Disclaimer, Usage of ESO Images/Videos, Credits and Privacy Policies


The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, ESO, maintains this website to inform the astronomical community, its staff and the general public about astronomical research in the southern hemisphere using ESO telescopes and instrumentation. The web site also includes information concerning on-going projects and developments to further enhance and enlarge ESO's observing facilities. The goal is to keep this information timely and accurate. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. However, ESO accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the information on this site.

This information is:

  • of a general nature only and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity;
  • not necessarily comprehensive, complete, accurate or up to date;
  • sometimes linked to external sites over which ESO have no control and for which the ESO assumes no responsibility.

It is our goal to minimize disruption caused by technical errors. However, some data or information on our site may have been created or structured in files or formats that are not error-free and we cannot guarantee that our service will not be interrupted or otherwise affected by such problems. ESO accepts no responsibility with regard to such problems incurred as a result of using this site or any linked external sites.

Usage of ESO Images and Videos

Information about usage of ESO images and videos is available on: http://www.eso.org/public/outreach/copyright.html


This page uses scripts and tools created by developers and communities not connected to ESO. We would therefore like to thank and give credit to:

  • Dirk Jesse, who created the YAML framework that offered us a great basis for the ESO Web CSS layout,
  • Ulf Wendel and Alex Vorobiev for the basic library of the PHP menu
  • Stephen Poley for a nice sample of JavaScript methods to check input forms

Privacy Policies

There are various facilities accessible to the users on the ESO's web pages. Some of these include forms where the user is requested to fill in some data or information on themselves (e.g. their e-mail address or name). In addition, our information services (www, ftp, mail/majordomo servers etc.) keep logs of certain information. ESO's privacy policy can be stated simply:

We will not collect any personal information about you when you access our network services unless you choose to provide that information to us.


Information which the ESO maintains about our user community, such as e-mail addresses of observers and of mailing-list subscribers, is normally available only for internal access. Please note, however, that the archives of some e-mail discussion groups hosted by ESO are, by request of the group involved, publicly accessible. By posting to these discussion groups, you may therefore make public the e-mail address from which you posted.

E-mail addresses and other information obtained through any of the means below will NOT be sold or released to any third party, without prior written or authenticated e-mail consent from the owner of the information.

Web access

If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information, information about your visit will automatically be gathered and stored. This information does not identify you personally. We collect and store only the following information about your visit:

  1. The Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.com" if you use a private Internet access account, or "your_university.de" if you connect from a university's domain) and IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our website;
  2. The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
  3. The date and time you access our site;
  4. The pages you visit;
  5. If you linked to the ESO's website from another website, the address of that website.

The information is collected to help making our site more useful to visitors. E.g. to learn about the number of visitors to our site, the types of technology our visitors use, and what domains are our biggest users.

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google"). Google Analytics uses "cookies", which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyse how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage.

Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. In the latter case personal profiles obtained via the collected information may be sold or used for personalised advertising. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. However please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

This site contains links to other sites. ESO is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these Web sites.

FTP access

The policy in the Web section above applies here. In addition, our ftp server records whether your access was in binary or ASCII mode, and whatever e-mail address you enter as a "password" for anonymous ftp access (your browser may decide this; e.g., under Netscape, Edit Preferences, Advanced section, there is an option called "send email address as anonymous FTP password").


Any incoming electronic mail to ESO will generate several log entries that include the routine information associated with normal SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) operation. Such log entries do NOT include the body (main text) of the message.

In all cases, the information on mail transactions is collected and retained in log files which will not be made available to the general public. The log entries will contain the e-mail address of the sender, its size, the number of recipients, the message ID, and the actual recipient within ESO and status of delivery (deferred, success, etc.)

This information is kept purely to help us diagnose system problems, or activities that may violate our Acceptable Use Policy or other Operational or Staff Rules and Regulations.