Once upon a time …. the members of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) decided to build a Very Large Telescope in Chile. It’sthe start of a great story.
There are 4 telescopes (Antu, Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun) who work together imaging astronomic phenomenons 25 times better than with the individual telescopes. They’re huge. The mirrors have a diameter of 8.2 m!!! The telescopes are situated in Chile, high in the mountains, with the clearest skies on our planet.
A lot of research is already done with the VLT. You may find more information on the ESO website, which contains a couple of very useful links (especially about the science with the telescopes). http://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/vlt/
Tours are available under certain conditions: http://www.eso.org/public/about-eso/visitors/paranal/
Now I leave you with some of the most beautiful pictures of the VLT (credit ESO website)
The European Southern Observatory organizes a social gathering for 8 lucky people to witness the Mercury transit from Chile. The places were it is held is like a dream. In the middle of the desert with the clearest skies on this planet. A real bucket list place and event for astronomy fans.
Of course I applied. Would be a dream come true for this would be astronomer.
Time to tell something more about my dream of becoming an astronomer. My first presentation at primary school was about the solar system. I must have been 9 or 10 years old and already knew that I wanted to be an astronomer. The planets and stars were fascinating and so much to learn about them. And so much new discoveries in our lifetime. I held onto that dream until I was 18 and had to choose which university I would attend. I graduated high school with a beta orientation (math, physics, chemistry and biology). And then I started to doubt if I was good enough for this program. I was at that moment really unsure of my capabilities and skills (like any other teenagers) and ended up choosing safe. I studied business economics instead. After all this years I’m still sad that I made the wrong choice. But I try to compensate by studying astronomy in my free time.
Going to Chile would be the highlight of my astronomy dream. So pick me!!!
Here you can find more info of this social gathering and you can apply yourself.