ann13078 — Announcement

Handback of 2.2-metre Telescope

Telescope still operational for users from the Max Planck Society

30 September 2013

As of 1 October 2013, the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, will no longer be offered to the ESO community. Up to now 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 and its instruments were also made available to Chilean astronomers and this will also continue in the future.

The MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope 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 — achieved in 1983 — and managed its subsequent operation.

Over a period of thirty years the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope has been used for much cutting-edge science, including ground-breaking research into the afterglows of gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in the Universe.

As well as its current instrumentation: the WFI camera, the much-used 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 back in 1988. All data collected with the telescope will later become available through the ESO Science Archive.

The MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope, particularly when used in conjunction with its Wide Field Imager (WFI), has also been one of the most productive facilities for producing beautiful images that ESO has released as photo releases (more than twenty of the Top 100 images from ESO were produced using this telescope and camera). ESO will continue to compose images from WFI data over the next few years, based on data already acquired. The most recent featured the brilliant star clusters NGC 2547 (eso1317) and NGC 3766 (eso1326).

Links

Contacts

Richard Hook
ESO Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
Email: rhook@eso.org

About the Announcement

Id:ann13078

Images

Collage of images from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
Collage of images from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope