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Published by: European Southern Observatory on May 06, 2009
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02/01/2013

T H E
M E S S E N G E R
N o.2 8 -
June 1982

s ig n in g o f th e b a s ic a g r e e m e n t fo r th e p a r tic ip a tio n o f Ita ly . T h e d e ta ile d a g r e e m e n t w a s re a d y b y M a y 1 9 8 0 ,a n do nD ecem ber 1 9 o f th e s a m e y e a r th e Ita lia n G o v e r n m e n t a p p r o v e d a n d s e n t to

P a r lia m e n t th e la w
e s ta b lis h in g th e p a r tic ip a tio n o f Ita lyto
E S O .
T h e
fo rm a l
a p p ro v a l
o f
th e
Ita lia n
P a r lia m e n t
w as
o b ta in e d
o n
M a rc h
2 ,
1 9 8 2
a n d
th e
la w
p u b lis h e d
in

th e " S u p p le m e n to o r d in a r io a lla G a z z e tta U ffic ia leN o.9 2 " (L e g g e 1 0 M a rz o 1 9 8 2 ,n .1 2 7 ).

T h e h o p e a n d w is histh a t th e n e w m e m b e r s h ipo f Ita ly w ill n o t o n ly s a tis fy th e le g itim a te w is h e s o f th e Ita lia n a s tr o n o m e r s a n d

a s tro p h y s ic is ts w h o
w ill n o w

have accesstoth e o p tic a l o b s e rv a tio n sinth e s o u th e r n h e m is p h e r e , b u t w ill a ls o c o n tr i\ue000 b u tetos tr e n g th e n in g th e O rg a n iz a tio n a n d tofu rth e r in c re a s e its b a s ic ro le

inth e d e v e lo p m e n t o f E u ro p e a n a s tro n o m y .
P era s p e raa da s tra l
G .S .
W ith
Ita ly a n d
S w itz e r la n d
a s
n e w
m e m b e rs
o fE S O , th e
a n n u a l c o n tr ib u tio n le v e l h a s b e e n in c r e a s e d fro m
3 2 .5 to 4 0
m illio nD M
a n d th e s h a re s o f th e c o n tr ib u tio n s o f th e v a rio u s
c o u n tr ie s h a v e c h a n g e d a s fo lIo w s :
IT A LY , M e m b e ro fE S O

O nM a y 2 4 , 1 9 8 2 , th e Ita lia n A m b a s s a d o rin P a ris d e p o s ite d th e in s tr u m e n t o f a c c e s s io n w ith th e M in is tr y o f F o re ig n A ffa irs o f th e

F re n c h
R e p u b lic ,a s
fo re s e e n
b y A rt. 1 3 o f th e
E S O
C o n v e n tio n . W ith th is a c t Ita ly h a s b e c o m e a m e m b e r o f E S O .
P e rh a p s
it
is
o f
som e
in te re s t
to
s u m m a r iz e
th e
m a in
h is to r ic a l
s te p s
w h ic h
in
th e
e n d
le d
to
th is
v e ry
p o s itiv e
c o n c lu s io n .
A p p a re n tly
th e
m a in
re a s o n
w hy
Ita ly
d id
n o t
p a rtic ip a te
in
th e
fo u n d a tio n
o f
E S O
is
b e c a u s e

Ita lia n a s tro n o m e rsinth e e a r ly '6 0 s w e r e e s s e n tia lly d iv id e d b e tw e e n th e d e s ir etop a r tic ip a tein th e fo u n d in go f E S O a n d th e e q u a lly s tro n g

d e s ir e
to
h a v e

a n a tio n a lte le s c o p e .It w a s o f c o u rs e b e lie v e d , a n d p e r h a p s r ig h tlys o ,th a t th e Ita lia n G o v e r n m e n t w a s n o t w illin gtofin a n c e b o th e n te r p r is e s . E v e n tu a lly , p rio rity w a s g iv e ntoth e n a tio n a l te le s c o p e p ro je c t. T h is tu rn e d o u t to b e a h is to r ic a l m is ta k e . Ir o n ic a lly e n o u g h , itisth e p a r tic ip a tio n inE S O w h ic h w ill p r o b a b ly p e r m it fu n d in g o f th e Ita lia n n a tio n a l te le s c o p e (3 .5m )inth e n o rth e rn h e m is p h e re . H o w e v e r, s u b \ue000 s e q u e n tly m a n y Ita lia n a s tr o n o m e r s m a in ta in e d a s tro n g in te r\ue000 e s tinE S O

b u t n o re a l s te p fo rw a rd w a s ta k e n u n til la te 1 9 7 7 w h e n fo r th e firs t tim ea nIta lia n r e p r e s e n ta tiv e n a m e d b y th e Ita lia n R e s e a r c h C o u n c il (C N R ) w a s a llo w e d to p a r tic ip a tein th e

E S O
C o u n c il m e e tin g sa sa n

o b s e rv e r. T h is w a s a v e ry im p o r ta n t d e c is io nw hic h fin a lly le d to a m e e tin g b e tw e e na n Ita lia n

d e le g a tio n
h e a d e d
b y
th e
M in is te r o f R e s e a rc h

a n d T e c h n o lo g y , M r.V . S c a lia , a n da n E S O d e le g a tio n h e a d e d b y th e P r e s id e n t o f C o u n c il, P ro f.F .D e n is s e . T h e m e e tin g to o k p la c e

in
J a n u a ry
1 9 8 0
in
th e
to w n
o f T a o r m in a
( S ic ily ) , th e
b e a u tifu l a n d
in s p ir in g
s u rro u n d in g s o fw hic h
a s s is te d
inth e
B e lg iu m
D e n m a rk
F ra n c e
Fed. Rep. of G erm any
Ita ly
N e th e rla n d s
S w e d e n
S w itz e r la n d
B e fo re
8 .8 1
4 .7 1
3 3 .3 3
3 3.3 3
1 1 .6 8
8 .1 4
1 0 0 .0 0
S h a re sin%
N ow
6 .2 8
3 .3 5
2 6 .7 5
2 6 .7 5
1 7 .1 6
8 .3 3
5 .8 1
5 .5 7
1 0 0 .0 0
T h eE S O
O b s e r v in g
P ro g ra m m e s C o m m itte e
B .E . W e s te rlu n d , A s tr o n o m ic a l O b s e rv a to ry , U p p s a la , C h a irm a no f th e O P C
S in c e
1 9 7 8
th e
E S O
O b s e r v in g
P ro g ra m m e s
C o m m itte e
(O P C )
h a s
"th e
fu n c tio n
to
in s p e c t a n d
ra n k
th e
p r o p o s a ls
m ade
fo r o b s e r v in g
p ro g ra m m e s
a tL a
S illa , a n d
th e re b y to
a d v is e
th e
D ire c to r G e n e ra lo n
th e
d is tr ib u tio n
o f o b s e r v in g
tim e ". T h e m e m b e rs (o n e fro m e a c h m e m b e r c o u n try )a n dth e ir
a lte rn a te s a re
n o m in a te d
b y th e
re s p e c tiv e
n a tio n a l c o m m it\ue000
te e s
fo r
fiv e -y e a r
te rm s
(n o t
im m e d ia te ly
re n e w a b le ).
T h e
te rm s a re s ta g g e re ds oth a t e a c h y e a r o n e o r tw o p e rs o n s a re
r e p la c e d . T h e C h a ir m a nis a p p o in te d a n n u a lly b y th e C o u n c il.
H e
isin v ite d
to
a tte n d
C o u n c il m e e tin g s a n d
to
re p o rt to
it s
m e m b e rs .

T h e O P C m e e tsa sre q u ire db y th e s c h e d u le fo r th e a w a rd o f o b s e r v in g tim e .Itm a y in v ite p e rs o n s fro m th e E S O s ta ff o r fro m a m o n g th e a lte rn a te s to a tte n d if re q u ire d .

T h e
h is to ry o f th e O P C
g o e s b a c k to
1 9 6 7 w h e n th e E S O
C o u n c il
e s ta b lis h e d
a
S c ie n tific
P ro g ra m m e s
C o m m itte e
(S P C ). E a c h
o f th e
m e m b e r c o u n trie s h a d

a re p re s e n ta tiv e , a n d th e S c ie n tific D ir e c to r o f E S O a c te da sth e S e c re ta ry a n d a slia is o n w ith th e D ir e c to r a te . T h e C o m m itte e 's p rin c ip a l ta s k s w e re

(1 )to a d v is e th e D ir e c to r a te a n d th e C o u n c il a b o u t th e
g e n e r a l s c ie n tific p o lic y o f E S O
a n d
(2 )to a d v is e th e
D ire c \ue000
to ra te
a b o u t th e
a p p lic a tio n s
fo r o b s e rv in g
p ro g ra m m e s

o f v is itin g a s tr o n o m e r s . T h e S P C h e ld its firs t m e e tin go nM ay2 , 1 9 6 8 .

W ith
re s p e c t to
it s
ta s k
(2 )
th e
S P C
p ro p o s e d
ru le s
o f
p ro c e d u rew h ic h w e re fo rm a lly a d o p te db y th e E S O C o u n c ilin
it s
m e e tin g
o f J u ly
2 /3
1 9 6 8 : A llo c a tio n
of tim e
w as
to
b e
a rra n g e d
fo r in te rv a ls
of 6
m o n th s ; a p p lic a tio n s
b y
v is itin g
a s tro n o m e rs
h a d
to
b e
s u b m itte d
to the
D ire c to ra te
a tle a s t
6
m o n th s
b e fo re
th e
b e g in n in g
o f
th e s e
p e r io d s ;
a n d
th e
a p p lic a n t s h o u ldb ein fo r m e d a b o u t th e d e c is io nb y th e D ire c \ue000
to ra te
about 4
m o n th s
b e fo re
th e s e
d a te s . O n e
th ird
o f th e

tim e w as tob ea llo tte d to th e E S O s ta ff; th e S P C w a s n o t s u p \ue000 p o s e d to a d v is e o n th e s e p r o g r a m m e s b u t m e r e ly tob ek e p t in fo rm e d .

D u r in g 1 9 6 8 a n d 1 9 6 9 th e S P C p r o p o s e d a llo c a tio n s to th e
D ire c to ra te , b u t fro m
it s
m e e tin g
in
Novem ber 1970
it p re \ue000
s e n te d r a tin g s o f th e s c ie n tific v a lu e o f th e a p p lic a tio n s to th e
D ire c to ra te
to
s e rv e
a s
th e
b a s e
fo r d ra w in g
u p
a
s u ita b le
o b s e r v in g s c h e d u le .

T h e im p o rta n c e o f E S O a n d its o b s e rv a to ryo nL aS illa fo r th e E u ro p e a n a s tro n o m e rs b e c a m e s o o n o b v io u s ;d urin g1 9 7 1th e a m o u n t o f tim e

re q u e s te d
in
th e

n u m e r o u s a p p lic a tio n s w a s m o r e th a n d o u b le th e a m o u n t o f tim e a v a ila b le . T h e S P C a ls o fo u n d it " e v id e n t th a t E S O s h o u ld c o n te m p la te th e a c q u is itio n o f m o re in s tru m e n ts u p to th e s iz e o f 1 5 0c m

d ia m e te r".
In1 9 7 1
th e C o u n c il d e c id e d to e s ta b lis h a S c ie n tific P o lic y
C o m m itte e fo r E S O . T h e
S c ie n tific
P ro g ra m m e s C o m m itte e
D e te rm in a tio n
o t
th e
N o rth -S o u th
lin e
to r
th e
2 .2 -m
te le s c o p e
(2 4 .
1 .
1 9 8 2 ).
2
a c c e p te d
"O b s e rv in g
P ro g ra m m e s
C o m m itte e "
a s
it s
n e w
nam e.
In
th e
e a rly
d a y s
o f th e
O PC
(S P C ) e a c h
a p p lic a tio n
fo r

o b s e r v in g tim e w a s re v ie w e db yo n e o f its m e m b e r s w h o th e n p re s e n te d h is ra tin ga tth e m e e tin g fo r a c c e p ta tio nb y th e O P C . T h e

a p p lic a n ts w e re tre a te d
in
a lp h a b e tic o rd e r, a n d
a sth e
p r o p o s a ls
m o s tly
d e s c r ib e d
th e
o b s e rv a tio n s
d e s ir e d ,
n o t
m uch
d is c u s s io n
w as
n e c e s s a ry . D u rin g
th e
firs t fe w

y e a rs p r a c tic a llya llp r o p o s a ls w e re g ra n te d o b s e rv in g tim e . T h is w a s p o s s ib lea sth e n u m b e r o f p r o p o s a ls w a s r a th e r lo w ; it w a s a ls o a n

E S O
p o lic y to
h a v e
a s
m any
E u ro p e a n
a s tro n o m e rs
a s
p o s s ib le
g e t
a c q u a in te d
w ith
E S O ,
L a
S illa ,
a s
s o o n
a s
p o s s ib le . F ro m
1 9 7 1o n , w h e n o v e r d e m a n d fo r o b s e r v in g tim e
becam e
th e
n o rm a l
s ta te
o f
a ffa irs ,
th e
O PC
h a s ,
ra th e r
re g u la rly ,
d is c u s s e d
th e
g e n e ra l
p o lic y
to
b e
fo llo w e d
in
a llo ttin g tim e .
In1 9 7 2 th e O P C fo u n dit p r e fe r a b le to a s s ig na m p ie o b s e rv \ue000
in g
tim e
to
th e
m o re
o u ts ta n d in g
p ro g ra m m e s
ra th e r th a n

a tte m p t to s a tis fy m o re o r le s sa lla c c e p ta b le a p p lic a tio n s .It a ls o p r o p o s e d th a t o u ts ta n d in g p r o g r a m m e s s h o u ldb e a llo tte d tim e

"irre s p e c tiv e
o f n a tio n a lity " . T h is s h o u ld
b e
re a d
in
th e

lig h t o f th e p r in c ip le sin a llo c a tin g tim ea s e x p la in e db yth e E S O D ire c to ra teinth e A n n u a l R e p o r t 1 9 7 2 :It fo llo w s firs t o fa ll th e a d v ic e

o f th e
O P C , e x p re s s e d
in
th e
s c ie n tific
ra tin g
o f th e
p r o p o s a ls .
H o w e v e r,
a
n u m b e r o f o th e r c irc u m s ta n c e s
a re
ta k e n in to a c c o u n t, s u c h a s : o v e r s u b s c r ip tio n fo r c e rta in s e a \ue000
sons and

a re la tiv e s c a r c ity o f a p p lic a tio n s fo r o th e rs ; in s tru \ue000 m e n ta l fe a s ib lility o f e x e c u tio n o f a p r o g r a m m e ; a n d th e a im to a rriv e ,inth e lo n g ru n ,a t r e la tiv e s h a r e s o f th e a v a ila b le n ig h ts a p p r o x im a te ly p r o p o r tio n a l to th e fin a n c ia l c o n tr ib u tio n so fth e M e m b e r S ta te s .

In
1 9 7 6 th e
num ber of ESO

s ta ff a s tro n o m e rs s ta tio n e din E u ro p e b e g a nto in c r e a s e a p p re c ia b ly .It w a s fe it th a t th e y w e re m o re s im ila r to v is itin g a s tr o n o m e r s th a n to th e E S O a s tro n o m \ue000 e rs d ir e c tly in v o lv e dinth e o p e r a tio n so nL a S illa ; c o n s e q u e n tly th e ir a p p lic a tio n s fo r o b s e r v in g tim e o u g h ttob etre a te din th e sam e

w ay
a s
th o s e
b y
v is itin g
a s tro n o m e rs .
A fte r
som e
e x p e r im e n tin g
th e
O PC
a rriv e d
a tit s
p re s e n t p ro c e d u re
in
w hic h a ll E S O s ta ff a p p lic a tio n s a re e v a lu a te din th e s a m e w a y
a sfo r v is itin g
a s tro n o m e rs . E v e n
if b y n e c e s s ity s o m e
s ta ff
a p p lic a tio n s
m ay
r e c e iv e
a
s p e c ia l
tre a tm e n t
in
th e
fin a l
s c h e d u lin g - o n e
th ird
o f th e
tim e
is
s till
re s e rv e d
fo r
th e
T h e2 .2m
te le s c o p e b u ild in g p h o to g r a p h e do n A p r il4 ,
1 9 8 2 .In
th e
b a c k g r o u n d , th e S c h m id t a n d th e3 .6m
te le s c o p e s .
s ta ff-th e
o p e
know s
b y
it s
e v a lu a tio n
th a t th e
s c ie n tific
q u a lity o f a ll p r o p o s a ls o b ta in in g
o b s e r v in g tim e
ish ig h . T h e
q u e s tio nis ,h o w e v e r , s till o c c a s io n a lly a h o t ite m
a tth eo p e

m e e tin g s ; d u e to th e in c r e a s e d fr e q u e n c y o f jo in t p r o p o s a lsb y E S O s ta lf a n d v is ito rs th e s o u n d n e s s o f th e p re s e n t p ro c e d u re b e c o m e s m o re a n d

m o re o b v io u s .
D u rin g
1978 and
1 9 7 9
th e
o p e
a lte m p te d
to

e x p r e s s its e v a lu a tio n a ls ointh e n u m b e r o f n ig h ts r e a s o n a b leto a llo tto a p ro g ra m m e . T h is

h a s
n o w
b e e n
a b a n d o n e d ; itis
le ftto th e
D ire c to ra te
to
d e c id e
o n
th e
n u m b e r o f n ig h ts fo r e a c h
p ro \ue000
g ra m m e .

T h e n u m b e r o f a p p lic a tio n s fo r o b s e r v in g tim e h a s c o n tin u e d to g ro w . F o r th e p re s e n t p e rio d ,N o.2 9 , b e g in n in go n A p ril1 , 1 9 8 2 ,2 1 1

a p p lic a tio n s
h a d
b e e n
s u b m itte d ; fo r p e rio d
2 1 ,

b e g in n in g o n A p r il 1 , 1 9 7 8 , th e n u m b e r w a s 1 2 4 . It h a s b e c o m e im p o s s ib le fo r th eo p eto d is c u s s e a c h a p p lic a tio nin d e ta ila n d a n e w p ro c e d u re h a dto b e d e v e lo p e d . F ro m

p e r io d 2 3o n th e
o p ed id its e v a lu a tio n s w ith tw o o f its m e m b e r s r e v ie w in g e a c h

a p p lic a tio n fo r 3 .6 m te le s c o p e tim e ; th is s h o r te n e d th e d is c u s \ue000 s io n s a t th e m e e tin g s a n d w a s fo u n d to w o r k s o w e il th a titis n o w

a p p lie dto a ll a p p lic a tio n s .
T h e a p p lic a tio n s fo r o b s e r v in g tim e a re n o w e v a lu a te dinth e
fo llo w in g w a y : T h eo p e
m e m b e rs re c e iv e th e m

lis te d b y th e E S O V is itin g A s tr o n o m e r s S e c tio n a c c o r d in gtos u b je c t (th e re a rea tp re s e n t 1 0 g ro u p s c o v e rin g e v e ry th in g lro m " g a la x ie s "to " th e s o la r s y s te m " ) . F o r e a c h a p p lic a tio n tw oo p e

m e m b e rs have been chosena sre fe re e s . T h e ir ra tin g s , w h ic h c o v e r th e s c ie n tific q u a lity o f th e p r o p o s a l a n d a ls o c o n s id e r its r e q u e s ts

in
th e
lik e lih o o d
0 1a re d u c tio n
in
tim e , a re s en tto
E S O
w e il
b e lo r e th eo p em e e tin g . T h e c o m p le te lis t o f r a tin g sis g iv e nto
th e
o p e
m e m b e rs ,
u s u a lly
o n
a rriv a l
a t
G a r c h in g .
T h o s e
a p p lic a tio n s
fo rw hic h
th e
tw o
re le re e s
h a v e
a rriv e d
a tth e
sam e
ra tin g s
n e e d
not be
d is c u s s e d
m uch
fu rth e r,
a n d
th e
o p e
c a n
c o n c e n tra te
o n
th o s e
w h e re
d is c r e p a n c ie s o c c u r.
T h e d is c u s s io n s m a y b e v e ry e x te n s iv e
inth e s e c a s e s ,a n d
th e y c o n tin u e
u n til a u n a n im o u s d e c is io n

h a s b e e n re a c h e d . O c c a s io n a lly it m a y h a p p e n th a ta no p em e m b e r, w h o w a s n o t a

re le re e
lor a
p a r tic u la r a p p lic a tio n , d is a g r e e s
w ith
a
p ro \ue000
p o s e d
ra tin g ;
th e n
th e
a p p lic a tio n
w ill
b e
e x te n s iv e ly
d is \ue000
c u s s e d . T h isism o s t lik e ly to h a p p e nin th e in te r c o m p a r is o n o f
T h e
P r o c e e d in g s o f th e S y m p o s iu m
" E V O L U T IO N
IN
TH E
U N IV E R S E "
h e ld
o n
th e
o c c a s io n
0 1
th e
in a u g u r a tio n
o f
th e
E S O
H e a d q u a rte rsinG a r c h in go n
5 M ay1 9 8 1
a re
n o w
a v a ila b le
T h e
P r o c e e d in g s c o n ta in th e fo llo w in g c o n tr ib u tio n s :
-
"S p a c e
S c ie n c e s
a n d
G e o s c ie n c e s : E v o lu tio n
0 1
Tw o
In te r a c tiv e F ie ld s o f K n o w le d g e " .H .e u rie n .
-
" T h e O r ig in o f th e S o la r S y s te m " .H . A lfv e n .
-
" T h e E a r ly E v o lu tio n o f L ifeo nE a rth " (1 -p a g e s u m m a ry ).
M .E ig e n .
-
" P a r tic le P h y s ic sinth e
E a rly U n iv e rs e ".L . V a n H o v e .
-
" T h e E v o lu tio n o f L a rg e -s c a le S tru c tu re sin th e U n iv e rs e .
J .H .O o rt.
-
" E v o lu tio n a r y A s p e c ts0 1 th e e o s m ic B la c k B o d y R a d ia \ue000
tio n .D .W .S c ia m a .
T h e 1 2 2 - p a g e v o lu m e (c lo th ) m a y b e o b ta in e d Iro m
E S O \ue000
G a r c h in g . T h e p ric eisD M
2 0 ,-a n d
h a sto b e p r e p a id .
a p p lic a tio n s0 1s im ila r n a tu r e w ith in th e v a r io u s s u b je c t g r o u p s
w ith
th e
a im
o f
r e a c h in g
th e
h ig h e s t
p o s s ib le
d e g re e
o f
fa irn e s s .
A m o n g p a r tic u la r q u e s tio n s th a t h a v e b e e n d e a lt w ithinth e
o p e
th e
lo n g -ra n g e
p ro g ra m m e s
h a v e
o fte n
b e e n
o n
th e
a g e n d a .
S h o u ld
s p e c ia l
p ro g ra m m e s
b e
a llo lte d
o b s e r v in g
tim e
in
a d v a n c e
fo r s e v e ra l o b s e rv in g
p e r io d s ?
In
1 9 7 1
th e
o p e
d e c id e d n o t to a ttrib u te a c e rta in

p e r c e n ta g e o f tim e to lo n g -ra n g e p ro g ra m m e sino r d e r to k e e p s u ffic ie n t fle x ib ility lo r h a n d lin g

s h o rt-te rm
p ro je c ts .
N o r m a lly ,
a
lo n g -ra n g e
p ro \ue000

g r a m m e o n c e fo u n d a c c e p ta b le w o u ldinp r in c ip le b e a llo c a te d te le s c o p e tim e o v e r s e v e r a l o b s e r v in g p e r io d s ; it w o u ld , h o w \ue000 e v e r,ine a c h p e r io d b e inc o m p e titio n w ith th e o th e r a p p lic a \ue000 tio n s s u b m itte d . T h e s e p r in c ip le s a re s till fo llo w e d , a n d it m a y b e s ta te d th a t s p e c ia l a tte n tio n is p a idtoa ll p ro g ra m m e s th a t h a v e

a te n d e n c y
to
becom e
lo n g
ra n g e ; th e y h a v e to
s h o w
p ro g re s s a n d
ith a s to b e m a d e c o n v in c in g ly c le a r th a t m o r e
m a te ria lisr e a lly n e e d e d .In d e c id in g th is th eo p e

h a s to r e ly o nth e in fo r m a tio n g iv e nin th e c o m p le te d a p p lic a tio n fo rm s ,in p a rtic u la ro n th e re p o rt o v e r p re v io u s o b s e rv a tio n s . It m a yb e s a id

in
th is c o n n e c tio n
th a t m o s t a p p lic a tio n s a re
n o w a d a y s
v e ry w e il w ritte n w ith th e s c ie n tific a im
w e il p r e s e n te d a n d th e
fe a s ib ility
0 1th e o b s e r v a tio n s c le a r ly e s ta b lis h e d . T h e im p o r\ue000
ta n c e
0 1a s u p e rb A b s tra c t o n
p a g e
1 o f th e fo rm
s h o u ldb e
e m p h a s iz e d .
A t a ll its m e e tin g s th eo p e
d is c u s s e s th e a c tiv itie so n
L a
S illa .
R e p o rts
o n
th e
c o n d itio n
o f te le s c o p e s
a n d
a u x ilia r y

in s tru m e n ta tio n a re p re s e n te d a n d d is c u s s e da sw e il a so th e r m a lte rs0 1im p o rta n g e fo r th e o b s e rv in g p ro g ra m m e s . T h u s , fo r in s ta n c e , th eo p eh a s r e c e n tly c o n s id e r e d th e la rg e n u m b e r o f c h a n g e - o v e r s o f a u x ilia r yin s tru m e n ta tio n -ino n e y e a r a lm o s t 2 0 0

c h a n g e -o v e rs
h a d
o c c u rre d ,
n o t in c lu d in g
m in o r ite m s

s u c ha sc h a n g e s o f filte rs , m u ltip lie r s ,IR d e te c to r s ,e tc .-a n d d e c id e d to s u p p o rt th e T e c h n ic a l R e s e a rc h S u p p o rt G ro u po n L a S illa b y r e c o m m e n d in g a s la r g e a r e d u c tio n o f c h a n g e - o v e r s a s

fe a s ib le
w ith o u t
lim itin g
th e
fle x ib ility
fo r
o b s e rv e rs
u n r e a s o n a b ly
m uch;
k e e p in g
in s tru m e n ta tio n
-o n
th e
te le \ue000
s c o p e s fo r lo n g e r p e r io d s w ill im p r o v e its p e r fo r m a n c e .
T h eo p e

h a s a ls oa ta re c e n t m e e tin g r e c o m m e n d e d th a t th e lim its fo r s to p p a g e o f o b s e r v a tio n s b e r e v ie w e d . It w a s fe it th a t m u c h o b s e r v in g tim e w o u ld b e g a in e d b y e v e n a v e r y s lig h t in c r e a s e

in
th e
lim its
n o w
a p p lie d
fo r
w in d
v e lo c ity
a n d
h u m id ity .
T h eo p e

re c o m m e n d e d a lre a d yin 1 9 7 2 th a t o b s e rv a tio n a l m a te r ia l c o lle c te da tL a S illa a n d o f in te r e s tto o th e r a s tro n o m \ue000 e rs ,

a fte r
a n a ly s is
b y
v is itin g
a s tro n o m e rs
a t
th e ir
hom e
in s titu te s , b e c e n tr a liz e d
in

E u ro p e . A t th a t tim e th e m a te ria l u n d e r c o n s id e r a tio n c o n s is te d m a in ly o f p h o to g r a p h ic p la te s . N o w , w ith

m uch
m a te r ia l a v a ila b le
in
d ig itiz e d
fo rm

o n ly ,o n m a g n e tic ta p e , th is q u e s tio n w ill h a v etob e r e c o n s id e r e d a n d a n e w

k in d o f s to ra g e p ro b le m
la c e d .
A sa c o n s e q u e n c e o f its m a in fu n c tio n , th eo p e

o b ta in s a c le a r p ic tu re o f th e p ro g re s sino p tic a l a s tro n o m ic a l re s e a rc h in th e

E S O
m em ber
c o u n trie s .
A s
th e
p r o p o s a ls
fre q u e n tly
d e s c r ib e h o w
th e o b s e r v a tio n s p la n n e d fo r L a S illa a re s u p \ue000
p o rte d
o r
s u p p le m e n te d
b y
o b s e rv a tio n s
in
o th e r
s p e c tra l
ra n g e s -X -ra y ,
U V
o r
ra d io -th is
p ic tu re
becom es
ra th e r
c o m p le te .
I m ay
c o n c lu d e
b y
s a y in g
th a t e v e n
ifth e
o p e
m e m b e rs
m ay
le e l th e
p re s s u re
o f e v a lu a tin g
tw ic e
a year
a b o u t 6 0 p r o p o s a ls e a c h , th e y a ls o le e l g r e a tly s tim u la te d b y
re a d in g

th e h ig h - q u a lity s c ie n tific ra tio n a le s a n d fa r-re a c h in g a im s th a t a re p re s e n te d n o w a d a y s . T h e y c e rta in ly a ls o s h a re th e

g lo o m
e x p re s s e d
s o m e tim e s
in
a
"n o -p ro g re s s "
re p o rt:'
" T h e w e a th e r w a s to o b a d " , a n d m o s t d e fin ite ly p re fe r to re a d
" R e s u lts p u b lis h e din. . ." .
3

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