Why is the astronomical organisation ESO involved in a Bond movie?
The Bond production was attracted by the special location and the exceptional architecture of the award-winning Paranal Residencia, a true oasis in the desert.
Is there any impact on science operations and observations?
Everything has been done to avoid any interruption of service and impact on the science operations. The film crew will shoot only during during the day and only in the vicinity of the Residencia, which is 4 km away from the telescopes.
Is ESO paid by the production?
ESO receives a site fee to compensate for the extra efforts and costs arising from hosting the 22nd Bond movie team. It won’t pay for a new telescope, however.
What role does the observatory play in the story?
The Residencia of the Paranal Observatory, where the filming is taking place, plays the part of the villain’s hiding place.
Why was Paranal chosen as the site of ESO’s Very Large Telescope?
Cerro Paranal is in the Atacama Desert , which is thought to be the driest place on earth. The high-altitude site and extreme dryness make excellent conditions for astronomical observations. Last year for example, only about one night out of ten was lost due to the weather, which is certainly a record.
How many people live on Paranal?
People work and live at Paranal on shifts. During a typical day and night, there are about 120 people at the Observatory.
Is it possible to visit Paranal?
Yes. Visits are organised on the last 2 week-ends of every month, and are free to attend. Interested persons need to register in advance, using the form available on the website .
What exactly is casting the shadow in the image on the front page of this site and the desktop wallpaper?
This is a shadow cast by one of the enclosure buildings of the VLT's four 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes.
Find more about ESO at http://www.eso.org