Europe decides to build the world's largest optical telescope (1987)

On December 8, 1987, the ESO Council gave the green light to the "ESO 16-metre Very Large Telescope (VLT)", an extraordinary astronomers' dream and an amazing engineering challenge. The VLT was to become the largest optical telescope in the world and Europe's superior eye to the Universe.

The delegates of the eight member states (Belgium, Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland) agreed that the European Southern Observatory shall embark upon the realization of this marvellous instrument. They stressed that "this decision expresses Europe's confidence in the ambition of her astronomical community and the ingenuity of her high-tech industry; together they will ensure that Europe will be second to none in the exploration of the Universe for a long time to come".

It was further stated that the VLT is to be considered as an essential complement of Europe's astronomical research activities from space vehicles.

On the photo in the foreground (left to right), Prof. K. Hunger (President of the ESO Council), Prof. L. Woltjer (Director General of ESO) and Professor P.O. Lindblad (Chairman of the ESO Scientific Technical Committee).



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Release date:18 February 2011, 14:59
Size:3000 x 2246 px

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Name:ESO HQ Garching, Historical Image, Meeting, Very Large Telescope
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Facility
Unspecified : People
Category:People and Events

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