The Federal Minister for Science and Research of Austria, Karlheinz Töchterle, and the Minister for Science and Education of Portugal, Nuno Crato, visited ESO's Paranal Observatory on 15 March 2013, as part of their official visits to Chile. The ministers and their delegations were hosted by ESO's Director General, Tim de Zeeuw.
Ministers Töchterle and Crato visited the summit of Cerro Paranal where the telescopes are located, at an altitude of 2635 metres. This provided great views of the desert area, the observatory, nearby Cerro Armazones and the Pacific Ocean. The ministers watched the opening of the telescopes before the start of the night's observations and enjoyed a spectacular view of the sunset from the platform.
Later in the evening both ministers visited the control room and interacted with the astronomers observing with the Very Large Telescope.
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