ESO is one of the most significant astronomical observatories on both European and global scales. Headquartered near Munich, Germany, its observation sites are located in Chile, up in the Andean highlands. ESO currently has 14 member states. Finland joined the organisation in 2004. The most important of ESO’s existing observation instruments is the optical Very Large Telescope (VLT). ESO, the USA and Japan are currently building ALMA, a radiowave system in which the output of 50 radio telescopes is combined. There are also plans for ESO to head the construction of a next-generation 42-metre optical telescope (see the E-ELT ESFRI project).
- 115 Rymdvetenskap och astronomi