New ESOcast Video Explores 30 Years of Astronomical Images

ESOcast Explores 30 Years Worth of Images

This is a screenshot of ESOcast 59 and shows the Lupus 3 dark cloud and associated young stars. This episode explores the wealth of stunning astronomical images produced over a period of almost 30 years by the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. Credit: ESO

This new eight minute video from the European Southern Observatory explores 30 years worth of astronomical images produced by the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.


This ESOcast explores the wealth of stunning astronomical images produced over a period of almost 30 years by the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

The new ESOcast — Chile Chill 4 — explores the wealth of stunning astronomical images produced over a period of almost 30 years by the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Up until this year the telescope has been operated by ESO and made available to the ESO community, as well as users from the Max Planck Society (MPG). In future ESO will no longer offer the telescope to its users, although the Max Planck Society will continue to use it.

The telescope had an interesting early history. It was originally constructed by the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (Heidelberg, Germany) and intended to be sited in Namibia. It was not installed there and later offered to ESO under an agreement where ESO undertook the installation of the telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile and managed its subsequent operation. The telescope was made operational in record time under the project management of Massimo Tarenghi during 1983 and has had a distinguished career since. The MPG retained a 25% share in the observing time.

As well as its current instrumentation: the WFI camera, the FEROS spectrograph and the GROND gamma-ray burst system, the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope was also the host of the first common-user infrared camera offered by ESO, the IRAC system, which was installed in 1988.

We have made our own tribute to this telescope’s remarkable legacy by taking a tour through some of our favorite images, taken during its long history of service.

Image: European Southern Observatory

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