1. ESO and ESA have today published a co-ordinated press release about
an important discovery made on the basis of observations with the
NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the ground-based ESO Very Large
Telescope on Paranal. It concerns the first-ever identification of a
substantial number of comparatively “young” stars in a very old
elliptical galaxy. You will find the details at the ESO site at:


2. On July 8-9, 2002, the ESO Council will meet in London, one week
after the formal accession of the United Kingdom to ESO on July 1,
2002. On this occasion, a press briefing will be held at the Royal
Observatory Greenwich (ROG), London on Monday 8th July at 3.00 p.m.
Interested media representatives are invited to contact Mr. Gill
Ormrod (PPARC Press Office) – Tel.: +44 (0) 1793 442012 or Email:

3. The “SciTech: Couldn’t Be Without It!” educational programme that
is carried out jointly by the seven leading European Intergovernmental
Research Organisations (the EIROs: CERN, EFDA-JET, EMBL, ESA, ESO,
ESRF, ILL) under the auspices of the EC-sponsored European Science
Week 2002 is moving rapidly forward and the website at CERN
(http://info.web.cern.ch/info/scitech/) now contains a lot of exciting
and useful information. Note also the possibility to win interesting
prizes – a visit to this site may be very rewarding in more than one
way! The final event will take the form of a series of webcasts during
two days at the beginning of November 2002.

4. Two years may seem like a long time, but not for the extensive
preparations for a very ambitious educational project that may
ultimately involve thousands of people on three continents.

On June 8, 2004, planet Venus will move across the solar disk as seen
from Europe, Africa and Asia – this is a very rare astronomical
event. Indeed, the last such “Venus Transit” took place in 1882, and
the next ones will be in 2012 and thereafter in the years 2117 and

On this occasion, ESO and the European Association for Astronomy
Education (EAAE) have joined forces to carry through a major public
programme/event that will enable the participants – quite apart from
enjoying the sight of this intriguing phenomenon – to partake in a
fundamental astronomical measurement – that of determining the
distance between the Earth and the Sun. Join in and walk in the
footsteps of generations of astronomers!

Provisional information about this educational programme is now
available at:


This website will be gradually developed and enhanced during the time
before the event, with plenty of interesting information and useful
instructions about how to participate.