Workshop: The Very Large Telescope in 2030

Published: 05 Oct 2018
Sunset over Paranal

ESO, Garching, Germany, 17–21 June 2019  

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 represents comprehensive coverage across  the full parameter space encompassing ground-based observations in visible, infrared and sub-mm wavelengths. With the advent of ESO's Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) the VLT will take on a new role. It will still serve a large community and will continue to provide unique data. Its strengths will include a suite of versatile instrumentation on four 8-metre telescopes, the spatial resolution achievable by interferometry and a flexible operational model. The VLT, VLTI and the instrumentation have been maintained at peak performance and new capabilities have been developed.

A discussion of 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 this workshop will provide a discussion forum aimed at shaping the VLT's future.

Discussion topics will include new and improved VLT and VLTI instrumentation, potential modifications or upgrades to the facilities, changes in the operational model and synergies with other facilities. 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 web page for more details.