Retirement of ISAAC

Published: 19 Dec 2013

A page of VLT history was turned last week. After 15 years of service and more than 800 scientific publications (and still counting), FORS1, ISAAC was one of the first two instruments on the VLT, obtaining first light in November 1998. The last astronomical observation was of SN 2013ct in the spiral galaxy NGC 428. ISAAC was disconnected on Monday 16 December 2013, ready to be removed from the telescope. The UT3 (Melipal) Nasmyth-A focus will occupied by one of the 2nd generation instruments, SPHERE the VLT planet­ finder instrument, which will be delivered to the Paranal Observatory next year. A Messenger article is being prepared, which will summarise the main scientific achievements obtained with this workhorse instrument.