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Work Progresses at the Paranal Observatory
22 października 1997
During the past month, there has been much action in many different areas at the ESO Paranal Observatory. Work has continued on the assembly of various components of the telescope structures and on the surface of the summit platform, as well as in connection with the maintenance and storage facilities near the base camp at the foot of the mountain.
News about the VLT project have just been published in The Messenger (September 1997; No. 89) issue, now also available on the Web. Note in particular the very comprehensive article on page 5 by Marc Sarazin (ESO) about Predicting Observing Conditions at ESO Observatories - Reality and Perspectives. It contains a summary of a recent, internal ESO Workshop on this crucial issue. By predicting how the observing conditions will be in a few hours time, it will be possible to adapt the schedule of the nightly observations with the VLT much better to the actual conditions. This will undoubtedly increase the overall `scientific efficiency' of this great research facility. More information about the observing and environmental conditions at the ESO observatories is available at the Astroclimatology webpage, maintained by Marc Sarazin.
The arrival of the M1 cell and a dummy mirror of concrete in Antofagasta is now foreseen at the end of October. From here they will be transported to Paranal without delay. Press Photos of this transport will be made available from ESO as soon as possible thereafter.
The transport of the first 8.2-metre VLT mirror of Zerodur will start some days later from the REOSC factory in St. Pierre du Perray, south of Paris, with expected time of arrival at Paranal around New Year.
The present selection of four photos shows some aspects of the recent work at Paranal.
Please note that since these images were electronically recorded and were primarily obtained to document the VLT construction activities, they may not be of sufficient quality for all reproduction purposes.