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Published by: European Southern Observatory on May 07, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/11/2014

No. 70 -
Decem ber 1992
J a n H e n d r ik O O R T(1 9 0 0 -1 9 9 2 )
L o o k in g A h e a din W o n d e r
J .-H .O o rta t th e L e id e n O b s e rv a to ry , J a n u a ry 1 9 9 2 .
T h e
lif e
o f th e
m an
Ith in k o fa s th is

c e n tu ry 's g re a te s t a s tro n o m e r e n d e do n 5 N o v e m b e r 1 9 9 2 , a Iife lo n g , r ic h , fu llo f a rd u o u s

la b o u r a n d
m a r v e llo u s re s u lts .
W ith o u t J a n O o rt,E S O
w o u ld
not have
b e g u n
w hen
it d id , in d e e d
w ith o u t h im
E S O
m ig h t
n e v e r
h a v e
b e e n .
Y et
o u r
O r g a n iz a tio n 's
b irth
is
b u t
o n e
o f
h is
m a n y a c h ie v e m e n ts a n da sw e g ra te fu l\ue000
Iyr e m e m b e r h im , h is lifeisa n in s p ir a tio n
u n p a r a lle le d
in
o u r s c ie n c e ,a n
e p o c h \ue000
m a k in g jo u r n e y o f o u r tim e .
A t
L e id e n
O b s e rv a to ry
-
d e
S te rre \ue000
w acht
d e
L e id e n
-
w h ic h
w as
O o rt's
b a s e
fo r
m ost
o f h is
p ro fe s s io n a l
e n \ue000
d e a v o u rs ,
a
c a re fu l c o m p ila tio n
o f h is
w r itin g s ,
in c lu d in g
n o te s
a n d
c o rre \ue000
spondence, has been
p re p a re d a n d
re \ue000
c e n tly p u b lis h e d , th e a r c h iv e d e p o s ite d
w ith th e L e id e n U n iv e r s ity L ib ra ry , r e a d i\ue000
Iya c c e s s ib le
fo r h is to ric a l re s e a rc h .
In
1 9 8 0
frie n d s
a n d
c o lle a g u e s
w ro te
a
b o o k ,
a
fib e r a m ic o r u m
fo r a n d
a b o u t
h im , c a lle d
O O R Ta n d
th e
U N fV E R S E .
S h o rtly
th e re a fte r
O o rt
h im s e lf
w ro te
o n e
o f h is s c a r c e
a u to b io g r a p h ic a l p a \ue000
p e rs
w h ic h
a p p e a re d
inth e
s e r ie s
"M y
lifea sa n A s tro n o m e r",in th e1 9 8 1
is s u e
o fA n n u a f R e v ie w s
o fA s tro n o m y
a n d
A s tro p h y s ic s .
A
fa s c in a tin g
b io g ra p h y
re m a in s to b e w ritte n .
P ro fe s s o r O o rt m a n a g e d
in
som e
in \ue000
im ita b le
w ay
t o
c o m b in e
h is
te a c h in g '
a n d
re s e a rc h
in
th e
u n iv e r s ity
c o n te x t
w ith
p o lic y
m a k in g ,
p ro g ra m m e
d e \ue000
v e lo p m e n t
a n d
o r g a n iz a tio n a l
a c tio n s
o n
b o th
th e
n a tio n a l a n d
in te rn a tio n a l
s c e n e s . H is
re s e a rc h
s p a n s
s e v e n
d e \ue000
c a d e s : fro m

h is firs t p a p e r,in1 9 2 2 , e n ti\ue000 tle d " S o m e p e c u lia r itie sinth e m o tio n o f s ta r s o f h ig h v e lo c itie s "t oth e la s t o n eI

fo u n d
(M E R C U R Y ,
M a rc h /A p ril
1 9 9 2 ),
o n" E x p lo r in g th e N u c le i o f G a la x ie s (In \ue000
c 1 u d in g
o u r O w n )". O o rt n o rm a lly d e a lt
w ith
m a jo r th e m e s th a th e
p u rs u e d
fo r
P h o to : B e rt J a n s s e n
ANNOUNCEM ENT
2 n d M in iw o rk s h o po n L a rg e C C D s
isp la n n e d fo r O e to b e r4 -5 , 1 9 9 3 a t th eE S O

H e a d q u a rte rsin G a re h in g . A s it w a s th e e a s e fo r th e w o r k s h o p h e ldinJ u n e 1 9 9 1 ,E S O s o lie its th e p a r tic ip a tio n o f th e g r o u p s in E u ro p e

w ho
a re a c tiv e
in
th is fie ld
a n d
w ill s e c u r e th e
a tte n d a n c e
o f a fe w
s e le e te d
e x p e rts
fro m
o v e rs e a s .W e
e x p e e t a ls o
p re s e n ta tio n s
b y
th e
c o m p a n ie s
w h ic h
a re
in v o lv e dinth e p r o d u c tio n o f C C O s fo r a s tro n o m y .
T o p ic s to b e d is e u s s e d a re d e s ig n , m a n u fa e tu rin g a n d c h a r a c te r iz a tio n o f la rg e -s iz e
C C O s , p la n s
fo r fu tu re
d e v ic e s , c o n tro l s y s te m s
a n d
d e v e lo p m e n ts
re la te d
t o
d a ta
p re p ro e e s s in g a n d d a ta c o m p re s s io n .
IIy o u a re in te re s te din fu tu re a n n o u n c e m e n ts , p le a s e c o n ta c t:
O .Iw e rt -
C C O
W o rk s h o p
T e le fa x 4 9 -8 9 -3 2 0 2 3 6 2
E -M a il: o iw e rt(U e s o .o rg (In te rn e t)
y e a rs o r e v e n d e c a d e s a n dt o w h ic h h e
c o n trib u te d
in s ig h ts
w h ic h
h a v e
o fte n
becom e
a u th o rita tiv e
s ta n d a rd s
in
o u r
s c ie n c e ,
s o m e tim e s
th e

c o m m o n ly s h a re d fe a tu re so fm a n k in d 's w o r ld v ie w . O f th e fo rm e r I re m e m b e r th e in flu e n c e I e x p e r ie n c e d

o f
h is
c la s s ic
p a p e r
w ith
W a lr a v e n
o n
th e
C ra b
N e b u la
in
1 9 5 6 .
T h e
la tte r c e rta in ly
isth e c a s e

fo r b o th th e ro ta tio no fth e G a la x y a n d th e o rig in o f c o m e ts .H ew a s o fte n d e c a d e s a h e a d o f h is tim e , w a s fo r e x a m p le le c tu r in go n d a rk m a tte rin 1 9 2 6. . .

O o r t c a n n o t b e c a lle da n o b s e r v a tio n \ue000
a l
a s tro n o m e r,
b u t
n e ith e r
w as
h e
a
th e o re tic ia n .H ec o u ld b e m o r e s c e p tic a l
o f
c le v e r
th e o rie s
th a n
o f
e v e n
th e
s h a k ie s t o f o b s e r v a tio n s
(a tle a s t if t h e
la tte r
fitte d
h is
in tu itiv e
e x p e c ta tio n s ),
h is th e o re tic a l w o rk w a s d riv e n
a n d

d i\ue000 re c te d b y e m p iric a l e v id e n c e , b y o b s e r \ue000 v a tio n s , b y th e p h e n o m e n a fo r w h ic h h e h a d

a n
in s a tia b le
a p p e tite .H e
w a s th e
in te rp re tiv e

a s tro n o m e rp a re x c e lle n c e , a b le a lw a y st o d is c e r n fe a tu r e sin m a p s a n dino th e r d a ta s e ts w h ic h th o s e w h o h a d

s o
d ilig e n tly
a c q u ir e d
th e m
h a d
o v e r lo o k e d , c o u ld
o ft b a re ly d is tin g u is h
e v e n w h e n h e p o in te d th e m
o u t. O n e o f
th e
re a s o n s
h e
in te ra c te d
s o

in te n s e ly w ith s u c ha nin o rd in a te n u m b e r a n d v a r\ue000 ie tyo fa s tro n o m e rs ,in

c o n v e rs a tio n ,in
d is c u s s io n s ,
in
c o rre s p o n d e n c e ,
w as
s u r e ly
h is
o v e r w h e lm in g
in te re s tin
a s \ue000
tro n o m ic a l
d a ta ,
h is
c o n ta g e o u s
e n \ue000
th u s ia s m
fo r
o b s e rv a tio n a l

d is c o v e r ie s a n d h is im p a tie n c e w ith th e c o n s tr u c tio n o fn e w fa c ilitie s . T h e la s t tim e I s p o k e to h im

h ep ra is e d th e
N D

fo r th e S H A R P p ic tu re so fth e G a la c tic C e n tre (re fe rre d t o

in
h is la s t a r tic le ) a n d
w a n te d
a p ro \ue000
g re s s
re p o rt
o n
th e
V LT
fro m
w h ic h ,
e s p e c ia llyinits in te rfe ro m e tric m o d e ,h e
e x p e c te d w o n d e rs .
Inth e N e th e rla n d s O o rt w a s th e d riv \ue000
in g
fo rc e
a n d
th e
g u id in g
s p irit o f th e
te a m
w h ic h fro m
th e s im p le s t b e g in n in g
w ith th e W u rz b u rg

d is h a t K o o tw ijk , v ia th e D w in g e lo o T e le s c o p et oth e s o p h is \ue000 tic a tio n

o f
th e
S y n th e s is
R a d io
T e le \ue000
s c o p e a t W e s te rb o rk
b ro u g h t ra d io a s \ue000
tro n o m yt oits u n c o n te s te d o b s e rv a tio n \ue000
a lm a tu rity
in
th irty
y e a rs
o fu n r iv a lle d
p ro g re s s .
W h ile
e ls e w h e r e
ra d io

e n \ue000 g in e e rs a n d p h y s ic is ts s ta rte d a n d o p e r \ue000 a te d

ra d io
o b s e rv a to rie s ,in
H o lla n d
a n
a s tro n o m e r fro m
th e
s ta rt
d e te rm in e d
th e
o b s e r v in g
p ro g ra m m e s , th e te c h n i\ue000
c a l
p rio ritie s
a n d
th e
n e x t te le s c o p e 's
c o n fig u ra tio n .
A s
a
r e s u lt
th e
D u tc h
s c h o o l
o f
a s tro n o m y ,
p e rh a p s

b e fo re a n y o th e r, b e c a m e p r o b le m - ra th e r th a n te c h n iq u e -o rie n te d ,

w o r k in g
o n
a s \ue000
tro n o m ic a l th e m e s
a n d
u s in g
w h a te v e r
te c h n iq u e
w as
a v a ila b le ,
in
w h a te v e r
w a v e le n g th
re g io n ,a s
lo n g
a sit c o n tr i\ue000
b u te d
t o
in s ig h t
in
th e
p ro b le m s
a s \ue000
tr o n o m ic a lly
p o s e d
a n d
a s tr o p h y s ic a lly
in te rp re te d .
I t
is
th is
a p p ro a c h
w h ic h
2
c a u s e d
O o rt
a ls o
t o
ta k e
m a jo r
in \ue000
itia tiv e sinD u tc h s p a c e re s e a rc h .
O o rt w a sins p ir it a n d a c tio n s a w o r ld
c itiz e n .
A id e d
b y
h is
flu e n c y
in
fo u r
la n g u a g e s ,h e
w o rk e d to w a rd s in te rn a \ue000
tio n a l
c o lla b o r a tio n s ,
e x c h a n g e
a n d
a s tro n o m ic a l
p o o lin g
o f

re s o u rc e s th r o u g h o u t h is c a re e r. It w a s h is fa te , a n d th e w o rld c o m m u n ity 's g o o d fo rtu n e th a t h e w a s S e c re ta ry G e n e ra l o f th e In te rn a \ue000 tio n a l A s tr o n o m ic a l

U n io n
in
1 9 3 8 .
H e
h e ld th is o ffic e fo r a d e c a d e , c a rry in g th e
lA U

th ro u g h th o s e a w fu l tim e s w ith p e r\ue000 s is te n c e , lo y a lty a n d th e c o n v ic tio n th a t a s tr o n o m y d e fie s id e o lo g y a n disa p re \ue000 c io u s h u m a n e n d e a v o u r . U n lik e E S O 's , I k n o w

of no
w ritte n
a c c o u n t fo r th e
d e \ue000
v e lo p m e n t
o f th e
lA U ;
it
w ill
b e
v e ry
in te re s tin gt ole a rn w h a t its a r c h iv e s c a n
re v e a l o f th is p e rio d
inlA U
h is to ry .
A d ria a n
B la a u w 's
b o o k
" E S O 's
E a rly
H is to ry "
h a s
a n
in d e x
w h e re

O o rt's n a m e s ta n d s o u t b y its lo n g lis t o f p a g e re fe re n c e s . M o re th a n

q u a n tity th o u g h ,
itis
th e
s u b s ta n c e
o f O o rt's
c o n trib u \ue000
tio n st o
E S O
w h ic h
is v ita l a n d
u n iq u e .
A n
id e a c o n c e iv e d
a t L e id e n
in
d is c u s \ue000
s io n s
b e tw e e n
W a lte r
B a a d e
a n d
J a n

O o rtin1 9 5 3 , it t o o k te n y e a rst o b rin g it t ofirs t fru itio n , m a rk e d b y th e s ig n a to ry c e re m o n y

o f
th e
E S O
C o n v e n tio n
in
P a ris o n 5 O c to b e r 1 9 6 2 .In th e in te rv a l
th is
s p le n d id
id e a
o f
E S O
w as
th re a te n e d
n u m e ro u s
tim e s
a n d

it was th e te n a c ityo fO o rt, w h o u n tir in g ly u s e d h is

lin g u is tic a lly
s u p p o rte d
d ip lo m a tic
s k ills , w h ic h
e n s u re d th a t th e fu tu re
re \ue000
m a in e d
open. Thanks
in
la rg e m e a s u re
t o
h im ,
a s tro n o m y
in
E u ro p e
to d a y
p o s s e s s e s
th e
e x c itin g
p ro s p e c ts
t o
w h ic h th is q u a r te r ly te s tifie s e a c h is s u e .

O v e r v ie w in g O o r t's s c ie n tific a c h ie v e \ue000 m e n ts a n d th e s iz eo fh is o e u v r e , o n eis aw ed

b y
th e
c re a tiv ity
o f h is
lo n g
life .
B ut
a s s e s s in g
h is
o r g a n iz a tio n a l
a n d
p o lic y
a c c o m p lis h m e n ts
is
a n
e q u a lly
a m a z in g
e x p e r ie n c e .
T h a t
o n e

m an s h o u ld ta k e s e v e ra l m a jo r in itia tiv e s a n d th e n

le a d
s u c h
a la rg e fra c tio n
t o

s u c \ue000 c e s s fu l m a tu rityiss c a r c e ly im a g in a b le . T h e c o m b in a tio n s ta n d s o u t a s to w e r in g

p r o d u c tiv ity a n d u n s tin tin g d e v o tio n . T o th in k h o w e v e r th a t th is m u s t h a v e b e e n a

w o r k a h o lic 's
life , n e g le c tfu l o f fa m ily
a n d
frie n d s ,is
b e lie d
b y
a llo fu s
w ho
k n e w
h im
fro m
c lo s e

ra n g e . H is fa m ily life w as rich,a sm o v in g ly a tte s te d b y a s o n a n d a g ra n d d a u g h te r a t th e m e m o \ue000 ria l

g a th e rin g
o n
1 0 N o v e m b e r.
M ie k e
a n d
J a n
w e re
fre q u e n t
a n d

w a rm ly a tte n tiv e h o s tst oin n u m e ra b le te a - a n d d in n e r

g u e s ts .
T h o s e
w ho
d is c u s s e d
lite ra ry w o rk s w ith J a n , ro w e d
w ith
h im
o r
s k a te d
th ro u g h
th e
w in try
p o ld e r
la n d s c a p e
n o rth
o f
L e id e n
k n o w
h o w
b ro a d
h is
in te re s ts
a n d
h o w
v arie d
h is
e x c e rtio n s w e re .
N e v e rth e le s s ,
th in g s
a s tro n o m ic a l
w e re
p r e d o m in a n tin
h is

life , e s p e c ia lly th e la te s t th in g s a n d th e th in g s to c o m e . T h e

p h ra s e
in
th e
h e a d in g
o f
th is
In
M e m o ria m
is
th e
t it le
O o rt
w ro te
h e
w o u ld

h a v e g iv e n to th e a u to b io g ra p h y h e d id n o t w rite .H ew a s fo re v e r c u rio u s a b o u t th e la te s t re s u lts fro m

te le s c o p e s , a n y te le s c o p e ,h eliv e din a n tic ip a tio no f d a ta to c o m e , h e h u n g e re d fo r p e rs p e c \ue000 tiv e s

in
re g io n s
w h e re
h is m in d
s o u g h t
t o
p e n e tra te ; h e
d ie d ,a s a w e ll- k n o w n
D u tc h
w e e k ly
h e a d lin e d
it s
o b itu a ry ,
" w ith a h e a d fu ll o f q u e s tio n s " .
T h e
O o rt
fa m ily ,
in
th e
o ffic ia l
announcem ent
o f
th e ir
h u s b a n d 's
fa th e r's , g ra n d fa th e r's a n d
g re a tg ra n d \ue000
fa th e r's d e a th , c ite fro m

L o r e n E is e le y 's "Im m e n s e J o u rn e y " a p a s s a g e s o q u in t\ue000 e s s e n tia lly fo c u s s in g h is life th a t I r e p e a t it h e re :

"D o w n
h o w
m any
ro a d s
am ong
th e
s ta rsm ustm a n p r o p e l h im s e lf in s e a rc h
o f
th e
fin a l
s e c re t!
T h e
jo u m e y
is
d iffic u lt,
im m e n s e ,a t time s im p o s s ib le ,
y e tth a t w illn o t d e te r s o m e
o fu s
fro m
a tte m p tin g it .. .;w ew ill tr a v e l a sfa r a s
w e
c a n ,
b u tw e
c a n n o tin
o n e
life tim e
s e e a ll th a tw ew o u ld lik e to s e eo r le a m
a ll th a tw eh u n g e r to k n o w . "
It w a s o u r p r iv ile g e t o k n o w
Jan Hen\ue000
d rik O o rt, to
le a rn fro m
h im
a sw e tra v \ue000
e le d
far w ith
h im .
Itis
o u r p r iv ile g e
t o
c o n tin u e h is jo u r n e y .
H .V A N
D E R
L A A N
T h e Id e a o f th e E u ro p e a n S o u th e rn O b s e rv a to ry
H A R R Y V A N D E R L A A N , E S O 's 4 th O ire c to r G e n e ra l
E S O 's M is s io n
F iv e
y e a rs ,
tw e n ty
is s u e s
o f
th e
M essengerla te r, I ta k e th is o p p o r tu n ity
t o
d e n o te
m y a ttitu d e
to w a rd s

o u r O r\ue000 g a n iz a tio n , m y u n d e r s ta n d in go fits m is\ue000 s io n , w h ic h

h a s c o n s is te n tly g u id e d m y a c tio n s th e y e a rs I h a v e h e ld th is o ffic e a n d

e x c e r c is e d
its r e s p o n s ib ilitie s . T h is
is
n o t
th e
tim e
t o
c o m p r e h e n s iv e ly
s u m m a r iz e
th e
a c h ie v e m e n ts
a n d
d is \ue000
a p p o in tm e n ts , w h ic h c a ninany case be
c u lle d
fro m
A n n u a l
R e p o rts
a n d
fro m
fiv e y e a rso fM e s s e n g e rsb y p e rc e p tiv e
re a d e rs .
For m eE S O
isth e e m b o d im e n to fa n
id e a , c o n c e iv e d
in
L e id e n
b y
O o rt a n d
B a a d ein1 9 5 3 a n d d e v e lo p e d inin te ra c \ue000
tio n
b y
a
s m a ll g r o u p
o fle a d in g
E u ro \ue000
p e a n a s tro n o m e rs a n d a fe w
fa rs ig h te d
a d m in is tra to rs fro m
th e n till E S O 's b ir th
in
O c to b e r 1 9 6 2 .
T h e
essen ce
o fth is
id e a
is
t o
p ro m o te
a s tro n o m ic a l
re \ue000
s e a rc h
in
th e
c o m m u n ity
c o m p r is e d
o f
th e a s tro n o m e rsin th e m e m b e r S ta te s .
T h a t
m is s io n
h a s
m any
fa c e ts ,
th e
fo re m o s t
ta s k
b e in g
th e
c o n s tru c tio n
a n d
o p e ra tio n
o f w o rld

c la s s o b s e r v in g fa c ilitie s fo r th e u s e rs fro m th e c o m m u n \ue000 ity . D e r iv a tiv e ta s k s a re

e v id e n t: to
e x \ue000

p lo it th e fa c ilitie s s o p r o v id e d to th e fu ll, re q u ire s a c o m m u n ity th a t is c o m p e te n t, a m b itio u s , in te r a c tiv e , c o lla b o r a tiv e a n d c o m p e titiv e .

T o
s tim u la te
th e s e
c h a ra c te ris tic s
a
h o s to fa c tiv itie s c a n
b e th o u g h to f a n d
in d e e d
h a v e
b e e n
d e p lo y e d :
w o rk \ue000
s h o p s ,
c o n fe re n c e s ,
sum m er
s c h o o ls ,
fe llo w s h ip s ,
te c h n ic a l p a n e ls
a n d
s u b \ue000
d is c ip lin a r y
w o r k in g
g ro u p s ,
te le s c o p e
a d v is o r y
c o m m itte e s .
T h e s e
a re
w ays
a n d
m eans
t o
a c h ie v e
in te ra c tio n
b e \ue000
tw e e n
E S O
a n d
it s
c o m m u n ity
a n d
am ong

c o m m u n ity c o n s titu e n ts , a c ro s s b o u n d a r ie so fn a tio n s , la n g u a g e s , tr a d i\ue000 tio n s

a n d
s u b d is c ip lin e s .
T h is
m is s io n
sum s upt oE S O 's c e n tra l c h a ra c te ris tic ,
n a m e ly
th a to fa
E u ro p e a n

a s tro n o m y s e rv ic e o rg a n iz a tio n . T o fu r th e r d e v e lo p th e q u a lityo fth is m is s io n I h a v e in itia te d n u m e ro u s m e a s u re s w h ic h a re n o w

o p \ue000
e ra tio n a l. I m e n tio n s o m e h ig h lig h ts .
A s tr o n o m y o nL a S illa
O n
L aS illa th e a s tro n o m y g ro u p w a s
r e v ita liz e d
u n d e r
n e w
le a d e r s h ip ,
w ith
im p r o v e d fa c ilitie s a n d w itha nin c r e a s e
o fy o u th fu l te a m
m e m b e rs , a s
th e
A s\ue000
tro n o m y S u p p o rt D e p a rtm e n t. T h eA S O
h a s
o r g a n iz e d
its e lft o
co pe
w ith
th e
in tro d u c tio n
a n d
a s s is ta n c e
o fa g ro w \ue000
in g n u m b e ro fv is itin g a s tr o n o m e r s w h o
com et ou s e a la rg e s u iteo f e v e r m o re
s e n s itiv e ,
fle x ib le
b u t
m o re
c o m p le x
e q u ip m e n t.
A S O
m e m b e rs
a re
th e m \ue000
s e lv e s a c tiv e o b s e rv e rs , c o m p e tea sd o
c o m m u n ity m e m b e rs fo r o b s e rv in g tim e
in
th e
O P C . T h e re a re
m a n y c o lla b o r a \ue000
tio n s a m o n g
th e m
a n d
w ith
c o m m u n ity
c o lle a g u e s , th e y
h a v e
a n
a c tiv e
s c ie n \ue000
t i f i c
life ,
w ith
w e e k ly

in te rn a l re s e a rc h p r e s e n ta tio n s a n d fre q u e n t c o llo q u ia b y v is ito r s .

Y o u n g
p e o p le
c ir c u la te
b e \ue000
tw e e n
th e
c o m m u n ity
a n d
th e
A S O ,

s p e n d in g o n eo r tw o y e a rs a s s tu d e n ts / c o o p e ra n ts o r u pt oth re e a s fe llo w s o n th e m o u n ta in , a ll w ith s e rv ic e ta s k s a n d re s e a rc h

in
c o m b in a tio n .
R e tu rn in g
t o
th e
c o m m u n ity , th e y
e n h a n c e th e
c o n \ue000
n e c tiv ity w ith
E S O
o fth e in s titu te s th e y
jo in .
A c tiv itie sin t h e S c ie n c e D iv is io n
T h isis e q u a lly tr u e fo r th e fe llo w s a n d
s tu d e n ts
a p p o in te d
t o
th e
A s tro n o m y

G ro u po fth e S c ie n c e D iv is io n . F o r th e m th e s e rv ic e ta s k s a re m o re m o d e s t a n d th e y

h a v e
m any
o p p o rtu n itie s
fo r
c o l\ue000
la b o r a tiv e
c o n n e c tio n s
w ith
E S O
s ta ff
a n d w ith v is ito r st oth e S c ie n c e D iv is io n .
T h a t v is ito rs ' p ro g ra m m e
has been
e n \ue000
la rg e d th e p a s t tw o y e a rs ,inb o th Im a g e
P r o c e s s in g
G ro u p
a n d
A s tro n o m y
G ro u p .
A lth o u g h
a s
a
s c ie n c e

s e r v ic e o rg a n iz a tio n E S O 's in - h o u s e re s e a rc h is a

s e c o n d a ry
o b je c tiv e ,
m eant
t o
e n \ue000
h a n c e
th e
p rim e
o b je c tiv e ,
b y
h a v in g
c ritic a l u s e rs
in
h o u s e

d ire c tly in te ra c t\ue000 in g w ith o th e r s ta ff a n d c a rry in g o u t p a rt o fth e s e rv ic e fu n c tio n s th e m s e lv e s , th e in - h o u s e

re s e a rc h
is
n e v e rth e le s s
v e ry
e x te n s iv e .
A t
th e
p re s e n t
tim e

som e s e v e n ty -fiv e s c ie n tis ts w h od ore s e a rc h p a rt tim eo rfu ll tim e , in c lu d in g p a id v is \ue000 ito rs , a re e m p lo y e d b yE S O .F u lly h a lfo f a ll a s tr o n o m y p u b lic a tio n s b a s e d

o n
o r
re la te d
t o
L a
S illa
o b s e rv a tio n s
a n d
o th e rE S O
s e r v ic e s ,
h a v e
a t le a s t o n e
a u th o r w h oison theE S O
p a y r o ll!
O u r im a g e p r o c e s s in g s y s te m
M ID A S
h a s
b e e n
d r a s tic a lly
im p r o v e d
in
th e s e
y e a rs a n disn o w
in s ta lle d a t m o r e th a n
1 5 0
in s titu te s .
W ays
h a v e
b e e n
d e \ue000
v e lo p e d
t o
e n a b le
c o m m u n ity
u s e rs
t o

c o n trib u tet oM ID A S u tilitie s b y p a id re \ue000 s id e n c e p e r io d sinG a r c h in g . M ID A S w ill be the VL1 'sd a ta h a n d lin g s y s te m

a n d
is
fin d in g
it s
w ay
in to
L a
S illa
dom es
now. The
L a
S illa
A S O
te a m
isa c tiv e ly
c o n trib u tin g
t o
th e
s y s te m .
W ith

th e s tim u lu so fV LT s ta n d a rd iz a tio n a n d th e u b iq u ity

o f
p o w e rfu l
w o rk s ta tio n s ,
M ID A S w ill s e rv e E u ro p e a n a s tro n o m e rs
in
th e
lo n g
te rm , a ls o
w h e re
in s titu te s
u s e s e v e ra l s y s te m s s id e b y s id e .
K e y P ro g ra m m e s
T o
c o u n te r
tre n d s
o f
in c r e a s in g
re \ue000
s e a rc h fra g m e n ta tio n
a n d , p o s itiv e ly , t o
p ro m o te
in te r-in s titu tio n a l
a n d
m u lti\ue000
n a tio n a l
c o lla b o r a tio n s
fo r
a m b itio u s
s tra te g ic
g o a ls ,
th e
id e a
o f
K ey
P ro \ue000
g ra m m e s
w as
d e fin e d ,
im p le m e n te d
a n d
tu n e d .
Som e
tw o
d o z e n
K P s,
in \ue000
v o lv in g
m o re
th a n
tw o
h u n d re d
a s \ue000
tro n o m e rsina ll m e m b e r S ta te s a s w e il
as from
m any
o th e r c o u n trie s
a re
n o w
ru n n in g , ty p ic a lly fo r th re et ofiv e y e a rs .
T h e
p a s t
s ix te e n
o r
s o
is s u e s
o fth is
journal have seen

p ro file so fth e s e p ro \ue000 g ra m m e s ,ino r d e rt o a c q u a in t th ecom \ue000 m u n ity

a t
la rg e
w ith
th e
w o rk
in
p ro \ue000
g re s s , in fo r m a tio n w h ic h its e lf h a s in flu \ue000
e n c e d
th e
d ir e c tio n
o f
n o rm a l

p ro \ue000 g r a m m e s a n d s o m e tim e s le d to e n la rg e \ue000 m ento fth e

K Pte a m s .
A c tio nin t h e V L T D iv is io n
Inth e V L T D iv is io n th e p a s t fiv e y e a rs
h a v e
b e e n
tu r b u le n t, v e ry fu ll w ith
n e w
te c h n o lo g y
a n d
w ith
th e
le a r n in g
p ro \ue000
c e s so fw o rk in g o n th e p re p a ra tio n a n d
e x e c u tio n
of m any
in s titu tio n a l a n d
in \ue000
d u s tria l c o n tra c ts a t o n c e . A t th e s a m e
tim e ,
b u t
a fte r
c o m m is s io n in g
o f
th e
N D
la r g e ly
in
th e
c o n te x to f V L T

p re \ue000 p a ra to ry a c tiv itie s , w o r k fo rL aS illa c o n \ue000 tin u e d .

I m e n tio n
th e
d e v e lo p m e n t
o f
a d a p tiv e o p tic s ,in a m a jo r c o lla b o r a tio n
w ith
s e v e ra l F re n c l,
in s titu tio n s
a n d
o f
re m o te c o n tro l s y s te m s ,in c o lla b o ra tio n
w ith
T rie s te .
A llth is
in
a d d itio n
t o
th e
c o n tin u a l d e liv e r yo fe v e r im p r o v in go p \ue000
tic a l
a n d
in fra re d
a rra y
d e te c to rs
a n d
a s s o c ia te d c a m e ra s .
T h e
V L T
p ro g ra m m e
its e lf
is
n o w
n e a rin g
th e
h a lfw a y m a rk , b o th
in
tim e
a n dinth e re s o u rc e s c o n tra c tu a llycom \ue000
m itte d . T h e w o r ko f th e D iv is io n is r a p id \ue000
Iy
s h iftin g
fro m
te n d e rin g
p re p a ra tio n s
t o
c o n tra c ts
e x e c u tio n s . T h e
te n d e rin g
p ro c e s s
h a s
b e e n
v e ry
p r o fe s s io n a lly
s ta n d a rd iz e d
a n d
E S O
h a s
e n g a g e d
m a n y in d u s tr ie s
in
a re m a rk a b ly
e x te n \ue000
s iv e s e to fR&
0
c o n tra c ts a n d p re lim i\ue000
n a ry
e n q u ir ie s a s
p re lu d e st o
th a t p ro \ue000
c e s s .A na s p e c t o f E S O 's m is s io n
ist o

fu rth e r te c h n o lo g y d e v e lo p m e n tin E u ro \ue000 p e a n in d u s tr y , a ta s k s y s te m a tic a lly d e \ue000 v e lo p e d

o v e r
th e
p a s t
te n
a n d
m o re
y e a rs .
In s tru m e n ta tio n P la n , V L T I a n d
th e C o m m u n ity
A q u ite n e w a s p e c to fE S O in te rfa c in g
w ith
th e
c o m m u n ity
h a s
b e e n
th e
d e \ue000
v e lo p m e n to fb o th th e V L T in s tru m e n ta -
3

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