Category: Uncategorized

At the Campus Party Europe in Berlin

I am in Berlin, at the Campus Party Europe in Berlin, a geek meeting gathering about 20,000 participants. An unusual thing, I must say. I was invited as an ESO ambassador, to give a talk about astronomy. And here I ...

Rock Star Paul Young encounters the Stars @ ESO

I am sick, at home. Stomach not working as originally designed. Therefore I find some time to blog. These last days have been very busy with the organization of the ESO Observing Programmes Committee, the board that selects the scientific ...

Good bye, Paranal

Everything, sooner or later, comes to an end. This is my last day on Paranal, and it is quite unusual. In fact, last night we started off with a very strong wind, coupled to an extreme humidity. The inversion layer ...

The 42m E-ELT goes to Cerro Armazones – Chile!

ESO's Director General has just announced that the 42m E-ELT will be built on Cerro Armazones, Chile. For more details see the ESO press release.  This is some 30km away from Cerro Paranal. So, South America will host the largest ...

Early meetings. People who make things happen.

Like everyday, this morning I brought my little son to the kinder-garden. On the way I met Tim de Zeeuw, the Director General of ESO. From the window of my office I can see his and I had noticed he ...

The road to scientific advance

While reading Rare Earths by Peter Ward, I found the following quotation: "Much of the work we do as scientists involves filling in the details about matters that are basically understood already, applying standard techniques to new specific cases. But occasionally ...

Catastrophic Explosions seen through Interstellar Clouds

I realized that I never wrote about my scientific research (which actually is one of the two sides of my professional life, the other being my functional duties for the European Organization for Astronomical Research). As you may have noticed ...

A public seminar on ESO and Cerro Paranal

After attending the "Stellar Death" conference in Santa Barbara-California (I will report about it in a forthcoming post), I am now kind of relaxing in north-eastern Italy (I will report on this as well, lots of interesting stuff). Tomorrow evening, ...

Public lecture on life in the universe

Just a quick one. I will be giving a public lecture on the search for life in the universe. Being an astronomer I will mainly focus on the astrophysical aspects, but I will also touch upon related subjects. The lecture ...

Herschel and Planck ready for launch in two days!

A [very] quick one. ESA's Herschel and Planck will be launched on May 14 from French Guiana. See this press release for more details. Keep checking the ESA website for updates, this is going to be exciting.