Prof. Dr. Rob Ivison
ESO Director for Science
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) - with Ireland as its latest Member State - is conducting an ambitious programme, building and operating world-class astronomical observatories on the ground and fostering cooperation in astronomy. In this presentation I will provide an update on recent progress in the various ESO programmes, the La Silla Paranal Observatory, the now fully operational Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA), and what will be the world’s largest observatory, the 39-m European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), under construction in Chile. I will spend some time highlighting the ways in which Irish astronomers can take advantage of what ESO has to offer. I will close with a look at the latest breakthroughs in our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, based largely on observations with ALMA.