Group of EU ambassadors visits Paranal

24 June 2022

On 23 June, ESO had the pleasure to welcome four ambassadors to Chile to its Paranal Observatory, in the north of the country. 

The group included the ambassadors Eija Rotinen, Carmen Gonsalves and Carlos Sousa Amaro from ESO Member States Finland, Netherlands and Portugal, respectively. The group was also joined by Florice Mocanu, ambassador of Romania. During their visit, the representatives met with Andreas Kaufer, Director of the observatory. 

The group, which represents four EU countries, visited ESO’s Paranal Observatory following the UExtodoChile initiative in Antofagasta, whose objective is to promote the role of the EU as a global actor and strengthen relations with the regions of Chile. Given the proximity, the ambassadors took the opportunity to visit some of ESO’s advanced astronomical facilities.

ESO’s Paranal Observatory is located in the remote Chilean Atacama Desert, at 2635 metres above sea level. Due to its remote location, the site offers some of the darkest skies in the world. Several telescopes are situated in Paranal, such as the Very Large Telescope (VLT), the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA), and the VLT Survey Telescope. In the immediate vicinity of Paranal ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope is currently under construction. Once completed later this decade, this revolutionary ground-based telescope will have a 39-metre main mirror and will be the largest visible and infrared light telescope in the world: the world’s biggest eye on the sky. 

The Paranal site serves as a great illustration of the importance of intergovernmental scientific and technological cooperation between ESO Member States in Europe and Chile.


Francisco Rodríguez
ESO Press Officer Chile
Santiago, Chile

Bárbara Ferreira
ESO Media Manager
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6670

About the Announcement



Group of EU ambassadors visits Paranal
Group of EU ambassadors visits Paranal