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Dr Jonathan Smoker – Astronomy at the European Southern Observatory, Chile
21st Nov 2022 at 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
A general introduction as to why we do astronomy and my personal story of how I became a professional astronomer working at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). We will talk a little bit about Chile and why it has become a worldwide centre for astronomical observations. A typical day’s work at Paranal Observatory (The Very Large Telescope) will be described as well as some scientific results from the last 20 years from Paranal, La Silla and the Atacama Large MM/Sub-mm array (ALMA). Finally, we’ll discuss what is coming next, especially ESOs Extremely Large Telescope which in the next 5-10 years will become the largest optical telescope in the world. There won’t be any equations in the talk, the idea is that you ask questions whenever you like and we have a nice hour or so talking about astronomy in the southern hemisphere!
Dr Jonathan Smoker is a staff astronomer at the Very Large Telescope, Mount Paranal, Chile, operated by the European Southern Observatory. He is currently instrument scientist for OMEGACAM, the wide-field imager on Paranal.