Instructions for Visiting Astronomers on Mission to Chile

I. General

  1. During their official mission in Chile, Visiting Astronomers are subject to the authority of the ESO Directorate. This does not apply to any private stays.

  2. Visiting Astronomers must refrain from acts prejudicial to ESO under the Convention between Chile and ESO. They shall refrain from public declarations or activity. They shall not sell anything brought by them to Chile.

  3. Astronomers visiting La Silla/Paranal should be in good health and fully able to work and stay at an altitude of 2.600 m and should be free of heart problems, cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes or other chronic diseases which might require specialist's treatment.

  4. Driving in Chile is permitted with any National Driving Licence if the stay in Chile is less than 3 months. For a longer stay a National Driving Licence together with an International Driving Permit is required.
    The use of a car at the Observatory site will only be allowed if a valid driving licence is presented when checking in at the Observatory.

  5. Before leaving La Silla / Paranal and/or the Guesthouse in Santiago, Visiting Astronomers shall settle their personal accounts.
    Since advances cannot be given, it is recommended that they carry along sufficient funds for both minor personal expenses and further journeys after the completion of their mission (money exchange is possible at Chilean airports).

  6. Mailing address during the Visiting Astronomers' stay in Chile:
    European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19 - Chile.
    Every Friday there is a diplomatic bag leaving the ESO office in Garching and one leaving from Santiago. In compliance with international agreements, Visiting Astronomers are only allowed to use this bag for sending observational material or letters. ESO reserves the right to open and check all mail and parcels.

  7. Important: Visiting Astronomers should make themselves familiar with the ESO Policy for email usage at the telescope sites.

II. Instructions for Travel Arrangements

  1. At least two months before the start of the observing mission, every Visiting Astronomer traveling to the ESO observatories in Chile will have to submit a Travel Form which will be handled by the VAtravel Office (vatravel@eso.org). This procedure does not apply to ESO staff, nor to fellows and students at ESO.
    Upon submission of the Travel Form an automatic confirmation of receipt will immediately be returned by email. If this email confirmation is not returned, VAtravel@eso.org should be contacted.

    The Travel Form contains the essential information concerning the observing run, the personal data of the observer and the requested flights to and from Santiago.

    Any personal information provided in the Travel Form will be treated in a strictly confidential manner. Some nationalities require a visa to enter Chile. If the Visiting Astronomer specifies on the Travel Form that they need a visa, VAtravel will automatically send an official letter to the traveler certifying his status as Visiting Astronomer at ESO for the length of the observing mission.

    Note: For visa requirements, please consult http://www.wordtravels.com/Travelguide/Countries/Chile/Visa. (This link is provided for general information only. ESO cannot be held liable for the contents of this page.)

    In accordance with the information provided in the Travel Form, ESO will book the international flights and arrange for the accommodation and local transport in Chile. Therefore Visiting Astronomers are requested to fill in the form in a timely fashion, accurately and completely. Any extra costs arising from wrong or late information provided in the Travel Form will be charged to the Visiting Astronomer. If these instructions are not followed ESO reserves the right to cancel the observing time.

  2. ESO will normally book the most economical direct flights to/from Chile. Any travel arrangements including additional trips or stopovers on the way, can upon request also be booked by ESO, an eventual difference in fare shall be borne by the Visiting Astronomer. If a Visiting Astronomer books his own international flights, ESO will reimburse an amount limited to the equivalent of the most economical direct return flight to Chile. When submitting the Travel Form, the Visiting Astronomer shall provide under the item ‘Additional Information’ all necessary data regarding additional trips/stopovers and other non-standard requests, such as special meals, etc..

  3. Once the flights requested in the Travel Form have been confirmed, the ticket will automatically be issued. Unless absolutely necessary, it will not be possible to change the ticket once issued. The information provided on the Travel Form regarding the Visiting Astronomer's preferred airline is not compelling. ESO reserves the right to book flights on other airlines if more favorable financial conditions are offered.
    Any delays of the scheduled flights, due to unforeseen circumstances shall be reported as soon as possible, either to the ESO Guesthouse in Santiago or to VAtravel@eso.org in Garching (fax and telephone numbers are provided at the end of the present document). Due to the ever-present risk of late delivery of checked-in baggage upon arrival in Santiago, it is recommended to carry in hand-luggage all essentials, and in particular the documents concerning the observing programme.

  4. Transport schedules within Chile foresee an overnight stay in the guesthouse in Santiago upon arrival and before the departure. For information about taxi transports from and to the airport in Santiago, please see details at the end of this document. Special transports to or from the observatories will not be arranged, except in very special cases that require prior approval. There are no direct flight connections between the observatories. Observers visiting both observatories during their stay in Chile should return to Santiago and travel to the other observatory from there. Alternatively, bus transportation is possible overnight from La Serena to Antofagasta and vice versa.

  5. As a rule ESO will book the national flights to the observatories for all Visiting Astronomers, including those not financially supported by ESO. This is in order to ensure that the national flights match with the surface transports to the observatories. If applicable, the costs will be debited to the observers before departure from Chile.

  6. When planning their trip to Chile, Visiting Astronomers must follow the requirements specified below. Any deviations require prior approval by the observatories.
    Requests for approval must be sent to VAtravel (vatravel@eso.org) well before the Travel Form is submitted. Non-compliance with these instructions may result in the cancellation of the observing time.


    a) The requested presence at PARANAL before the start of the observations depends on the instrumentation used:

    UT2/UVES

    24 hours (1 day)

    All other UTs instruments

    48 hours (2 days)

    Please note that for Paranal due to the tight logistic situation earlier arrival at the observatory cannot be accommodated. Similarly, Visiting Astronomers are required to leave Paranal immediately after their last night. For the stay in Santiago, please also consult paragraph III, 5.

    b) The presence of the Visiting Astronomer at LA SILLA before the start of the observations depends on the transportation schedule.
    Ground transportation between the observatory and the airport in La Serena and vice versa will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. In general, the Visiting Astronomer will arrive 1 to 2 days before the start of observations, and may leave the site up to 1 to 2 days after the observations.

    For more information on the Observatories, please check the La Silla and Paranal web pages.

    c) Visiting Astronomers conducting the observations have to be either the PI or one of the Co-Is of the corresponding ESO programme.

    d) As a rule only one observer per observing run is accepted in Paranal. Requests for additional observer(s)
    must include a scientific justification for the presence of multiple observers and the names of the proposed observers. Requests must be sent to VAtravel (vatravel@eso.org). Requests that are not submitted in due time may not be considered.

    ESO will normally cover the expenses for one observer only. For GTO observers, ESO will fully support one Visiting Astronomer every 8 nights of the total GTO time allocation per Period. Under exceptional circumstances, ESO may make a contribution to the travel and/or board and lodging costs of additional people.

    e) In order to encourage the participation of students during observing runs in La Silla, ESO may support the travel and/or board and lodging for a second observer provided that:

    • the student is accompanied by the supervisor
    • the student is directly involved in the observing program
    • the length of the observing run is 5 continuous nights or longer
    If these conditions are met, the PI may address his/her request directly to VAtravel (vatravel@eso.org).

    f) For health and safety reasons long-term visitors are not allowed to stay at the telescope site(s) for more than two weeks in a row. After that, a rest period at sea level of 2 to 3 days must be planned, before the next period at the high site can start. The 2 to 3 days break can be spent in Antofagasta, La Serena, or Santiago.

     

III. Observing Run at La Silla/Paranal

  1. Visiting Astronomers execute the programmes accepted by ESO, and may deviate from these only under exceptional circumstances, and after approval by the ESO Directorate.

  2. Visiting Astronomers bringing along special equipment must inform the ESO Logistics Office in Garching (gar.log@eso.org) at least 6 weeks in advance of the complete list of all items to be shipped. They will receive information concerning transport, import, and export procedure. While ESO may provide assistance in every aspect of the transport and customs procedures, this can only be done well in advance of the arrival of the visitor. ESO cannot give any guarantee concerning transport or customs clearance.

    In case a Visiting Astronomer intends to transport his/her own equipment to the observatory, ESO may assume all or part of the corresponding costs.

  3. At Paranal, support astronomers will assist Visiting Astronomers with the preparation of their observation blocks and in the execution of their observations.
    In the new operations model implemented at La Silla in October 2009, the presence of dedicated scientific support staff on-site is not foreseen. Visiting astronomers will be introduced to the Observatory by System Engineers, and observations will be supported by trained Telescope Instrument Operators. Observers should clarify any queries before arriving on the mountain, using the e-mail entry point lasilla@eso.org.
    More details are given in the June 2009 issue of the ESO Messenger, and on the Science Operations pages.

  4. All observational data obtained with the ESO telescopes remain the property of ESO. At the end of their observing run and before leaving the observatory, Visiting Astronomers are requested to fill in a web-based end-of-mission report form.

  5. ESO Chile staff astronomers like to meet astronomers from abroad and would therefore appreciate if Visiting Astronomers could make it possible to stay an extra day in the Santiago Headquarters to meet them and possibly also colleagues from Chilean universities. The presentation of a talk would also be very welcome. Please contact the ESO Colloquium coordinators in Santiago at colloquia@eso.org.

IV Publications

Publications based on observations collected at the ESO Observatory should mention in a footnote on the first page "Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile" including the corresponding observing proposal which should clearly be identified by its ESO number (example: ESO No. 070.A-0555).

Please notify the ESO Library at esodata@eso.org upon acceptance or publication of a paper based on ESO data, including the bibliographic reference (article title, authors, journal title, volume, year, pages) and the program IDs of the data used.

V. Financial Conditions

  1. The ESO financial support is only granted to astronomers affiliated to institutions in the ESO Member States at the time of the observations.
    Astronomers working in an ESO non member institution with 'multinational character' are only financially supported, if their salaries are directly paid by an ESO member state organization or agency. In this case a corresponding confirmation has to be provided by the astronomer.
    In exceptional cases, e.g. short term stays in a non member state institution, it can be decided on a case by case basis, as to whether the astronomer is supported from ESO funds.

  2. To Visiting Astronomers who are fully or partly financially supported, ESO shall provide free board and lodging in the Guesthouse in Santiago and at Paranal or La Silla for the observing period. In case there is no room available in the Guesthouse hotel accommodation will be provided. Expenses incurring to ESO due to unexcused no-show of a Visiting Astronomer shall be charged.

  3. Any additional reimbursable non-private costs can be claimed by filling in the travel expense claim. This claim should be sent to VAtravel at ESO Garching, supported by the ticket stubs and receipts (this does not apply for passport or Observing Programmes Office costs). There is no daily allowance for observing trips. As a rule the most economical air, train or bus ticket will be reimbursed. If the Visiting Astronomer prefers to travel by private car or taxi to/from their local airport, the equivalent of a train ticket (2nd class) or other public transportation will be reimbursed.

  4. Visiting Astronomers carrying out scientific work at the ESO observatories in Chile will be insured for Accidental Death, Accidental Permanent Disability, and Urgent Medical Care.

    The guarantees shall apply during the journey from the usual residence of the Visitor to the place where the mission has to be fulfilled, upon arrival on this place until the moment the Visitor leaves after fulfillment of the mission and during the return journey, from the place where the mission has been fulfilled to the usual residence of the insured person. The insurance coverage through ESO does NOT apply to any stay or travel before, during or after the mission (e.g. private activities, holidays, etc.); the Visitor is advised to take out an adequate travel insurance for these activities.

    In case of Accidental Death - a lump sum of € 64.000,- shall be paid.

    In case of Accidental Permanent Disability - a lump sum of € 128.000,- shall be paid, if the degree of permanent disability is more than 2/3 as a result of an accident that occurred during insurance period. If the degree is below 2/3, but higher than 1/3 the above amount shall be adapted according to the medically recognized degree of disability. If the degree of disability is less than 1/3, no payment shall be due.

    Medical Care - Expenses for urgent medical care are reimbursable in conformity with Article 16 - 19 of the ESO Group Insurance contract, with a maximum of € 5.200,-. In case of accident, these amounts will be doubled. Reimbursement of medical expenses is only possible on presentation of the relevant certificate issued by the attending physician. Reimbursement should be requested through VAtravel at ESO Garching.

    In case Visiting Astronomers carry in their hand-luggage any equipment of substantial value to be used, they should inform VAtravel at ESO Garching before the journey so that the appropriate customs formalities can be arranged.

  5. When free board, lodging, and travel are not provided by ESO, the charges are as follows:

Lodging in ESO Guesthouse Santiago (breakfast included)

€  60
Main meal in ESO Guesthouse Santiago €  15
24-hour stay at La Silla / Paranal €  60
Round trip air transfer to/from La Serena
€ 130
One-way surface transport La Serena - La Silla €  25
Round trip air transfer to/from Antofagasta € 250
One-way surface transport Antofagasta - Paranal €  25
Transfer (one-way) within Santiago (appr.) €  25

Prices are indicative and subject to fluctuation in airfares and exchange rates.

Astronomers are asked to settle their bills before leaving Chile.
Credit cards (Euro/Master, AMEXCO and VISA) are accepted at ESO.
Otherwise payment should be done preferably in Euro (cash). Payments in US$ (cash or traveler's cheques) are also accepted.

Important Addresses

ESO Office Garching   Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2
    D-85748 Garching bei München
  Phone: (+49 89) 3200 60 (operator)
    (+49 89) 3200 6473/6869 (OPO)
    (+49 89) 3200 6553 (VAtravel)
  Fax: (+49 89) 320 2362

ESO Office Santiago   Alonso de Córdova 3107
    Vitacura
    Casilla 19001
    Santiago 19
  Phone: (+56 2) 2463 3000
  Fax: (+56 2) 2463 3101

ESO Guesthouse Santiago   Rey Gustavo Adolfo 4634
    Las Condes
  Phone: (+56 2) 2208 4254
    (+56 2) 2207 9785
  Fax: (+56 2) 2228 9333

ESO Office Antofagasta   Avda. Balmaceda 2536 - of. 504
    Edificio 'Don Guillermo'
    Antofagasta
  Phone: (+56 55) 2260 032
  Fax: (+56 55) 2260 081

ESO Paranal Phone: (+56 55) 2435 100
  Fax: (+56 55) 2435 101

ESO La Silla Phone: (+56 2) 2464 4100
  Fax:

(+56 2) 2464 4101

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
ESO Office La Serena   Avenida Panoramica No. 4461
    Sector Aeroparque
    Casilla 567
    La Serena
  Phone:
Fax:
(+56 51) 272 601
(+56 51) 215 175

*-*-*-*-*-*


Taxi services to/from the Santiago airport are provided by Centropuerto Trans VIP.
Transfers from the Guesthouse will follow the usual procedure. Please note that the former procedure for airport pick up has been changed: Passengers must now approach the Centropuerto counter - either in the post customs area of the International Terminal or the baggage claim area of the Domestic Terminal - where s/he will be assigned with a vehicle.

Please see below pictures of such counters and the cars parking area.

International module

Module in the international terminal at the Santiago airport.

Domestic module

Module in the domestic terminal at the Santiago airport.

parking_location

Cars location.