La Silla Observatory Instrumentation

ESO operates three major telescopes (3.6m telescope, New Technology Telescope (NTT), 2.2m Max-Planck-ESO telescope) at the La Silla Observatory. They are equipped with state of the art instruments either built completely by ESO or by external consortia, with substantial contribution by ESO. These instruments are currently:

Nasmyth A
Nasmyth B
fibre fed from Cassegrain
EFOSC2 up to P80
EMMI up to P80
EFOSC2 P81 onwards

They are operated by the La Silla Science Operations Department.

At its October 2003 meeting, the Scientific Technical Committee recommended that the possibility of providing a visitor focus on the NTT be investigated by ESO.


Please check the Latest News on ESO Instrumentation Development.

Other Facilities of Use for Observers


GROND is an imaging instrument to investigate Gamma-Ray Burst Afterglows and other transients simultaneously in seven filter bands. Several dichroic beamsplitters feed light into three NIR channels and four visual channels, each equipped with its own detector. GROND has become operational in 2007.

GROND has been built by the high-energy group of MPE in collaboration with the LSW Tautenburg and ESO, and is operated at the MPI/ESO 2.2m telescope.


La Silla is running an All Sky Monitor on the DIMM. Real-time images are available here.

Decommisioned Instruments

Information on the following decommissioned instruments is available:

  • CES at the 3.6m
  • EMMI at the NTT (in operation until 03/08)
  • SuSI2 at the NTT
  • TIMMI2 at 3.6m (in operation until 09/06)
  • Adonis at 3.6m (in operation until 09/02)
  • B&C @ 1.52 ESO (B&C was operated by ESO till the end of Period 69, i.e. 30 Sep 2002, and by Brazil till 31 Dec 2002.)
  • CORAVEL @ 1.54 DK
  • IRAC-1 and IRAC-2b @ 2.2m
  • EFOSC2 @ 2.2m; EFOSC2 @ 3.6m (EFOSC2 is currently operated at the NTT)
  • FEROS @ 1.52 ESO (FEROS is currently operated at the 2.2m)
  • Photomultiplier @ 50cm Dk
  • Photomultiplier @ 50cm ESO