Invitation to Watch and Broadcast the E-ELT Groundbreaking

Opportunity for media representatives and science centres around the world

16 May 2014

On Thursday 19 June 2014 there will be a media event at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile to mark the blasting of the top of Cerro Armazones, the 3000-metre peak that will be the home of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). To enable people from around the world to witness first-hand this exciting milestone, a live video stream will be webcast on Livestream from 16:30 UTC until around 18:30 UTC [1].

Limited places are still available for members of the media to attend in person the ceremony and to visit ESO’s Paranal Observatory. Please express your interest before Friday 23 May by filling out the ESO media visit form, noting that you wish to attend the E-ELT Groundbreaking under “Objective of the Visit.” Please note that further details for media are available here.

Television broadcasters who cannot make it to the event will be offered full broadcast quality video material of the blast for download soon after the event is finished. The material may also be made available through the European Broadcasting Union.

Public observatories, planetariums, science centres and other educators are invited to take advantage of the live video stream by organising local events, as a means to attract visitors to their venue and offer them the chance to witness this important milestone in astronomy. The logistics of a basic event are minimal: a good internet connection, a screen to project the video stream and a venue with sufficient space. To help announce the event in the local media, organisers can get in touch with their local ESO Science Outreach Network (ESON) representative [2].

Participants can also follow the live tweeting done by @ESO under the hashtag #EELTblast and ask questions in English that we will try to answer in real time as much as possible.

For updates leading up to and on the day of the event, check our Event web page and follow ESO on Facebook. You are also encouraged to keep us informed if you plan to organise an event by sending an email to so that we can promote it through ESO’s communication channels.


[1] The times given are approximate and may be modified at the last minute.

[2] The ESO Science Outreach Network consists of representatives in ESO Member States and other countries that act as local contacts for the media in connection with ESO developments, press releases etc.

More Information

ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Czechia, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning the 39-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.



Richard Hook
ESO Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany

Tel: +49 89 3200 6655

Francisco Rodríguez I.
Observatorio Europeo Austral (ESO)
Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 224633019

Oana Sandu
Community Coordinator
ESO ePOD, Garching, Germany
Phone: +49 89 320 069 65

About the Announcement



The Paranal-Armazones area
The Paranal-Armazones area