The experience was fantastic, there are so many talks and I was exposed to so many areas of astronomy to a depth that is not possible at my home university. The photo above is of me on a tour of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) test construction workshop. We students were shown one mirror segment in place out of the 798 total segments and we were given a demonstration of some of the control systems and sensors that keep the segments aligned. As much technology as possible is sourced and developed in ESO member nations to try to give back to the member economies. Even having been there, it is difficult to keep a sense of scale of the enormous 39.2 meter primary mirror!
The pictures below show some other memories of my visit, including:
- the Munich clock tower during a gay pride demonstration;
- the ESO campus under the half moon. In front is the Supernova planetarium, shaped like a contact binary system that could produce a supernova. The main ESO office building is to the left.
- swimming in the Garching lake at sunset after a day working at ESO;
- on one of our days off we climbed a nearby mountain. This photo is looking down on the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen from half way up.