Details on the event


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Special Talk

ESO: Enabling European leadership in ground-based astronomy (Christmas Lecture 2019)

Xavier Barcons (ESO)

Monday 16/12/2019 @ 15:30, Aula Magna, CNR convention center

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) was established 57 years ago to develop competitive ground based telescopes to scrutinise the Universe. After almost 6 decades of international cooperation, ESO has become the lead organisation in ground-based astronomy, enabling Europe to boost its position in astronomical research world-wide. Today, ESO builds and operates not only competitive but truly world-leading powerful telescopes in collaboration with industry and research institutes. The La Silla Paranal Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array ALMA (itself a partnership with North-America and East Asia) are the most competitive observatories in the optical and sub/millimetre bands. Scientific discoveries enabled by these technological wonders in the fields of exo-planets, black holes, stars, galaxies and cosmology are simply astounding. ESO is now building the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) which will be the first and biggest of this new class of monster optical/infrared telescopes, which will enable retention of European leadership in ground-based astronomy. As part of its mission to foster cooperation in astronomy, ESO will host and operate the southern part of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the first true observatory of very-high-energy gamma rays. In this talk I will present the current status of ESO’s activities along with some important scientific achievements that have been game-changers in astronomy.