ann1009 — Announcement
ESO Call for Proposals for Period 86 released. Deadline is 31 March 2010
26 February 2010: ESO Call for Proposals for Period 86 released. Deadline is 31 March 2010.
ann1008 — Announcement
Around the World in 80 Telescopes is first runner up in IYA2009/Mani Bhaumik Prize for Excellence in Astronomy Education and Public Outreach
26 February 2010: The Around the World in 80 Telescopes webcast has been awarded the first runner-up position in the IYA2009/Mani Bhaumik Prize for Excellence in Astronomy Education and Public Outreach. Around the World in 80 Telescopes was a record-breaking and unprecedented, live, 24-hour public webcast featuring most of the research-grade astronomical observatories both on and off the planet. During the webcast, astronomers at observatories around the world talked about their work and presented exclusive images and video. It was part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy Global Cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. The webcast was coordinated and executed by the ESO education and Public Outreach Department, and hosted from the ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany. “We are delighted and honoured that Around the World in 80 Telescopes has been recognised in this way, and we also thank and congratulate all the observatories around the world that took part. ...
ann1007 — Announcement
ESO videos are now available for subtitling in your own language
18 February 2010: Would you like to see our astronomy outreach videos, such as the ESOcast video podcasts, subtitled in your own language? We are now uploading our videos to dotSUB, where members of the public can contribute subtitle translations. We want to bring the excitement of ESO astronomy to an even wider international audience, and we’d like your help! Read more on
ann1006 — Announcement
European Young Scientist Prizewinner Visits ESO Facilities in Chile
17 February 2010: Julian Petrasch, the 17-year-old German student who won the special ESO prize at the 21st European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), enjoyed the trip of a lifetime to two of ESO’s observatories in Chile from 7–13 February 2010. In Julian’s winning project, “Sky Alignment Simulator (SAMS) — improved determination of minor planet positions”, he developed software to measure the positions of asteroids more precisely. He used the new software to pinpoint the positions of about twenty asteroids and two space probes. Julian reports that some publications on this topic from the Berlin Observatory have already used data processed with this new method. “It was amazing to walk between these giant telescopes and see how such large machines can be controlled and moved so precisely just by one person,” says Petrasch after his visit to Paranal Observatory. Julian, who became an amateur astronomer when he was only six years old, ...
ann1005 — Announcement
World's Most Precise Stellar Spectrograph Gets Polarised Vision
15 February 2010: The very successful HARPS spectrograph, attached to ESO's 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla, Chile, has just been enhanced with a new capability: the world's most precise polarimeter for the study of stars. Polarisation describes the preferential direction in which light vibrates as it travels and it is measured with a polarimeter. The first observations with the HARPS polarimeter show that this new capability already exceeds expectations [1]. Furthermore, it is the only polarimeter of its kind in the southern hemisphere, opening up almost half the Universe to new studies. Nikolai Piskunov from Uppsala University in Sweden and Principal Investigator of the HARPS polarimeter project is enthusiastic: “This new, unique polarimeter opens up exciting new windows for studying the origins and the evolution of magnetic fields in stars of various masses, temperatures and ages. It is also important for the discovery of new exoplanets: The capability to diagnose starspots will be ...
ann1004 — Announcement
"Noticias del Universo" travels to Northern Chile
21 January 2010: How have human beings been able to interpret information coming from space? That is the question that the itinerant exhibition Noticias del Universo (News from the Universe) answers, showing different tools developed throughout history to learn about the “invisible” world around us. Beginning from the simple telescope used by Galileo Galilei centuries ago to the powerful Very Large Telescope, the exhibition explains astronomical concepts through interactive activities and clear explanations. The next destination of News from the Universe is the town of Tocopilla, in Northern Chile. The exhibition will be at the Sagrada Familia School (Serrano 1156), from 22 January to 4 February. It can be visited daily from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 15:00 to 20:00. This exhibition was developed in 2009 by the Explora-Conicyt Program in Chile, in collaboration with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and other local partners, as part of the celebrations in the country of ...
ann1003 — Announcement
Voices from the Universe book launched at ESO Chile
20 January 2010: A new book Voices from the Universe, written by poet Margarita Schultz and astronomer María Teresa Ruiz, includes spectacular astronomical images from the European Southern Observatory (ESO). As the celebrations of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 come to their end, the book Voices from the Universe was presented on 14 January at the ESO Office in Santiago, Chile. Voices from the Universe is an English–Spanish publication featuring poems by Chilean writer and philosopher Margarita Schultz, inspired by a previous book, Sons of the Stars, by the astronomer María Teresa Ruiz. The book includes dozens of large pictures captured by ESO telescopes at the La Silla and Paranal Observatories which, according to the authors, “show the beauty of Chilean skies” to the whole world. For Tim de Zeeuw, ESO Director General, the poems in this book aim to “connect scientific answers and questions to the immortal spirit of Astronomy, that ...
ann1002 — Announcement
ESO Director General meets the President of Chile
14 January 2010: On 12 January 2010, ESO Director General Tim de Zeeuw met the Chilean president Michelle Bachelet at the Palacio La Moneda in Santiago. Chilean Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Ángel Flisfisch, Ambassador Gabriel Rodriguez from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ESO Representative in Chile, Massimo Tarenghi also attended. Since 1966, ESO has built in Chile a series of world-class observing facilities, establishing a fruitful and long-term collaboration with Chilean society. Currently, ESO operates three sites in the Atacama Desert region of Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor.
ann1001 — Announcement
ESO Highlights in 2009
4 January 2010: The year 2009 was celebrated as the International Year of Astronomy and has proved to be exceptional both for astronomy and for ESO. At Paranal, ESO’s flagship observatory, the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) started work at the end of 2009. Its first stunning images have been released and promise plenty of superb achievements for the year to come (ESO eso0949). Also at Paranal, ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), the world’s most advanced ground-based observatory, was further enhanced. The VLT welcomed the first of its second generation instruments, X-shooter, which is able to record the entire visible-light spectrum of a celestial object in a single shot (ESO eso0920). One of X-shooter’s targets will be gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful explosions taking place in the Universe. The VLT has allowed astronomers to determine the distance of a gamma-ray burst that emitted light only about 600 million years after ...
ann0942 — Announcement
E-ELT Science Brochure Published
14 December 2009: Thanks to ever larger telescopes, such as ESO’s Very Large Telescope, and ever more sensitive instruments, our astronomical knowledge continues to progress at an incredible pace, answering many questions, but also raising exciting new ones. The 42-metre European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), presently being planned by ESO, will be able to investigate these secrets and answer some of the most prominent open questions. ESO has prepared a brochure presenting the science that can be done with the E-ELT, and entitled “An Expanded View of the Universe”. The 52-page brochure seeks to give a flavour of the kind of fundamental questions that the E-ELT may finally answer. However, just as Galileo was astounded to find mountains on the Moon and moons orbiting Jupiter, the most exciting discoveries are probably those that we have not yet even imagined. This document was prepared by the E-ELT Science Office with the help of the ...
ann0941 — Announcement
ESO Messenger No. 138 is available for download
14 December 2009: ESO Messenger No. 138 is available for download.
ann0940 — Announcement
Paranal Residencia one of the "Top 10 Buildings of the Decade"
10 December 2009: ESO's Residencia at Paranal Observatory, Chile, has just been selected to be among the "top 10 buildings of the decade" by the UK’s Guardian newspaper. Cerro Paranal is a 2600-metre high mountain in the Chilean Atacama Desert, perhaps the driest on Earth. It is the home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope, the most advanced observatory in the world. The high altitude site and extreme dryness make excellent conditions for astronomical observations, but this comes at a price. To make it possible for people to live and work here, a hotel, or Residencia, was built at base camp, allowing staff to escape from the arid outside environment. The award-winning design by the architects Auer & Weber includes an enclosed tropical garden and pool under a futuristic a 35-metre domed roof and is based on a subterranean L-shape. Perfectly integrated into the Mars-like landscape of Paranal so as to make as little ...
ann0939 — Announcement
Eyes on the Skies wins Special Jury Award at the 2009 MEDEA Awards
8 December 2009: The Eyes on the Skies project initiated as part of International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) celebration now entering its final weeks has won an international accolade. After originally being selected as one of eight finalists from a field of over 254 entries from 39 countries, the Eyes on the Skies movie and book went on to receive the Special Jury Award for its high production value at the MEDEA 2009 Awards held in Berlin, Germany on 4 December. The annual MEDEA awards recognize excellence in media-rich educational materials. The competition’s judges said that Eyes on the Skies is “a very well designed and attractive presentation of quite a challenging subject” and is “authoritative without being confusing.” In this way, the project serves as “an excellent example of integrated educational narrative and complementary use of various media,” the judges also said, owing in part to its “superb script.” The Eyes ...
ann0938 — Announcement
Cosmic Evolution: New Exhibition at the Deutsches Museum Features ESO
8 December 2009: Cosmic Evolution: New Exhibition at the Deutsches Museum Features ESO.
ann0937 — Announcement
Media Advisory: ESO to hold media teleconference on 11 December to present pioneering new survey telescope
7 December 2009: Media Advisory: ESO to hold media teleconference on 11 December to present pioneering new survey telescope.
ann0936 — Announcement
ESO wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
1 December 2009: ESO wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Click here to see the ESO Christmas animation we prepared for you.
ann0935 — Announcement
Twenty years of Adaptive Optics development at ESO
26 November 2009: Twenty years of Adaptive Optics development at ESO.
ann0934 — Announcement
ALMA "first fringes" at Chajnantor
16 November 2009: A team of astronomers and engineers at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have made the first interferometric measurements of radio signals — so-called “fringes” — of an astronomical source from the observatory’s 5000-metre “high site” of Chajnantor. This is an important technical step for ALMA, as it used a full suite of the production equipment, including two of the 12-metre diameter antennas, and sophisticated electronic systems for receiving and correlating the signals. This is the first time that all these complex items, almost all of which are at the leading edge of technology, have been used together as a complete system. The antennas were moved into position on the Chajnantor plateau on 16 and 17 October. Over the next few weeks the system was connected together and tested. Finally, “fringes” were measured, the effect seen when signals received by a pair of antennas are combined with exactly the right ...
ann0933 — Announcement
ESO Director General visits Vatican City
5 November 2009: On 30 and 31 October 2009 the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, was invited to visit the Vatican City, as part of an international group of renowned astronomers, on the occasion of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. The visit included a tour of the Tower of Winds at the Vatican — the first location of the Vatican Observatory, built between 1578 and 1580 at the time of the Gregorian Reform of the Calendar — a visit to the Vatican Secret Archives, the Sistine Chapel, and the astronomy exhibit AStrum 2009 at the Vatican Museum. On display in this exhibition of astronomy and instruments are 130 items, including Galileo Galilei’s original handwritten notes detailing his observations of the Moon, and his publication "Starry Messenger" from 1610. The highlight of the day was a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI who addressed the group. In his speech, the Pope said: ...
ann0932 — Announcement
Santiago Museum of Science and Technology inaugurates renovated Astronomy Hall, in partnership with ESO in Chile
27 October 2009: The Museum of Science and Technology in Santiago has opened its renovated Astronomy Hall, a project supported by ESO in Chile. Massimo Tarenghi, ESO Representative in Chile, and Mónica Rubio, President of the Corporación para la Divulgación de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (CORPDICYT, the Organisation for the Popularisation of Science and Technology), inaugurated the new Astronomy Hall at the Museum of Science and Technology on 22 October 2009. The museum is located in the Quinta Normal Park, in the heart of the Chilean capital, Santiago. This project is part of celebrations in Chile of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), the global celebration commemorating the first use of a telescope to view the Universe by Galileo, 400 years ago. The Museum of Science and Technology in Santiago, run by CORPDICYT, is visited every year by 100 000 people, mostly children and young people. The Astronomy Hall was created in ...
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