German Federal Minister for Education and Research Visits Paranal
1 October 2012
The Federal Minister for Education and Research in Germany, Annette Schavan, made a special visit to ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile on 29–30 September 2012.
The Minister and her delegation were hosted by ESO’s Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, the Director of Operations at the La Silla Paranal Observatory, Andreas Kaufer, and the Representative of ESO in Chile, Massimo Tarenghi. The delegation accompanying Minister Schavan included a State Minister, members of the German Parliament as well as senior representatives of German research organisations and universities.
After a short presentation from ESO, Minister Schavan was given a tour of the Paranal base camp facilities, which include the award-winning Paranal Residencia, a unique building designed by the German architects Auer+Weber+Assoziierte, and which provides accommodation for astronomers, engineers, support staff and visitors staying at the observatory.
The Minister then enjoyed a spectacular sunset, viewed from the platform of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) the most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory in the world, before being given a guided tour of the state-of-the-art facilities located on the mountaintop. The day was capped off with short speeches given by Minister Schavan and Tim de Zeeuw during a small reception before dinner.
The following day, Minister Schavan travelled to ESO’s Cerro Armazones, the chosen site for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the “world biggest eye on the sky” and a central element in the plans to achieve ESO's future goal of continuing to design, construct and operate even more powerful observing facilities.
ESO is supported by 15 Member States and is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in the world. Germany has been one of the strongest supporters of ESO’s activities from the very beginning, being one of its five founding Member States and acting as host to ESO’s European Headquarters in Garching, Germany.
ESO, La Silla, Paranal, E-ELT & Survey Telescopes Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
ePOD Coordinator in Chile
Tel: +562 4633123
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