Press Releases

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eso0806 — Science Release
Seeing through the Dark
7 March 2008: Astronomers have measured the distribution of mass inside a dark filament in a molecular cloud with an amazing level of detail and to great depth. The measurement is based on a new method that looks at the scattered near-infrared light or 'cloudshine' and was made with ESO's New Technology Telescope. Associated with the forthcoming VISTA telescope, this new technique will allow astronomers to better understand the cradles of newborn stars.
eso0805 — Science Release
Light echoes whisper the distance to a star
11 February 2008: Taking advantage of the presence of light echoes, a team of astronomers have used an ESO telescope to measure, at the 1% precision level, the distance of a Cepheid - a class of variable stars that constitutes one of the first steps in the cosmic distance ladder.
eso0804 — Science Release
New Light on Dark Energy
30 January 2008: Astronomers have used ESO's Very Large Telescope to measure the distribution and motions of thousands of galaxies in the distant Universe. This opens fascinating perspectives to better understand what drives the acceleration of the cosmic expansion and sheds new light on the mysterious dark energy that is thought to permeate the Universe.
eso0803 — Science Release
The Growing-up of a Star
29 January 2008: Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer, astronomers have probed the inner parts of the disc of material surrounding a young stellar object, witnessing how it gains its mass before becoming an adult.
eso0802 — Photo Release
Cosmic Interactions
21 January 2008: An image based on data taken with ESO's Very Large Telescope reveals a triplet of galaxies intertwined in a cosmic dance.
eso0801 — Organisation Release
ESO Highlights in 2007
2 January 2008: Another great year went by for ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere. From 1 January 2007, with the official joining of the Czech Republic, ESO has 13 member states, and since September, ESO has a new Director General, Tim de Zeeuw.
eso0755 — Photo Release
Anatomy of a Bird
21 December 2007: Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers [1] has discovered a stunning rare case of a triple merger of galaxies. This system, which astronomers have dubbed 'The Bird' - albeit it also bears resemblance with a cosmic Tinker Bell - is composed of two massive spiral galaxies and a third irregular galaxy.
eso0754 — Organisation Release
2009 to be the International Year of Astronomy
20 December 2007: Yesterday, the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2009 the International Year of Astronomy, with the aim of increasing awareness among the public of the importance of astronomical sciences and of promoting widespread access to new knowledge and experiences of astronomical observation.
eso0753 — Science Release
Speedy Mic's Photograph
19 December 2007: Using observations from ESO's VLT, astronomers were able for the first time to reconstruct the site of a flare on a solar-like star located 150 light years away. The study of this young star, nicknamed 'Speedy Mic' because of its fast rotation, will help scientists better understand the youth of our Sun.
eso0752 — Science Release
Discovering Teenage Galaxies
28 November 2007: Staring for the equivalent of every night for two weeks at the same little patch of sky with ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers has found the extremely faint light from teenage galaxies billions of light years away. These galaxies, which the research team believes are the building blocks of normal galaxies like our Milky Way, had eluded detection for three decades, despite intensive searches.
eso0751 — Organisation Release
ESO Helps Antofagasta Region after the Earthquake
23 November 2007: On November 14 at 12:41 local time, a major earthquake with magnitude 7.7 on the Richter scale affected the north of Chile. The epicentre was located 35 km from the city of Tocopilla and 170 km of Antofagasta.
eso0750 — Organisation Release
Close to the Sky
22 November 2007: Today, a new ALMA outreach and educational book was publicly presented to city officials of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, as part of the celebrations of the anniversary of the Andean village.
eso0749 — Photo Release
A Galaxy for Science and Research
9 November 2007: During his visit to ESO's Very Large Telescope at Paranal, the European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, participated in an observing sequence and took images of a beautiful spiral galaxy.
eso0748 — Organisation Release
Commissioner Potočnik at Paranal Observatory
27 October 2007: As part of his first official trip to Brazil and Chile, the European Science and Research Commissioner, Janez Potočnik, visited Europe's flagship for ground-based astronomy, the ESO Paranal Observatory.
eso0747 — Science Release
Drizzly Mornings on Xanadu
11 October 2007: Noted for its bizarre hydrocarbon lakes and frozen methane clouds, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, also appears to have widespread drizzles of methane, according to a team of astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley. New near-infrared images from ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii show for the first time a nearly global cloud cover at high elevations and, dreary as it may seem, a widespread and persistent morning drizzle of methane over the western foothills of Titan's major continent, Xanadu.
eso0746 — Organisation Release
Catch a Star 2008!
5 October 2007: ESO and the European Association for Astronomy Education have just launched the 2008 edition of 'Catch a Star', their international astronomy competition for school students. Now in its sixth year, the competition offers students the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to ESO's flagship observatory in Chile, as well as many other prizes.
eso0745 — Organisation Release
A Colossus Gets its Name
5 October 2007: Today, the first of the two ALMA antenna transporters was given its name at a ceremony on the compounds of the manufacturer, the heavy-vehicle specialist Scheuerle Fahrzeugfabrik GmbH, in Baden-Württemberg. The colossus, 10 metres wide, 20 metres long and 6 metres high, will be shipped to Chile by the end of the month. The second one will follow in a few weeks.
eso0744 — Organisation Release
A Grand Vision for European Astronomy
28 September 2007: Today, and for the first time, astronomers share their global Science Vision for European Astronomy in the next two decades. This two-year long effort by the ASTRONET network of funding agencies, sponsored by the European Commission and coordinated by INSU-CNRS, underscores Europe's ascension to world leadership in astronomy and its will to maintain that position. It will be followed in just over a year by a prioritised roadmap for the observational facilities needed to implement the Vision. Implementation of these plans will ensure that Europe fully contributes to Mankind's ever deeper understanding of the wonders of our Universe.
eso0743 — Science Release
Into the Chrysalis
27 September 2007: A team of European astronomers has used ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer and its razor-sharp eyes to discover a reservoir of dust trapped in a disc that surrounds an elderly star. The discovery provides additional clues about the shaping of planetary nebulae.