The VLT exoplanet hunter SPHERE is offered to the community
Published 8/28/2014 in Julien Girard Author jgirard
SPHERE, the extreme adaptive optics facility, high contrast imager spectrograph and polarimeter of the Very Large Telescope, is now offered to the community for P95 (April-Sept 2015, please look at the Call for Proposals). It has unique capabilities that make it a fantastic high-resolution, high-contrast disk imager with a field of view up to 11" (much bigger than most of its main competitors). Material is available online to help you write your proposals. SPHERE can lock its AO on fainter stars than GPI, up to R=11 for service mode and up to R~15 in visitor... read more ❯

The E-ELT will be in Chile at the Cerro Armazones?
Published 3/4/2010 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Hello, An interesting news was released today by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the international organization where I used to work in Chile. The E-ELT Site Selection Advisory Committee recommended the the Cerro Armazones in Chile as the future site of this large 45m-telescope. ESO is an international organization which provides state-of-the-art research facilities to astronomers and astrophysicists, allowing us  to conduct front-line science in the best conditions. The countries which are members of ESO  are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. I mentioned in July 2009 in a post... read more ❯

Students are back... Binary Asteroid projects
Published 3/11/2009 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Dear readers, I realized that I did not post anything on my blog for a week. What was going on? Well I got caught in one we called a never-ending deadline series. Last week, I started my UC-Berkeley week giving a lecture-class for undergraduate and graduate students on Tuesday. Then my student Brent came back from his road trip in the US and we started working together on his new project. Brent is finalizing the large table containing the characteristics of 165 reported multiple  Asteroid systems. I want to make this work available through our PHP server at UC-Berkeley. It is almost done... read more ❯

Post-observing report of the VLT Paranal and Pictures
Published 1/8/2009 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
  Hello, This morning when I woke up I had a post-observing report from Herve Bouy, the observer for our run (see my previous post), summarizing the night of observation at Paranal. It went very smoothly and the weather got better during the night.  This is an image taken with the all sky camera (called Mascot for Mini All Sky Cloud Observation Tool) which showed the entire sky over Paranal. As you can see there were no clouds at all :-) The wind died after 4 UT and the seeing... read more ❯

One night of observations at Paranal, Chile
Published 1/8/2009 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Hello readers, Today I am going to describe using an example how astronomers work and collaborate. I am part of an observing project aimed at calibrating with an excellent accuracy the distortion of the near-infrared detector called CONICA mounted on the Adaptive Optics system of the Yepun telescope of the VLT (called NAOS).  Thierry Forveille from the Observatoire de Grenoble in Astrophysics is the PI of this technical project. My contribution  is to provide appulse event calculations. An appulse (or conjunction) is a close passage of an  asteroids nearby a bright star. They are useful to measure the effect of distortions following  the velocity... read more ❯