Workshop: The Very Large Telescope in 2030 - Second Announcement

Published: 18 Mar 2019
Sunset over Paranal

ESO, Garching, Germany, 17–21 June 2019 

ESO is organising a special workshop to discuss the future science uses of the VLT when the ELT will be operational. The workshop will consist of invited reviews and contributed talks to discuss potential development paths for VLT and VLTI. Discussion topics will include new and improved VLT and VLTI instrumentation, potential modifications or upgrades to the facilities, changes in the operations model and synergies with other facilities. We encourage presentations of this nature and will schedule ample time for contributed talks.

The VLT provides a powerful suite of visible and infrared instruments, including unique capabilities like coherent and incoherent combinations of the four 8-metre Unit Telescopes and a multi-laser guided adaptive optics system. In combination with ALMA, it provides comprehensive coverage of the parameter space over visible, infrared and sub-millimetre ground-based observations.

With the advent of ESO's ELT the VLT will take on a new role. It will still serve a large community and will continue to provide unique data. The strengths will be the versatile instrumentation on four 8-metre telescopes, the spatial resolution achievable by interferometry and the flexible operational model. The VLT, VLTI and the instrumentation have been maintained at peak performance and new capabilities have been developed. A hardware and software obsolescence programme is ensuring that the facility can be operated for many years to come.

A discussion of the future science served by the VLT should be the basis for its development in the ELT era. The ELT, VLT (in its many functions) and the ESO 4-metre telescopes will form a powerful astrophysics resource. The new role of the VLT needs to be defined and the workshop will provide a discussion forum to shape its future.

The outcome of the workshop should provide an overview of potential development paths of the VLT and VLTI when the ELT is operating. ESO will assess the priorities for future VLT developments according to the ideas presented at the workshop and available resources. These ideas will be consolidated by the VLT and VLTI programme scientists into a strategic proposal and incorporated into an implementation plan, to be submitted to STC and Council for recommendation and approval.

Please see the workshop webpage for more details. Registration is open until 17 May 2019.