ESO Telescope Observes Exoplanet Where It Rains Iron

ESO Telescope Observes Exoplanet Where It Rains Iron Researchers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) have observed an extreme planet where they suspect it rains iron. The ultra-hot giant exoplanet has a day side where temperatures climb above 2400 degrees Celsius, high enough to vaporise metals. Strong winds carry iron vapour to the cooler night […]

New ESO Study Evaluates Impact of Satellite Constellations on Astronomical Observations

New ESO Study Evaluates Impact of Satellite Constellations on Astronomical Observations Astronomers have recently raised concerns about the impact of satellite mega-constellations on scientific research. To better understand the effect these constellations could have on astronomical observations, ESO commissioned a scientific study of their impact, focusing on observations with ESO telescopes in the visible and […]

ESO Telescope Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse

ESO Telescope Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have captured the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The stunning new images of the star’s surface show not only the fading red supergiant but also how its apparent shape is changing. ESO News […]

ALMA catches beautiful outcome of stellar fight

ALMA catches beautiful outcome of stellar fight Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which ESO is a partner, have spotted a peculiar gas cloud that resulted from a confrontation between two stars. One star grew so large it engulfed the other which, in turn, spiralled towards its partner provoking it into shedding […]

ESO Observations Reveal Black Holes’ Breakfast at the Cosmic Dawn

ESO Observations Reveal Black Holes’ Breakfast at the Cosmic Dawn Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have observed reservoirs of cool gas around some of the earliest galaxies in the Universe. These gas halos are the perfect food for supermassive black holes at the centre of these galaxies, which are now seen as they were […]

First Giant Planet around White Dwarf Found

First Giant Planet around White Dwarf Found Researchers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have, for the first time, found evidence of a giant planet associated with a white dwarf star. The planet orbits the hot white dwarf, the remnant of a Sun-like star, at close range, causing its atmosphere to be stripped away and form […]

A Cosmic Pretzel

A Cosmic Pretzel Astronomers using ALMA have obtained an extremely high-resolution image showing two disks in which young stars are growing, fed by a complex pretzel-shaped network of filaments of gas and dust. Observing this remarkable phenomenon sheds new light on the earliest phases of the lives of stars and helps astronomers determine the conditions […]

Enigmatic radio burst illuminates a galaxy’s tranquil ​halo

Enigmatic radio burst illuminates a galaxy’s tranquil ​halo Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have for the first time observed that a fast radio burst passed through a galactic halo. Lasting less than a millisecond, this enigmatic blast of cosmic radio waves came through almost undisturbed, suggesting that the halo has surprisingly low density and […]

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 […]