The March 2019 issue of ESO’s The Messenger, published today, is dedicated entirely to 4MOST. It contains 13 articles, written by the 4MOST Consortium, which introduce 4MOST to the ESO community. Three overview articles describe the 4MOST project and instrument, the 4MOST science operations and its current survey plan, while another ten articles, one for each of the Consortium Surveys, describe the scientific plans of the 4MOST Consortium.
This special 4MOST issue of The Messenger was published in preparation of the joint ESO/4MOST workshop Preparing for 4MOST: A community workshop introducing ESO’s next-generation spectroscopic survey facility. This workshop, in turn, is meant to help the community prepare for a Call for Letters for Intent for Public Surveys with 4MOST, expected to be issued by ESO in mid-2019. The publication of the 4MOST Messenger issue thus marks the beginning of an exciting process, at the end of which a number of Community Surveys will join the Consortium Surveys to form the final 4MOST Survey Programme for the first 5 years of operations.