News

4MOST will be a state-of-the-art, high-multiplex, fibre-fed spectroscopic survey facility at ESO’s 4-m VISTA telescope, with a field-of-view large enough to survey a large frac­tion of the southern sky in a few years. During the first 5 years of operations 4MOST will execute a comprehensive programme of both Galactic and extragalactic Public Surveys. 30% of the observing time during this period will be available to the community (while the other 70% will be awarded to the 4MOST Consortium in return for delivering and operating the instrument). The process of selecting Community Surveys will be initiated by a “Call for Letters of Intent for Public Spectroscopic Surveys”, to be issued by ESO in mid-2019.

In preparation of this Call, ESO and the 4MOST Consortium are jointly organising a workshop to take place at ESO on 6-8 May 2019. The purpose of this workshop is to prepare the ESO community for this exciting scientific opportunity, to assist potential PIs to successfully respond to the Call, and to foster scientific collaborations between the community and the 4MOST Consortium. Specifically, the goals are to provide the ESO community with up-to-date information regarding (i) the 4MOST facility, its capabilities, survey strategy, data reduction and science pipelines; (ii) the 4MOST Consortium’s scientific plans; and (iii) the application and selection process.

Please register on the workshop’s website.

A Science Team meeting will be held at the MPE in Garching on 9-10 May 2019, immediately following the workshop.

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The current 4MOST Instrument Scientist, Olivier Schnurr, is leaving the project for bigger and brighter things, and the Project Office would like to thank Ollie for his many contributions to 4MOST.

As a result, we have a job vacancy in the 4MOST Project Office. If you have strong analytic and communication skills and are interested in instrument requirements, calibration, commissioning, observing strategy, etc., and are looking for a new and exciting opportunity, please see the job ad.

Please feel free to distribute this vacancy to any candidate that you think might be suitable and interested. Applications originating from underrepresented groups within 4MOST would be especially appreciated.

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The inaugural 4MOST Science Team Meeting was held at Geneva Observatory on 18 – 21 June 2018. More than 40 participants discussed a wide range of topics in connection with the scientific planning for the 4MOST survey programme. The focused discussion sessions, the general collaborative spirit and the welcoming atmosphere at Geneva Observatory all contributed to the success of this meeting.

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On 2 – 9 May 2018 the 4MOST FDR-1 review meeting was conducted at ESO Garching. More than 30 expert reviewers went through the more than 120 documents and countless drawings submitted by the 4MOST Project. During the review the different subsystems and science operations were discussed in detail in a number of splinter sessions. Feedback and action items were consolidated in two plenary sessions at the end of the meeting. Overall the meeting went very well, and it was conducted in a collaborative and open spirit. The Review Board acknowledged the enormous amount of work performed by the 4MOST Consortium, and the very high quality of the submitted documents and designs. The feedback from the Review Board was very constructive and no major show-stoppers were identified. Of course, we still received a number of action items and recommendations to further improve the system and its documentation. The FDR outcome will be consolidated in the FDR Board Report, based on which we will be able to plan ahead for the next steps and ultimately the official transition into the construction phase.

The Project Office would like to thank everyone who contributed to FDR-1 and the 4MOST Project for their continued enthusiasm and dedication to our success. 4MOST would not be possible without this enormous effort by its talented and dedicated team members.

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Sam Barden reports that the first glass blank is ready for transformation into the front lens of the 4MOST wide field corrector. This piece of fused silica, produced by Corning, is just under 1 meter in diameter, about 200 mm thick and weighs a third of a tonne. It is a high precision glass element, meaning that the index of refraction is very uniform throughout the body in order to allow consistent optical performance. The 4MOST wide field corrector is a set of 6 optical lenses that “fine tune” the optical performance of the VISTA telescope in order to provide the necessary field of view and image quality required for 4MOST to meet its objectives. This glass blank will now be shipped from Corning to KiwiStar Optics in New Zealand where it will start the 18 month transformation from the cylindrical blank into the finished optical element. Funding for this has been provided by the BMBF.

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The Busy Week 2018 will take place at the AIP in Potsdam on 23-25 January 2018. The focus will be on coordination in preparation of FDR. Two parallel threads will be scheduled: Facility and Science Operations. ESO will participate with a large contingency of staff, which will help with converging on open issues.

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The 4MOST All Hands Meeting 2017 took place in Lyon on 11 – 15 September 2017. The meeting was hosted by the 4MOST team from the Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon (CRAL) and took place at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS-L).

This third annual ‘All Hands Meeting’ of the 4MOST consortium brought together consortium members working to define, construct, operate and scientifically exploit the 4MOST Facility. This included the scientists from the large number of institutes involved in defining the ground-breaking consortium science surveys, the applications specialists involved in the infrastructure groups, and the engineers, managers and scientists responsible for the delivery of the 4MOST Facility. We also heard more general talks about the Euclid mission (by Yannick Mellier) and the MUSE instrument (by Roland Bacon).

Among the highlights of the meeting were the approval by the 4MOST Executive Board to proceed with the full complement of one high- and two low-resolution spectrographs in response to increased funding levels. Furthermore, all 4MOST executive and advisory bodies endorsed a reorganisation of the management structure, bringing all of the data flow and operations development efforts under one umbrella of the new Operations Development Group (ODG) under leadership of Jakob Walcher as Operations Manager (OM). Finally, many details of the assembly, integration, test, and verification at both the AIP and Paranal locations were worked out, and interfaces between subsystems were clarified and refined, while the Surveys worked on their schedule for the Consortium Survey Plan.

In addition to discussing ideas on the development of the 4MOST instrument and science, participants also got to visit Lyon. The city is famous for its beautiful city centre, its culture, and is well-renowned for its gastronomy, in particular the typical restaurants serving Lyonnaise cuisine (“bouchons”) in the old town.

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Registration is now open for the 4MOST All Hands Meeting 2017, which will take place at CRAL in the beautiful city of Lyon on 11-15 September 2017.

For information about the venue and how to get there, the agenda, social events and instructions on how to register please visit

    http://wiki.4most.eu/ahm17

Welcome to Lyon!

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