MOSCOW, August 14 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Astronomic Society has been officially invited to join the largest project of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile.
Russia’s admission fee is 120 million euros and the terms are highly preferential. Russia will also receive orders for unique astro-instruments.
“Russia is very much interested in this project,” press secretary of the Pulkovo Astronomic Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences told Itar-Tass. “The former Soviet Union wanted an access to Chile for doing astronometric and astrophotographic works. Fifteen countries of Europe used the chance provided by the world’s best astronomical climate in South America later on.”
“A whole range of objects in the universe cannot be seen from the northern hemisphere. They are located close or under the horizon, so all the countries want to have observation options in the southern hemisphere. That is the place from where the central part of the Milky Way can be seen, together with massive black holes – objects the most interesting for astrophysics and cosmology,” he said.
The establishment of the European Southern Observatory in Chile started in 1962 to ensure the access of European astronomers to the southern skies. Eighteen largest and best-equipped telescopes were built there. The observatory is fully isolated from artificial light and sources of dust. It has done a lot of research and released several astronomical catalogs through these years. The observatory published unique information about the farthest gamma outburst confirming the existence of a black hole in the center of this galaxy and detected a lot of planets outside of the solar system with the help of a spectrograph.