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In 6 weeks, I will board a plane which brings me to Chile to start the #MeetESO Social Media gathering. While writing this blog post I have a flashback to 2014, when I went to a trip to Baikonur (see blog series). This was the first time I was in Russia & Kazakhstan and most of the people on the trip I saw for the first time. It was one of the best trips in my life, as I’ve never seen a rocket launch before.
For the #MeetESO trip it feels similar. Since I was a teenager and had my own telescope, I was gazing at the night sky. My favorite object was Saturn. I still can feel how amazing it was to see Saturn rings through a simple telescope with my own eyes.
European Southern Observatories is an intergovernmental astronomy organization in Europe, who provides astronomy research facilities – or amateurish spoken “telescopes” – to astronomers. ESO’s headquarter is in Garching near Munich in Germany. In Chile the observatories are operated at 3 different sites in the Chilean Andes. www.eso.org
Astronomy was first passion, which also triggered my interest in spaceflight & human exploration. Therefore, I was always a dream to see the big ESO telescope myself. And in 6 weeks my dream will come true, well to be precise more than a dream, because during the trip a total solar eclipse will happen over La Silla, one of the ESO sites. This is truly a once in a lifetime event.
Before leaving to Chile, I would like to invite you our readers & followers to let me know if you have any specific questions which I should answer during the trip. Let me know if you have suggestions who to talk to or which instrument, I should talk about. See my contact details at the bottom.
Last week we got the trip itinerary, so the whole “thing” gets more real. I was even already pondering, which warm clothes I need to bring and if I should bring all my camera lenses 😉
In total we are 9 #MeetESO participants, so there will be plenty of updates in different languages. So, stay tuned and follow us to not miss a thing.
- Eric Benedetti (USA): Instagram, Facebook
- Paul Davies (UK): Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
- Guillaume Doyen (FR): YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blog
- Tara Foster (AUS): Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blog
- Olivia Haider (AT): Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
- Felipe Hime Miranda (BRA): YouTube, Instagram, Twitter
- Ariel Waldman(USA): YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
- Carol Wright (UK): Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
- Norédine Benazdia (FR): YouTube, Twitter
#MeetESO itinerary (highlights)
Sun 30Jun2019: Arrival in Santiago de Chile
Mon/Tue 01-02Jul2019: La Silla
La Silla, is located 600 km North of Santiago de Chile at outskirts of Atacama Desert on 2,400 m sea level. It’s also ESO’s first observatory inaugurated in 1969.
The total solar eclipse will take place here on 02Jul2019 (15:23 – 17:47 with totality from 16:39 – 16:41 local time)
Wed, 03Jul2019: Paranal & Cerro Armazones (ELT location, if access is permitted)
On Cerro Paranal at 2,600 m ESO’s largest telescope the VLT (Very Large Telescope) has its home. It’s in the middle of the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth.
At Paranal will get to view VISTA telescope, VLT platform & control room
Cerro Armazones, at 3,046 m sea level, only ca. 20 km air line from Paranal, the biggest telescope in the world, the ELT (Extremely Large Telescope) is currently build.
Fri, 05Jul2019: ALMA
ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) is ESO’s highest location on Chajnantor plateau in the Chilean Andes (4,576 – 5,044m). its 50km E of Sand Pedro de Atacama. #ALMA consist of 66 antennas spread of 16 km. These antennas are also part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), who captured the shadow of a black hole recently.
Sat, 06Jul2019: Santiago de Chile free time
Sun, 07Jul2019: Departure from Santiago de Chile
This article is available in: German
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