European Southern Observatory News

New ESO Image of the Medusa Nebula

May 20, 2015

0 Comments

New ESO Image of the Medusa Nebula

This newly released image from the European Southern Observatory is the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula. Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula. As the star at the heart of this nebula made its transition into retirement, it […]

Continue reading...

Evidence of a New Type of Star Cluster

May 18, 2015

0 Comments

Evidence for a Dark Side to NGC5128

Using data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered a new class of “dark” globular star clusters around Centaurus A. These star clusters contain much more mass and may either harbor unexpected amounts of dark matter, or contain massive black holes. Globular star clusters are huge balls of thousands of stars that orbit most […]

Continue reading...

New ESO Image of a Dark Molecular Cloud

May 5, 2015

0 Comments

ESO Image of Molecular Cloud LDN1774

This newly released image from the 2.2-meter MPG/ESO telescope shows the dark molecular cloud cataloged as LDN1774. Rather than showing spectacular objects, some of the most surprising images of the Universe instead focus on emptiness. This new image from the 2.2-meter MPG/ESO telescope shows dark tentacles swirling outwards from a dark, blank spot of space […]

Continue reading...

ESO Reveals the Pillars of Creation in 3D

May 1, 2015

1 Comment

ESO Reveals The Pillars of Creation in 3D

A team of astronomers reveal the first complete three-dimensional view of the famous Pillars of Creation. Using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have produced the first complete three-dimensional view of the famous Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, Messier 16. The new observations demonstrate how the different dusty pillars […]

Continue reading...

51 Pegasi b: The First Exoplanet Directly Detected Spectroscopically in Visible Light

April 22, 2015

0 Comments

First-Ever Direct Detection of the Spectrum of Visible Light from an Exoplanet

Using the HARPS planet-hunting machine, astronomers have made the first-ever direct detection of the spectrum of visible light reflected off an exoplanet. The new observations also revealed new properties of this famous object, the first exoplanet ever discovered around a normal star: 51 Pegasi b. The result promises an exciting future for this technique, particularly […]

Continue reading...

The Possible First Signs of Self-interacting Dark Matter

April 15, 2015

0 Comments

Dark Matter Observed Interacting with Other Dark Matter

Using new Hubble Space Telescope imaging and VLT/MUSE integral field spectroscopy, astronomers reveal what may be the first signs of self-interacting dark matter. For the first time dark matter may have been observed interacting with other dark matter in a way other than through the force of gravity. Observations of colliding galaxies made with ESO’s […]

Continue reading...

VLT Confirms G2 Survived Close Approach of Supermassive Black Hole

March 27, 2015

0 Comments

G2 Passes Supermassive Black Hole

New VLT observations confirm that the dusty gas cloud G2 made its closest approach to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way in May 2014 and has survived the experience. The new result from ESO’s Very Large Telescope shows that the object appears not to have been significantly stretched and that […]

Continue reading...

APEX Observations Unravel the Mystery of Nova Vulpeculae 1670

March 25, 2015

1 Comment

APEX Unravels the Mystery of Nova Vulpeculae 1670

New observations reveal that the star that astronomers saw appear in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision. It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful […]

Continue reading...

New VLT Image Shows Star Cluster NGC 6193 and Nebula NGC 6188

March 17, 2015

0 Comments

Star Cluster NGC 6193 and Nebula NGC 6188

This newly released image from the VLT Survey Telescope shows the young open cluster NGC 6193 in the center, and the emission nebula NGC 6188 to the right. This dramatic landscape in the southern constellation of Ara (The Altar) is a treasure trove of celestial objects. Star clusters, emission nebulae and active star-forming regions are […]

Continue reading...

ALMA and VLT Reveal Dusty and Evolved Galaxy

March 2, 2015

0 Comments

Hubble Views Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689

New observations from the Very Large Telescope along with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array have revealed a dusty galaxy seen when the Universe was just 700 million years old. One of the most distant galaxies ever observed has provided astronomers with the first detection of dust in such a remote star-forming system and tantalizing evidence […]

Continue reading...

Two Merging Stars Destined to Ignite a Vast Supernova Explosion

February 18, 2015

0 Comments

Two White Dwarf Stars Destined to Merge

A newly published study reveals that two massive stars at the heart of the planetary nebula Henize 2-428 should merge in 700 million years, triggering a type Ia supernova event. Astronomers using ESO facilities in combination with telescopes in the Canary Islands have identified two surprisingly massive stars at the heart of the planetary nebula […]

Continue reading...

Disproving the Predicted Brown Dwarf around V471 Tau

February 18, 2015

0 Comments

The SPHERE Instrument Attached to the VLT

Using the new extreme-AO instrument SPHERE, researchers image the prototype eclipsing post-common envelope binary V471 Tau in search of the brown dwarf that is believed to be responsible for variations in its eclipse arrival times. The new SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has been used to search for a brown dwarf expected to […]

Continue reading...

VISTA Views the Trifid Nebula and Reveals Previously Hidden Objects

February 4, 2015

0 Comments

VISTA Views the Trifid Nebula

A newly released image taken from ESO’s VISTA survey telescope shows the Trifid Nebula and reveals hidden variable stars. By observing in infrared light, astronomers can see right through the dust-filled central parts of the Milky Way and spot many previously hidden objects. In just this tiny part of one of the VISTA surveys, astronomers […]

Continue reading...

New VLT Image of Cometary Globule CG4

January 28, 2015

1 Comment

Cometary Globule CG4

This newly released image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope shows cometary globule CG4, which is located about 1300 light-years from Earth. Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this new image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Although it appears to be big and bright in this […]

Continue reading...

Astronomers Celebrate 10 Year Anniversary of Titan Landing

January 15, 2015

0 Comments

The 10 Years Since Titan Landing

Ten years ago, ESA’s Huygens probe entered the history books by descending to the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Humanity’s first successful attempt to land a probe on another world in the outer Solar System. On January 14, 2005 an explorer from Earth parachuted into the haze of an alien moon toward an uncertain […]

Continue reading...

New Exoplanet-Hunting Facility (NGTS) Achieves First Light

January 14, 2015

0 Comments

New Exoplanet-Hunting Telescopes

The Next-Generation Transit Survey has achieved first light and will focus on discovering Neptune-sized and smaller planets, with diameters between two and eight times that of Earth. The Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is a wide-field observing system made up of an array of twelve telescopes, each with an aperture of 20 centimeters [1]. This new […]

Continue reading...

ESO Views Lynds Dark Nebula 483

January 7, 2015

0 Comments

New ESO Image of Lynds Dark Nebula 483

This newly released ESO image shows Lynds Dark Nebula 483, which is located about 700 light-years away in the constellation of Serpens. Some of the stars appear to be missing in this intriguing new ESO image. But the black gap in this glitteringly beautiful starfield is not really a gap, but rather a region of […]

Continue reading...