ann11057 — Announcement

Open House at ESO 2011: Help build a full-size model of the E-ELT mirror

29 August 2011

For a German version of this announcement please go here.

The European Southern Observatory (ESO), the world’s most productive astronomical observatory, will open its doors to the public for one day, on Saturday 15 October 2011 between 11:00 and 18:00 at ESO Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany. This event is part of the Open House Day activities for the whole Garching research campus, and several other local institutes will also open their doors to the public.

The highlight of ESO’s Open House Day 2011 — weather conditions permitting — will be the outdoor construction of a full-sized model of what will be the biggest telescope mirror ever built. Using 798 cardboard hexagons, each roughly 1.4 metres across, visitors will assemble a mock-up of the 39.3-metre diameter main mirror of the European-Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The mock-up will occupy an area of nearly 1000 square metres on the ground next to the ESO Headquarters building.

The E-ELT is ESO’s most ambitious project so far and it will become the world’s biggest eye on the sky. With start of operations planned for early in the next decade, the E-ELT will tackle the biggest scientific challenges of our time, and aim for a number of notable firsts, including tracking down Earth-like planets around other stars in the "habitable zones" where life could exist. Click here to watch a short video about the E-ELT.

Apart from this unique event, the programme for this year includes a wide range of activities for all ages:

  • Exciting demonstrations, exhibitions and lectures on the discoveries made with ESO’s telescopes, the advanced technology behind them, and the day-to-day workings of the observatory;
  • A live video link to Paranal Observatory, home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope on a remote mountaintop in the Chilean Atacama Desert, 11 400 km away from Garching;
  • Have your infrared photo portrait taken;
  • Planetarium shows;
  • Solar observations (weather conditions permitting);
  • Sending postcards from the edge of the Universe;
  • Question-and-answer sessions with ESO astronomers;
  • Fun activities for children and parents such as face painting.

Media representatives who wish to attend the event are kindly asked to confirm their participation to osandu@eso.org.

More information will be available soon. In the meantime, you can find out more about the Open House Day held in 2009 here (in German).

Links

Contacts

Oana Sandu
ESO, Garching, Germany
Community Coordinator
Phone: +49 89 3200 6965
E-mail: osandu@eso.org

About the Announcement

Id:ann11057

Images

The E-ELT’s mirror (artist's impression)
The E-ELT’s mirror (artist's impression)
Künstlerische Darstellung des E-ELT-Hauptspiegels
Künstlerische Darstellung des E-ELT-Hauptspiegels
Open House Day 2009 at ESO Headquarters
Open House Day 2009 at ESO Headquarters