Friends of RAS (only) Lecture: The European Southern Observatory — over 60 years at the cutting edge of observational astronomy. Speaker: Peter Grimley

An aerial view of ESO's Paranal Observatory
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The European Southern Observatory — ESO — was established in 1962 to provide astronomers in Europe with access to the southern skies by operating an observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert, via an agreement with the government of Chile. Its five founding Member States have now grown to sixteen, including the UK which joined in 2002. Since its inception ESO has been at the forefront of technological and engineering development and it now operates a suite of telescopes on three sites, alongside a number of hosted instruments located at ESO's observatory sites. ESO is currently building the biggest telescope ever constructed — the ELT. In this talk I will outline ESO's history and highlight a few of the cutting-edge instruments it now operates, and some of the remarkable discoveries made with those facilities.


Speaker bio

Peter Grimley is an editorial consultant working with ESO (through a contract with Design & Data GmbH) and with NSF NOIRLab, the International Astronomical Union and the Hubble and Webb communications teams of the European Space Agency. He has a PhD in astronomy from University College Cardiff and held teaching and research posts in University College Dublin, the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and St Patrick's College Maynooth. He then spent a number of years in the UK Civil Service, before returning to the world of astronomy in a variety of public engagement roles.

And, of course, Peter organises events for the Friends of the RAS — including this one!

Venue Address

The Royal Astronomical Society,Burlington House


51.5085763, -0.13960799999995