By Matthew Colless <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ESO Council meeting in Garching, December 2019. Australian observer Jane Urquhart at far left; Director General Xavier Barcons second from right; ESO Council President Willy Benz third from right. Image credit: Matthew Colless.
Under the arrangements for our strategic partnership with the European Southern Observatory, Australia has two observers on the ESO Council: I'm one and Jane Urquhart from the Department of Industry is the other. The Council is ESO’s ruling body and has two representatives from each Member State, usually one government representative and one astronomer. Since ESO now has 16 Member States (plus one strategic partner), that means ESO Council meetings require a big room and a big table!
By Matthew Wilkinson <email@example.com>
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be one of just 7 students selected from a field of almost 350 applicants worldwide to be part of the first cohort of ESO Summer Research Students. This new program provides the opportunity for students who have yet to commence a PhD to spend 6 weeks in the European summer working alongside ESO astronomers on a research project at their headquarters in Garching, Germany.
by Michael Ireland
ESO’s VLT in 2030 workshop in June provided a unique opportunity for the broad ESO community to prevent their vision for the world’s most productive observatory in a broad scientific context. Big picture context talks ranged from the solar system (Heike Rauer) through to Cosmology (Matthew Colless), with arguably the most relevance, interest and excitement in the areas of exoplanet formation, resolving stellar populations in galaxies including the Milky Way, and extragalactic astrophysics including AGN feedback.
by Caroline Foster
Dear fellow Australian astronomers,
This is a hopefully thorough update from your ESO Users Committee (UC) representative. My role is to represent Australian ESO Users and act as a capillary link between ESO and the Australian community.
By Mark Casali <Mark.Casali@mq.edu.au>
It was my pleasure to start as the new director of the AAO node at Macquarie University on April 29th after being non-resident in Australia for more than 30 years. Following a PhD at the University of Melbourne, I began my working career at the Joint Astromomy Centre (JAC) in Hilo, Hawaii, then the old Royal Observatory in Edinburgh which later became the UKATC and latterly, a long stint of 14 years at ESO headquarters in Munich where I was variously head of instrumentation and later technology development.
by Stuart Ryder
Recently I attended the VLT in 2030 meeting at ESO headquarters in Garching, outside of Munich in Germany. While there I took the opportunity to extend my stay by a few days to allow time for discussions with key ESO personnel about enhancing Australia's Strategic Partnership. For those who have not yet visited the ESO "mothership", here are some thoughts about what you can expect.
by Stuart Ryder
ESO collects feedback from its users in a number of ways:
by Lorenzo Spina <Lorenzo.Spina@monash.edu>
La Silla Observatory is located in the Chilean Atacama Desert, one of the driest and most remote areas of the world, 150 km northeast of La Serena and at an altitude of 2400 metres. Whoever is lucky enough to visit this observatory immediately realises that it is a gem of astronomy, home to some of the telescopes that have made the history of this field.
by Caroline Foster <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a quick update from your Users Committee (UC) representative. My role is to represent Australian ESO users and act as the capillary link between ESO and the Australian community.
First, congratulations to all those who have been awarded ESO time for P103 and have completed their Phase 2s last week. Now let’s hope for lots of good quality photons!
by Mike Ireland <email@example.com>
Between June 17 and 21 this year, an exciting, rare and strategic meeting will take place in Garching on The VLT in 2030. The existing complement of VLT/I instrumentation was largely defined a decade or more ago, with no new instruments approved in the past 5 years. The long term future of the observatory is uncertain, with a range of possible changes to instrumentation and operations.
Mike Ireland is the Australian representative on the ESO Science Technical Committee. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org