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European observatory tops research output ranking

The European Southern Observatory has declared itself to be the most productive telescope of its kind in the world, based on an analysis of research output from space observatories.

The analysis, published in the ESO’s publication statistics report, shows that 897 research papers using ESO data were published in peer-reviewed journals during 2012, making it the top ground-based observatory in the ranking.

According to the figures, 845 papers used data from NASA’s ESA Hubble Space Telescope in the same year.

“The methods used to obtain these numbers vary across the different observatories, so the figures cannot always be compared precisely,” said ESO in a statement.

“However, ESO significantly surpasses any other ground-based observatory and remains neck to neck with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope for the sixth year in a row—results that clearly cement ESO’s significant contribution to astronomical research,” stated the organisation.