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Published by: European Southern Observatory on May 07, 2009
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05/11/2014

No. 50 -
Decem ber 1987
E u ro p e D e c id e st oB u ild th e W o rld 's L a rg e s t
O p tic a l T e le s c o p e
O n
D e c e m b e r8 , 1 9 8 7 , th e
E S O
C o u n c il g a v e th e g re e n lig h t t o th e
E S O
1 6 -m e tre V e ry L a rg e T e le s c o p e
(V LT ),a ne x tra o rd in a ry a s tro n o m e rs ' d re a m a n d a na m a z in g e n g in e e r in g c h a lle n g e . T h eV L Tis t ob e th e la r g e s t
te le s c o p einth e w o rld a n d E u ro p e 's s u p e rio r e y e to th e U n iv e rs e .
T h e
re p re s e n ta tiv e s
o f th e
e ig h t m e m b e r s ta te s
(B e lg iu m , D e n m a rk , th e
F e d e ra l R e p u b lic

o f G e rm a n y , F ra n c e , Ita ly , th e N e th e rla n d s , S w e d e n a n d S w itz e rla n d ) a g re e d th a t th e E u ro p e a n S o u th e rn O b s e rv a to ry s h a ll e m b a r k u p o n th e r e a liz a tio n o f th is m a r v e llo u s in s tr u m e n t. T h is d e c is io n e x p r e s s e s E u r o p e 's c o n fid e n c einth e a m b itio n o f h e r a s tr o n o m ic a l c o m m u n ity a n d th e in g e n u ity o f h e r h ig h - te c h in d u s try ; to g e th e r th e y w ill e n s u re t h a t E u r o p e w illb es e c o n d to n o n ein th e e x p lo ra tio n o f th e U n iv e rs e fo r a lo n g tim e to c o m e . T h e V L Tisa n e s s e n tia l c o m p le m e n t o f E u r o p e 's a s tr o n o m ic a l re s e a rc h a c tiv itie s fro m

s p a c e v e h ic le s .
F u rth e r in fo rm a tio n a b o u t th eV LTw illb e fo u n d
o np a g e s2 8 -3 2 a n d5 3 -5 5 .
E S Q 's D ire c to rs G e n e ra l: R e tro s p e c t a n d
P ro s p e c t
P R O F . L O D E W IJ K W O L T J E R
N o w th a t m y th irte e n y e a rs a s D ire c to r G e n e ra l o fE S O a re
c o m in g to a c lo s e , I w is h to b r ie fly re v ie w
w h e re th e O rg a n i\ue000
z a tio n s ta n d s to d a y a n d w h a t th e o u tlo o k fo r th e fu tu re
is o
E S O
h a s e x p e r ie n c e d a g r e a t e x p a n s io n : u p o n th e r e a liz a \ue000
tio n o f th e 3 .6m ,C A T a n d 1 .5 m
D a n is h te le s c o p e s , s e v e ra l
n e w
p ro je c ts
w e re
s ta rte d .
T h e
in s ta lla tio n
o f
th e
2.2 m
te le s c o p eo n
lo a n fro m
th e M a x - P la n c k - G e s e lls c h a ft a n d o f
th e1 5m S E S T h a s b e e n a c c o m p lis h e d , w h ile th e 3 .5 mN D
is
a p p r o a c h in g
c o m p le tio n .
A s
m a jo r
in s tru m e n ts
C E S ,
C A S P E C ,
IR S P E C
a n d
E F O S C
h a v e
b e e n
b u ilt,

w h ile E M M I, D IS C O a n dIR A Ca reo n th e ir w a y . W ith re g a rd to th e p r e s e n t c la s so fte le s c o p e s a n d

in s tru m e n ts ,E S O
isth e re \ue000
fo reingood shape and ina v e ry c o m p e titiv e p o s itio n in te rn a \ue000
tio n a lly .
T h e
c o n s tru c tio n
o f th e
V LT w ille n s u re
th a t th is
re m a in ss ointh e fu tu re .
T h e id e a o f th eV LT a ro s ein 1 9 7 7 , a b it b e fo re th e firs tE S O
la rg e te le s c o p e c o n fe re n c ein G e n e v a . T h e n e x t y e a r, v a rio u s
PROF. HARRY VAN
D E R
L A A N
In
th e
J u n e
1 9 8 7
is s u e
o f
th e
M e s s e n g e r,

P ro fe s s o r L o d e w ijk W o ltje r w r o te th e le a d in g a r tic le u n d e r th e h e a d in g : A T im e fo r C h a n g e . N o w , s ix m o n th s la te r,h e p a s s e s th eE S O re in s

to
m e,
ju s t w h e n
a
n e w
m ile s to n e
h a s
b e e n
firm ly
a n c h o re d , a m ile s to n e to m a rk th e b e g in n in g o f a n e w c h a p \ue000
te rin
E u ro p e a n
a s tro n o m y .
In
a p a ra lle l a r tic le ,L o
W o ltje r
s u m m a r iz e s w h a tE S O
h a s b e c o m e a n d to w h o s e k e y c o n \ue000
tr ib u tio n s w e o w e its p re s e n t s ta te a n d its p e rs p e c tiv e s .
Ina b ro a d d is c u s s io n w ith C o u n c il b e fo re m y a p p o in tm e n t,
w e
a g re e d
th a t E S O 's
a s s ig n m e n tin
th e
n e x t te n
y e a rs
is

th re e fo ld :(i) to o p e ra te th eL a S illa O b s e rv a to ry ;( ii) to fu rth e r d e v e lo pE S Oa sa m e e tin g p la c e a n d c o m m u n ic a tio n s c e n tre fo r a s tro n o m ic a l re s e a rc h

in
E u ro p e ;
( iii)
t o
b u ild
th e
V e ry
L a rg e T e le s c o p e . C le a rly th e s e ta s k s a re in te r d e p e n d e n t a n d
if c a r e fu lly m a n a g e d , e a c h o f th e m
w ill h e lp th e o th e r s .Itis
a ls o
n o t fa rfe tc h e d
t o
im a g in e
th a t th e
e n g in e e r in g
d e s ig n
a n d c o n s tru c tio n
o f th eV LT c o u ld
s o
d o m in a te E S O 's n e x t
P ro f.L . W o /tje r ( c o n tin u e d fro m
p .
1 )
in te rn a l w o r k in g
g r o u p s w e re g iv e n th e ta s k to e v a lu a te th e
r e la tiv e m e r its o f a s in g le d is h 1 6 m

o r a rra y s o f fo u r 8 m o r s ix te e n 4 m te le s c o p e s . N o t s u r p r is in g ly , th e c o n c lu s io n a fte r a

num ber
o f y e a rs
o f s tu d y
w as
th a t
th e
m id d le

o p tio n a v o id e d a n u m b e r o f th e d iffic u ltie s o f th e o th e rsa n dwas to b e p re fe rre d fo r b o th s c ie n tific a n d te c h n ic a l re a s o n s . S u b s e \ue000 q u e n t m o re d e ta ile d s tu d ie s d u r in g th e la s t fo u r y e a rs h a v e tr a n s fo r m e d th e s e e a rly p r o je c tio n s in to a s o lid ly b a s e d p r o \ue000 je c t,

w hic h
w ill
b e
th e
c e n tre p ie c e
o f E S O 's
a c tiv itie s
fo r
m a n y y e a rs to c o m e .
T o
d e a l w ith
th e
re s u lts
o b ta in e d
b y th e
te le s c o p e s
a n d
in s tru m e n ts , m u c h
d a ta
a n d
im a g e
p r o c e s s in g
is
n e e d e d .
W ith
th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f IH A P
a n d
M ID A S

a n d th e a c q u is i\ue000 tio n o f th e n e c e s s a ry h a rd w a re , a ls ointh is d o m a in a s a tis fa c \ue000 to r y s itu a tio n

h a s
b e e n
a c h ie v e d . F u tu re

d e v e lo p m e n ts w ill le a d to fu r th e r in c re a s e sin s p e e d a n d e a s e o fu s e - e s s e n tia l w ith th e in c re a s e d d a ta flo w s fro m

g ro u n d -a n ds p a c e -b a s e d
te le s c o p e s .
W h ile
th e
d e v e lo p m e n t
of advanced
in s tru m e n ta tio n
is
E S O 's p r im a r y m is s io n , p e r h a p s e q u a lly im p o r ta n tis th e ro le
th a tE S O
h a s
b e g u n
t o
fu lfilla s
a
s c ie n tific
c e n tre
fo r th e
E u ro p e a n a s tr o n o m ic a l c o m m u n ity . E v e ry d a y o n e m a y fin da t
E S O
in
G a r c h in g
som e
4 0 -5 0

a s s o c ia te s , fe llo w s , fa c ility u s e rs a n d v is ito r s fr o m d iffe r e n t in s titu te s . S im ila rly , a tL a S illa n u m e ro u s

V is itin g
A s tro n o m e rs
m e e t w h ile
e x e c u tin g
th e ir
o b s e rv in g p ro g ra m m e s .Inth is w a y a n d a ls o th r o u g h th e m a n y
w o rk s h o p s a n d c o n fe re n c e s ,E S O
h a s b e c o m ea n e s s e n tia l
c a ta ly s tinth e c re a tio n o f a E u ro p e a n a s tro n o m ic a l c o m m u n ity .
E u ro p e a n
c o o p e ra tio n
is
v ia b le
o n ly
if it le a d s to
re s u lts
w h ic h
a re
s u p e rio r to
w h a t c o u ld
b e
a c h ie v e d
b y a s im p le
s u p e r p o s itio n
o f n a tio n a l e ffo rts .A n
o r g a n iz a tio n
lik e
E S O ,
th e re fo re ,h a sa n a b s o lu te n e e d fo ra n a m b itio u s p ro g ra m m e ,
a ne c o n o m ic a l m a n a g e m e n t a n d a s ta ff d e d ic a te d to c o o p e r \ue000

a te ra th e r th a n to c o m p e te w ith th e in s titu te sin th e m e m b e r c o u n trie s . T h eV LTisa fittin g m e a s u re o f its a m b itio n ; th e fa c t th a t its in fla tio n a d ju s te d b u d g e t d id n o t c h a n g ein a d e c a d e o f g ro w thisa nin d ic a tio n o f its e c o n o m ic a l m a n a g e m e n t,a n d th e s u p p o r t it re c e iv e sin th e c o m m u n ityis a m p le p r o o f o fa n e ffe c tiv e c o o p e ra tio n .

W h ile I c a n n o t th a n k h e rea ll E S O 's s ta ff m e m b e r s in d iv id u \ue000
a lly , I w o u ld
like to
a c k n o w le d g e
in
p a r tic u la r th e
fo llo w in g
p e rs o n s :R ay
W ils o n
w ho
c o n c e iv e d
a c tiv e
o p tic s
a n d
th e
N T T ,M a s s im o T a r e n g h i w h o m a d e th eN TT a r e a lity , D a n ie l
P ro f.H .v a n d e r L a a n ( c o n tin u e d fro m
p .
1 )
d e c a d e
th a t
b o th
L a
S illa 's
o b s e r v in g
q u a lity
a n d
E S O 's
c o m m u n ic a tio n s
fu n c tio n
m ig h t s u ffe ra s
a
re s u lt. A

la rg e fra c tio n o fa llE S O re s o u rc e s w ill s o m e h o wb e d ra w n u p o n to a c h ie v eV LT p e r fo r m a n c e g o a ls . A w a r e o f th e ris k s ,w e w ill g u a r d a g a in s t th e m

w ith p e r s is te n t c a re .
L aS illa re m a in s E u r o p e 's m a jo r o b s e r v a to r y fo r th e y e a rs
t o
c o m e . W ith
th e
te le s c o p e s
a n d
th e ir in s tru m e n ta tio n
a s
th e y a re n o w a n da s th e y w illb eb y m id - 1 9 8 9 , w h e n th eN TT
is
o p e ra tio n a l
a n d
a
num ber
o f
in s tru m e n ts
n o w
in
th e
p ip e lin e h a v e b e e n c o m m is s io n e d , th eE S Oc o m m u n ityisa s
w e il e q u ip p e da s a n y . D e v e lo p m e n ts w ill fr o m

th e no n fo c u s o nV LT s y s te m s , b u tn o d o u b t w a y s w ill b e fo u n d to tu rn V LT in s tru m e n ta tio n

id e a s
in to
w o r k in g
p ro to ty p e s
fo r

re a llif e tr ia lso nL a S illa . O n e m u s t o p tim is tic a lly e x p e c t th eV L T tob e g o o d fo rL a S illa a n d v ic e v e rs a . T h isis e q u a lly tr u e fo r n e w o b s e r v in g m o d e s a n d s c h e d u lin g m e th o d s . S e rv ic e o b s e r v a \ue000 tio n s , re m o te c o n tro l a n d to p

p r io r itie s g u a r d e d a g a in s t th e
fa ta lis m
o f m e te o r o lo g y w illa llm ove
th ro u g h

e x p e rim e n ta l p h a s e s in to o p tim iz e d r o u tin e s .L a S illa w ill b e th e c o m m u n i\ue000 t y 's a n d E S O 's p r o v in g g r o u n d fo r e x p lo itin g th e fu ll p o te n tia l o f th eV L1 .Itw illb ea ne v e n m o r e in te r e s tin g p la c e to w o rk : y o u n g a s tro n o m e rs a n d e n g in e e rs , m a rk th is o p p o rtu n ity !

T h e reisn o n e e d to d w e ilo n E S O 's ro lea s a m e e tin g p la c e :
th e s e rie s o f s y m p o s iu m
a n d w o r k s h o p p u b lic a tio n sa sw e il
2
E n a rd
w ho
tra n s fo rm e d
th e
v a g u e
V LT
id e a s
in to
a re a l
p ro je c t,
a n d
J e a n -P ie rre
S w in g s
w ho
a s s u re d
th e
lia is o n
b e tw e e n
th e
V LT
a n d
th e
c o m m u n ity ; M a n fre d
Z ie b e ll a n d
D a n ie l H o fs ta d t w h o
n o t o n ly d e v e lo p e d th e

e le c tr o n ic ss o e s s e n tia lina ll m o d e r n te le s c o p e s a n d in s tru m e n ts , b u t w h o a ls o e n fo rc e da ne ffe c tiv e c o o p e r a tio n b e tw e e n

L aS illaa n d
G a r c h in g ; A la n
M o o rw o o d
w ho
c o n c e iv e d
a n d
b u ilt th e
IR
in s tru m e n ta tio n a n d S a n d ro D 'O d o r ic o w h o p u s h e d th e p e r\ue000
fo rm a n c e
lim its
o f
o p tic a l
in s tru m e n ta tio n
fu rth e r;
K la u s
B a n s e ,
P h ilip p e
C ra n e
a n d
P re b e n
G ro s b 0 1
w ho

c re a te d M ID A S ,a n d th e la te F ra n k M id d e lb u r g w h o th o u g h t o f im a g e p r o c e s s in g a n d IH A P b e fo r e a n y o n e e ls e ; F r a n c o P a c in i,P er O lo f L in d b la d

a n d
G ia n c a r lo
S e tti w h o

m a d e th e S c ie n tific D iv is io n a c e n tr a l e le m e n tin E u ro p e a n c o o p e r a tio n a n d w h o g a v e

m e
frie n d ly
a d v ic e
o n
m any
m a tte rs ,a n d
P ie ro
B e n \ue000
v e n u ti w h o m a d e th e S T -E C F a s u c c e s s ; A rn e A rd e b e rg w h o
d ire c te d
L a
S illa w ith
e n th u s ia s m , a n d
H a n s -E m il S c h u s te r
w hose
lo n g
e x p e r ie n c e
o fL a
S illa
a n d
it s
p o p u la tio n
h a s

s e rv e dE S O w e il; P e te r d e J o n g e w h o c re a te d th eT R Sw h ic h h a s b e c o m e th e c e n tr e p ie c e o f th eL a S illa a c tiv itie s a n d w h o fro m

G re n o b le p ro v id e d th eS E S T ,a n d W o lfg a n g B a u e rs a c h s w h o a s s u re d th e in fra s tru c tu reo nw h ic h e v e ry th in g e ls ea tL a S illa

re s ts ;
G e rh a rd
B achm ann
w ho
h a s
d ire c te d
th e
a d m in is tr a tio n
w ith
c o m p e te n c e ,
fle x ib ility
a n d
d ip lo m a c y ,
R o b e rt F is c h e r w h o
h a s
a s s u re d
th e
o p tim iz a tio n
o fE S O
c o n tra c ts -
w hic h w ill b e c o m e o f e v e n g r e a te r im p o r ta n c ein
th eV L T e ra , a n d In g e M e in e n w h o fo r a d e c a d e a d m in is te r e d
L aS illain h e r d ig n ifie d w a y ; P h ilip p e V e ro n a n d R ic h a r d W e s t

w h o b r o u g h t th e " M e s s e n g e r " to its p re s e n t d is tin c tio n ,a n d J a c q u e s B r e y s a c h e r w h o h a s d e v e lo p e d th e a r t o f s c h e d u lin g a d o z e n te le s c o p e s t o p e r fe c tio n ; a n d la s t b u t n o t le a s t U lla D e m ie rre w h o h a sru n m y o ffic e w ith e ffic ie n c y , o p tim is ma n d ta c t.T o th e m

a n d to th e ir c o lla b o ra to rs m y p ro fo u n d th a n k s . T h e b e s t w is h I c a n g iv em y s u c c e s s o r H a rryv a n d e rL a a nis to h a v ea s d is tin g u is h e d a s e t o f c o lla b o r a to r sa s I h a v e h a d th e g o o d fo rtu n e to w o rk w ith .

A D ire c to r G e n e ra l c a n o n ly fu n c tio n e ffe c tiv e ly ifh ee n jo y s th e c o n fid e n c e o f C o u n c il, F in a n c e C o m m itte e a n d th e o th e r a d v is o r y b o d ie s . I w is h tom ys u c c e s s o r th a t h is r e la tio n s w ith th e s e w illb ea s p o s itiv e , c o o p e r a tiv ea n d s m o o tha s I h a v e e x p e rie n c e d th e m

t ob e .T oa ll m e m b e rs o f th e s ea n d toa ll o th e rsin th e E u ro p e a n c o m m u n ity w h o h a v e c o n trib u te d to th e s u c c e s s o fE S O

m y d e e p e s t th a n k s .
a sth e
c o n s ta n t s tre a m
o f w o r k in g
v is ito rs to

H e a d q u a rte rs a n d toL aS illa p r o v id e a m p le e v id e n c e . T h e reisa n a d d itio n a l g o a lE S O

m a y p u rs u e a n d in d e e d w ill h a v e toin p re p a ra tio n fo r th eV L1 . T h a tis to m a p th e te c h n ic a la s w e ila s a s tr o n o m i\ue000 c a l ta le n tinth e m e m b e r s ta te s a n d to b rin g th a t ta le n t in to a c o h e r e n t c o lla b o r a tin g

p a tte rn .
I e n v is a g e
m o re
a n d
m o re
in te n s iv e w o r k in g v is its to
E S O
b y a s tro n o m e rs , e s ta b lis h e d
a sw e il a sp o s t- a n d p re -d o c s . D o in g re s e a rc ho nL a S illaa n d
inG a rc h in g , th e y w ill m o r e re a d ily c o lla b o r a te a c ro s s n a tio n a l
b o u n d a r ie s
o n c e
b a c k e
hom e.
T e c h n ic a l
s c ie n tis ts ,
in s tr u m e n ta lis ts a n d s y s te m s e n g in e e rs , w ill a ls ob ew e lc o m e
a sw etry to d e te rm in e w ith w h o m
to c o n c e iv ea n d b u ild th e
V L1 'sin s tr u m e n ta tio n .Itis m y a m b itio n
to
m ake

ita s e a s y a n da s n a tu ra l fo r in s titu te s a n d in d iv id u a ls fro m , s a y F ra n c e , S w itz e rla n d a n d S w e d e n to fo rm

a te a m
o r c o n s o rtiu m
a sitis
fo r s u c h re la tio n s to a ris e b e tw e e n C a lifo rn ia , M a s s a c h u s e tts
and New
J e rs e y ,a t le a s tin a s tro n o m y .
E S O 's
n e w
a s s ig n m e n t,
d e s ig n in g
a n d
c o n s tru c tin g
th e
V LT ,isa ta s k a t o n c e e x c itin g a n d d a u n tin g . D u rin g th e p a s t
te n
y e a rs , o u r u s e r c o m m u n ityh a se n g a g e d
in
in te n s e d is \ue000
c u s s io n
w ith
o u r
s ta ff,
s e a r c h in g
fo r
th e
m ost
a ttra c tiv e

in s tru m e n ta l d e p lo y m e n t o f h o p e d - fo r re s o u rc e s fo r a s c ie n ti\ue000 fic a lly fr u itfu l, te c h n ic a lly in n o v a tin g fu tu re . T h eV LT concept n o w a p p r o v e d b y C o u n c il a n d fu n d e d b y th e m e m b e r s ta te s

o rig in a te d
in
th a t s tru c tu re d
c o m m u n ity - w id e
c o n s u lta tio n .
H e a te d
d e b a te
a s
w e il
a s
n u m e ro u s
s tu d ie s ,
c r o s s in g
a ll
s o rts o f b o u n d a r ie s , o f b o th n a tio n sa n d o f d is c ip lin e s , s tim u \ue000
la te d th e e m e r g e n c e o f c o u n tle s s id e a s , n e w

p r o b le m s a n d o r ig in a l s o lu tio n s .Ins p ite o f g re a t d iv e rs ity ,in s ta rtin g p o s i\ue000 tio n s , n a tio n a l a s tr o n o m y c u ltu r e s a n d e n g in e e rin g tr a d itio n s , a c o n s e n s u s fo rm e d th a t c u lm in a te dinth e m o m e n to u s d e c i\ue000 s io n b y th eE S O

C o u n c ilo n
D ecem ber8 , 1987.
T h e
E S O
c o m m u n ity
ow es
m uch
t o
th e
le a d e r s h ip
a n d
fo r e s ig h t o f tw o k e y p e o p le :L o W o ltje r, E S O 's D ir e c to r G e n -
e ra l, w h o o r c h e s tr a te d b o th th e s c ie n tific d is c u s s io n a n d th e
p o litic a l p r o c e s s to w a r d s th is a m b itio u s g o a l;a n dt o
D a n ie l

E n a rd , th e g ifte d e n g in e e r in g s c ie n tis t w h o le d th e e v o lu tio n o f th e c o n c e p tu a l d e s ig n a n d w ill n o wp la y ac e n tra l ro lein its e n g in e e r in g r e a liz a tio n .

Itisa p r iv ile g ea s w e ila s a c h a lle n g e t o s u c c e e dL o W o ltje r
a tju s t th is ju n c tu re . E u ro p e a n a s tr o n o m yis d e e p ly in d e b te d
t oh im
fo r th e d e p th a n d p e r s is te n c e o f h is e ffo rts .W e w is h
h im
w e il a n d lo o k fo rw a rd to h is fu rth e r c o n trib u tio n s toE S O
a n d to a s tro n o m y .
T h eE S O
C o u n c il in s e s s io n o n D e c e m b e r8 ,
1 9 8 7 .
About "The Messenger -
E IM e n s a je r o "
Y o u h a v e th e 5 0 th is s u e o f th eE S O
M essengerinyour hands.
I ta llb e g a nin th e e a rly 1 9 7 0 's w ith a g r o w in gE S O

s ta ftin C h ile a n dinE u ro p e . T h e D ire c to r G e n e ra l o fE S O , P ro fe s s o rA . B la a u w , fe it th e re

w as
a need
fo r in c re a s e d
c o m m u n ic a tio n
b e tw e e n
th e
E S O
c o m m u n itie sin
H a m b u rg , G e n e v a , S a n tia g o ,L a S e re n a a n d
L a
S illa , n o t to fo rg e t th e
in d iv id u a lsin o th e rp i a c e s w h o w e re
in
s o m e w a y c o n n e c te d
t o
E S O .In
M a y 1 9 7 4 , th e firs t is s u e o f th e
n e w
E S O
jo u rn a l
w as
la u n c h e d
w ith
a
to ta l
of 5
p a g e s .
A fte r
s o m e w h a t irre g u la r p u b lic a tio n
d a te s d u rin g

th e firs t tw o y e a rs , a q u a r te r ly s c h e d u le h a s b e e n a d h e r e d to s in c e is s u e N o . 4inM a rc h 1975. As

th e
re a d e rs
w ill h a v e
n o tic e d ,
th e
s c o p e
o f th e
E S O
M essengerh a s b e c o m e b r o a d e r a n d it h a s g r o w n , c u lm in a tin g w ith
a 5 0 - p a g e is s u ein
M a rc h
1 9 8 7 th a t in c lu d e d th e firs t n e w s a b o u t
S N
1 9 8 7A .

A lth o u g h th e firs t 5 0 is s u e s to g e th e r h a v e b r o u g h t 1 ,5 0 0 p a g e s , o th e r s e m ip o p u la r jo u r n a ls h a v e p u b lis h e d m a n y m o r e d u r in g th e s a m e tim e . A n d a lth o u g h s o m e c o lo u r p ic tu r e s h a v e b e e n b r o u g h t

in
th e
m o re
re c e n t is s u e s , th e re
a re
o th e r jo u rn a ls
w h ic h
b y
fa r
s u rp a s s
th e
M essengerw ith
g lo s s y
v ie w s
o f th e
s k y . S c ie n tific
a r tic le s
a b o u n d
in
th e
p ro fe s s io n a l
jo u r n a ls ,
s o
w hy
th e
M e s s e n g e r?
B e c a u s e it b r in g s th e la te s t n e w s fro m
E S O ,th e m a in o rg a n iz a \ue000
tio n
fo r a s tro n o m yin
E u ro p e . A s th e a s tro n o m ic a l re s e a rc h
a tL a
S illa
a n d
in
G a r c h in g
re fle c ts
a n
in c r e a s in g ly
b ro a d e r s e c tio n
o f

fro n t-lin e a s tro n o m y , s o th eM essengerh a s b e c o m e a m u lti-fa c e t\ue000 te d m irro r o f m o d e rn a s tro n o m y a n d a s tro p h y s ic s . T h e a rtic le s a re m o s tly w ritte n

w h ile th e re s e a rc h
iss till u n d e r w a y a n d
fre q u e n tly
c o n v e y th e
th rill o f d is c o v e r y . A lth o u g h
th e
g u id e lin e s to

a u th o rs in d ic a te th a t c o n tr ib u tio n sing e n e ra l s h o u ld b e w ritte n fo r a w id e a u d ie n c e ,

w e
d o
n o t a tte m p t to
e d it e v e r y th in g
in to
a
u n ifo rm
fo rm a t. T h e a rtic le s a n d n e w s re fle c t th e s ty le o f th e ir a u th o r s a n d
b y d ifte re n c einle v e l a n d fo rm , th e y e n liv e n a n d b rin g v a rie ty to th e
M essengeris s u e s .W e
d o
n o t e x p e c t th a t e v e ry re a d e r w ill re a d
e v e ry th in g , b u t th e re s h o u ld b e s o m e th in g fo r e v e r y b o d y .
W ith a c ir c u la tio n o f m o re th a n 4 ,0 0 0 , th eM essengerre a c h e s a
w id e
a u d ie n c e ,
in
th e
E S O
m em ber
c o u n trie s
a n d

e ls e w h e r e , in c lu d in g p ro fe s s io n a l a n d a m a te u r a s tro n o m e rs ,a s w e il a s o th e r g r o u p s lik e te a c h e rs a n d d e c is io n m a k e rs . F o r s o m e y e a rs n o w

it
h a s b e e n in d e x e d
inth e s e m i-a n n u a l v o lu m e s o f " A s tro n o m y a n d
A s tro p h y s ic s A b s tra c ts ", a n d
a g ro w in g
n u m b e r o f re fe re n c e s
in
th e p r o fe s s io n a llite r a tu r e toM essenger a rtic le s in d ic a te in c re a s e d
a w a re n e s sinm a n y p la c e s .
O n
th e
o c c a s io n
o f th e
" g o ld e n " ju b ile e , w e
w is h
t o
th a n k
a ll
a u th o rs fo r m a n y e x c e lle n t c o n tr ib u tio n s .Inre tu rn , w e s h a ll c o n tin u e
t o p u b lis h th e
E S O
M essengerr a p id ly a n d e ftic ie n tly s o th a t th e ir
a c h ie v e m e n ts w ill b e c o m e b e tte r k n o w n to m o re p e o p le .T h e E d ito rs
3

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