ESO 3.6-metre telescope

The ESO 3.6-metre telescope started operations in 1977 and set Europe the exciting engineering challenge of constructing and operating a telescope in the 3–4-metre class in the Southern Hemisphere.

Over the years, the ESO 3.6-metre telescope has been constantly upgraded, including the installation of a new secondary mirror that has kept the telescope in its place as one of the most efficient and productive engines of astronomical research.

The telescope hosts HARPS, the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher, the world's foremost exoplanet hunter. HARPS is a spectrograph with unrivalled precision and is the most successful finder of low-mass exoplanets to date.

La Silla: 3.6m-Telescope enclosure

  • Height: 4120 cm
  • Diameter: 3110 cm

Science goals

Search for exoplanets; asteroseismology.


ESO 3.6-metre telescope

Name: ESO 3.6-metre telescope
Site: La Silla
Altitude: 2375 m
Enclosure: Classical dome
Type: Optical & near-infrared telescope
Optical design: Cassegrain
Diameter. Primary M1: 3.57 m
Material. Primary M1: Fused Silica
Diameter. Secondary M2: 1.20 m. since Nov 1984: 0.33 m chopping M2
Material. Secondary M2: Fused Silica
Diameter. Tertiary M3: 1.33 m
Mount: Equatorial Horseshoe mount
First Light date: 7 November 1976
Adaptive Optics: COME-ON ADONIS 1990
Images taken with ESO 3.6-metre telescope: Link
Images of ESO 3.6-metre telescope: Link
Videos of ESO 3.6-metre telescope: Link
Press Releases with ESO 3.6-metre telescope: Link