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Research Infrastructure

European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (European Southern Observatory)

Description ESO is an intergovernmental organisation, currently supported by 14 European countries (Brazil is in the process of joining) and operating a distributed research infrastructure (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 project operating the world’s largest array of submm/mm telescopes. ESO furthermore maintains offices and facilities in Santiago-de-Chile, La Serena, and Antofagasta, its international Headquarters, located in Garching near Munich, FR 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 E-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 European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) project. The E-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 E-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 E-ELT project is included in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) List of Opportunities. The E-ELT will start operations as an integrated part of the Paranal Observatory early in the next decade.
URL http://www.eso.org/public/
Status Operational since 1962
Scientific Domains Physical Sciences and Engineering
RI Categorization Telescopes
Location Alonso de Córdova 3107 Vitacura, Santiago de Chile, 19001, Chile
MERIL URL http://portal.meril.eu/meril/view/facilitys/15602