High up in the Atacama Desert in Chile, ESO’s Paranal Observatory has welcomed a very special guest. Former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, visited the Paranal facilities, including the Very Large Telescope (VLT), on 21 and 22 October 2016.
Prior to that, on 20 October, Ms. Halonen paid a visit to the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO), after delivering a talk at CEPAL (the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) on the global situation of women in the 21st Century. During her visit to the JAO she met women scientists and engineers working at ALMA and ESO and was given a presentation about the ALMA residence, which is nearing completion and is based on a design by Finnish architects.
Finland became the eleventh member state of the European Southern Observatory in 2004, during Ms. Halonen’s presidency. Since then, ESO has benefitted from the frontline scientific expertise for which the country is known, as well as its contributions to the strengthening and development of pioneering research carried out with ESO’s facilities. The Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA) serves as a focus for Finland’s astronomers working with ESO facilities and promotes technological development work related to ESO.