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eso0707 — Photo Release
23 February 2007: Comet McNaught, the Great Comet of 2007, has been delighting those who have seen it with the unaided eye as a spectacular display in the evening sky. Pushing ESO's New Technology Telescope to its limits, a team of European astronomers have obtained the first, and possibly unique, detailed observations of this object. Their images show spectacular jets of gas from the comet spiralling several thousands of kilometres into space, while the spectra reveal the presence of sodium in its atmosphere, something seen very rarely.
eso0706 — Organisation Release
23 February 2007: The ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer, which allows astronomers to scrutinise objects with a precision equivalent to that of a 130-m telescope, is proving itself an unequalled success every day. One of the latest instruments installed, AMBER, has led to a flurry of scientific results, an anthology of which is being published this week as special features in the research journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
eso0705 — Photo Release
19 January 2007: Comet McNaught, the Great Comet of 2007, is no more visible for observers in the Northern Hemisphere. It does put an impressive show in the South, however, and observers in Chile, in particular at the Paranal Observatory, were able to capture amazing images, including a display reminiscent of an aurora!
eso0704 — Organisation Release
17 January 2007: The world's biggest infrared camera for Europe's newest telescope left the UK today for Chile. The 67 million pixel camera will equip VISTA - a UK provided survey telescope being constructed in Chile for ESO. VISTA will map the infrared sky faster than any previous telescope, studying areas of the Universe that are hard to see in the visible due to either their cool temperature, surrounding dust or high redshift.
eso0703 — Organisation Release
eso0702 — Science Release
8 January 2007: Using ESO's Very Large Telescope and the W.M. Keck Observatory, astronomers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and the California Institute of Technology, USA, have discovered what appears to be the first known triplet of quasars. This close trio of supermassive black holes lies about 10.5 billion light-years away towards the Virgo (The Virgin) constellation.
eso0701 — Organisation Release
eso0652 — Organisation Release
eso0651 — Photo Release
22 December 2006: On the night of 15 December 2006, the fourth and last-to-be-installed VLTI Auxiliary Telescope (AT4) obtained its 'First Light'. The first images demonstrate that AT4 will be able to deliver the excellent image quality already delivered by the first three ATs. It will soon join its siblings to perform routinely interferometric measurements.
eso0650 — Photo Release
Portrait of a Dramatic Stellar Crib — ESO Releases 256 Million Pixel Image of Immense Stellar Factory
21 December 2006: A new, stunning image of the cosmic spider, the Tarantula Nebula and its surroundings, finally pays tribute to this amazing, vast and intricately sculpted web of stars and gas. The newly released image, made with ESO's Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-m ESO/MPG Telescope at La Silla, covers 1 square degree on the sky and could therefore contain four times the full Moon.
eso0649 — Science Release
20 December 2006: Nature has again thrown astronomers for a loop. Just when they thought they understood how gamma-ray bursts formed, they have uncovered what appears to be evidence for a new kind of cosmic explosion. These seem to arise when a newly born black hole swallows most of the matter from its doomed parent star.
eso0648 — Science Release
eso0647 — Organisation Release
eso0646 — Organisation Release
The Rise of a Giant — ESO Council Gives Green Light to Detailed Study of the European Extremely Large Telescope
11 December 2006: European astronomy has received a tremendous boost with the decision from ESO's governing body to proceed with detailed studies for the European Extremely Large Telescope. This study, with a budget of 57 million euro, will make it possible to start, in three years time, the construction of an optical/infrared telescope with a diameter around 40m that will revolutionise ground-based astronomy. The chosen design is based on a revolutionary concept specially developed for a telescope of this size.
eso0645 — Science Release
Do Galaxies Follow Darwinian Evolution? — VLT Survey Provides New Insight into Formation of Galaxies
6 December 2006: Using VIMOS on ESO's Very Large Telescope, a team of French and Italian astronomers have shown the strong influence the environment exerts on the way galaxies form and evolve. The scientists have for the first time charted remote parts of the Universe, showing that the distribution of galaxies has considerably evolved with time, depending on the galaxies' immediate surroundings. This surprising discovery poses new challenges for theories of the formation and evolution of galaxies.
eso0644 — Science Release
30 November 2006: Astronomers are reporting remarkable new findings that shed light on a decade-long debate about one kind of supernovae, the explosions that mark a star's final demise: does the star die in a slow burn or with a fast bang? From their observations, the scientists find that the matter ejected by the explosion shows significant peripheral asymmetry but a nearly spherical interior, most likely implying that the explosion finally propagates at supersonic speed.
eso0643 — Photo Release
23 November 2006: The captivating appearance of this image of the starburst galaxy NGC 1313, taken with the FORS instrument at ESO's Very Large Telescope, belies its inner turmoil. The dense clustering of bright stars and gas in its arms, a sign of an ongoing boom of star births, shows a mere glimpse of the rough times it has seen. Probing ever deeper into the heart of the galaxy, astronomers have revealed many enigmas that continue to defy our understanding.
eso0642 — Organisation Release
12 November 2006: ESO and the European Association for Astronomy Education are launching today the 2007 edition of 'Catch a Star!', their international astronomy competition for school students. Now in its fifth 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. Students are invited to 'become astronomers' and embark on a journey to explore the Universe.
eso0641 — Science Release
7 November 2006: A large survey, made with ESO's VLT, has shed light on our Galaxy's ancestry. After determining the chemical composition of over 2000 stars in four of the nearest dwarf galaxies to our own, astronomers have demonstrated fundamental differences in their make-up, casting doubt on the theory that these diminutive galaxies could ever have formed the building blocks of our Milky Way Galaxy.
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