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European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (European Southern Observatory) (ESO)
Identification
Hosting Legal Entity
Self-standing RI
Legal Status
International or intergovernmental organisation or framework
Location
Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, ESO Headquarters, Garching bei München, PO: 85748, Bavaria (Germany)
Structure
Type Of RI
Distributed
Coordinating Country
Germany
Participating Countries
Portugal
Switzerland
Spain
Italy
Ireland
Germany
Sweden
Denmark
Austria
Czech Republic
Finland
Poland
Netherlands
France
Belgium
United Kingdom
Chile
Nodes
Provider Country:
Chile
ALMA Operations Support Facility | Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-Millimetre Array (ALMA) | ESO Antofagasta Office | ESO La Serena Office | ESO Vitacura | Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) | La Silla Observatory | Paranal Observatory
Provider Country:
Germany
ESO Headquarters
Status
Status
Current Status:
Operational since 1962
Scientific Description
ESO is an intergovernmental organisation, currently supported by 16 European countries and operating a distributed set of research infrastructures (La Silla/Paranal Observatory) with three observing sites (Cerro La Silla, Cerro Paranal, and Llano de Chajnantor) in Chile. ESO is also the European partner of the ALMA - the project operating the world’s largest array of sub-mm/mm telescopes. ESO furthermore maintains offices and facilities in Santiago-de-Chile, La Serena, and Antofagasta, its international Headquarters, located in Garching near Munich, Germany. The Headquarters are an important centre for R&D in astronomy-related technologies and projects for large-scale observational facilities, such as the 39-m ELT. ESO is not only the foremost European organisation for ground-based astronomy, but considered a world-leader in its field.Application for observing time is subject to a general call for proposals each semester and allocation of time follows a peer-review process, based on the excellence criterion. Applications are normally submitted by groups of scientists, often with multi-national composition.ESO also hosts the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) project. The ELT will be the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world and will gather 13 times more light than the largest optical telescopes existing today. The ELT will be able to correct for the atmospheric distortions (i.e., fully adaptive and diffraction-limited) from the start, providing images 16 times sharper than those from the Hubble Space Telescope. The ELT project is included as a Landmark Infrastructure in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). The ELT will start operations as an integrated part of the Paranal Observatory early in the next decade.

RI Keywords
Instrumentation for astronomical telescopes, Astronomy, Ground-based astronomical observations, Astrophysics, Telescopes
Classifications
RI Category
Telescopes
Scientific Domain
Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Mathematics
ESFRI Domain
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Services
Projects for development of advanced instrumentation
Provision of telescope time
Execution of observation programs (service observing)
Open-access on-line archive of scientific data
Equipment
Paranal (VLTI)

Infrared: AMBER (near-infrared, multi-beam interferometric instrument, combining simultaneously up to 3 telescopes) (1.5-2.5 µm) MIDI (MID-infrared Interferometric two-beam recombiner for N-band interferometry) (8-13 µm).

Optical

La Silla Observing Site (3.6-m telescope): HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher) (378-691 nm) Paranal Observing Site (Very Large Telescope): FLAMES (multi-object, intermediate and high resolution spectrograph) FORS2 (multi mode (imaging, polarimetry, long slit and multi-object spectroscopy) optical instrument) UVES (cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph covering 300-1100 nm) MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) (465-930 nm) VIMOS (multi-mode wide-field optical instrument) Survey Telescopes: 2.6-m VST telescope equipped with OmegaCAM (wide-field optical imager for VST).

Infrared

La Silla Observing Site (3.5-m New Technology Telescope): SOFI (infrared spectrograph and imaging camera) (0.9-2 µm) Paranal Observing Site (Very Large Telescope): SPHERE (the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument) (0.95–2.32 µm) CRIRES (cryogenic high-resolution infrared echelle spectrograph) (1-5 µm) NACO (Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System (NAOS) Near-Infrared Imager and Spectrograph (CONICA)) (0.8-2.5 µm) KMOS (K-band Multi Object Spectrograph) (0.45-1.0 μm and 0.8-2.5 µm) SINFONI (near-infrared integral field spectrograph fed by an adaptive optics module) (1-2.5 µm) HAWK-I (cryogenic wide-field imager) (0.85-2.5 µm) X-Shooter (wide band intermediate resolution Spectrograph) (300 nm-2.5 µm) Very Large Telescope Interferometer: AMBER (near-infrared, multi-beam interferometric instrument, combining simultaneously up to 3 telescopes) (1.5-2.5 µm) MIDI (MID-infrared Interferometric two-beam recombiner for N-band interferometry) (8-13 µm) Survey Telescopes: 4.1-m VISTA telescope equipped with VIRCAM (near infrared wide-field camera).

Chajnantor Observing Site

APEX 12-m submm/mm telescope (antenna) equipped with: APEX-1 heterodyne receiver (211-275 GHz) APEX-2 heterodyne receiver (267-378 GHz) APEX-3 heterodyne receiver (385-500 GHz) APEX-T2 heterodyne receiver (1250-1390 GHz) LABOCA (multi-channel bolometer array) SABOCA (multi-channel bolometer array) Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), array of 54 12-m submm/mm telescopes/antennas and 12 8-m submm/mm telescopes/antennas: All antennas: heterodyne receivers covering band 3 (84-119 GHz), band 6 (211-275 GHz), band 7 (275-370 GHz), and band 9 (602-720 GHz). Furthermore band 5 (163-211 GHz) (5 antennas only).

Survey Telescopes

4.1-m VISTA telescope equipped with VIRCAM (near infrared wide-field camera) 2.6-m VST telescope equipped with OmegaCAM (wide-field optical imager for VST).

Access
Access Type
Remote, Virtual, Physical
Access Mode
Excellence Driven
Users
Users Definition
Individuals
Collaborations
ESFRI
RI is an ESFRI landmark
Networks
ASTRONET
OPTICON
Astroparticle Physics European Coordination ( ApPEC )
EIROforum
RadioNet
Date of last update: 27/03/2019
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