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eso9528 — Science Release
23 October 1995: Astronomers from the University of Leiden have discovered an extremely distant, enormous gas cloud. It is probably a 'cocoon' from which one or more galaxies are in the process of being born, soon after the Big Bang. The observations also indicate that this gas cloud is slowly rotating, an entirely new result of great cosmological significance. The discovery was made with the ESO 3.5-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla in Chile by a team consisting of Rob van Ojik, Huub Röttgering, Chris Carilli, George Miley and Malcolm Bremer from Leiden Observatory (The Netherlands) and Duccio Macchetto of the European Space Agency (ESA) stationed in Baltimore, U.S.A. Their extensive observations are reported in an article accepted for publication in the professional European journal `Astronomy and Astrophysics' and also as a chapter of van Ojik's Ph.D. thesis which is defended at the University of Leiden on October 25. This exciting result casts new light on one of the most important questions of modern cosmology, i.e. how lumpy galaxies were 'born' out of the extremely smooth fireball produced during the Big Bang.
eso9527 — Organisation Release
23 October 1995: Adaptive Optics (AO) is the new "wonder-weapon" in ground-based astronomy. By means of advanced electro-optical devices at their telescopes, astronomers are now able to ``neutralize'' the image-smearing turbulence of the terrestrial atmosphere (seen by the unaided eye as the twinkling of stars) so that much sharper images can be obtained than before. In practice, this is done with computer-controlled, flexible mirrors which refocus the blurred images up to 100 times per second, i.e. at a rate that is faster than the changes in the atmospheric turbulence.
eso9526 — Science Release
15 September 1995: Four European astronomers  have taken advantage of the superb imaging quality of the ESO 3.5-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT) at the La Silla observatory, to detect a galaxy at an extremely large distance. They conclude that its redshift  is z = 4.4; thus, this galaxy is by far the most remote ever detected. In fact, it has taken its light about 90 percent of the age of the Universe to reach us, and we now observe this early object as it appeared, only 1 - 2 billion years  after the Universe was created in the Big Bang. Still, the galaxy contains a considerable amount of elements that must have been produced in stars. This proves that stars were formed in normal galaxies, already before this very early epoch.
eso9525 — Organisation Release
13 September 1995: The construction of the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) advances rapidly, both in Europe and in Chile. These three photos show some of the main mechanical parts of the first 8.2-metre telescope, as they presented themselves in Milan (Italy) on Thursday, September 7, 1995. Two versions of these photos, one smaller and one larger and with better image resolution, are accessible for convenient transfer over the networks.
eso9524 — Science Release
eso9523 — Photo Release
eso9522 — Photo Release
eso9521 — Photo Release
30 August 1995: This series of three photos of the unusual Comet Hale-Bopp demonstrates that the comet is much larger than thought so far. In fact, its nucleus is surrounded by a dust cloud that measures more than 2.5 million kilometres across. Note that because of the wide field they represent, each of the images is available in two sizes, the larger of which has considerably better resolution.
eso9520 — Science Release
25 August 1995: A very unusual comet was discovered last month, on its way from the outer reaches of the solar system towards the Sun. Although it is still situated beyond the orbit of Jupiter, it is so bright that it can be observed in even small telescopes. It has been named `Hale-Bopp' after the discoverers and is already of great interest to cometary astronomers.
eso9519 — Photo Release
25 August 1995: In the evening of August 17, 1995, famous comet hunter William Bradfield (Australia) discovered his seventeenth comet. He found the comet as a 6th magnitude object with a tail longer than 1 degree in the southern constellation Crater. Soon thereafter, observations were made at the ESO La Silla Observatory with various telescopes.
eso9518 — Organisation Release
22 August 1995: This series of four photos was taken on Sunday, August 6, 1995, on the top of the Paranal mountain, where the world's largest telescope, the ESO 16-metre equivalent Very Large Telescope , is now being installed. The VLT will consist of four 8.2-metre unit telescopes which can also be coupled. Together with some smaller, moveable telescopes, to be installed later, the four large telescopes will form the VLT Interferometer (VLTI) , a unique instrument that will allow extremely sharp images to be obtained. The first 8.2-metre telescope is expected to be in place in late 1997/early 1998.
eso9517 — Organisation Release
eso9516 — Photo Release
22 August 1995: Moving steadily closer to the Sun, Comet 1995 Q1 (Bradfield) can no longer be observed with the larger telescopes at La Silla. Nevertheless, Guido Pizarro succeeded in obtaining one more image with the ESO Schmidt telescope last evening (21 - 22 August 1995). At the moment of the 10 minute exposure, the comet was only 26 degrees from the Sun. This is most likely to be the last image of this comet that will be made from the ESO observatory.
eso9515 — Photo Release
eso9514 — Photo Release
eso9513 — Photo Release
eso9512 — Science Release
eso9511 — Science Release
17 August 1995: A few months ago, a violent stellar explosion -- a supernova -- was discovered in an extremely distant galaxy by an international team of astronomers . This is the very promising first result of a recently initiated, dedicated search for such objects. Subsequent spectral observations have shown this to be the most distant supernova ever observed. Although it is very faint, it has been possible to classify it as a supernova of Type Ia, a kind that is particularly well suited for cosmological distance determinations.
eso9510 — Organisation Release
2 August 1995: The Antofagasta Earthquake of last Sunday, July 30, 1:15 hours, violently shook Cerro Paranal, the site where ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is building the VLT, the world's largest optical telescope. The quake's intensity in Paranal was estimated at grade 8 on the Richter scale.
eso9509 — Science Release
ROSAT Discovers Unique, Distant Cluster of Galaxies — Brightest X-ray Cluster Acts as Strong Gravitational Lens
19 June 1995: Based on exciting new data obtained with the ROSAT X-ray satellite and a ground-based telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory, a team of European astronomers  has just discovered a very distant cluster of galaxies with unique properties. It emits the strongest X-ray emission of any cluster ever observed by ROSAT and is accompanied by two extraordinarily luminous arcs that represent the gravitationally deflected images of even more distant objects. The combination of these unusual characteristics makes this cluster, now known as RXJ1347.5-1145, a most interesting object for further cosmological studies.
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