ESO 50th Anniversary Events


On Friday 5 October 2012, join us in celebrating the 50th birthday of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), and 50 years of Europe’s quest to explore the southern sky.

Fifty years ago, European astronomers headed south, to Chile, determined to build the most powerful ground-based telescopes in the world. Now, at a series of international ESO 50th Anniversary events, you can make that journey for yourself, with a live connection to ESO’s Paranal Observatory. In the breathtaking landscape of Chile’s Atacama Desert, Paranal is the home of the world’s most advanced visible light astronomical observatory — the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). A never-before-seen stunning astronomical image from ESO will also be unveiled, and you’ll hear from an ESO representative about our state-of-the-art observatories, and the latest scientific and technological results.

Depending on the local venue, there may also be other exciting activities for you, as you join us — and other astronomy fans around the world — in celebrating our 50th anniversary.

Find out more:

Go to ESO's Livestream page (and don't forget to follow us!)

If you cannot make it to any of the anniversary venues, join us online during a live stream! On 5 October 2012, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) will broadcast A Day in the Life of ESO, a free, live event on the web, as part of its 50th Anniversary celebrations. There will be live observations from ESO's flagship observatory, the Very Large Telescope (VLT), on Cerro Paranal in Chile's Atacama Desert, as well as fascinating talks from astronomers at ESO's Headquarters in Germany. Members of the public are invited to ask questions in advance of the event, or during the stream, by Facebook, Twitter, and email. A timetable for the webcast is available below.

The webcast will be streamed free of charge through Livestream, and anyone may view it simply by visiting ESO's Livestream page. By creating a free Livestream account, and following ESO, viewers will receive updates and reminders for this and future Livestream events from ESO.

A schedule for the day and more information can be found at the 5 October 2012 Webcast page.