P. 1
ESO Annual Report 2011

ESO Annual Report 2011

Ratings: (0)|Views: 146 |Likes:

This report documents the many activities of the European Southern Observatory during 2011, and the committees and staff that worked behind the scenes. More information: http://www.eso.org/public/products/annualreports/ann-report2011/ Credit: ESO

This report documents the many activities of the European Southern Observatory during 2011, and the committees and staff that worked behind the scenes. More information: http://www.eso.org/public/products/annualreports/ann-report2011/ Credit: ESO

More info:

Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: European Southern Observatory on Jun 25, 2012
Copyright:Public Domain

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/17/2013

pdf

text

original

 
 Annual Report 2011
European Organisationfor AstronomicalResearch in theSouthern Hemisphere
ESO
 
 Annual Report 2011
ESO
European Organisationfor AstronomicalResearch in theSouthern Hemisphere
presented to the Council by theDirector GeneralProf. Tim de Zeeuw
 
2
ESO Annual Report 2011
ESO, the European Southern Observa-tory, is the foremost intergovernmentalastronomy organisation in Europe. Itis supported by 15 countries: Austria,Belgium, Brazil
1
, the Czech Republic,Denmark, France, Finland, Germany,Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain,Sweden, Switzerland and the UnitedKingdom. Several other countries haveexpressed an interest in membership.Created in 1962, ESO carries out anambitious programme focused on thedesign, construction and operationof powerful ground-based observingfacilities enabling astronomers to make
important scientic discoveries. ESO
also plays a leading role in promotingand organising cooperation in astro-nomical research.ESO operates three unique world-classobserving sites in the Atacama Desertregion of Chile: La Silla, Paranal and
Chajnantor. ESO’s rst site is at La Silla,
a 2400-metre-high mountain 600 kilo-metres north of Santiago de Chile. It isequipped with several optical telescopeswith mirror diameters of up to 3.6 metres. The 3.5-metre New Technology Tele-scope (NTT) broke new ground fortelescope engineering and design and
was the rst in the world to have a
computer-controlled main mirror, a tech-nology developed at ESO and nowapplied to most of the world’s currentlarge telescopes. While La Silla remainsat the forefront of astronomy, and is
still the third most scientically productive
in ground-based astronomy (afterParanal and the Keck Observatory), the2600-metre-high Paranal site, with the Very Large Telescope array (VLT), the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA), the world’s largestsurvey telescope, and the VLT Survey Telescope (VST), the largest telescopedesigned to exclusively survey the skies
in visible light, is the agship facility of 
European astronomy. Paranal is situatedabout 130 kilometres south of Antofagastain Chile, 12 kilometres inland from the
Pacic coast in one of the driest areas inthe world. Scientic operations began in
1999 and have resulted in many extreme-ly successful research programmes. The VLT is a most unusual telescope,based on the latest technology. It is not just one, but an array of four telescopes,each with a main mirror of 8.2 metresin diameter. With one such telescope,images of celestial objects as faint asmagnitude 30 have been obtained ina one-hour exposure. This correspondsto seeing objects that are four billiontimes fainter than those seen with thenaked eye.One of the most exciting features of the VLT is the option to use it as a giantoptical interferometer (VLT Interferometeror VLTI). This is done by combining thelight from two or more of the 8.2-metretelescopes and including one or moreof four 1.8-metre moveable Auxiliary Tele-
Star trails over ESO’s La Silla Observatory. The ESO Very Large Telescope atop Cerro Paranal,some 120 kilometres south of Antofagasta, in theChilean Atacama Desert.
The European Southern Observatory
   E   S   O   /   J .   P   é  r  e  z
1
Brazil, having signed an Accession Agreement in
December 2010, will ofcially become the 15th
Member State of ESO on completion of the requi-
site ratication process.

Activity (3)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
IaKochiashvili liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->