Which are the latest astronomical discoveries made with the new
8-10 metre class astronomical telescopes? Will it be possible to
construct even more powerful instruments on the ground and in space to
explore the near and distant Universe at all wavelengths from
gamma-rays to radio waves? Which research areas in this dynamical
science are likely to achieve break-throughs with emerging new

These are some of the central themes that will be discussed by more
than 600 specialists from all over the world at an international
conference in Munich (Germany), “Astronomical Telescopes and
Instruments 2000”
, beginning on Monday, March 27, 2000. During
five days, the modern architecture of the new International Congress
in the Bavarian capital will be the scene of lively
exchanges about recent progress at the world’s top-class astronomical
research facilities and the presentation of inspired new ideas about
future technological opportunities. The conference will be accompanied
by numerous on-site exhibition stands by the major industries and
research organisations in this wide field.

This meeting is the latest in a series, organised every second
year, alternatively in the USA and Europe by the International Society for Optical
Engineering (SPIE)
, this year with the European Southern Observatory
as co-sponsor and host institution.

The conference will be opened in the morning of March 27 by the
Bavarian Minister of Science, Research and Arts, Hans
. His address will be followed by keynote speeches by
Massimo Tarenghi (European Southern Observatory), James
B. Breckenridge
(National Science Foundation, USA), Harvey
(Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy) and
Albrecht Ruediger (Max Planck Institut für Quantenoptik,

The conference is subtitled “Power Telescopes and
Instrumentation into the New Millennium”
and will be attended by
leading scientists and engineers from all continents. There will be
plenary sessions and specialised working group meetings on virtually
all subject areas related to modern astronomical technology, ranging
from optical design, materials and fabrication to telescope
structures, detectors and the associated discovery and research

While the performance and results from the new, large ground-based
facilities like the ESO
Very Large Telescope (VLT)
will constitute one of the focal
points, much attention will also be devoted to new projects in space
astronomy, e.g., the Next
Generation Space Telescope (NGST)
, the planned successor to
the Hubble Space Telescope
. Other space missions to be discussed are the XMM-Newton and Chandra X-Ray
observatories. Radio Telescopes, herunder the projected Atacama Large Millimetre
Array (ALMA)
, as well as Optical Interferometry are
other hot subjects, as are the current plans for optical telescopes
in the extremely large class
, with surface diameters of 30 – 100

Press Conference

An international Press Conference will be held at the
meeting site in the Munich International Conference Center on
Monday, March 27, at 12:15 hrs local time (CET)
. It will be
attended by some of the key participants, with possibilities for
individual interviews.

More information about the Press Conference is available

Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
D-85748 Garching

Tel.: +4989-32006276
Fax: +4989-3202362
email: ips@eso.org