Press Releases

Subscribe to receive news from ESO in your language!
eso0813 — Science Release
A Molecular Thermometer for the Distant Universe
13 May 2008: Astronomers have made use of ESO's Very Large Telescope to detect for the first time in the ultraviolet the carbon monoxide molecule in a galaxy located almost 11 billion light-years away, a feat that had remained elusive for 25 years. This detection allows them to obtain the most precise measurement of the cosmic temperature at such a remote epoch.
eso0812 — Photo Release
Solar Games at Paranal
2 May 2008: Cerro Paranal, home of ESO's Very Large Telescope, is certainly one of the best astronomical sites on the planet. Stunning images, obtained by ESO staff at Paranal, of the green and blue flashes, as well as of the so-called 'Gegenschein', are real cases in point.
eso0811 — Organisation Release
Austria Declares Intent To Join ESO
24 April 2008: At a press conference today at the University of Vienna's Observatory, the Austrian Science Minister Johannes Hahn announced the decision by the Austrian Government to seek membership of ESO from 1 July this year.
eso0810 — Organisation Release
Paranal Receives New Mirror
16 April 2008: A 4.1-metre diameter primary mirror, a vital part of the world's newest and fastest survey telescope, VISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) has been delivered to its new mountaintop home at Cerro Paranal, Chile. The mirror will now be coupled with a small camera for initial testing prior to installing the main camera in June. Full scientific operations are due to start early next year. VISTA will form part of ESO's Very Large Telescope facility.
eso0809 — Science Release
The Drifting Star
15 April 2008: By studying in great detail the 'ringing' of a planet-harbouring star, a team of astronomers using ESO's 3.6-m telescope have shown that it must have drifted away from the metal-rich Hyades cluster. This discovery has implications for theories of star and planet formation, and for the dynamics of our Milky Way.
eso0808 — Science Release
A Burst to See
2 April 2008: On 19 March, Nature was particularly generous and provided astronomers with the wealth of four gamma-ray bursts on the same day. But that was not all: one of them is the most luminous object ever observed in the Universe. Despite being located in a distant galaxy, billions of light years away, it was so bright that it could have been seen, for a brief while, with the unaided eye.
eso0807 — Organisation Release
A Giant of Astronomy and a Quantum of Solace
25 March 2008: Cerro Paranal, the 2600m high mountain in the Chilean Atacama Desert that hosts ESO's Very Large Telescope, will be the stage for scenes in the next James Bond movie, "Quantum of Solace".
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.