The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is an international astronomical organisation, composed and supported by ten countries from the European Union and created in 1962.
Most of its observation facilities are located in Chile (hence the name "Southern"), and the headquarters are located in Garching near Munich, Germany. ESO operates two major observatories in the Atacama desert, Chile:
- The La Silla Observatory
- The Paranal Observatory, which includes the Very Large Telescope.