(d = – 65˚) makes it an almost ideal target whether a patchy brightness distribution
for the VLTI: it can be observed for up to could improve the fit, we modified the
12 hours during long winter nights, thus smooth Gaussian distribution by a fore- The radio galaxy Centaurus A
allowing the projected baseline orienta- ground screen of randomly distributed
tion between each of two UTs to swing variations in transmission. A thousand The radio galaxy Centaurus A (= NGC
by up to 180˚ due to the earth’s rotation. different screens were realised, the im- 5128) plays a key role in extra­galactic
In five observing runs during the MIDI ages were Fourier-transformed, and com- astronomy: at a distance of only 3.8 Mpc
guaranteed time observation programme, pared with the observed correlated it is the closest large elliptical galaxy, the
we have been able to collect 21 visibility fluxes. Indeed, we found several patchy closest galaxy merger and the closest
points, most of them with the shortest screens which reproduce the observa-
VLTI baselines UT2–UT3 and UT3–UT4 tions much better than the smooth mod- 60
(Tristram et al., 2007). They provide the el. The best-fitting model is displayed
most complete uv-coverage obtained for in the right panel of Figure 3. Interestingly
North-South Offset (mas)

any extragalactic target so far. enough, it shows a bright patch on the

axis of the ionisation cone. We regard this
As in NGC 1068, at least two compo- as evidence that our interferometric data
nents with Gaussian brightness distribu- contain hints for the existence of hotter
tion are required to model the correlated dust close to an open funnel which con-
fluxes: a compact component (major fines the ionising radiation.
axis 0.4 pc and axis ratio 0.2); and an
almost round extended component The size and orientation of the inner,
(FWHM 1.9 pc, see Figure 3). Contrary to disc-like component again fit very well to – 20
the case of NGC 1068, the colour tem- the known disc of water masers which 200 300 400 500 600 700
peratures of the inner and outer compo- show a Keplerian rotation pattern (Fig- 60 40 20 0 – 20
nents both lie around 300 K, differing by ure 4). Although the location of the dust East-West Offset (mas)
less than 50 K. However, the outer com- emission with respect to the maser disc
ponent does not seem to be smoothly cannot be determined by our MIDI ob­- Figure 4. Overlay of the compact dust component
filled with dust at a constant temperature. servations, it is very likely that both discs in Circinus over the location of the (warped) disc of
Comparing its average surface bright- are co-spatial: in this case the inner dust water masers (from Gallimore et al., 2004).

38 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

violent AGN. At its distance, 1 pc corre- N
the torus include the widely spread and
sponds to 53 mas. The radio source can orientation continuous distribution in X-ray absorbing
be traced over seven orders of magni- 50 hydrogen column densities between
tude in angular scales, from the VLBI jets ˚ ­Seyfert 1 and Seyfert 2 galaxies and sev-
(a few mas) to the outer lobes (several eral cases in which an AGN changed its


– UT
degrees). Extinction in the dust lane broad line spectrum, indicating a change

U T3
of the merging spiral galaxy severely ob- in central obscuration. Radiative trans-
scures our view towards the nucleus E fer calculations of ‘clumpy’ torus models
of Centaurus A. Thus observations at showed that another problem of the
infrared wavelengths are mandatory (see ­continuous torus models – namely their
Meisen­heimer et al., 2007, and references prediction of a strong silicate emission

therein for more details). 7 ˚± in Seyfert 1 galaxies, which is rarely ob-
12 T3
2 –U served – can be solved by shadowing
Centaurus A was observed in 2005 with 10 mas UT effects in a clumpy structure (Nenkova et
MIDI using two telescope combinations: 0.19 pc al., 2002). In a recent study we demon-
UT3–UT4 and UT2–UT3. With both strate by fully 3D radiative transfer calcu-
­combinations two visibility points were Figure 5. Sketch of our model for the N-band emis- lations (Schartmann et al., 2008) that a
sion from the central parsec of Centaurus A. An
obtained, separated by about two hours. wide variety of cloud distributions is able
unresolved point source is surrounded by a faint
The projected baseline with UT3–UT4 dust disc. to reproduce the observed mid-infrared
was orientated roughly perpendicular to spectra. Moreover, when simulating inter-
the parsec scale radio jet, while UT2–UT3 ferometric observations of such a clumpy
was aligned with it (Figure 5). We found this ‘synchrotron core’ as the base of the torus, we find similar ‘wiggles’ in the
that the mid-infrared emission is margin- radio jet (for details see Meisenheimer et ­correlated fluxes to those observed in
ally resolved perpendicular to the jet axis al., 2007). Our interferometric results on Circinus.
with a 60-m projected baseline, whereas Centaurus A demonstrate that mid-infra-
it remains unresolved along the jet axis. red radiation processes are not restricted Despite the success of radiative transfer
Accordingly, we conclude that the 8 to to thermal dust emission. models in explaining the infrared SEDs of
13 µm emission from the core of Centau- AGN, they cannot solve the stability prob-
rus A is dominated by an unresolved The thermal dust emission from the core lem pointed out by Krolik & Begelman:
point source (FWHM < 6 mas), which of Centaurus A is very feeble, more than how could the geometrically thick distri-
contributes between 50 % and 80 % of 20 times weaker than that of the Circinus bution of clouds be maintained? To
the total flux at 13 µm and 8 µm, respec- galaxy at the same distance. We think address this question a hydrodynamical
tively. The extended component is tiny that both a lack of dust in the inner par- model is required that simulates a real­
(FWHM Q 30 mas), and seems elongated sec and the absence of a sufficiently istic mass injection into the torus and fol-
perpendicular to the radio axis (see strong heating source are responsible for lows the evolution of the gas clouds. We
sketch in Figure 5). However, a better uv- this. Certainly, Centaurus A neither con- are currently developing a torus model
coverage (including longer baselines) tains a torus which severely blocks our for Seyfert galaxies that starts from a
will be required to constrain the size, line of sight nor a UV-optically bright number of assumptions. The centre of the
shape and orientation of this extended ­central accretion disc. Most likely, the galaxy harbours a massive young stellar
component more accurately. We interpret accretion onto its black hole happens via cluster (age between 40 and 100 million
the extended component as dust emis- an advection dominated accretion flow years). Stellar mass loss via planetary
sion from a small, inclined disc (diameter (ADAF), which is very inefficient in con- nebulae and stellar winds injects gas and
about 0.6 pc). The unresolved component verting accretion power ṁc2 into radiation. dust into the system, while frequent su-
is identified with the non-thermal ‘syn- pernova explosions stir up the gas. Lo-
chrotron core’ of Centaurus A, since we cally the gas gets compressed and the
find that – after correcting for the fore- Models of the torus subsequent cooling instability leads to
ground extinction of AV = 14 mag (derived the formation of dense and cool filaments
from the depth of the silicate absorp- The concept of a doughnut-shaped (see Figure 6). In between the filaments
tion) – its flux level and spectrum lies per- ‘torus’, continuously filled with gas and cavities of very hot plasma form over-
fectly on the extrapolation of the power- dust, is an oversimplified geometrical pressured regions, which expand radially
law spectrum observed at millimetre ­picture. Already 20 years ago, Krolik & along the density gradient. Thus the cool
wavelengths. Together with photometry at Begelman (1988) pointed out that it must filaments also become radially stretched.
shorter wavelengths (from HST and the consist of a large number of individual The cool gas and dust streams inwards
AO camera NACO at the VLTI) the flux of clouds orbiting around the AGN core. along the filaments and accumulates in a
the unresolved point source fits perfectly However, frequent cloud–cloud collisions very dense turbulent disc with a few par-
to a canonical synchrotron spectrum: it would make such a system very unstable: sec radius.
is characterised by a rather flat power-law within a few orbital timescales it should
Fv ∝ v – 0.36, cutting off exponentially at a settle into a geometrically thin disc. Other In a second step, the radiative transfer
frequency vc = 8 × 1013 Hz. We interpret arguments for a clumpy sub-structure of through the simulated density distribution

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 39

Astronomical Science Meisenheimer K. et al., Mid-infrared Interferometry of Active Galactic Nuclei

– 24.0 – 22.0 – 20.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0

– 40 – 20 0 20 40

LOG ρ (g/cm 3) LOG T (K)

40 40 40 40

30 30

20 20 20 20

10 10
z (pc)

0 0 0 0

–10 –10

– 20 – 20 – 20 – 20

– 30 – 30

– 40 – 40 – 40 – 40

0 10 20 30 40 0 10 20 30 40 – 40 – 20 0 20 40
r (pc) r (pc)

Figure 6. Hydrodynamical torus model. The left and N-band to be observed with MIDI. The But seen from the VLT, the uv-coverage
middle panels show the gas density and tempera-
preliminary target list was selected from of this Seyfert 1 galaxy will always re-
ture in a meridional slice. The right panel displays the
image at 12 μm which would be observed from an AGN with known N-band flux > 1 Jy. main very limited. The closest southern
edge-on view onto this torus. The simulations refer to Since most of the available N-band pho- Seyfert 1 galaxy which is bright enough
an AGN that is about five times more luminous than tometry was obtained in large aper- for MIDI observations, NGC 3783, is three
NGC 1068.
tures, it was necessary to observe all tar- times more distant than NGC 4151. In
gets with TIMMI2 at the 3.6-m telescope order to obtain a direct comparison, more
(beam size 0.7?) to get the core flux at distant (and luminous) Seyfert 2 galaxies
is calculated (assuming a standard gas- l = 12 μm. The final target list (Table 1) have to be studied as well.
to-dust ratio in all cells below sublimation contains all southern AGN with SN (core)
temperature). The emerging mid-infrared > 300 mJy (Raban et al., 2008). 13 of
images (right panel in Figure 6) reproduce the targets have been observed during Synthesis
the filamentary density structure. They the snapshot survey, two more were
can explain the ‘patchy’ outer torus ob- tried by other observers. From 11 of these At the first sight, our results for the dust
served in Circinus rather nicely. It should 15 targets, MIDI could detect interfero- structures in the Seyfert 2 galaxies
be noted, however, that the central tur­ metric fringes (column 6 in Table 1). Three NGC 1068 and Circinus look quite similar:
bulent dust disc appears dark in our sim- of the sources, for which MIDI observa- they both contain an elongated inner
ulations. A set of torus models is gener- tions were attempted, could not be ob- component which is embedded in a
ated by varying the mass injection and served since their nuclei were too faint for larger dust distribution, heated to about
supernova rates. Observing those under the adaptive optics system MACAO. Only 300 K. The observed difference in torus
various aspect angles can well account one source, the star burst nucleus in size is expected from the fact that
for the wide spread in hydrogen column NGC 253, seems too extended to show NGC 1068 is about 10 times more lumi-
in Seyfert galaxies (over three orders of an interferometric signal. nous than Circinus. In both sources
magnitude) while the change in silicate the inner component is aligned with the
depth (from absorption to moderate emis- Most targets have been observed only location of water masers.
sion) remains limited. with the shortest baseline UT2–UT3, and
remain unresolved within the errors (which On the other hand, one might argue that
are dominated by the measurement of the differences between both objects are
MIDI observations of distant AGN the total flux Ftot ). Additional observations even more significant: only in NGC 1068
with longer baselines will be required to do we find dust heated to almost the sub-
In addition to the detailed studies de- determine the size and flux of their dust limation temperature, while in Circinus
scribed above, we carried out an AGN tori (if present). Despite its northern de- any strong temperature gradient between
snapshot survey during the guaranteed clination (+ 40˚), we recently managed to the innermost dust and outer parts of
time observations of the MIDI consor- observe the nearest Seyfert 1 galaxy, the torus is absent. Moreover, the elonga-
tium. The survey tried to identify all those NGC 4151 with the VLTI. It is clearly re- tion of the hot dust component in
AGN, which are bright enough in the solved at 10 µm with a 60-m baseline. NGC 1068 appears significantly tilted with

40 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Name Type z Scale SN (core) MIDI Remarks Table 1. Target list and results of the
[mas/pc] [mJy] AGN snapshot survey carried out dur-
* NGC 1068 S2 0.00379 14.0 15 000 X well observed (16 visibility points), see text ing MIDI guaranteed time observa-
tions (GTO). Targets marked by * were
NGC 1365 S1.8 0.00546 11.0 610 X marginally resolved in snapshot survey
released from the GTO list early. A
IRAS 05189-2524 S2 0.0425 1.0 550 AO correction with MACAO failed cross in the column ‘MIDI’ indicates
MCG-5-23-16 S1.9 0.00827 5.7 650 X done in snapshot survey successful MIDI observations (X: com-
Mrk 123 S1 0.0199 2.5 640 X done in snapshot survey plete interferometric measurement, x:
fringes detected, but unstable weather
NGC 3281 S2 0.01067 4.4 620 AO failed on nucleus, nearby star not used
conditions prohibited complete obser-
* NGC 3783 S1 0.00973 5.0 590 X observed by Beckert et al. (in prep.) vation).
NGC 4151 S1 0.00182 14.0 1400 X resolved in snapshot survey
Centaurus A RG 0.00332 53.0 1220 X first results with short baselines, see text
IC 4329A S1 0.01605 3.1 420 x fringes detected
* Mrk 463 S1 0.0504 1.0 340 not yet tried
Circinus S2 0.00145 50.0 9 700 X well observed (21 visibility points), see text
NGC 5506 S2 0.00618 8.0 910 AO correction with MACAO failed
NGC 7469 S1 0.01631 3.1 410 x fringes detected
NGC 7582 S2 0.00539 9.0 320 not yet tried
3C 273 QSR 0.1583 0.3 350v X two interferometric measurements
NGC 253 core LE 0.00080 57.3 1100 – no fringes detected (Hönig, priv. comm.)

respect to the source axis as defined by NGC 1068. Thus the question arises: is flow onto the black hole might be equally
the radio jet and the ionisation cone, there such a thing as the standard torus important.
whereas the dust disc in Circinus seems in Seyfert galaxies? In any case, the
to fit perfectly into an axisymmetric torus ‘torus’ possesses a complex structure,
model. The outer torus in Circinus ap- which not only appears different (due References
pears patchy or filamentary as predicted to line-of-sight effects) but may differ in- Antonucci, R. 1993, ARA&A, 31, 473
by hydrodynamical models. The low ab- trinsically between individual AGN. This is Gallimore, J. F., Baum, S. A. & O’Dea, C. P. 2004,
sorption depth in the silicate feature not necessarily in conflict with the es- ApJ, 613, 794
towards the inner component indicates sential assumption of the unified scheme: Jaffe, W., Meisenheimer, K., Röttgering, H., et al.
2004, Nature, 429, 47
that our line of sight onto the dust disc it is still possible that Seyfert 1s and Krolik, J. H. & Begelman, M. C. 1988, ApJ, 329, 702
is not severely blocked by the outer ­Seyfert 2s are intrinsically the same class Leinert, C., Graser, U., Richichi, A., et al. 2003,
structure and most of the large hydrogen of objects. In order to verify this generic The Messenger, 112, 13
column towards the X-ray core must assumption, one has to prove that sim- Meisenheimer, K., Tristram, K. R. W., Jaffe, W., et al.
2007, A&A, 471, 453
be located within a radius Q 0.2 pc. In ilar tori, as in NGC 1068 and Circinus, Nenkowa, M., Ivezi, Z. & Eliitzur, M. 2002, ApJL, 570,
contrast, NGC 1068 exhibits a huge dust also exist in Seyfert 1 galaxies. The de- L9
­column towards the hot component. tection of an extended component in Raban, D., Heijligers, B., Röttgering, H., et al. 2008a,
Here most of the absorbing gas and dust NGC 4151 with MIDI marks a promising A&A, in press (arXiv:0804.2395)
Raban, D., Jaffe, W., Röttgering, H., et al. 2008b,
is located outside a radius of ~ 1 pc. first step in this direction. Finally, our re- MNRAS, in press
sults on Centaurus A demonstrate that Schartmann, M., Meisenheimer, K., Camenzind, M.,
From these differences it seems evident the absence of broad emission lines can- et al. 2008, A&A, in press (arXiv:0802.2604)
that the torus in the Circinus galaxy is not always be explained by an obscuring Tristram, K. R. W., Meisenheimer, K., Jaffe, W., et al.
2007, A&A, 474, 837
not just a scaled-down version of that in torus. Intrinsic properties of the accretion

Colour images of the brightest galaxies in four gal- increasing stellar mass, i.e. a rough time sequence.
axy groups at redshift ~ 0.36, formed by combining The brightest galaxies in the left two images have
VIMOS B, V and R band images (20? × 20? sections gravitationally bound bright companions. See ESO
shown). The galaxies are ordered from left to right in Science Release 24/08 for more details.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 41

Astronomical Science

The Supernova Legacy Survey

Mark Sullivan 1 accreting carbon-oxygen white dwarf star minated in the late 1990s when two
Christophe Balland 2 approaching the Chandrasekhar mass independent surveys for distant SNe Ia
limit. As the white dwarf star gains mate- made the same remarkable discovery:
rial from a binary companion, the core the high-redshift SNe Ia appeared about
 epartment of Physics, University of
D temperature of the star increases, leading 40 % fainter – more distant – than ex-
Oxford, United Kingdom to a runaway fusion of the nuclei in the pected in a flat, matter-dominated Uni-
L aboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et white dwarf’s interior. The kinetic energy verse (Riess et al., 1998; Perlmutter et al.,
des Hautes Énergies (LPNHE), Centre release from this nuclear burning – some 1999), providing astonishing evidence
National de la Recherche Scientifique 10 44 J – is sufficient to dramatically un- for an accelerating Universe. When these
(CNRS) – Institut Nationale de Physique bind the star. The resulting violent explo- observations were combined with an-
Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules sion and shock wave appears billions of alyses of the cosmic microwave back-
(IN2P3), Universités Paris VI and Paris times brighter than our Sun, comfortably ground, a consistent picture emerged of
VII, France* out-shining the galaxy in which the white a spatially flat Universe dominated by a
dwarf resided. dark energy responsible for ~ 70–75 % of
its energy, opposing the slowing effect
The accelerating Universe was one of SN Ia explosions are observed to explode of gravity and accelerating the Universe’s
the most surprising discoveries of 20th with approximately the same intrinsic rate of expansion.
century science. The ‘dark energy’ luminosity to within a factor of two, pre-
that drives it lacks a compelling theoret- sumably due to the similarity of the This incredible discovery sparked an in-
ical explanation, and has sparked an ­triggering white dwarf mass and, conse- tense observational effort: at first to con-
intense observational effort to under- quently, the amount of nuclear fuel avail- firm the seemingly bizarre and unpre-
stand its nature. Over the past five able to burn. These raw luminosities dicted result, and later to place the tight-
years, the Supernova Legacy Survey can be standardised further using simple est possible observational constraints on
(SNLS) has made a concerted effort to empirical corrections between their lu- dark energy, in the hope that a theoretical
gather 500 distant Type Ia Supernovae minosity, light-curve shape and colour – understanding could follow. Many hun-
(SNe Ia), a sample of standard candles intrinsically brighter SNe Ia typically have dreds of SNe Ia have now been discov-
with the power to make a 5 % statisti- wider (slower) light curves and a bluer ered out to a redshift of 1.5 in an effort to
cal measurement of the dark energy’s optical colour than their fainter counter- map the Universe’s expansion history,
equation of state. The SNLS sample parts (e.g. Phillips, 1993). The combi­ and alternative cosmological probes have
also provides one of the most uniform nation of extreme brightness, uniformity, been developed and matured: under-
sets of SNe Ia available, with a photo- and a convenient month-long duration, standing dark energy has become a key
metric and spectroscopic coverage makes SNe Ia observationally attractive goal of modern science.
allowing new insights into the physical as calibrateable standard candles; ob-
nature of SN Ia progenitors. With the jects to which a distance can be inferred
survey recently completed, we report from only a measurement of their appar- The Supernova Legacy Survey
on the latest science analysis, and the ent brightness on the sky. Applying the
vital role that the ESO VLT has played various calibrating relationships to SN Ia The five-year Canada-France-Hawaii
in measuring these distant cosmic ex- measurements provides distance esti- ­Telescope (CFHT) Supernova Legacy
plosions. mates precise to ~ 7 %, which can be Survey (SNLS) started in mid-2003 with
used via the redshift-magnitude relation the ambitious goal of discovering, con-
(or Hubble Diagram) to determine cos­ firming and photometrically monitoring
Type Ia Supernovae as cosmological tools mological models. around 500 SNe Ia to determine the
nature of dark energy. The development
Type Ia Supernovae (SNe Ia) are a violent For many years following the realisation of the square-degree imager MegaCam
endpoint of stellar evolution, the result of the cosmological potential of SNe Ia, on the 3.6-m CFHT, and the efficiency
of the thermonuclear destruction of an finding distant events in the numbers re- with which it could survey large volumes
quired for meaningful constraints was of sky, meant that SNe Ia out to z = 1
a considerable logistical and technolo­ could be discovered routinely and essen-
 he full SNLS core collaboration is: Pierre Astier
(LPNHE, CNRS-IN2P3), Dave Balam (University of
gical challenge. Years of searching were tially on demand. The multi-band opti-
­V ictoria), Christophe Balland (LPNHE, CNRS- required to discover only a handful of cal data (Figure 1) comes from the Deep
IN2P3), Stephane Basa (LAM), Ray Carlberg (Uni- SNe Ia (e.g. Perlmutter et al., 1997). The component of the CFHT Legacy Survey
versity of Toronto), Alex Conley (University of field only matured with the advent of (CFHT-LS), observing each of four fields
Toronto), Dominique Fouchez (CPPM), Julien Guy
(LPNHE, CNRS-IN2P3), Delphin Hardin (LPNHE,
large-format CCD cameras capable of every three or four days during dark time
CNRS-IN2P3), Isobel M. Hook (University of efficiently scanning large areas of sky, in a rolling search for around six luna-
Oxford), Andy Howell (University of Toronto), and the simultaneous development of tions per year. As optical transient events
­Reynald Pain (LPNHE, CNRS-IN2P3), Kathy Perrett sophisticated image processing routines are discovered, the repeated imaging
(University of Toronto), Chris J. Pritchet (University
of Vic­toria), Nicolas Regnault (LPNHE, CNRS-
and powerful computers capable of rap- automatically builds up high-quality light
IN2P3), Jim Rich (CEA-Saclay), Mark Sullivan (Uni- idly analysing the volume of data pro- curves which can be used to measure
versity of Oxford). duced. The substantial search effort cul- the SN peak brightnesses, light-curve

42 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Figure 1. The point of light marked on the right image
is a distant Type Ia Supernova, nearly four billion
light-years away at a redshift of 0.31. This false-col-
our image is generated from g;, r; and i; data taken
using MegaCam at the 3.6-m Canada-France-Hawaii
Telescope on Mauna Kea. Once these transient
events have been located, they can be spectroscopi-
cally confirmed by 8-m-class telescopes such as the

20 Figure 2. The light curves of more than 150 SNe Ia,

21 discovered and photometrically monitored by CFHT.
i� Magnitude

22 Each point represents a single MegaCam observa-

23 tion (several SNe are observed simultaneously due
to that instrument’s wide field of view). The solid
curves are light-curve template fits to each SN and
are used to interpolate the brightness at maximum
light for the subsequent cosmological analyses (e.g.
Astier et al., 2006). The three panels show data taken
r� Magnitude

in the i; filter (upper), r; (middle) and g; (lower). z; data
is also taken but is not shown. The multi-band data
24 is essential for both accurate k-corrections to the
25 rest-frame, and for measurement of the optical col-
26 our of the SN at maximum light.
g� Magnitude

May Jul Sep Nov Jan Mar May Jul Sep Nov Jan
2005 2006

widths, and colours required for the cos- date remains optically bright. Our ESO/ in Figure 3). When the analysis is com-
mological analysis (Figure 2). In addition, VLT real-time follow-up (Basa et al., in plete, this number is expected to rise
a vast database of deep and accurate prep.) has used ToO mode with FORS1 to more than 200, representing the larg-
photometry yielding well-sampled multi- and FORS2 (Appenzeller et al., 1998), the est number of SNe Ia confirmed with
colour light curves for all classes of opti- latter for the higher-redshift candidates a single telescope. This will be a dataset
cal transients is available. where the sensitive red response be- with ­considerable legacy value, not only
comes more critical. In general, FORS1 for studying dark energy, but also for
was operated in MOS mode with the learning about the physics of the SN ex-
The role of the VLT moveable slits, observing not only the plosions themselves.
principal transient target, but the host gal-
A critical component of any SN survey is axies of several other old variable events, VLT spectra represent a large fraction of
spectroscopic follow-up of candidate the light from which has since faded. the SNLS SNe Ia spectra, and considera-
events, confirming their nature and meas- This multiplexing has resulted in a large ble work has been done to produce a
uring the redshifts essential for place- number of redshifts of transients as well clean identification of their types and red-
ment on a Hubble Diagram. The SNLS is as spectra of the SNe Ia. shifts, necessary for their subsequent
no exception. Being optically faint – cosmological use. In particular, two new
fainter than 24th magnitude at a redshift Over the duration of two ESO large pro- techniques have been developed for our
of one – distant SN spectroscopy re- grammes, we have followed up nearly VLT spectra. The first is a dedicated pipe-
quires the light-collecting power of 8-m- 320 optically transient events, and with line that makes use of photometric in-
class telescopes, such as the ESO VLT. the last six months of data still being ana- formation during the spectral extraction
As with all transient events a rapid re- lysed, have confirmed 200 as SNe, and phase (Balland et al., in prep.). Distant
sponse is essential while the SN Ia candi- more than 160 as SNe Ia (see examples SNe Ia are often buried in their host gal-

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 43

Astronomical Science Sullivan M., Balland C., The Supernova Legacy Survey

Rest-frame Wavelength (Å) Rest-frame Wavelength (Å) Figure 3. Example spectra of SNe Ia from the VLT/
3 000 3 500 4 000 4 500 5 000 5 500 6 000 6 500 2 500 3 000 3 500 4 000 4 500 5 000 5 500 6 000 FORS follow-up campaign (Balland et al., in prep).
7 3 Each panel shows a different SN Ia distributed over
z = 0.415 z = 0.537
6 04D2fp 05D4ek z Q 0.4 to z Q 1. In each case the blue line is the
Flux (10 –18 erg/s/cm 2 /Å)

Flux (10 –18 erg/s/cm 2 /Å)

2.5 observed FORS spectrum, and the red the model
5 template fit. The characteristic Ia features allow
4 robust SN classifications, and in the spectra with a
3 higher signal-to-noise, the chemical features can
1 also be used to study the redshift evolution of SN Ia
1 0.5

0 0

– 0.5
4 000 5 000 6 000 7 000 8 000 9 000 4 000 5 000 6 000 7000 8 000 9 000
Observed Wavelength (Å) Observed Wavelength (Å)

Rest-frame Wavelength (Å) Rest-frame Wavelength (Å)

2 500 3 000 3 500 4 000 4 500 5 000 5 500 2 500 3 000 3 500 4 000 4 500 5 000
3.5 z = 0.690 1.5 z = 0.769
3 05D1ke 04D4id
Flux (10 –18 erg/s/cm 2 /Å)

Flux (10 –18 erg/s/cm 2 /Å)

2.5 1
1.5 0.5
0.5 0
– 0.5 – 0.5

4 000 5 000 6 000 7 000 8 000 9 000 4 000 5 000 6 000 7000 8 000 9 000
Observed Wavelength (Å) Observed Wavelength (Å)

Rest-frame Wavelength (Å) Rest-frame Wavelength (Å)

2 500 3 000 3 500 4 000 4 500 2 000 2 500 3 000 3 500 4 000 4 500

1.2 z = 0.915 4 z = 1.031

04D1ow 04D4dw
Flux (10 –18 erg/s/cm 2 /Å)
Flux (10 –18 erg/s/cm 2 /Å)

0.6 2

0.4 1
– 0.2 –1
– 0.4 –2
4 000 5 000 6 000 7000 8 000 9 000 4 000 5 000 6 000 7000 8 000 9 000
Observed Wavelength (Å) Observed Wavelength (Å)

axies, with light from the continuum of Figure 4 shows an example of such a fit, The resulting clean, host-subtracted
the galaxy drowning out signal from the with the spectrum of this distant SN well SN Ia spectra can be used to analyse any
SN, making the task of SN identification measured despite its location in the core evolution in the strength of the SN
difficult (Figure 4). The spatial profile of the of its host. ­chem­ical features with redshift, placing
host galaxy is measured from MegaCam constraints on the degree to which
images in several photometric bands pro- The second technique concerns the the SNe themselves change with cosmic
jected along the slit and then matched spectral identification. This uses a spec- time. This is one of the most direct meth-
to the spectral profiles from FORS at the trophotometric model of SNe Ia con- ods available for probing any chang-
corresponding wavelengths. This tech- structed from a sample of both nearby ing ­composition of the SN Ia progenitors.
nique allows a precise estimate of the and distant SNe covering a wide range of
host contamination at the SN position, op- epochs. Each new SN candidate spec-
timally recovering the spectra of both trum is fit to this model, and the best-fit Cosmological measurements
the SN and its host. If the SN is too close parameters are compared on a case-by-
to its host galaxy centre for a separate case basis to the average properties of The key measurement made by the SNLS
extraction, the combined spectrum is the SN Ia model sample. Differences are is the determination of the equation of
extracted and fit to a two-component interpreted as the signature of peculiar state of the dark energy, w, the ratio of its
model comprising a spectral model of the or non SNe Ia spectra. Although the final pressure to energy density. Dark energy
SN Ia and a galaxy model drawn from identification relies on human judgement, must have a strong negative pressure to
a large set of template spectra spanning this procedure limits the subjectivity usu- explain the observed cosmic acceleration
the Hubble sequence. The left panel of ally entering SN classification. and hence have a negative w. The sim-

44 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Rest-frame Wavelength (Å) Rest-frame Wavelength (Å) Figure 4. An example of
3 000 3 500 4 000 4 500 5 000 5 500 3 000 3 500 4 000 4 500 5 000 5 500 host galaxy subtraction
techniques developed
z = 0.437 z = 0.437 for analysing VLT/FORS
06D4co + Host 06D4co spectra of SNLS SNe Ia.
8 4 The left panel shows the

Flux (10 –18 erg/s/cm 2 /Å)

Flux (10 –18 erg/s/cm 2 /Å)

raw spectrum (blue) and

7 model fit (red), together
6 with the best-fitting host
galaxy spectrum (green).
5 2 Once the host galaxy is
Host model subtracted (right panel),
the spectrum is ready
1 for both classification
and science analysis.
4 000 4 500 5 000 5 500 6 000 6 500 7 000 7 500 8 000 8 500 4 000 4 500 5 000 5 500 6 000 6 500 7 000 7 500 8 000
Observed Wavelength (Å) Observed Wavelength (Å)

plest explanation is a Cosmological Con- photometrically calibrating the physical precisely and cannot be used a priori.
stant, an intrinsic and non-evolving SN fluxes, as well as empirically control- The SN Ia method critically relies on sets
­property of empty space with a negative ling the various light-curve width and col- of local SNe at 0.015 < z < 0.10, where
pressure equal to its energy density our relations, is therefore considerable. the effect of varying the cosmological pa-
such that w = –1. Other ideas include the Furthermore, the values of the other cos- rameters is small, and which essentially
broad family of quintessence models, mological parameters that enter the lumi- anchor the analysis and allow relative dis-
which predict a dynamic and varying nosity distance calculation, such as the tances to the more distant events to be
form of dark energy field generally with matter density or amount of curvature in measured.
w ≠ –1, and phantom energy, a form the Universe, are not perfectly known.
of dark energy with w < –1 that would Other complementary observations must The cosmological analysis of the first
ultimately tear apart all gravitationally be used in conjunction with SNe Ia (see year SNLS dataset (SNLS1) is published
bound structures in a ‘big rip’ (for a de- Figure 5) which place constraints, or pri- in Astier et al., 2006; the key results
tailed review of the different possibilities ors, on the matter density (e.g, observa- are shown in Figure 5. The result, 〈w〉 =
see Copeland et al., 2006). An alterna­- tions of large-scale structure) or spatial –1.023 ± 0.090 (statistical error), is con-
tive considered by some theorists is that flatness (e.g., observations of the Cosmic sistent with a cosmological constant (i.e.,
the cosmologist’s fundamental tool, Microwave Background). Finally, the ab- w = –1) to a better than 9 % precision.
­General Relativity, may simply fail on very solute luminosity of a SN Ia is not known Analyses of SNLS3, the third-year sam-
large scales.
2 – 0.4
9 9,7
SNe Ia are used to measure cosmologi- – 0.6
95 %

ΩM + Ω X = 1
cal parameters by comparing their stand-

1.8 68

ard candle distances (derived from their SNLS 1st Year – 0.8

apparent brightnesses and a knowledge 1.6


of the SN Ia absolute luminosities) with


luminosity distances calculated from their




redshifts together with a set of cosmo-


logical parameters and the equations of


D S S)


General Relativity. As the cosmologi- –1.6


cal parameters are, in principle, the only



unknowns in this analysis, constraints –1.8

can be placed on their values with a suffi-
cient number of SNe Ia. 0.8 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6

This apparently simple concept has sev- 0.6 tin g

eral non-apparent difficulties. Measuring l era Figure 5. Cosmological constraints from SNLS1. On
C t n

A g
atin the left are the cosmological constraints in W M ver-

departures in dark energy from w = –1

Fl p e



0.4 sus W L (assuming 〈w〉 = –1), and on the right the


requires an extremely precise experiment: De constraints in W M versus 〈w〉 (assuming a flat Uni-
a 10 % difference in w from –1 is equiv­ verse and a constant equation of state w). The best-
0.2 fitting result was W M = 0.263 ± 0.042 for a flat LCDM
alent to a change in SN Ia brightness at
model, and 〈w〉 = –1.023 ± 0.090 for a flat cosmol-
z = 0.6 of only 0.04 magnitudes, an ab-­ ogy with a constant w. The statistical error in 〈w〉 of
solute precision perhaps not routinely 0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 9 % will improve to better than 6 % in the upcoming
achieved in astronomy. The challenge of ΩM SNLS3 papers.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 45

Astronomical Science Sullivan M., Balland C., The Supernova Legacy Survey

Figure 6. The prelimi- not only precise SN light curves, but also
26 nary Hubble ­D iagram
SNLS 3rd year; preliminary extremely deep image stacks from which
from the SNLS3 analy-
sis. ­Each black filled cir- SN Ia host galaxy information can be
24 cle represents a SN obtained (Sullivan et al., 2006). Analyses
detected and monitored of these data allow the measurement of
at the CFHT, and spec-
galaxy properties such as stellar mass,
troscopically confirmed
using 8–10-m class star formation activity and mean age, and
m corr

facilities such as the subsequent studies of how SN Ia proper-


20 ESO/VLT. The blue cir- ties relate to these different variables.

cles are the lower-red-
shift comparison sam-
18 ple which anchor the In particular, the classical view that most
Hubble diagram analy- SNe Ia result from old, evolved stellar
sis. populations appears incorrect. Although
16 some SNe Ia do occur in passive systems
with little or no recent star formation
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 activity, consistent with a long delay time
SN Redshift from stellar birth to SN explosion, most
seem to occur in actively star-forming
ple, are now nearing completion (a pre- their fluxes can be performed. This may, galaxies, suggesting a short delay time
liminary Hubble Diagram can be found in however, be an over-simplification, and (Figure 7; see also Sullivan et al., 2006).
Figure 6). With a sample size three times would ignore the considerable uncer- These prompt and delayed SNe Ia pos-
larger than SNLS1, the analysis provides tainty that exists over the underlying phys- sess different light curves: prompt SNe Ia
not only a step forward in the statisti­- ics governing SN Ia explosions. For ex- appear brighter with broader light curves,
cal precision, but in the understanding of ample, the configuration of the progenitor while the delayed component SNe are
SNe Ia as astrophysical events, and will system prior to explosion is very uncer- fainter with fast light curves. By virtue
lead to a better than 6 % constraint on tain. Both single degenerate systems ­ of the evolving mix of quiescent and star-
〈w〉. A ~ 5 % measurement of 〈w〉 is ex- (a white dwarf star together with a main- forming galaxies with redshift, a subtle
pected from the final SNLS sample, as sequence or red-giant companion) or redshift evolution in SN Ia population
well as the first detailed measurements double degenerate systems (two white demographics is predicted (Figure 7) and
of the degree to which w changes out to dwarf stars) could theoretically result in a has now been observed in SNLS data
z = 1. SN Ia explosion. There are also open (Howell et al., 2007). Although such shifts
questions as to how the metallicity or age do not affect cosmological conclusions if
of the progenitor star may influence the the SN Ia calibrating relationships remain
Supernova astrophysics observed properties of the SN explosion, universally applicable, further analysis of
leading to possible biases as the dem­ the SNLS dataset is required to test this
Taken at face value, the simplicity of the ographics of the SN Ia population shifts assumption.
SN Ia technique – comparing the relative slightly with look-back time.
brightnesses of events at different dis- The most straightforward interpretation
tances – suggests the ultimate accuracy The SNLS has provided some new in- of this environmentally-dependent SN Ia
of their use may only be limited by the sight into these issues. The homogene- rate is a wide range of delay times, but
extent to which relative calibrations of ous nature of the CFHT-LS data pro­vides the exact physical implications are un-

Passive Star-forming Burst

SN Rate per unit stellar mass per year

10 –12

Figure 7. SNLS has provided evidence that SN Ia

properties are dependent on the age of the progeni-
tor system. The SN Ia rate per unit stellar mass ver-
sus host star-formation rate per unit stellar mass
10 –13 (Sullivan et al., 2006). Blue points refer to SNLS data,
orange points to local estimates. The red area indi-
cates the SNLS SN Ia rate in passive, or zero star-
SNLS formation rate, galaxies. A SN Ia population with a
Mannucci et al. wide range of delay times is supported: simplistically,
a delayed population in quiescent galaxies together
–12 –11 –10 –9 –8 with a prompt population whose rate correlates with
LOG Specific SFR (M � yr –1 per unit stellar mass) recent star formation.

46 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

clear. The SNLS relation between SN Ia ing possibility is the existence of more 0.01–0.015 magnitudes; future, planned
rate and star-formation rate (Figure 8) than one progenitor mechanism (e.g. experiments will require a calibration
implies that around 1% of all white dwarfs Mannucci et al., 2006). The key to making of better than 1% in both the distant and
end their lives as SNe Ia (Pritchet et al., progress is to pinpoint any fundamental nearby sample – as much effort is re-
2008), independent of their initial mass. environmental differences between de- quired for the local sample as was
As the single degenerate model typically layed and prompt events. For example, needed for the higher-redshift SNLS
has lower conversion efficiencies at lower metallicity is predicted to affect SN Ia lu- dataset. The second challenge is under-
masses, this suggests that some other minosities and rates. Timmes et al. (2003) standing the limitations of SN Ia by in­-
mechanism is responsible for the produc- predict that higher metallicity progenitors vestigating their astrophysical properties
tion of at least some SNe Ia. However, produce white dwarfs richer in 22 Ne, with and controlling any subtle evolutionary
the precise implication for the progenitor an increased neutronisation during nu- effects. SNLS is providing the essential
systems must await the construction clear burning producing stable 58 Ni at the stepping stone for both efforts.
of a more detailed delay-time distribution. expense of the 56Ni that powers the light
curves. As a result, a ≤ 25 % difference
in luminosity is expected between high References
Future perspectives and low metallicity environments. Recent Appenzeller, I., et al. 1998, The Messenger, 94, 1
observational results hint at these effects Astier, P., et al. 2006, A&A, 447, 31
The upcoming analysis of the SNLS third (Gallagher et al., 2008), but urgently need Copeland, E. J., Sami, M. & Tsujikawa, S. 2006,
year dataset will provide the most precise confirmation with detailed spectroscopy International Journal of Modern Physics D,
15, 1753
measurement yet of the nature of the of the host galaxies of larger, complete Gallagher, J. S., et al. 2008, arXiv:0805.4360
dark energy driving the accelerating cos- and homogeneous samples, such as the Howell, D. A., et al. 2007, ApJL, 667, L37
mic expansion. While these cosmologi- SNLS. Such a programme will soon com- Mannucci, F., Della Valle, M. & Panagia, N. 2006,
cal results will inevitably draw most atten- mence using the VLT. MNRAS, 370, 773
Perlmutter, S., et al. 1997, ApJ, 483, 565
tion, SNLS has also allowed new insights Perlmutter, S., et al. 1999, ApJ, 517, 565
into the astrophysics governing SN Ia As with any experiment, the final preci- Phillips, M. M. 1993, ApJL, 413, L105
progenitors and their explosions. To date, sion of the SNLS results is governed by Pritchet, C. J., Howell, D. A. & Sullivan, M. 2008,
no effect has been uncovered that chal- both statistical and systematic uncer­ arXiv:0806.3729
Riess, A. G., et al. 1998, AJ, 116, 1009
lenges the conclusions that have been tainties. As more SNe Ia are used in the Sullivan, M., et al. 2006, ApJ, 648, 868
drawn from using SNe Ia in cosmological analysis and the statistical error de- Timmes, F. X., Brown, E. F. & Truran, J. W. 2003,
applications, but some open questions creases, the contribution of systematic ApJL, 590, L83
remain. Why are the brightest SNe Ia as- errors becomes increasingly important.
sociated with short delay times and the Ultimately, the challenge of controlling
youngest galaxies? How well do SNe Ia systematics in SN cosmology is two-fold.
from different environments inter-calibrate The first is photometric calibration. The
in a cosmological analysis? A tantalis- SNLS calibration is accurate to about

0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0

− 3.8 SNLS
Combined rate evolution
LOG (SN Ia Rate) (events yr –1 Mpc – 3 )

− 4.0

− 4.2

Fainter Brighter
− 4.4 15
Young ‘B’ SNe Ia 5

− 4.6 (star-forming galaxies) 0

5 Figure 8. The volumetric SN Ia rate redshift evolution

derived from the SNLS SN Ia properties. The relative
− 4.8 0 mix of the two components will evolve with redshift
0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2
(main panel). As SN light curve width (‘stretch’) cor-
relates with star-formation activity in the host (inset
− 5.0 Old ‘A’ SNe Ia histograms), a mild evolution in mean SN Ia light-
(passive galaxies) curve width with redshift is implied as the relative
mix of the two components changes. This effect has
been detected in SNLS data (Howell et al., 2007),
13 11 9 7 5 4 3 2 and must be carefully controlled in Hubble diagram
Age of Universe (billions of years) analyses.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 47

Some of the participants of a recent

Astronomical News media training workshop which took

place at the ESO Vitacura office (see
page 60).

Inauguration of the scale model of

the Solar System in the school yard
of Garching’s Grund­schule Ost (see
page 58).

Photos: (Upper) M. San Martín;

(Lower) U. Baumgart
Astronomical News

Scientific Approach for Optimising Performance, Health

and Safety in High-Altitude Observatories

Michael Böcker 1 nent, altitude dependence is more se- 40 m/s. The wind chill strongly affects
Joachim Vogt 2 vere: the measured neutron dose rates people working at Chajnantor.
Tanja Nolle-Gösser 3 were 0.80 mSv at Pampa La Bola, and
0.25 mSv per year at San Pedro de The above-mentioned data demonstrate
­Atacama, whereas it was 0.01 mSv per that the environmental conditions are
ESO year at Santiago. After correction for a continuous challenge for all humans
 eutsche Flugsicherung GmbH,
D the effects of solar activity and indoor working at very high altitudes. In particu-
­Germany shielding, Sakamoto et al. (2003) estimate lar the outdoor ALMA construction work
Technical University of Dortmund, the occupational exposure of an 8–6 shift requires strict rules and regulations as
­Germany employee to be 2.0 mSv per year, which well as sustainable processes to allow
exceeds that of a typical worker engaged people to adequately cope with the envi-
in nuclear fuel cycle processing. Never- ronmental demands. Several information
The ESO coordinated study “Optimising theless the measured data is within campaigns have emphasised the dan-
Performance, Health and Safety in High- the thresholds for health effects recom- ger of too rapid ascent to the high sites
Altitude Observatories” is based on a mended by Euratom (Vogt, 2002). and the importance of the acclimatisation
psychological approach using a ques- and adaptation of human behaviour to
tionnaire for data collection and assess- In addition to the effects of radiation, the environmental conditions. The recom-
ment of high-altitude effects. During workers at high altitude are also con- mended break times at the ALMA OSF
2007 and 2008, data from 28 staff and fronted with a variety of weather effects. as well as the mandatory safety instruc-
visitors involved in APEX and ALMA Thunderstorms, lightning and light- tions for staff members, for example, are
were collected and analysed and the ning electromagnetic pulses occur during effective occupational safety and health
first results of the study are summa- the entire year, but especially during (OSH) enablers. Measures to improve
rised. While there is a lot of information ­winter time. Thunderstorms over the work conditions, organisation, human be-
about biomedical changes at high alti- Chajnantor Plateau are usually strong haviour, safety, and health awareness
tude, relatively few studies have fo- with lightning frequency of 1.6 flashes per must be developed under strong medical
cussed on psychological changes, for minute. Measurements between April supervision for all staff working at the
example with respect to performance 1995 and June 2003 demonstrated that high-altitude site.
of mental tasks, safety consciousness the temperature is usually in the range
and emotions. Both, biomedical and between – 20˚ C and +20˚ C at the
psychological changes are relevant fac- Chajnantor site. At the APEX station in Rationale of the study: behavioural and
tors in occupational safety and health. Sequitor and the ALMA Operations Sup- organisational issues
The results of the questionnaire on port Facility (OSF) site, the ambient air
safety, health and performance issues pressure is 750 mbar ± 100 mbar, which The environmental conditions mentioned
demonstrate that the working condi- corresponds to an air density of 0.96 kg/ above have an impact on technical equip-
tions at high altitude are less detrimen- m3 and a temperature range between ment but also on the human physiology,
tal than expected. –10˚ C and + 30˚ C is expected. Hence, well-being and behaviour. In addition to
humans and materials must cope with the directly related high-altitude disease
the environmental high-altitude con- symptoms, there are a number of minor
Environmental influences at high altitude straints, for example with a temperature symptoms when working at high altitude
shock from indoors to outdoors, and vice (West, 2003), for example:
High-altitude environments are exposed versa, of up to 30˚ C. (1) loss of appetite;
to increased radiation, low humidity, (2) loss of body weight (mainly related
thunderstorms, wind chills, and tempera- The ALMA and APEX high sites are ex- to 1);
ture variation. These environmental influ- posed to an environment of 0 to 30 per (3) b right flashing arcs of light in the pe-
ences need to be considered when stud- cent relative humidity and the annual ripheral vision when blinking, possibly
ying human behaviour at high altitude. ­precipitation on the site is in the range of due to dehydration of the eye caused
Sakamoto et al. (2003) studied the cos- 100 to 300 mm. Most of this falls as by stretching of the retina;
mic radiation exposure for workers at snow but thunderstorms with rain (and (4) fingernails separating from the skin
the Chajnantor site. Cosmic rays are without) do occur. Heavy rain and hail further down the nail than usual and
enhanced to a level that even the effects may occur. From around 2 000 m up to the tops of the nails becoming very
on very-large-scale integration elec- about 3 000 m altitude, the expected white;
tronic instruments, such as correlators, ­relative humidity is 5 to 30 per cent with (5) constipation.
may not be negligible. The measured maximum rainfall of 20 mm/h. No hail
annual gamma ray dose rate (including precipitation is expected. Whereas the High-altitude workplaces are defined as
~ 0.45 mSv per year contribution of ter- expected wind speed has a maximum of workplaces at a level of 3 000 m and
restrial gamma rays) was 3.14 mSv at 65 m/s at the very high-altitude site, the above. A recently published article in the
Pampa La Bola, 1.70 mSv at San Pedro wind speed at the Array Operations Site Scientific American, entitled “Into Thin
de Atacama, and 0.99 mSv at Santiago, (AOS) and Sequitor will not exceed Air: Mountain Climbing Kills Brain Cells”
respectively. As for the neutron compo- (Fields, 2008) caused uncertainty among

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 49

Astronomical News Böcker M. et al., Health and Safety in High-Altitude Observatories

astronomers about OSH at high-altitude the reduced adjustment of the body at few persons taking part, and are thus not
observatories. The article described a high altitude, the person concerned has representative of the situation at an ob-
study of a small sample of eight Aconca- to work against bodily demands. Finally, servatory. Therefore, people working or
gua climbers who all suffered from a re- the low oxygen (hypoxic) stress of altitude visiting the ALMA and APEX high-altitude
duction of brain cortex (‘cortical atrophy’) can impair work efficiency, performance observatory sites have been invited to
detected in brain scans. Mountain climb- and best practice, mainly due to mal­ fill in the questionnaire. The project aims
ing is physically very strenuous and re- adaptive behaviour, distorted conscious- to provide more systematic information
quires much more oxygen compared to ness, impaired biomedical functioning on potential high-altitude induced haz-
the typical work of most astronomers and reduced sleep quality. ards at the individual and work process
and technical staff at high-altitude sites. level in order to better protect staff from
However the ESO internal medical sta­ West (2004) attributes all medical effects negative effects and accidents, and to
tistics demonstrate that there are several of high altitude to the low partial pres- prevent damage to expensive scientific
cases of minor high-altitude sickness sure of oxygen in the inspired air, and so instruments. Changes in ability at the
per week and preventive OSH measures the most effective way of improving individual level have an impact on actual
should be in place at all high-altitude human performance is to add supple- work behaviour at the process level as,
observatory sites. Although mountain mentary oxygen. Recent technical for example, driving a car or planning of
climbing, as mentioned above, is in a dif- advances allow this to be done very effi- work. Finally, the project also considers
ferent category, the negative influence ­ ciently by oxygen enrichment of room potential performance losses such as
of high altitude should by no means be air or outdoors through use of small mov- performed capacity or meeting client de-
underestimated and it is always pres- able oxygen bottles with pulsatile nasal mands, as well as problems in decision
ent at ESO’s APEX and ALMA sites at oxygen supply. However, an interface risk making during commissioning or opera-
5 050 m on the Altiplano de Chajnantor. assessment must be performed, too. In tion of complex astronomical systems.
case of indoor oxygen supplement, other These can be relevant for organisational
Workers whose itineraries take them OSH risks, such as an increased risk performance, which is explicitly consid-
above an altitude of about 2 400 m must of fire, must be considered (West, 1997). ered in the scope of this project.
be aware of the risk of altitude illness and Today’s movable respiration systems for
potentially impaired mental performance. people working outdoors, or inside
While the individual response to high the ALMA antennas, are very comforta- Method
­altitude can vary, all people are at risk of ble, practicable and usable even in
altitude illness above about 3 000 m. The ­narrow spaces. Nevertheless, the system To systematically develop adequate rec-
current internal ESO statistics of those might hinder people from safely per- ommendations, a questionnaire has been
working at the ESO ALMA and APEX high forming their work if it is not properly developed in English and Spanish to
sites and the ALMA OSF do not sug- secured or if the environment is not prop- obtain the subjective impressions of visi-
gest that certain demographics like age, erly designed for these processes. tors and employees (subsequently visi-
sex or physical condition correlate with Hence, additional protective measures tors/workers) when staying at high alti-
the susceptibility to altitude sickness. Wu have been implemented at the site and tude. It was made available to all visitors/
et al. (2007) found some contra-indica- to the technical equipment. There is, workers at the ALMA and APEX sites and
tions for going to high-altitude sites based for example, the special operator seat in returned by 28.
on a sample of 14 050 workers with an the ALMA antenna transporter which
average age of 29.5 ± 7.4 years. But final- allows the driver to use the oxygen bot- The first part of the questionnaire obtains
ly, there is no clear indication who will tles during operation. However, a general work-related biographical data. The par-
suffer from high-altitude illness. Wu et al. use of oxygen might slow down the ac- ticipants are asked how often they spend
(2007) suggest that neither taking a rather climatisation process of people at very time at high altitude and how they pre-
permissive stance nor setting rigid rules high-altitude sites. pare for the missions. They may also de-
of contra-indication are appropriate to scribe any unusual event at altitude
decide who should ascend or not. On the While there is a lot of knowledge about ­workplaces and if they felt any limitations
one hand, one may put some persons biomedical changes at high altitude and with respect to their work which may
at undue risk, but, on the other hand, one under low oxygen conditions, changes have been due to altitude (e.g. “Have you
may exclude too many people from as- in behaviour, cognition, and emotion have experienced limitations in planning and
cending. Obviously, poor physical condi- rarely been systematically investigated. coordination”?). This is the introductory
tion (chronic obstructive pulmonary dis- The study presented here, which was question concerning potential hazard
ease with notable arterial desat­uration, introduced in the earlier article by Böcker areas, which are further elaborated in the
cardiac infarction, heart failure, obesity & Vogt (2007), bridges this gap using an second section of part one of the ques-
with sleep apnea, or severe hypertension) elaborate questionnaire. Moreover, issues tionnaire. Here, 17 physical and psycho-
at sea level will worsen at high altitude. of work and organisation beyond the indi- logical complaints are listed and the
vidual visitor and worker, such as plan- ­participants report to what extent they
Conditions at the very high-altitude sites ning of work and team performance, are experienced complaints on a scale from
affect nearly all biological processes, par- addressed. Previous studies were often 1 = extremely to 5 = not at all (e.g. emo-
ticularly rhythms, including sleep. Due to conducted on mountaineers with only a tions such as anger, irritability).

50 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

In the third section of the first part of the visitors at high altitude; the other half existent. Concentration problems, fatigue,
questionnaire the participants are asked consisted of regular workers. reduction of usual activities, and short-
to rate the change of abilities, work be- ness of breath were the only complaints
haviour, and work performance at high al- from workers with means below 4 and –
titude. The scale ranges from 1 = strongly Results in case of shortness of breath – also for
impaired, through 3 = not changed, to visitors. Fatigue and shortness of breath
5 = strongly improved at altitude (exam- Generally, the study participants did not are the two symptoms, in which the devi-
ple ability item: “Perceptual speed: ability report major problems at high altitude; ation from rating 5 (not at all) to 4 (slightly)
to perceive and compare information the level of limitations, complaints, and is statistically significant and not a mere
quickly and accurately”; example work difficulties was rather low, mostly not sig- variation by chance in both groups.
behaviour item: “Driving a car”; exam- nificantly different compared to normal For visitors, the experienced slight con-
ple performance item: “Performed capac- altitude. The differences between visitors centration problems and dizziness/ver-
ity”). This final section of part one of the and workers show that – at this low- tigo are significantly different from rating
questionnaire was designed to draw con­­- ­problem level – workers reported slightly 5 (= not at all). For workers, the reduc-
clusions on potentially impaired perform- more limitations, slightly more complaints, tion of normal activities is significantly dif-
ance at high altitude. and slightly more difficulties; however, ferent from 5. Most other complaints that
only very few differences were statistically have been reported by mountaineers
The second part of the questionnaire significant. Figure 1 shows, for exam- were not experienced at all by the ESO
refers to OSH programmes and their per- ple, the average limitations of tasks at site workers and visitors (e.g. isolation,
ceived benefit. In the first section of part high altitude reported by visitors/workers. nausea and vomiting). There was a slight
two of the questionnaire the participant tendency that visitors report fewer com-
is asked to list all safety-related informa- The visitors reported only slight to no limi- plaints than workers, however, no group
tion he used and any other support (e.g. tations of planning, team work, manual difference reached statistical significance.
“Briefing by Supervisor”) used to be- and other tasks (e.g. computer program-
come knowledgeable and fit for high-alti- ming). The workers tended to report Work behaviour reported by workers and
tude workplaces. The participants are slightly more limitations heading towards visitors was not significantly changed
also asked to estimate the amount of time 3 (moderately limited), but not statisti- (average of 3 = not changed). This is not
spent with each document/support as cally different from 4 (slightly limited). surprising because the underlying abili-
well as how beneficial they have been However, in most cases a significant dif- ties were, if at all, only slightly impaired
concerning work at high altitude. In the ference to the rating 5 (“not at all limited”) and humans can compensate for ability
second section of part two of the ques- was found, indicating that there are lim­ losses by increasing effort. This might
tionnaire, the document/support with itations under high-altitude conditions, lead to the conclusion that, for example,
the highest perceived benefit is described although they are only moderate in the the influence of critical incidents (acci-
and rated by the participant. case of the worst-affected task (other dents, armed robbery or similar) on the
tasks such as programming). Team work compensation ability might be negatively
The third part contains a “Performance can have a social activation function, affected for staff working at very high
and Well-being Diary” consisting of three in that it reduces the fatigue and attention ­altitude. Vogt et al. (2004, 2007) reported
tables. The participant rates the average problems that might be induced by up to 30 per cent loss of planning ability
workload per day, before, during and high-altitude conditions and travel jet lag. after critical incidents, if these critical inci-
after his mission, in the first table and how Workers tended to report more limita- dents were not treated properly. It has
it was managed in the second table. tions than visitors; however, no group dif- been demonstrated that Critical Incident
The third table describes the well-being, ference was statistically significant. Stress Management (CISM) is a useful
before, during, and after the mission. intervention tool. Untreated staff were
Of the questionnaires returned so far, this The experience of physical and psycho- straining harder and needed significantly
final part was not well filled in. It will be logical complaints at altitude workplaces longer recovery periods compared to
covered in one of the following reports. ranged on average from slight to non- their normal performance.

Study participants Figure 1. Histogram showing the

breakdown of self-reported limitations
of tasks in high-altitude work (1 = ex-
28 questionnaires were returned. 86 per tremely limited; 2 = very; 3 = moder-
cent of the respondents were men. Teamwork
ately; 4 = slightly; 5 = not at all limited).
The largest age group was between 41
and 45 years old (32 per cent), however,
all age groups, from less than 25 to older Manual tasks
than 51, were represented in the sample.
The majority of the participants were Other tasks
working as ­technicians or engineers
Regular worker
(61 per cent). Roughly half of them were 1 2 3 4 5 Visitor

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 51

Astronomical News

Study conclusions tion which exceeds that contained in the role in the decision of employees to use
ALMA High Altitude Visitors Information OSH programmes or not. With improved
From the perspective of visitors/workers packet and the site safety instruction by attractiveness and marketing of the ma-
at high altitude, the results of this study the site safety officer, was sometimes terials/programmes on the one hand, and
document fewer problems than ex- mentioned in the questionnaire returns. organisational culture and safety leader-
pected. The visitors/workers neither re- This diligence implies that high-altitude ship on the other, we have the necessary
ported major psychosomatic complaints safety and health issues are seriously tools to win over everyone to an ap-
nor impairment of abilities, work behav- considered also by visitors – an indication propriate preparation for and use of OSH
iour or work performance. However, the that most of them were concerned about materials/programmes.
data indicated some areas worthy of visiting a high-altitude site and, there-
­further study that bear potential improve- fore, were interested in getting useful
ment for OSH programmes, such as con- background information. References
centration/awareness problems, fatigue/ Böcker, M. & Vogt, J. 2007, The Messenger, 127, 64
under-arousal and reduced capacity. Although only a minority of participants Fields, R. D. 2008, Scientific American,
Although not statistically significant from did not report about preparations for April/May 2008
the study so far, workers generally re- ascent to high altitude, serious incidents Sakamoto, S., et al. 2003, ALMA Memo, 446
Vogt, J. 2002, in Lehrbuch der Umweltmedizin, ed.
port slightly more problems at high alti- may be more likely to happen to indi- Dott, W., et al., (Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche
tude than visitors. However, cultural dif- vidual high-altitude visitors/workers with ­Verlagsgesellschaft mbH), 479
ferences, for example, optimism of local reduced safety consciousness. Thus, we Vogt, J., et al. 2004, International Journal of Emer-
workers versus critical view of visiting sci- need to find out how to convince every- gency Mental Health, 6, 185
Vogt, J., Pennig, S. & Leonhardt, J. 2007, Air Traffic
entists, probably also play a role. body to adequately prepare for the work Control Quarterly, 15, 127
at very high altitude. This finding is in line West, J. B. 1997, Aviation Space and Environmental
With respect to the preparations for high- with other studies, for example, with Medicine, 68, 162
altitude work and the benefits of OSH air traffic controllers, who in two thirds of West, J. B. 2003, ALMA Memo, 477
West, J. B. 2004, The Observatory, 124, 1
programmes, one result of this pilot study cases concerning critical incidents Wu, T., et al. 2007, High Altitude Medicine & Biology,
is that some participants did not report had attended a stress management pro- 8, 88
any preparation in matters of safety for gramme and in one third had not (Vogt
their work at high altitude. The remaining et al., 2004; 2007). The latter third dem-
visitors and workers, who reported on onstrated a reduced performance for
their preparations, mostly used more than a longer period after an incident. The
one method. Some visitors have done organisational culture and the safety atti-
more than expected. Additional informa- tude of supervisors play an important

Report on the ESO and Radionet Workshop on

Gas and Stars in Galaxies –

A Multi-Wavelength 3D Perspective
held at ESO Garching, Germany, 10 –13 June 2008

Matt Lehnert 1 An overview of the ESO/Radionet work- near-IR and sub-mm/radio communities
Carlos De Breuck 2 shop devoted to 3D optical/near-infra- working on three-dimensional (3D) extra-
Harald Kuntschner 2 red and sub-mm/radio observations of galactic data. The meeting was attended
Martin Zwaan 2 gas and stars in galaxies is presented. by more than 150 scientists. This article,
There will be no published proceedings due to space limitations, provides a,
but presentations are available at http:// necessarily biased, overview of the meet-
 aboratoire d’Etudes des Galaxies,
L ing. We decided not to publish proceed-
Etoiles, Physique et Instrumentation program.html. ings, but the presentations are available
(GEPI), Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, from the workshop homepage at http://
ESO The main aim of this ESO/Radionet work- program.html. The names of speakers rel-
shop was to bring together the optical/ evant to a topic are included here so that

52 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

NGC 3607 NGC 3610 NGC 4026

Stellar V Stellar V [O iii] V

NGC 4526 UGC 3960 Numerical Simulation


Figure 1. The Atlas 3D project (http://www-astro. ­ urrent studies of neutral hydrogen out to
c the Atlas3D project with the SAURON includes a multi-wave-
cosmological distances and will provide imaging spectrograph (presentation by
length coverage of a complete sample of nearby
early-type galaxies, including optical IFU, CO and H i information on the cool gas in and around Michele Cappellari, see Figure 1) that
data combined with a specific effort on numeri- galaxies. All of these devices and tech- early-type galaxies show a surprising
cal simulations. Illustrations of the Atlas 3D datasets niques are necessary if we are ever going amount of rotation. This was not apparent
are shown, from top left to bottom right: stellar
to understand the complex interaction previously because of the narrow range
velocity maps of NGC 3607 and NGC 3610; ionised
gas velocity map of NGC 4026; CO velocity map between gas and stars in galaxies. of magnitudes and the limited number of
of NGC 4526; H i contours of UGC 3960; and a pro- the galaxies in earlier surveys. Less lumi-
jected snapshot of a numerical simulation. It was clear from the meeting that we nous, and more numerous early-type gal-
are indeed learning a great deal about axies tend to show more rotational sup-
further reference to the presentations can the detailed relationships between gas port than their more massive and rarer
be made through the web page. phases in galaxies, how star formation cousins. So most early-type galaxies are
proceeds, and how the global environ- lenticulars and not ellipticals. These ob-
The optical/near-IR community now has ment within galaxies affects these rela- servations can plausibly be explained by
access to an increasing number of pow- tionships. Perhaps uniquely emphasised mergers with a range of mass ratios that
erful Integral Field Units (IFUs; see pres- at this meeting was the important role are typically 1:2 or 1:3 (Thorsten Naab).
entation by Eric Emsellem) and the sec- that instrumentation, especially those But of course, the final result depends on
ond-generation VLT instruments, as well that provide three-dimensional (spatial the initial orientations and amplitude of
as the proposed E-ELT instruments, will and spectral) information, can play in our the various angular momentum vectors of
all have IFU units (Niranjan Thatte). These overall understanding of star formation the progenitors and the orbit (Maxime
instruments will thus provide large data and galaxy evolution. Bois). However, there were some puz-
cubes sampling the stellar content and zling, and perhaps alarming, comments
the warm/hot ionised gas. that these merger models, while perhaps
Early- and late-type galaxies explaining the large-scale dynamics, can-
Radio and millimetre interferometers have not account for the orbit families within
provided 3D information on gas in gal­ One of the most fascinating themes of early-type galaxies. Obviously, the exqui-
axies for decades (Thijs van der Hulst). the conference was the nature and con- site 3D data that we are able to produce
ALMA will – by design – always provide tinuing growth of early type galaxies. The is a real puzzle for modellers (Mathieu
high spatial and spectral resolution data paradigm that early-type galaxies always Puech).
cubes of the cold gas (Robert Laing), mean pressure-supported systems with
allowing the molecular and dust distribu- no recent star formation, and certainly no It also appears that we can watch the
tion to be traced in galaxies. Future accreted gas, has been consigned to growth of structure within early-type gal-
radio facilities (Philip Diamond) will extend ­historical novelty. It appears now through axies. By studying the CO and H i emis-

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 53

Astronomical News Lehnert M. et al., Report on the Workshop on Gas and Stars in Galaxies

1600 1600
29˚14�20� 29˚14�20�
Declination (J2000)

Declination (J2000)
Data Value

1550 1550
14�10� 14�10�

1500 1500
14�00� 14�00�

9 h52 m09 s 08 s 07s 9 h52 m09 s 08 s 07s

Right Ascension (J2000) Right Ascension (J2000)

Figure 2. Comparison of CO and optical 3D data for Late-type star-forming galaxies in the Active galactic nuclei and black holes
NGC 3032. Left: Stellar mean velocity field, overlaid
local Universe are also full of surprises.
with contours from the integrated/total CO(1–0) map
(Young et al., 2008). Right: CO mean velocity field, There are several theories for explaining What is the role of active galactic nuclei
overlaid with the optical (roughly V-band) isophotes how star formation is driven on large (AGN) in galaxy formation and evolution?
(Emsellem et al., 2004). scales – from gravitational instabilities, to The relationship between the mass of
such instabilities aided by magnetic the supermassive black holes and the
sion from early-type galaxies, it is possi- fields, to large-scale convergent flows or mass of their surrounding spheroids is
ble to observe a relationship between density fluctuations in the gas. Recent one of the most remarkable relationships
gas content and the dynamical properties multi-wavelength observations in the opti- in astrophysics and suggests an under­
and ages of the stars in their circum- cal, H i and CO of star-forming galaxies lying connection between galaxies and
nuclear regions. For example, even though indicate that molecular gas forms with black holes. However, is this relationship
this relation can only be measured for fixed efficiency, that giant molecular cloud universal across all spheroid masses?
a relatively short time, due to rapid fading, populations are universal, but that the The answer appears to be yes at the low-
~ 20 % of early-type galaxies show evi- formation of molecular clouds clearly mass end of spheroid mass (talks by
dence for young stars in their circum- depends on the large-scale environment Roberto Saglia and Davor Krajnovic) but
nuclear regions (Martin Bureau) and over- (contribution by Adam Leroy, see Fig- perhaps not at the high-mass end. Where
all there appears to be a relationship ure 3). This universality of molecular does this relationship come from? It
between young ultraviolet bright discs, clouds was emphasised by comparing could be due to a self-limiting cycle of
CO emission, and young stars and star the clouds in our own Milky Way with black hole growth, followed by kinetic
formation (see Figure 2). In fact, it ap- those of other galaxies (Alberto Bolatto). energy from the AGN quenching both
pears that such star-formation events fol- These data seem to disfavour the primary star formation and further accretion by
low the relation between the star-forma- role of magnetic fields in star formation, the black hole. Active galaxies appear
tion rate and the gas-surface density but are currently limited by the sensitivity to have a greater incidence of streaming
relation – the so-called Schmidt-Kenni- of the tracer CO emission to optical motions in the large-scale gas distribu-
cutt relation (Martin Bureau). Even though depth effects. Obviously much more work tions (Gaelle Dumas), which then might
such observations are just beginning, needs to be done to constrain star-for­ reach the nucleus through torques on
it is already clear that early-type galaxies mation theories, which are so critical to the gas (unlikely), but perhaps viscosity is
can contain a significant amount of our understanding of galaxies. a more likely mechanism, and finally
­neutral hydrogen (10–15 % of which have
10 9 –10 solar masses of H i; Raffaella
­Morganti) with a hint that perhaps galax- 600

ies with centrally concentrated H i also

have younger stars in their nuclei. These
observations may also explain the dichot- 700

omy in ‘kinematically decoupled cores’ Figure 3. Major axis

Velocity (km/s)

(KDCs), that is a core which has different 800 position-velocity dia-

kinematics to the surrounding galaxy. gram of NGC 3521.
Greyscales are neutral
Large KDCs appear to have formed long hydrogen 21-cm emis-
ago, while smaller KDCs appear to
sion from the THINGS
have formed rather recently (results by project (Walter et al.,
the SAURON team, reported by Martin 1000
2008). The colours rep-
resent HERA CO emis-
Bureau). This difference is likely to be sion (HERACLES, PI:
related to recent gas accretion as seen Adam Leroy). Picture
11h05 m09 s 05 m50 s 06 m00 s
in mm- and cm-wavelength observations. Right Ascension (J2000) credit: Erwin de Blok.

54 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

this may lead to both star formation and
accretion onto the black hole (Eva [−154, +154] [−154, − 22] [+ 22, +154]
­Schinnerer). But what comes first, the
supermassive black hole or the galaxy?
Dynamical masses derived from CO
observations of very high-redshift power-
ful AGN (Figure 4) suggest that super-
massive black holes become very mas-
sive before their galaxies have grown
substantially. In fact, instead of being
about 0.1 % of the total bulge mass, the
black hole mass at z ~ 6 it is more like
3 % (Fabian Walter)! When they do get
fuelled, the AGN, or at least the radio-
loud AGN, can drive vigorous outflows of
the type necessary to suppress further 1 kpc 1 kpc
star formation and black hole growth
(Nicole Nesvadba). But it also appears as
if the halos of radio galaxies might have Figure 4. CO velocity field of the z = 4.4 interacting
galaxy BRI 1335 (Riechers et al., 2008), with
significant amounts of H i, up to 10 11–12
the velocity of the gas colour coded. The left panel
solar masses, as probed by resonantly shows the whole velocity range (indicated in the
scattered Ly-alpha radiation (Joshua top), while in the right panel the contribution of gas
Adams). around the systemic velocity of the galaxy is ex-
cluded, emphasising the outflows.

What processes drive the growth of mass

in galaxies? What are the relative roles ies. Tidal dwarfs, formed out of the tidal suggested that these observations are
of gas accretion, from the dark matter arms that are generated during the merg- apparently not consistent with a signifi-
halo and surroundings, versus merging er process, helping us to understand the cant role of mergers (Kristen Shapiro), but
with other galaxies as the driving force for properties of star formation in differing rather with a simple settling of discs over
the star-formation history of the Universe? environments, can also provide important many dynamical times (Natascha Förster
This debate was joined in the meeting information about the nature of dark-mat- ­Schreiber, see Figure 5). The star-for-
from several different directions. Direct ter halos (Pierre-Alain Duc). Three-dimen- mation rates in high-z galaxies appear to
observations of gas accretion in nearby sional observations of high-redshift gal- be consistent with gas accretion from
galaxies are scant. The amount of H i axies (z ~ 2) in the rest-frame optical and hier­archical merging models, as well as
seen in the halos of galaxies is relatively mm, on the other hand, emphasised the the star-formation properties like local
insignificant (talks by Filippo Fraternali, role of gas accretion. Some participants discs (talks by Nicolas Bouché, Helmut
George Heald and Tobias Westmeier) and
its origin is unclear (George Heald). Per-
haps these are not the correct type of
observations, and this accreting gas is in
another phase yet to be probed. The role
and nature of mergers in the local Uni-
verse is of course not disputed. The most
actively star-forming galaxies in the local
Universe are gas-rich mergers and pro-
vide an important testing ground for our
theories of star formation in active en-
vironments (presentations by Christine
­Wilson and Susanne Aalto), even if we do
not understand completely how they
evolve (John Hibbard). In such environ-
ments, with their high optical depths, it is
important to probe the gas in a number
of molecular species, thus providing
information about the physical conditions
within the gas (talks by Susanne Aalto
and Masatoshi Imanishi). Mergers may Figure 5. H-alpha velocity field of the
also play an important role in our under- z = 2.38 galaxy BzK-15504 obtained
with SINONFI+AO (from Genzel et al.,
standing of the environments of galax- 2006).

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 55

Photo: H. H. Heyer, ESO
Astronomical News Lehnert M. et al., Report on the Workshop on Gas and Stars in Galaxies

Figure 6. The conference participants

group photograph taken just in front
of the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasma­
physik lecture theatre.

Dannerbauer and Mark Swinbank). How- alisation techniques. Of course, mm- and second-generation VLT instruments)
ever, it also appears that there is a great cm-wave astronomers have been using being planned or developed will only add
deal of diversity in the observed molecu- 3D visualisation techniques for decades to this happy state of affairs. However,
lar properties of high-redshift populations (Thijs van der Hulst) but these are still rel- what was also clear from the discussions
(Pierre Cox). atively new for optical and near-infrared during the meeting is that we need to de-
astronomy (Giovanni Cresci). Particularly velop our theoretical understanding and
Of general concern with high-redshift gal- interesting are the techniques being used modelling techniques to be able to truly
axy studies is the low spatial resolution. in medical imaging and diagnosis (de- take advantage of our new observational
At z = 2, the scale is about 8 kpc per arc- scribed by Neb Duric). While often in a abilities. While overall the meeting was
second; thus with seeing-limited, or even different regime (higher resolution and optimistic about the future of research
adaptive-optics, observations the reso­ signal-to-noise), medicine is producing into gas and stars in galaxies, it was also
lution is no better, and often much worse, a number of powerful techniques to look obvious that we have a lot more to learn!
than 1 kpc. Strongly lensed galaxies, for subtle relationships in three-dimen-
however, offer the opportunity to obtain sional (and four-dimensional!) data. The
physical resolutions of ~ 100 pc and vast explosion in data rates in astronomy References
investigate the fine-scale relationships should also not be overlooked. How Emsellem, E., et al. 2004, MNRAS, 352, 721
between the optical emission-line gas are we going to handle this flood of data? Genzel, R., et al. 2006, Nature, 442, 786
and the molecular gas (as exemplified in Visualisation should make more use of Riechers, D., et al. 2008, ApJL, submitted
talks by Mark Swinbank and Andrew the computing power of modern Graphi- Walter, F., et al. 2008, ApJ, in press
Young, L. M., Bureau, M. & Cappellari, M. 2008,
Bunker). As such, this is a powerful tech- cal Processing Units, developed for the ApJ, 676, 317
nique for studying the phenomenology computer game industry (Chris Fluke). Of
of distant galaxies, such as their ability to course the raison d’être of the Virtual
drive winds, and investigating whether Observatory is to make this vast quantity
or not their star formation is similar to of data, with all its complexity, available
that in the local Universe. In the mm re- to the community (Igor Chilingarian).
gime, ALMA will have a significant impact
(talk by Robert Laing), as is already illus- In summary, it was clear from the myriad
trated by the new extended baselines of of physical processes, which must be
the IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometer understood in order to understand galax-
(Pierre Cox). ies and star formation, that we have our
work cut out for us. The amount of detail
A very important component of this that the current generation of 3D facilities
meeting, and one that perhaps makes it is revealing in galaxies is quickly advanc-
unique for a meeting of this kind, was the ing our knowledge. The next generation
various talks on data reduction and visu- of observing facilities (e.g. ALMA and the

56 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Astronomical News

ESO at SPIE – Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments

in Marseille

Alan Moorwood Figure 1. The ESO stand

Photo: E. Janssen, ESO

with models of a possi-
ESO, SPIE Symposium Chair
ble ELT dome and an
ALMA antenna amongst
other things – and some
The latest in the series of bienniel SPIE interested and engaged
meetings devoted to Astronomical Tele-
scopes and Instruments, held alternately
in the US and Europe now for more than
a decade, took place in Marseille from 23
to 28 June 2008. Its theme was “Syner-
gies between Ground and Space” and,
with more than 2 000 participants and
1800 papers, came close to rivalling the,
so far, largest meeting in Hawaii in 2002.
As usual, this meeting covered essentially 8–10-m observatories) and the status
ESO was again a major presence contrib- everything happening, or planned, astro- of future projects (ELT’s, SKA, JWST)
uting 140 participants and over 50 papers nomically on the ground and in space from those responsible, and all within the
plus a Symposium Chair, 6 Confer- and placed considerable stress on indi- space of a few days. Others were proba-
ence Chairs, many Programme Commit- vidual participants to map out their own bly more interested in more detailed tech-
tee members, a Plenary Speaker, plus interests amongst the parallel sessions. I nical aspects of optical and detector sys-
the large stand shown in Figure 1 which personally think one of the most useful tems, mechanics, software, operations
proved to be one of the most popular products of these symposia is the Techni- or system engineering and management
meeting points. As overheard more than cal Programme, which provides an inval- (a big theme for synergy between ground
once, it provided a great opportunity uable directory of astronomical projects and space) or discussing directly with the
for ESO Garching and Chile staff to meet! and those involved. Given the weather, authors of posters over a glass of wine.
some opted simply to stay in the rooms
The Technical Programme comprised with the best air conditioning. Fortunately, Despite the range and high quality of the
– three plenary talks: Fabio Favata on the that was acceptable in the main audito- programme itself, I would also not be
ESA Programme; John Mather on the rium where the plenary talks and the ple- ­surprised if most people still got more
COBE satellite, his resulting Nobel prize nary conference were held. Having led practically out of the numerous organised
and JWST; and Tim de Zeeuw on Euro- the development of the ASTRONET Sci- or impromptu side meetings and personal
pean Perspectives for Ground-based ence Vision, Tim de Zeeuw (Figure 2) contacts which these symposia foster.
Astronomy; was in the unique position of being able A classic I attended myself was a meeting
– eight telescopes and systems confer- to present both Europe’s astronomical of the informal 8-m club, formed many
ences; research priorities and those planned years ago to facilitate exchanges of tech-
– four technology advancement confer- to be met with ESO’s current and future nical information and experience amongst
ences; facilities, while Nobel Laureate John the VLT, Gemini, Keck and SUBARU pro-
– continuous poster sessions; Mather and the director of the Max- jects. Rather than telescopes, this time
– half-day plenary workshop of invited Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garch- it was mostly second-generation instru-
papers on the Early Universe; ing, Simon White, reminded us of their mentation, adaptive optics and laser talk.
– seven courses on optics, detectors and goals to discover the unexpected.
software; The next meeting in this series will be
– a student networking lunch; One big attraction for me was the possi- held in June 2010 in San Diego, Califor-
– an extensive exhibition featuring many bility of hearing overviews of the per- nia, which I am sure will again attract a
high-tech companies and ESO. formance of most major facilities (all the substantial number of ESO staff.

The social programme included

Photo: H. Boffin, ESO

– welcome reception;
– conference dinner, in the spectacu-
lar setting of the palace built by Napo-
leon III overlooking the old port of
­Marseille and with an entertaining after
dinner speech by Matt Mountain, Direc-
tor of the Space Telescope Science
Institute; Figure 2. Tim de Zeeuw,
– visits to local facilities such as LAM, Director General of ESO,
OAMP, OHP and SESO, largely organ- delivering his plenary
ised by Jean-Gabriel Cuby. talk “European perspec-
tives for ground-based

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 57

Astronomical News

In Memoriam Bengt Westerlund

John Danziger 1 Bengt Westerlund, pic-

Photo: E. Maurice, ESO Historical Picture Archive

tured second from left,
Jacques Breysacher 2
at a despedida (fare-
well party) at the Pelí-
cano Camp in May 1970.
 sservatorio Astronomico di Trieste,
Saubion, France

Bengt Westerlund, who died on 4 June,

2008 began his astronomical career in
Sweden where he was born in 1921.
He received his PhD in astronomy from
the University of Uppsala in 1954 and
spent most of the subsequent years, until
1967, at Mt. Stromlo Observatory, Aus-
tralia, where he was first the Uppsala ulations, carbon stars, planetary nebulae, was scarcely affected by the surrounding
Schmidt Observer and an Honorary Fel- WR stars, diffuse interstellar bands, events. The growth of ESO Chile during
low at the Australian National University ­luminous stars, stellar classification, and his time also created additional manage-
(ANU), then becoming in 1958 Reader supernova remnants. Beyond these rial responsibilities which Bengt handled
in Astronomy at the ANU. In 1967 he took he also published papers on dwarf sphe- in his customary calm manner. After his
a position as Professor of Astronomy at roidals, emission-line galaxies and radio departure from ESO he served for eight
Steward Observatory where Bart J. Bok galaxies. In this work, at Mt. Stromlo, years on the OPC, four years of which
had become director. In 1969 he was Steward Observatory and at ESO in Chile, were as chairman of that important com-
appointed Director of ESO in Chile, which he was always successful in engaging mittee.
position he held until 1975 when he re- the interest and participation of students,
turned to Sweden to take up the position a number of whom produced high-quality In whatever ambience Bengt Westerlund
of the Professor of Astronomy at Uppsala theses under his supervision. Also Bengt worked, he was known for his unfailing
Observatory, retiring in 1987. was always a keen organiser and partici- courtesy, gentleness, consideration and
pant in international meetings. generosity. People at all levels in ESO and
His career was devoted to observational elsewhere remember and still appreciate
astronomy and his work on the structure The years in Chile were not always easy these characteristics. He was not only
of the Milky Way and the Magellanic because of the political turmoil culminat- sociable but above all a gentleman’s gen-
Clouds earned respect and appreciation ing in the violent military coup in 1973. tleman. Bengt Westerlund is survived by
amongst his colleagues. Within those Bengt Westerlund handled these matters his wife Vivi, a constant companion, and
broad categories he contributed signi­ in his usual quiet diplomatic manner, so his two children Carl Gunnar and Gunilla
ficantly to studies of clusters, stellar pop- that the life and functioning of ESO Chile Margareta.

Do you know your Solar System?

Children in Garching do!

Florian Kerber, Reinhard Hanuschik, and ideas from all parties involved. But by and do this jointly with ESO. Or as the
Harald Kuntschner what about some hands-on action? What school’s choir put it:
ESO do you do if you want to try out some-
thing new now? The Grundschule Ost “Wie kann man über den Weltraum was
(East Junior School) in Garching felt they lernen?
Complaints about real and perceived wanted to dip their toes into astronomy Danke, danke, das sagen wir heut’!
shortcomings of the educational system for their project days this year. They de- Zum Glück gibt’s die ESO und die hilft
are commonplace. There is also no cided to contact an expert resource near- uns dabei gerne!
­shortage of well-intentioned suggestions Danke, danke, das sagen wir heut’!”

58 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

“How can we learn more about space?

Photo: E. Janssen, ESO

Thanks, thanks we’re saying today.
Fortunately ESO’s ready to help.
Thanks, thanks we’re saying today.”

This process was simplified by the fact

that there is an overlap between ESO
staff and the school’s parents and par-
ents council, but this is by no means
essential. It is essential though to set a
clear and agreed goal for the project.
The ESO team was formed by the ESO
scientists Reinhard Hanuschik, Florian
Kerber and Harald Kuntschner. Katjuscha
Lockhart from ESO Human Resources
coordinated all activities with the school.
We took the children on a tour of the
Solar System with a series of talks – one
for each grade – and then let the school
take over to build a scale model of
the Solar System’s planets for the school
Figure 1. Presentation by Florian Kerber from ESO to
schoolchildren at the Grundschule Ost in Garching.
The four presentations (see Figure 1)
given by us featured a trip with a ‘pedes-
trian rocket’ indicating that an effort of its own, the planets don’t.” About 75 two of the authors carrying Jupiter (see
of mind is needed to make this phantasy pupils (three classes per grade) attended the Astronomical News section page,
journey covering the sun and planets, each talk in the school atrium. The pres- lower image), highlighted the local Gar-
including an express return to Earth using entations were meant to capture the chil- chinger Stadtanzeiger (Garching town
a comet. We set out to convey some of dren’s attention and focus their enthusi- gazette).
the fundamental concepts: where do light asm towards the goal of learning more,
and warmth come from; why do we have and of jointly building the scale models of The ESO ‘godfathers’ were honoured
day, night and year; why are some plan- the planets. during the ceremony with a certificate, but
ets rocky and some gaseous; but tried to the greatest reward clearly was to wit-
stay clear of too many numbers. Some Various activities in the classroom fol- ness the enthusiasm of the children and
numbers though can be brought to life lowed and then, under the able guidance the insight they have gained. It was very
in an intriguing way. The distance be- of the handicraft teacher, the miniature impressive to see what can be achieved
tween Sun and Earth is often made more Solar System became a reality. Two dif- when effort and creativity from various
tangible by giving the light travel time of ferent scales were used – one for the dis- sources come together. It was gratifying
8.3 min. We learned that kids were a lot tances from the sun and the other for the that the pupils acted as teachers them-
more excited about another comparison: physical size of the planets. Here ESO selves when they presented the Solar
a racing car at 300 km/h will take about scientists only provided the necessary System to kindergarden pupils the next
57 years (neglecting pit stops) to travel factual information, but the actual imple- day.
the distance, which means that its young mentation was fully in the hands of the
driver will have reached grandparents age school and they did a marvelous job. Still concerned about the school system
when he or she arrives. Some children Everything came to fruition on 24 July and the education of our children? If you
were quick to point out that this doesn’t when the Planetenweg was inaugurated want to try something different in school
work anyway because the sun is too hot. in the school yard. Planet by planet it next year why not contact your expert
The talks contained plenty of nice pic- grew outward accompanied by songs resource near-by.
tures and a few animations but didn’t try and a verbal fact sheet presented by the
to compete with video games. It turns out children for each planet. A good crowd
it is still quite easy to focus children’s of parents, siblings and grandparents Acknowledgements
attention for a full 60 minutes if you make attended the event and the local media We thank all children, teachers and parents who
sure to get them involved by asking was present as well. A colour picture of made this project a success. Special thanks go to
plenty of questions – they’ll respond with two small children carrying Saturn to its Frau Streidl (head), Frau Werner (deputy head),
more and more – and repeating one or slot graced the title page of the local sec- Frau Suffa-Hänsel (handicrafts teacher) and Frau
Gehring (choir leader). Financial support (material
two key messages as a chorus: such as tion of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the for planets) by ESO’s Outreach Department is also
“What’s the big difference between the renowned south German newspaper. gratefully acknowledged.
sun and the planets? The Sun makes light Another picture, this time documenting

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 59

Astronomical News

Lights, Camera, Astronomers!

Media training at ESO Chile

Gonzalo Argandoña, Michael West

Photo: G. Argandoña, ESO


Communicating astronomy with the

­public is an important part of ESO’s mis-
sion. The Office for Outreach plays a
leading role in this endeavour, bringing
many exciting discoveries in frontline
research to a worldwide audience. ESO
astronomers are also a key component
of this collective effort: they are the faces
behind the discoveries, and often elo-
quent spokespersons for astronomy.

Almost every week, a wide range of jour-

nalists visit ESO sites in Chile to produce
stories that inform the public in Europe
and beyond, reaching millions of people
through television, film documentaries,
written media and the internet. Naturally,
many of these stories feature ESO staff
in action. Figure 1. ESO Chile Fellow Ezequiel Treister (centre),
is interviewed by C
­ hilean journalists Valeria Foncea
(left) and Marie Claire Dablé (right) as part of the
Yet most astronomers have had little or media training workshop held at ESO offices in San-
no training on how to communicate effec- tiago.
tively with the public through the media.
Consequently, many are uncomfortable
giving interviews, or talk in a way that is the special Eurobarometer survey con- The response from ESO Chile astrono-
difficult for non-scientists to understand. ducted in 2007, the most trusted source mers has been so enthusiastic that addi-
of information on scientific research tional workshops are being organised
To help ESO Chile astronomers become for citizens in the European Union is still for those who were unable to take part in
better science communicators, the Office ­television (68 %), followed by newspapers the first sessions. More advanced media
for Outreach in Chile and the Office for (41%), radio (26 %) and internet (23 %). training will also be offered in the future,
Science in Chile have organised several touching on such topics as non-verbal
media training workshops for staff astron- The second part of the workshop is en- communication, how to deal with anxiety
omers and fellows in Santiago. These tirely practical. Astronomers put them- when speaking in public, and strategies
day-long workshops, which are voluntary, selves in front of the camera and under for effective presentations.
were led by Marie Claire Dablé, a journal- the lights to practise a series of basic
ist from the Pontificia Universidad Cató- interview skills: strategies to stay focused
lica de Chile and director of a local multi- on their main message; bridging tech-
media company, and the prize-winning niques to come back to their ‘comfort
television reporter Valeria Foncea from zone’; the avoidance of jargon; and the
Chile’s TVN, as well as ESO Chile’s public use of analogies and metaphors to con-
outreach team. Nicolas Luco, science nect with the audience (see Figure 1). “It is the responsibility of every practising
editor of El Mercurio, Chile’s largest news- These interviews are filmed and reviewed astronomer to play some role in explain-
paper, also joined the participants for afterwards by the participants, which ing the interest and value of science to
lunch to provide insights into what makes allows for rich group discussion. our real employers, the taxpayers of the
a good science story. world.”
ESO Chile astronomers and fellows who
The training workshops begin with a participated in the media training work- IAU Division XII, Commission 55 on
short introduction to the media, present- shops (see the Astronomical News sec- “Communicating Astronomy with the
ing practical tips on how to handle inter- tion page, upper image) offered to date Public”
views, followed by a look at some real have been unanimous in their opinion that
examples of astronomers interacting with it was a very informative and fun experi-
journalists, extracted from recent news ence. As one staff astronomer said after
reports and documentaries. There is a completing the workshop: “That was fan-
strong emphasis on television, given the tastic! I learned a lot and feel more confi-
popularity of this medium. According to dent dealing with journalists.”

60 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Astronomical News

Social Engagement at ESO

Michael Böcker A group of young people

Photo: E. Janssen, ESO

from the Lebenshilfe
Freising e.V., together
with Michael Böcker
and Martin Kümmel
In 2007 a presentation was made to the from ESO, in front of the
AGAPE telescope in
Lebenshilfe Freising e.V. (www.lebens-
Garching. on the scientific, as well as
technical, challenges facing staff working
at the ESO observatories in Chile. The
non-profit organisation Lebenshilfe e.V. is
a social establishment with the organisa-
tional goal to promote the development of
people with disabilities. This year seven
students and two lecturers from the Le-
benshilfe e.V. were invited to a presenta-
tion at ESO headquarters about the Solar
System given by Martin Kümmel (from
ST-ECF). As a practical highlight for the
students, Gerardo Avila from the ESO
Instrumentation Division offered a view adults, pictured in the figure above, very
of the Sun through the telescope of much appreciated the informative and
the AGAPE amateur astronomer’s associ- interesting afternoon organised by ESO
ation at ESO headquarters. The young for the end of their school education.

New Staff at ESO

to astronomy at a young age by an uncle and whatever in maths and physics that
who always dreamt about being an related to optics and computers. I moved
astronomer. I received books from him to Paris, to attend the physics school
and I clearly remember not seeing École Normale Supérieure (ENS). There, I
Halley’s comet through his telescope, in had my first astronomy class, taught
1986. I was seven years old. at that time by the renowned astrophysi-
cist Pierre Léna. Part of the curriculum at
Nevertheless, I bought a telescope as a the ENS involved a research project last-
teenager, and enjoyed too few clear ing six months. Mine was suggested by
nights, star hopping for the brightest ce- Pierre Léna: to work with Steve Ridgway
lestial wonders. As a result of the cloudy in Tucson (Arizona) on the interpretation
skies, I started to develop a strong inter- of optical interferometry observations of
est in the telescope itself: how it works, Mira stars. That was my first contact
how it forms an image, how to align it in with astronomy, and I was hooked. Every-
order to get the nicest image. I ended thing was enchanting: optical interferom-
up mostly using my telescope to look at etry is complicated and intricate, but I
non-celestial sources (including street was working first-hand on data very few
Antoine Mérand lights). understood, and the people I worked
with were kind, stimulating and chal-
I grew up in France, where clouds and After high school, I mostly studied math­- lenged me like never before. Arizona was
light pollution rule the sky. My native ematics, theoretical physics and com­ also one of the best places for astronomy
region (Vendée) in the west, by the Atlan- puter science. What I enjoyed most were and for an amateur the skies were splen-
tic Ocean, is no exception. I was led optics and computer science classes, did. Using binoculars I saw more globular

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 61

Astronomical News

clusters or galaxies than I ever saw with

my 15-cm telescope in France.

The next step was my PhD project. Dur-

ing my stay in Arizona, I visited an optical
interferometer with Steve, the CHARA
Array, atop Mount Wilson, in California.
My project was to install at CHARA a
fibre-fed optical beam combiner named
FLUOR, developed at Paris Observatory
by Vincent Coudé du Foresto and Guy
Perrin. Between 2002 and 2005, I indeed
installed the beam combiner (which had
previously been at the IOTA interferom-
eter in Arizona) and observed Cepheid
variable stars in order to measure their
diameter change during pulsation. Using
the parallax of pulsation method, I was
able to obtain one of the most precise
distances to a Cepheid (to about 1%). In
2006 I moved from Paris to Pasadena,
California, to work full time at the CHARA Martin Zwaan At present, in the pre-operations stage,
Array, as a research associate. There, I we are not just waiting idly for ALMA to
supported FLUOR observations and par- Not entirely new to ESO, I took up my start working. One of our main tasks is
ticipated in the instrumental develop- position as astronomer in the ALMA ensuring the user software will be ready
ments. In particular, with Michael Ireland Regional Centre (ARC) in February this for ALMA operations. For example, the
(from Caltech, now at Sydney University year. As a fellow I had been enjoying software package CASA, which will be
in Australia), we built a three-telescope working at ESO for several years already. the data reduction system for all ALMA
visible beam combiner, PAVO. I also con- During that time I got involved in ALMA data and will also form the backbone of
tinued my observations of Cepheids, and and saw the project developing from the ALMA’s data reduction pipeline, is cur-
extended my interests to the close envi- ground-breaking in late 2003 to con­ rently being extensively tested. To build
ronments of stars, to stellar companions struction being well underway now, with up experience and identify missing func-
and rotation. nine antennas in Chile. I am very pleased tionality, I have also been using CASA
to continue working on ALMA, as one of for my personal research, reducing data
Always in search of challenges (and new the first staff in the ARC. from different radio telescopes. As of
horizons), I joined ESO in 2008, as an next year, I will be spending time at the
operations astronomer for the VLTI, the The ARC is part of the Data Management ALMA site in northern Chile helping with
interferometric mode of the VLT. I am and Operations division and therefore commissioning and science verification.
very excited by the VLT, whose level of builds on ESO’s long history of operating
organisation and efficiency are entirely large facilities. In many ways, our tasks My personal research concentrates on
new to me. I have already started to get are comparable to those of the User Sup- the role of gas in galaxy evolution. I am
deeply involved with the VLTI, taking port Department, with the important dif- interested in studying how the Universe’s
the freshly vacant AMBER instrument sci- ference that ALMA is not yet a fully func- neutral gas content evolves over time.
entist position. I am looking forward to tioning telescope. In the near future my Specifically, I try to reconcile what we
developing the VLTI, especially the forth- tasks will concentrate on maximising the know from radio emission in the present-
coming astrometric mode (using PRIMA) scientific return of ALMA. In practice, day Universe with results from absorp-
and the second-generation instruments, this will entail helping ALMA users with tion lines originating in the much younger
which will offer possibilities never seen their proposal preparation and the execu- Universe. Of course, ALMA will produce
before in interferometry. tion of their projects, and assisting with data allowing tremendous advances
their data reduction. In the operations in the study of neutral gas in galaxies at
stage I will also travel to Chile on a regu- high- and low-redshifts, and I am very
lar basis to serve as astronomer on duty. much looking forward to seeing the in-
Of course, all ARC tasks will be executed strument delivering these data.
in collaboration with our colleagues in
the US, East Asia and Chile. While only a
small department at present, the ARC
will continue to grow consistently over the
next few years.

62 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Astronomical News

Fellows at ESO

as a function of redshift and environment, However, upon finishing school I remem-

of the properties of AGN. In the last few bered my childhood passion and de-
years I have been widening my interests – cided to move from small-town Germany
moving to the optical, infrared, submilli- to the bustling metropolis of London to
metre, and finally radio, bands. I was study Astronomy at UCL. During my
quite happy in September 2006 to cross studies I had the opportunity to observe
the street once more and come back to at several different observatories, and
ESO as a Fellow. During these two years was hooked on both astronomy and trav-
of the fellowship I have been studying elling. I was then accepted for a PhD at
how the luminosity of an AGN affects its the University of Montreal, apparently on
geometry and how these properties are the premises that my supervisor had
connected with the host galaxy. “never had a student from the UK before”.
Focusing on the asteroseismology of
For my functional duties, I am following- ­pulsating subdwarf B stars, I had more
up the science cases for a multi-IFU than my fair share of observing, spend-
spectrograph for the E-ELT and am also ing five weeks at a time at the 1.5-m on
participating in the preparations for the Mt. Bigelow in Arizona.
X-shooter commissioning.
Eager to move to bigger telescopes, I
Vincenzo Mainieri After two very enjoyable and useful years applied to ESO as a Fellow, and with per-
as a fellow, I am looking forward to the fect timing received an offer the day
I did my undergraduate studies in phys- next step – as an Assistant Astronomer in before defending my thesis in Montreal.
ics at the University of Rome and at that the User Support Department, where I While I am stationed in Garching, my
time I was not particularly interested in will start working in October. functional duties regularly take me to
astronomy, but more in particle physics. I Paranal, where I work as a support as-
finally got interested in those shining tronomer at the VLT. For me, this is
objects up there when a friend showed Suzanna Randall one of the most exciting aspects of my
me Jupiter using a small amateur tele- job, as I feel that I am at the forefront
scope from the balcony of a flat in Rome, According to my parents, my fascination of astronomical research, and work with
trying to find some clear sky between with astronomy started when I was just a people from around the world in a unique
the buildings. toddler, and would not stop staring at and dynamic environment.
the Moon. My own first astronomical rec-
When I started a PhD in physics in Rome ollection is seeing photos of Mars’ moons
in 2000, I wanted to spend a period taken by some satellite – I was about
abroad and came to ESO for a short visit seven years old and completely fasci-
of two months. It was the right move nated by the notion that a camera could
at the right time. Thanks to my supervisor, have left Earth, let alone send back pic-
Piero Rosati, I was introduced to the tures of what to me seemed the most
X-ray survey community and at that time exotic and remote place imaginable. For
the deep X-ray surveys with Chandra years I collected pretty pictures of galax-
and XMM-Newton were starting and new ies, nebulae and planets and occasionally
science was available. I was able, dur- braved the cold to observe stars in our
ing my thesis, to study, with unprece- back garden with my binoculars, only to
dented photon statistics, the X-ray spec- all but forget about astronomy as a teen-
tral properties of active galactic nuclei ager.

I found the ESO environment and the

campus in Garching a very stimulating
place to work. So much so that after
my PhD I decided not to move far, but
simply to cross the street to the Max-
Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische
Physik. There I was part of the X-ray
group led by Günther Hasinger. I partici-
pated in the multi-wavelength follow-up
studies of several of the major X-ray sur-
veys, trying to understand the evolution,

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 63

Astronomical News

Announcement of the Joint ESO, CTIO, ALMA/NRAO and Universidad Valparaíso Workshop

The Interferometric View on Hot Stars

2–6 March 2009, Viña del Mar, Chile

One of the research fields in which inter- star research that are expected to benefit l­ecturers include: Andreas Quirrenbach,
ferometry excels has turned out to be most from interferometric observations. Olivier Chesneau, Markus Schöller,
hot star astrophysics. New results have ­Antoine Mérand, Carla Gil, and Jean
often been quickly adopted by the com- Oral sessions during the meeting will be ­Baptiste Le Bouquin.
munity, providing important quantitative held on:
constraints in frontline research topics: –H  igh angular resolution techniques; The workshop will take place in Viña del
– Several hot stars have been shown to – The stars (including Cepheids); Mar, on the Pacific coast of Chile, about
be very rapidly rotating, in a regime – Stellar winds; 100 km west of Santiago. Viña is famous
where geometric deformation and grav- – Circumstellar discs; as a holiday resort well beyond Chile.
ity darkening become important. – Hot binaries; Since the meeting will take place just
– Stellar winds have been resolved, like – E xplosive stars; after the end of the Chilean holiday sea-
those of h Carinae and Wolf-Rayet and a poster session is foreseen. son, most of the tourist crowds will
stars. have returned home, but pleasant coastal
– Circumstellar discs have been observed Confirmed speakers include: Alex weather is expected. Located just south
across a wide range of phenomena, ­Carciofi, Olivier Chesneau, Asif ud-Doula, of Viña del Mar across the city border is
such as gaseous accretion discs around William Hartkopf, Stefan Kraus, Ronald Valparaíso, one of Chile’s most important
young Herbig stars, decretion discs Mennickent, Antoine Mérand, Georges harbours and a UNESCO world herit-
around Be stars, and dusty discs around Meynet, Florentin Millour, Coralie Neiner, age site for its historical importance, nat-
B[e], and also Herbig, stars. Stan Owocki, Jayadev Rajagopal, Markus ural beauty, and unique architecture.
Schöller, Nathan Smith and Christopher
While some of these results, like the criti- Tycner. For further information on the workshop,
cal rotation of Achernar and other stars, please refer to
were a complete surprise, others, like the On the Thursday and Friday before the meetings/IHOT09/ or contact ihot09@
prolate wind of h Carinae, have been meeting (26–27 February 2009), an inter-
anticipated by theoretical research, but ferometry primer will be held, mainly in-
were hardly expected in the clear and un- tended for students, but open to all work- The registration deadline is
ambiguous form in which they were finally shop participants, provided there is 17 December 2008.
observed. enough space. The scope of the primer
is to enable attendants without experi- The Scientific Organising Committee
The meeting aims at bringing together ence in interferometry to develop the first ­consists of: Olivier Chesneau, Michel
both hot star and interferometry ex- steps at judging the results presented Curé, Doug Gies, Christian Hummel,
pertise, both observationally and theoreti- ­during the meeting and thus develop Stan Owocki, Andreas Quirrenbach,
cally, to review the progress made, as ideas for discussion at the meeting. This ­Thomas Rivinius, Markus Schöller and
well as to outline current problems in hot primer will take place at ESO’s premises Gerd Weigelt.
in Vitacura, Santiago, and confirmed

Paranal observatory
by moonlight.
Photo: T. Rivinius, ESO

64 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

Astronomical News

Announcement of the ESO Workshop on

ALMA and ELTs: A Deeper, Finer View of the Universe

24–27 March 2009, ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany

The next two decades of ground-based On the other hand, the report will identify GMT), David Silva (National Optical
astronomy will be dominated by the Ata- upgrade paths for ALMA and instrument Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)/GSMT),
cama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array priorities for the ELTs. The conclusions Chuck ­Steidel (Caltech/TMT), Al Wootten
(ALMA) and the advent of giant optical/ will be used as feedback to the ALMA (NRAO/ALMA).
near-infrared telescopes: the Giant Mag- science group investigating science with
ellan Telescope (GMT); the US Thirty ALMA in the 2020 era, and to the instru- Local Organising Committee:
Meter Telescope (TMT); and the Euro- mentation plans of the various ELTs. Annalisa Calamida, Markus Kissler-Patig,
pean Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Christina Stoffer, Leonardo Testi.
The workshop is jointly organised with
The main goal of the workshop is to bring representatives of all ALMA partners and The deadline for registration is
together the ALMA and ELT communities, ELT projects. Thus, we believe that the 15 December 2008.
to identify the common science cases workshop will become an international
and to outline instrumentation/upgrade milestone for all projects concerned. More information can be found at
priorities for the ALMA and ELT facilities
in order to support these programmes. Science Advisory Committee:
Jose Afonso (Observatorio Astronomico
The product of the workshop will be a de Lisboa/ALMA), Andrew Blain (Caltech/
report (rather than proceedings). The ALMA), Roberto Gilmozzi (ESO/E-ELT),
report will, on the one hand, present the Richard Hills (ESO/ALMA), Rolf Kudritzki
common science cases in the areas of: (Institute for Astronomy, University of
– fundamental physics, cosmology, and Hawaii/Giant Segmented Mirror Tele-
relics of the early Universe; scope (GSMT)), Patrick McCarthy (Carne-
– galaxy and ISM evolution; gie Observatories/GMT), Koh-Ichiro
– star formation from re-ionisation to the Morita (National Radio Astronomy
present; Observatory (NRAO)/ALMA), Stephen A.
– Solar Systems near and far. Shectman (Carnegie Observatories/

One of the two ALMA transporters

(Lore) is shown being used to move
one of the Vertex antennas from inside
the assembly building to an outside
pad within the contractor area at the
Operations Support Facility (OSF).
This photograph was taken in June
2008. The Vertex antenna is currently
undergoing pre-acceptance tests.

The Messenger 133 – September 2008 65

Astronomical News

Personnel Movements

Arrivals (1 July– 30 September 2008) Departures (1 July– 30 September 2008)

Europe Europe
Aller Carpentier, Emmanuel (E) Optical Engineer Alves de Oliveira, Catarina (P) Student
Beniflah, Thierry (F) Head of Information Technology Boutsia, Konstantina (GR) Student
Blondin, Stéphane (F) Fellow da Silva Marques, Nuno Alvaro (P) Student
Calamida, Annalisa (I) Postdoctoral Researcher Di Cesare, Stéphane (F) Software Engineer
Ciattaglia, Emanuela (I) Mechanical Engineer Hötzl, Stefan (D) Electronics Technician
Feng, Lu (CN) Student van der Plas, Gerrit (NL) Student
Gladysz, Szymon (PL) Postdoctoral Researcher
Heckel, Isabell (D) Administrative Assistant/Secretary
Kammermaier, Katharina (D) Human Resources Officer
Kolb, Johann (F) Optical Engineer
Kupcu Yoldas, Aybuke (TR) Postdoctoral Researcher
Michaleli, Anna (GR) Human Resources Officer
Mysore, Sangeeta (USA) Operations Support Scientist
Nunez Santelices, Carolina Andrea (RCH) Student
Penuela, Tania Marcelo (CO) Student
Petry, Dirk (D) Data Analysis Software Developer
Ricci, Luca (I) Student
Sirey, Rowena (GB) Senior Advisor/Intern. Relations
Chile Chile
Al Momany, Yazan (I) Operations Astronomer Bendek, Eduardo (RCH) Instrumentation Engineer
Aranda, Ivan (RCH) Data Handling Administrator Carry, Benoît (F) Student
Arias, Pablo (RCH) Telescope Instruments Operator Dierksmeier, Claus (D) Civil Engineer
Campos, Marcela (RCH) Accountant Lombardi, Gianluca (I) Student
Elao, Cristian (RCH) Electronic Engineer Lopez, Cristian (RCH) Student
Gallardo, Javier (RCH) Software Engineer Lynam, Paul (GB) Fellow
Gesswein, Rodrigo (RCH) Data Handling Administrator Marin, Pedro (RCH) Driver
Gonzalez, Javier Andres (RCH) Maintenance Mechanical Technician Rantakyrö, Fredrik (S) VLTI Astronomer
Lucas, Robert (F) Astronomer Reveco, Johnny (RCH) Software Engineer
Mauersberger, Rainer (D) Astronomer Salazar, Daniel (RCH) Software Engineer
Molina, Faviola (VE) Operations Astronomer
Parra, Rodrigo (RCH) Operations Astronomer
Reyes, Claudia (RCH) Telescope Instruments Operator
Tamblay, Richard (RCH) Maintenance Mechanical Technician
Wieching, Gundolf (D) Radio Frequency Engineer
Yegorova, Iryna (UA) Fellow

Announcement of the Report by the ESA-ESO Working Group on

Galactic Populations, Chemistry and Dynamics

Authors: The main task of this Working Group has been made recommendations that would allow dis-
Catherine Turon (Chair), Francesca Primas to review the state-of-the-art knowledge of secting our backyard laboratory, the Galaxy,
(Co-chair), James ­Binney, Cristina Chiappini, the Milky Way galaxy, to identify the future even further. ESO survey telescopes about to
Janet Drew, Amina Helmi, Annie Robin, Sean challenges, and to propose which tools (in become operational and the upcoming ESA
Ryan. terms of facilities, infrastructures, instruments, Gaia mission are a guarantee for opening new
science policies) would be needed to suc- horizons and making new discoveries. We, the
Abstract: cessfully tackle and solve the remaining open astronomers, with the support of our funding
Between the early 40s, when Baade showed questions. Considering the leadership posi- agencies, are ready to fully commit to the best
the first evidence for the existence of two tion that Europe has reached in the field of exploitation of the treasure that is ahead of
­distinct stellar populations, and today, with our Gal­actic astronomy (thanks to the Hipparcos us. The main recommendations this Working
Galaxy surprising us with new substructures mission and the Very Large Telescope) and Group has made to ESA and ESO are to guar-
discovered almost on a monthly basis, it is looking at the (near-)future major initiatives it antee the expected tremendous capabilities
clear that a remarkable progress has been has undertaken (VISTA and VST survey tele- of these new facilities, to vigourously organise
achieved in our understanding of the Galaxy, scopes, Gaia mission), this work clearly has their synergies and to jointly give ways to
of its structure and stellar populations, and been very timely. European astronomers to be leaders in the ex-
of its chemical and dynamical signatures. Yet, ploitation of their output data.
some questions have remained open and have It is of uttermost importance for European
proven to be very challenging. astronomy to keep and further consolidate The report is available at
its leading position. This Working Group has coordination/eso-esa/galpops.php.

66 The Messenger 133 – September 2008

The 4.1-m near-infrared survey
­telescope VISTA on Paranal
­c omplete with optics and camera
during commissioning.
ESO is the European Organisation for Contents
Astronomical Research in the Southern
Hemisphere. Whilst the Headquarters Telescopes and Instrumentation
(comprising the scientific, technical and J. Spyromilio et al. – Progress on the European Extremely Large Telescope 2
administrative centre of the organisa- J. Liske et al. – E-ELT and the Cosmic Expansion History – A Far Stretch? 10
tion) are located in Garching near M. Aldenius et al. – The Quest for Near-infrared Calibration Sources
­Munich, Germany, ESO operates three for E-ELT Instruments 14
observational sites in the Chilean Ata­- C. Melo et al. – Detector Upgrade for FLAMES: GIRAFFE Gets Red Eyes 17
cama desert. The Very Large Telescope
(VLT), is located on Paranal, a 2 600 m Astronomical Science
high mountain south of Antofagasta. At D. Minniti et al. – Behind the Scenes of the Discovery of Two Extrasolar
La Silla, 600 km north of Santiago de Planets: ESO Large Programme 666 21
Chile at 2 400 m altitude, ESO operates A. Eckart et al. – Probing Sagittarius A* and its Environment at the
several medium-sized optical tele­ Galactic Centre: VLT and APEX Working in Synergy 26
scopes. The third site is the 5 000 m L. Morelli et al. – Stellar Populations of Bulges of Disc Galaxies in Clusters 31
high Llano de Chajnantor, near San K. Meisenheimer et al. – Mid-infrared Interferometry of Active Galactic
Pedro de Atacama. Here a new submilli- Nuclei: an Outstanding Scientific Success of the VLTI 36
metre telescope (APEX) is in opera- M. Sullivan, C. Balland – The Supernova Legacy Survey 42
tion, and a giant array of 12-m submil-
limetre antennas (ALMA) is under Astronomical News
development. Over 2 000 proposals are M. Böcker, J. Vogt, T. Nolle-Gösser – Scientific Approach for Optimising
made each year for the use of the ESO Performance, Health and Safety in High-Altitude Observatories 49
telescopes. M. Lehnert et al. – Report on the ESO and Radionet Workshop on
Gas and Stars in Galaxies – A Multi-Wavelength 3D Perspective 52
The ESO Messenger is published four A. Moorwood – ESO at SPIE – Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments
times a year: normally in March, June, in Marseille 57
September and December. ESO also J. Danziger, J. Breysacher – In Memoriam Bengt Westerlund 58
publishes Conference Proceedings and F. Kerber, R. Hanuschik, H. Kuntschner – Do you know your Solar System?
other material connected to its activi- Children in Garching do! 58
ties. Press Releases inform the media G. Argandoña, M. West – Lights, Camera, Astronomers!
about particular events. For further Media training at ESO Chile 60
in­formation, contact the ESO Public M. Böcker – Social Engagement at ESO 61
­Affairs Department at the following ad- New Staff at ESO – A. Mérand, M. Zwaan 61
dress: Fellows at ESO – V. Mainieri, S. Randall 63

ESO Headquarters Announcement of the Joint ESO, CTIO, ALMA/NRAO and

Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2 Universidad Valparaíso Workshop “The Interferometric View on Hot Stars” 64
85748 Garching bei München Announcement of the ESO Workshop on ALMA and ELTs:
Germany A Deeper, Finer View of the Universe 65
Phone +49 89 320 06-0 Personnel Movements 66
Fax +49 89 320 23 62 Announcement of the Report by the ESA-ESO Working Group on Galactic Populations, Chemistry and Dynamics 66

The ESO Messenger:

Editor: Jeremy R. Walsh
Technical editor: Jutta Boxheimer
Technical assistant: Mafalda Martins

Printed by
Peschke Druck
Schatzbogen 35 Front Cover Picture: Artist’s impres-
81805 München sion by Herbert Zodet of a possible
Germany design for the E-ELT dome. In order to
house the 42-m telescope, the dome
© ESO 2008 will be approximately 90 m in diameter
ISSN 0722-6691 and height.