European Southern Observatory News

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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ESOcast 69 Video Reveals Planetary Genesis

November 13, 2014

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ALMA Image Reveals Planetary Genesis

This new five minute video from the European Southern Observatory reveals the fine detail that has never been seen before in a planet-forming disc. ESOcast 69: Revolutionary ALMA Image Reveals Planetary Genesis ESOcast 69 presents the result of the latest ALMA observations, which reveal extraordinarily fine detail that has never been seen before in the […]

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Astronomers Detect Exozodiacal Light Close to the Habitable Zones of Nearby Stars

November 3, 2014

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Astronomers Discover Exozodiacal Light Close to the Habitable Zones of Nearby Stars

Using the Very Large Telescope Interferometer, astronomers have discovered exozodiacal light close to the habitable zones around nine nearby stars. This light is starlight reflected from dust created as the result of collisions between asteroids, and the evaporation of comets. Using the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) in near-infrared light [1], the team of astronomers […]

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ALMA Reveals Planet-Forming Lifeline in Binary Star System GG Tau-A

October 30, 2014

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Planet Forming Lifeline Discovered in a Binary Star System

New research details the discovery of a streamer of gas flowing from a massive outer disc toward the inner reaches of the double star system GG Tauri-A. For the first time, scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have detected a streamer of dust and gas flowing from a massive outer disk toward the […]

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Astronomers Discover Two Distinct Families of Exocomets Around Beta Pictoris

October 24, 2014

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Tthe Most Complete Census of Comets Around Another Star

Astronomers make the most complete census of comets around another star, revealing that individual comets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris belong to two distinct families of exocomets. The HARPS instrument at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has been used to make the most complete census of comets around another star ever created. A French […]

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APEX Telescope Reveals Star Formation in Unexpected Places

October 15, 2014

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APEX Reveals Star Formation in Unexpected Places

A team of astronomers used the APEX telescope to probe the Spiderweb Cluster, revealing that much of the star formation taking place is hidden by dust and occurring in unexpected places. Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in the Universe held together by gravity but their formation is not well understood. The Spiderweb Galaxy (formally […]

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Newly Released ESO Image of Messier 11

October 2, 2014

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ESO Views the Wild Duck Cluster

This new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory shows of one of the most star-rich open clusters currently known — Messier 11, also known as NGC 6705 or the Wild Duck Cluster. Messier 11 is an open cluster, sometimes referred to as a galactic cluster, located around 6,000 light-years away in the constellation of Scutum […]

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ALMA Finds Direct Evidence That Merging Galaxies Can Form Disc Galaxies

September 30, 2014

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New Observations Explain Why Milky Way Like Galaxies Are so Common

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) and several other radio telescopes, astronomers find direct evidence that merging galaxies can form disc galaxies instead of elliptical galaxies. For decades scientists have believed that galaxy mergers usually result in the formation of elliptical galaxies. Now, for the the first time, researchers using ALMA and a host […]

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Lupus 4 – A Spider-Shaped Blob of Gas and Dust

September 8, 2014

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New Image of Lupus 4 Spider Shaped Blob of Gas and Dust

ESO’s Wide Field Imager at the La Silla Observatory in Chile captured this new image of Lupus 4, which is located about 400 light-years away from Earth. Lupus 4, a spider-shaped blob of gas and dust, blots out background stars like a dark cloud on a moonless night in this intriguing new image. Although gloomy […]

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