[ASA] European Southern Observatory seminars and the ESO Science Outreach Network

Yeshe Fenner yeshe.fenner at astronomyaustralia.org.au
Fri Feb 21 12:28:13 AEDT 2014

Dear ASA members,

Next week, the Director General of the European Southern Observatory (ESO),
Prof Tim de Zeeuw, will be giving a series of seminars around Australia to
summarize ESO's current program and perspectives for the future. Please find
the abstract and colloquia schedule below. 

On a related matter, Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) has teamed up with the
Melbourne Planetarium to join ESO <http://www.eso.org/public/australia/> 's
Science Outreach Network (ESON) to help promote Australia's involvement in

Tanya Hill (Melbourne Planetarium) and Yeshe Fenner/Mita Brierley (AAL) will
be the ESON representatives in Australia.

Our aim is to raise the profile of ESO within Australia by getting more
local ESO connections out to the media and public. But we need your help.
ESO sends out a weekly media news release and we can highlight any links to
Australian astronomers as well as any local ESO related meetings that are
occurring. So, what can you do?

-        Let us know if you have ESO results or an ESO related
meeting/conference that we can help publicise through the ESON network.

-        If an ESO release is linked to your research, we may contact you to
ask for quotes or help arrange opportunities for you to talk to the media.

-        Share relevant ESO news releases with media contacts you have. 


Kind regards,

Tanya Hill and Yeshe Fenner

Dr Tanya Hill

Planetarium Manager | Senior Curator, Astronomy

Melbourne Planetarium, Scienceworks

MUSEUM VICTORIA | GPO Box 666, Melbourne 3001

t: 03 9392 4503 <tel:03%209392%204503>  (except Mondays) | e:
<mailto:thill at museum.vic.gov.au> thill at museum.vic.gov.au | w:
<http://museumvictoria.com.au/planetarium> museumvictoria.com.au/planetarium


Dr Yeshe Fenner
Executive Officer
Astronomy Australia Ltd
T: 03 9214 5520
M: 0430 708 995



Title: The European Southern Observatory (ESO): Present and Future

Speaker: Prof. Tim de Zeeuw (Director General, ESO)

Abstract: ESO is an intergovernmental organization for astronomy founded in
1962 by five countries. It currently has 14 Member States in Europe with
Brazil poised to join as soon as the Accession Agreement has been ratified.
Together these countries represent approximately 30 percent of the world's
astronomers. ESO operates optical/infrared observatories on La Silla and
Paranal in Chile, partners in the sub-millimeter radio observatories APEX
and ALMA on Chajnantor and is about to start construction of the Extremely
Large Telescope on Armazones.

La Silla hosts various robotic telescopes and experiments as well as the NTT
and the venerable 3.6m telescope. The former had a key role in the discovery
of the accelerating expansion of the Universe and the latter hosts the
ultra-stable spectrograph HARPS which is responsible for the discovery of
nearly two-thirds of all confirmed exoplanets with masses below that of
Neptune. On Paranal the four 8.2m units of the Very Large Telescope, the
Interferometer and the survey telescopes VISTA and VST together constitute
an integrated system which supports 16 powerful facility instruments,
including adaptive-optics-assisted imagers and integral-field spectrographs,
with half a dozen more on the way and the Extremely Large Telescope with its
suite of instruments to be added to this system in about ten years time.
Scientific highlights include the characterisation of the supermassive black
hole in the Galactic Centre, the first image of an exoplanet, studies of
gamma-ray bursts enabled by the Rapid Response Mode and milliarcsec imaging
of evolved stars and active galactic nuclei. The single dish APEX antenna,
equipped with spectrometers and wide-field cameras, contributes strongly to
the study of high-redshift galaxies and of star- and planet-formation. Early
Science results obtained with the ALMA interferometer already demonstrate
its tremendous potential for observations of the cold Universe.

The talk will summarize ESO's current program and consider perspectives for
the coming decades

Colloquia schedule:

.         Monday 24th February 2014, 10AM, University of Sydney, Redfern

.         Monday 24th February 2014, 2PM, AAO Large Meeting Room (Room 1,
Ground Floor, Building 3) 

.         Tuesday 25th February 2014, 2PM, Swinburne University, Virtual
Reality Theatre

.         Thursday 27th February 2014, 3PM, ANU, Mt Stromlo Observatory

.         Friday 28th February 2014, 3:30PM, ICRAR/UWA

.         Friday 28th February 2014, 4:15PM (Tea and Coffee from 3:45PM),
University Club Auditorium, UWA. Lecture: "Reaching new heights in astronomy
- The European Southern Observatory"


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