VISTA unveils a new image of the Large Magellanic Cloud

VISTA unveils a new image of the Large Magellanic Cloud ESO’s VISTA telescope reveals a remarkable image of the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of our nearest galactic neighbours. VISTA has been surveying this galaxy and its sibling the Small Magellanic Cloud, as well as their surroundings, in unprecedented detail. This survey allows astronomers to observe […]

Anatomy of a Cosmic Seagull

Anatomy of a Cosmic Seagull Colourful and wispy, this intriguing collection of objects is known as the Seagull Nebula, named for its resemblance to a gull in flight. Made up of dust, hydrogen, helium and traces of heavier elements, this region is the hot and energetic birthplace of new stars. The remarkable detail captured here […]

La Silla 50th Anniversary Culminates with Total Solar Eclipse

La Silla 50th Anniversary Culminates with Total Solar Eclipse On 2 July, the path of totality of a solar eclipse passed across ESO’s La Silla Observatory. This rare astronomical event falls in the fiftieth year of operation of ESO’s first observatory. Inaugurated in 1969, La Silla Observatory led Europe to the front line of astronomical […]

Breakthrough Watch and the European Southern Observatory achieve “first light” on upgraded planet-finding instrument to search for Earth-like planets in nearest star system

Breakthrough Watch and the European Southern Observatory achieve “first light” on upgraded planet-finding instrument to search for Earth-like planets in nearest star system Newly-built planet-finding instrument installed on Very Large Telescope, Chile, begins 100-hour observation of nearby stars Alpha Centauri A and B, aiming to be first to directly image a habitable exoplanet ESO News […]

ESO contributes to protecting Earth from dangerous asteroids

ESO contributes to protecting Earth from dangerous asteroids The unique capabilities of the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope have enabled it to obtain the sharpest images of a double asteroid as it flew by Earth on 25 May. While this double asteroid was not itself a threatening object, scientists used the opportunity to […]

€17 million Fund Backs 170 Breakthrough Concepts in Imaging and Sensing

€17 million Fund Backs 170 Breakthrough Concepts in Imaging and Sensing ATTRACT, a Horizon 2020 research and innovation project funded by the European Union and backed by a consortium of 9 partners including ESO, has announced 170 breakthrough ideas which will each receive €100,000 to develop technologies that have the potential to change society. The […]

Pinpointing Gaia to Map the Milky Way

Pinpointing Gaia to Map the Milky Way This image, a composite of several observations captured by ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST), shows the ESA spacecraft Gaia as a faint trail of dots across the lower half of the star-filled field of view. These observations were taken as part of an ongoing collaborative effort to measure […]

Astronomers Capture First Image of a Black Hole

Astronomers Capture First Image of a Black Hole The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct […]

La Silla Observatory turns 50!

La Silla Observatory turns 50! Since its inauguration in 1969, ESO’s La Silla Observatory has been at the forefront of astronomy. Its suite of state-of-the-art instruments has allowed astronomers to make ground-breaking discoveries and paved the way for future generations of telescopes. Even after 50 years of observations, ESO’s telescopes at La Silla continue to […]

GRAVITY instrument breaks new ground in exoplanet imaging

GRAVITY instrument breaks new ground in exoplanet imaging The GRAVITY instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) has made the first direct observation of an exoplanet using optical interferometry. This method revealed a complex exoplanetary atmosphere with clouds of iron and silicates swirling in a planet-wide storm. The technique presents unique possibilities for characterising […]

A Cosmic Bat in Flight

A Cosmic Bat in Flight Hidden in one of the darkest corners of the Orion constellation, this Cosmic Bat is spreading its hazy wings through interstellar space two thousand light-years away. It is illuminated by the young stars nestled in its core — despite being shrouded by opaque clouds of dust, their bright rays still illuminate the […]

Bubbles of Brand New Stars

Bubbles of Brand New Stars This dazzling region of newly-forming stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) was captured by the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer instrument (MUSE) on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The relatively small amount of dust in the LMC and MUSE’s acute vision allowed intricate details of the region to be picked out […]

A Fleeting Moment in Time

A Fleeting Moment in Time The faint, ephemeral glow emanating from the planetary nebula ESO 577-24 persists for only a short time — around 10,000 years, a blink of an eye in astronomical terms. ESO’s Very Large Telescope captured this shell of glowing ionised gas — the last breath of the dying star whose simmering […]

ESO to Host Cherenkov Telescope Array-South at Paranal

ESO to Host Cherenkov Telescope Array-South at Paranal ESO’s Director General and the Managing Director of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) Observatory have signed the agreement needed for CTA’s southern hemisphere array to be hosted near ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. In addition, the Chilean Government and ESO have signed the agreement enabling ESO to […]

Dancing with the Enemy

Dancing with the Enemy While testing a new subsystem on the SPHERE planet-hunting instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers were able to capture dramatic details of the turbulent stellar relationship in the binary star R Aquarii with unprecedented clarity — even compared to observations from Hubble. ESO News Feed Go to Source

First Light for SPECULOOS

First Light for SPECULOOS The SPECULOOS project has made its first observations at the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. SPECULOOS will focus on detecting Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby ultra-cool stars and brown dwarfs. ESO News Feed Go to Source

Cosmic Serpent

Cosmic Serpent The VISIR instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has captured this stunning image of a newly discovered massive triple star system. Nicknamed Apep after an ancient Egyptian deity, this may be the first ever gamma-ray burst progenitor found. ESO News Feed Go to Source

Super-Earth Orbiting Barnard’s Star

Super-Earth Orbiting Barnard’s Star The nearest single star to the Sun hosts an exoplanet at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth — a so-called super-Earth. One of the largest observing campaigns to date using data from a world-wide array of telescopes, including ESO’s planet-hunting HARPS instrument, have revealed this frozen, dimly lit world. The […]

ALMA and MUSE Detect Galactic Fountain

ALMA and MUSE Detect Galactic Fountain Observations by ALMA and data from the MUSE spectrograph on ESO’s VLT have revealed a colossal fountain of molecular gas powered by a black hole in the brightest galaxy of the Abell 2597 cluster — the full galactic cycle of inflow and outflow powering this vast cosmic fountain has […]