ESO 3.6 m Telescope

ESO 3.6 M Telescope

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ESO 3.6 m Telescope

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The ESO 3.6 m Telescope is an optical reflecting telescope run by the European Southern Observatory at La Silla Observatory, Chile since 1977, with a clear aperture of about 3.6 meters (140 in.) and 8.6 m<sup>2</sup> area. It received an overhaul in 1999 and a new secondary in 2004. It was one of the largest optical telescopes in the world when it was completed in the late 1970s, and has supported many advanced optical and scientific achievements. It presented one of the first Adaptive Optics system available to the astronomical community, ADaptive Optics Near Infrared System in the 1980s. By 2009, the telescope was used to discover 75 possible exoplanets.


Since April 2008, the only instrument on the ESO 3.6m telescope is HARPS, the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher. HARPS is a fibre-fed high resolution echelle spectrograph dedicated to the discovery of extrasolar planets. Other instruments on the telescope, now decommissioned, include:
  • CES: A spectrograph providing a resolving power of up to 235,000 in the 346 - 1028&nbsp;nm region.
  • EFOSC2: The ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (v.2) to give its full name, is a very versatile instrument for low resolution spectroscopy and imaging.
  • TIMMI-2 Thermal Infrared MultiMode Instrument dedicated to the 3 micron to 25 micron

Recent scientific achievements

The ESO 3.6m telescope has made several scientific...
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