European Southern Observatory News

The Possible First Signs of Self-interacting Dark Matter

April 15, 2015

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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 […]

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VLT Confirms G2 Survived Close Approach of Supermassive Black Hole

March 27, 2015

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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 […]

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APEX Observations Unravel the Mystery of Nova Vulpeculae 1670

March 25, 2015

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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 […]

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

March 17, 2015

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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 […]

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ALMA and VLT Reveal Dusty and Evolved Galaxy

March 2, 2015

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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 […]

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Two Merging Stars Destined to Ignite a Vast Supernova Explosion

February 18, 2015

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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 […]

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Disproving the Predicted Brown Dwarf around V471 Tau

February 18, 2015

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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 […]

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VISTA Views the Trifid Nebula and Reveals Previously Hidden Objects

February 4, 2015

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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 […]

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New VLT Image of Cometary Globule CG4

January 28, 2015

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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 […]

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Astronomers Celebrate 10 Year Anniversary of Titan Landing

January 15, 2015

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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 […]

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New Exoplanet-Hunting Facility (NGTS) Achieves First Light

January 14, 2015

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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 […]

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ESO Views Lynds Dark Nebula 483

January 7, 2015

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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 […]

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ESO Views the Blue Stars of Messier 47

December 24, 2014

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The Blue Stars of Messier 47

This ESO image shows star cluster Messier 47, which is located roughly 1,600 light-years from Earth. This spectacular image of the star cluster Messier 47 was taken using the Wide Field Imager camera, installed on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. This young open cluster is dominated by a sprinkling […]

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ESO Image of the Week – Surprise within a Cloud

December 4, 2014

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ESO Image of the Week

This newly released ESO image of the week was made using the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy. This image shows a region of the Milky Way that lies within the constellation of Scorpius, close to the central plane of the galaxy. The region hosts a dense cloud of dust and gas associated with […]

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Green Light for European Extremely Large Telescope Construction

December 4, 2014

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Approval to Build European Extremely Large Telescope

The green light has been given for the construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope – a 39-meter aperture optical and infrared telescope sited on Cerro Armazones in the Chilean Atacama Desert. At a recent meeting ESO’s main governing body, the Council, gave the green light [1] for the construction of the European Extremely Large […]

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Star Cluster NGC 3532 – A Colorful Gathering of Middle-Aged Stars

November 26, 2014

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New ESO Image of Star Cluster NGC 3532

This new ESO image shows bright star cluster NGC 3532, which is located roughly 1,300 light-years away. NGC 3532 is a bright open cluster located some 1,300 light-years away in the constellation of Carina (The Keel of the ship Argo). It is informally known as the Wishing Well Cluster, as it resembles scattered silver coins […]

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VLT Reveals Alignment of Quasars Across Billions of Light-Years

November 19, 2014

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Mysterious Alignment of Quasars

Using data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered alignments between supermassive black hole axes separated by billions of light-years. New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile have revealed alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the Universe. A European research team has found that the rotation axes of the […]

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