Bavarian Minister of Sciences, Research and the Arts visits Paranal
27 May 2013
The Bavarian State Minister of Sciences, Research and the Arts, Dr Wolfgang Heubisch, made a special visit to ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile on 24–25 May 2013 at the end of an official trip that included working visits to institutions in Chile and other Southern American countries. Minister Heubisch was accompanied by a delegation of Bavarian academic authorities.
ESO’s Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, accompanied by the Director of Operations, Andreas Kaufer, ESO’s Representative in Chile, Fernando Comerón, and Head of Administration, Patrick Geeraert, welcomed Dr Heubisch to the observatory and acted as host for the Minister and his delegation.
After a presentation on ESO by the Director General and a discussion on ESO activities, Minister Heubisch and his delegation were taken for a visit to the support facilities at the Paranal base camp. Later, they visited the telescope platform of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) — the most advanced visible- and infrared-light astronomical observatory in the world. Visiting a telescope enclosure and witnessing the opening of the telescope domes whetted the appetite for a spectacular Atacama sunset over the Pacific Ocean. They then visited the VLT control room, where they were debriefed about various aspects of the observatory operations.
The day concluded with a reception and dinner held jointly with German engineers and scientists from ESO.
Early the next day, Minister Heubisch and his delegation travelled to Antofagasta, the administrative centre of the region that links Paranal and the rest of the ESO sites in Chile, from where they started their return trip to Europe.
Lars Lindberg Christensen
ESO education and Public Outreach Department
Garching bei München, Germany
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