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eso9837 — Organisation Release
12 August 1998: The ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) project progresses rapidly. The first part of the Commissioning Phase for the first 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescope (UT1), concerning the Cassegrain focus and including optimization of the telescope performance, is now coming to an end. The next is dedicated to science observations and will start in a few days. This photo release provides information about the current activities and includes some recent photos from the Paranal observatory.
eso9836 — Science Release
4 August 1998: Giant astronomical telescopes like the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) must be used efficiently. Observing time is expensive and there are long waiting lines of excellent research programmes. Thus the work at the telescope must be very well prepared and optimized as much as possible - mistakes should be avoided and no time lost! Astronomers working with the new 8-m class optical/infrared telescopes must base their observations on detailed lists of suitable target objects if they want to perform cutting-edge science. This is particularly true for research programmes that depend on observations of large samples of comparatively rare, distant objects. This type of work requires that extensive catalogues of such objects must be prepared in advance. One such major catalogue - that will serve as a very useful basis for future VLT observations - has just become available from the new ESO Imaging Survey (EIS).
eso9835 — Photo Release
31 July 1998: The first VLT 8.2-m telescope (UT1) is now undergoing a "Commissioning Phase" during which all systems are thoroughly tested and further tuned. Although priority is given to technical work, some astronomical images have been obtained during the recent weeks. Some days ago, during short periods when no technical tests were scheduled, "quick shots" were obtained of two comets, both of which are designated targets for space missions.
eso9834 — Photo Release
31 July 1998: The unsual galaxy IC 1182 is located in the Hercules cluster of galaxies , a large assembly of galaxies that is seen in the constellation of that name, somewhat north of the celestial equator. It is one of the principal members of this cluster to which the measured distance is of the order of 500 million light-years.
eso9833 — Photo Release
31 July 1998: During the continuing "Commissioning Phase" of the first VLT 8.2-m telescope (UT1), it has been possible to carry out some astronomical observations from time to time. Thanks to its large light-gathering capacity and excellent optical quality, the UT1 is particularly well suited to image very faint and distant objects. To assess this important potential for front-line research in more quantitative terms, it was therefore decided to perform some preliminary tests in this direction, already at this early moment.
eso9832 — Organisation Release
29 July 1998: The company AMOS (Liège, Belgium) has been awarded an ESO contract for the delivery of the Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). Each of these telescopes has a main mirror of 1.8-metre diameter. They move on (railway) tracks on the top of the Paranal mountain. Together with the main 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescopes (UTs), they will ensure that the VLTI will have unequalled sensitivity and image sharpness that will allow front-line astronomical observations.
eso9831 — Organisation Release
eso9830 — Organisation Release
20 July 1998: Yesterday, Sunday, July 19, 1998, ESO was honoured to receive a visit by the Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Mariano Gago , to the Paranal Observatory. The Minister was accompanied by the Ambassador of Portugal to the Republic of Chile, Mr. Rui Félix-Alves and a delegation.
eso9829 — Organisation Release
19 July 1998: Just some weeks after the successful First Light Event of the first 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescope, cf. ESO PR 06/98 , the Paranal Observatory will today receive the visit of a high-ranking delegation from Portugal. It is lead by the Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Mariano Gago , accompanied by the Ambassador of Portugal to the Republic of Chile, Mr. Rui Félix-Alves.
eso9828 — Science Release
24 June 1998: Observations with an infrared-sensitive instrument at the ESO 3.6-m telescope at La Silla have for the first time shown the presence of a disk around a hot and massive star, known as G339.88-1.26. Until now, disks have only been found around less massive stars. Planets are formed in such disks. The new discovery may thus have important implications for our understanding of the formation of planetary systems around stars.
eso9827 — Photo Release
eso9826 — Photo Release
23 June 1998: The first VLT 8.2-m telescope (UT1) has obtained deep images of the southern spiral galaxy Messier 83 during the present "Commissioning Phase" . During this time, all systems are thoroughly tested and further tuned. Although priority is given to technical work, some astronomical images have been obtained during the recent weeks.
eso9825 — Photo Release
23 June 1998: The first VLT 8.2-m telescope (UT1) is now undergoing a "Commissioning Phase" during which all systems are thoroughly tested and further tuned. Although priority is given to technical work, some astronomical images have been obtained during the recent weeks. This is a colour photo from the VLT that shows NGC 4650A, a member of the so-called Centaurus chain of galaxies in the southern constellation of that name.
eso9824 — Organisation Release
19 June 1998: The Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) at Epping (New South Wales, Australia) has been awarded the contract to build a fibre positioner for the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT). This new, large astronomical facility is located at the Paranal Observatory in Chile and will feature four Unit Telescopes, each with a main mirror of 8.2-m diameter.
eso9823 — Organisation Release
eso9822 — Organisation Release
eso9821 — Organisation Release
eso9820 — Organisation Release
eso9819 — Organisation Release
21 May 1998: One of the most crucial operations before the VLT UT1 First Light was successfully concluded late last evening at Paranal. For the first time ever, an astronomical mirror with a total surface of more than 50 m 2 has been coated with a thin (less than 0.0001 mm) and highly reflective layer of extremely pure aluminium. The very good result of this critical operation guarantees that the VLT UT1 will now be able to capture efficiently the faintest light from celestial objects.
eso9818 — Organisation Release
19 May 1998: With the VLT UT1 First Light just one week away, the ultimate activities that lead up to this important event have started at the Paranal Observatory. Following successful optical alignment tests, cf. ESO Press Release 05/98 , the 8.2-m primary mirror has been removed from the first Unit Telescope (UT1). It is now in the Mirror Maintenance Building (MMB) and is being prepared for coating with a thin, highly reflective aluminium layer.
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