Press Releases

Subscribe to esonews mailing list.
eso9411 — Science Release
Omega Centauri: Big, Bright and Beautiful
27 May 1994: Far down in the southern sky, in the constellation of Centaurus, a diffuse spot of light can be perceived with the unaided eye. It may be unimpressive, but when seen through a telescope, it turns out to be a beautiful, dense cluster of innumerable stars [1]. Omega Centauri, as this object is called, is the brightest of its type in the sky. We refer to it as a "globular cluster", due to its symmetric form. It belongs to our Milky Way galaxy and astrophysical investigations have shown that it is located at a distance of about 16,500 light-years (1 light-year = 9,460,000,000,000 km). Nobody knows for sure how many individual stars it contains, but recent estimates run into the millions. Most of these stars are more than 10,000 million years old and it is generally agreed that Omega Centauri has a similar age. Measurements of its motion indicate that Omega Centauri plows through the Milky Way in an elongated orbit. It is not easy to understand how it has managed to keep its stars together during such an extended period.
eso9410 — Science Release
ESO Braces for the Impact
20 May 1994: There are many signs that the upcoming collision between comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 and giant planet Jupiter is beginning to catch the imagination of the public. Numerous reports in the various media describe the effects expected during this unique event which according to the latest calculations will start in the evening of July 16 and end in the morning of July 22, 1994. (The times in this Press Release are given in Central European Summer Time (CEST), i.e., Universal Time (UT) + 2 hours. The corresponding local time in Chile is CEST - 6 hours.) Astronomers all over the world are now preparing to observe the associated phenomena with virtually all major telescopes. There will be no less than 12 different investigations at the ESO La Silla observatory during this period. This Press Release updates the information published in ESO PR 02/94 (27 January 1994) and provides details about the special services which will be provided by ESO to the media around this rare astronomical event.
eso9409 — Photo Release
High Resolution HST Images Of Pluto and Charon
18 May 1994: The remote planet Pluto and its moon Charon orbit the Sun at a mean distance of almost 6,000 million kilometres, or nearly fourty times farther out than the Earth. During a recent investigation by an international group of astronomers [1], the best picture ever of Pluto and Charon [2] was secured with the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera at the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). It shows the two objects as individual disks, and it is likely that further image enhancement will allow us to see surface features on Pluto.
eso9408 — Organisation Release
ESO Delegation to Visit Chile
6 May 1994: The ESO Council, in its extraordinary session on 28 April 1994, among other matters discussed the relations with the Republic of Chile and the situation around Paranal mountain [1], the designated site for the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT).
eso9407 — Organisation Release
"Clouds" Above Paranal
21 April 1994: ESO, the European Southern Observatory, in reply to questions raised by the media would like to clarify its position with regard to recent events which concern the land on which the Paranal mountain is situated.
eso9406 — Organisation Release
"Infinitos''
20 April 1994: On Friday, 22 April 1994, a new science exhibition "Infinitos", arranged jointly by Lisboa'94, CERN and ESO, will open at the Museu de Electricidade on the waterfront of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. In a series of spectacular displays, it illustrates man's current understanding of how the Universe works - from the tiniest structures of matter to the most far flung galaxies.
eso9405 — Science Release
Dying Stars Indicate Lots of Dark Matter in Giant Galaxy
15 April 1994: Very difficult and time-consuming observations performed with the ESO 3.5-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT) in November 1993 by an international team of astronomers [1], indicate that up to 90 percent of the matter in a distant giant galaxy maybe of a kind that cannot be seen by normal telescopes.
eso9404 — Photo Release
Comet Halley Passes the Halfway Mark
18 February 1994: Eight years after the passage of Comet Halley in early 1986, astronomers at the European Southern Observatory have succeeded in obtaining an image [1] of this famous object at a distance of no less than 2,820 million km from the Sun. The comet is now about as far away as giant planet Uranus. It recently passed the halfway mark towards the most distant point of its very elongated 76-year orbit. The image shows the 6 x 15 km avocado-shaped nucleus as an extremely faint point of light without any surrounding dust cloud. It appears that the surface is now completely frozen and the comet has ceased to emit dust and gas. This observation was made with the ESO 3.58 metre New Technology Telescope (NTT). It is by far the faintest and most distant image ever recorded of this comet.
eso9403 — Organisation Release
NASA and ESA Astronauts Visit ESO
3 February 1994: On Wednesday, February 16, 1994, seven NASA and ESA astronauts and their spouses will spend a day at the
Headquarters of the European Southern Observatory. They are the members of the STS-61 crew that successfully repaired the Hubble Space Telescope during a Space Shuttle mission in December 1993. This will be the only stop in Germany during their current tour of various European countries.
eso9402 — Science Release
The Big Comet Crash of 1994
27 January 1994: Astronomers all over the world are preparing themselves for observations of a most unique event: during a period of six days in July 1994, at least 21 fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 will collide with giant planet Jupiter. At the European Southern Observatory, an intensive observational campaign with most of the major telescopes at La Silla is being organized with the participation of a dozen international teams of astronomers. This is the first time ever that it has been possible to predict such a collision. Although it is difficult to make accurate estimates, it is likely that there will be important, observable effects in the Jovian atmosphere.
eso9401 — Science Release
Things Begin to Happen Around Supernova 1987A
27 January 1994: On 23 February 1994, it will be exactly seven years since the explosion of Supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud [1] was first observed, at a distance of approx. 160,000 light-years. It was the first naked-eye supernova to be seen in almost four hundred years. Few events in modern astronomy have met with such an enthusiastic response by the scientists and this famous object has been under constant surveillance ever since. After several years of relative quiescence, things are now beginning to happen in the immediate neighbourhood of SN 1987A. Recent observations with the ESO 3.5 m New Technology Telescope (NTT) indicate that interaction between the stellar material which was ejected during the explosion and the surrounding ring-shaped nebulae has started. This signals the beginning of a more active phase during which the supernova is likely to display a number of new and interesting phenomena, never before observed.
eso9313 — Science Release
Recent Developments Around the ESO Very Large Telescope
20 December 1993: The ESO Council [1] took a number of important decisions in its December 1993 meeting. In particular, it unanimously agreed to proceed with the modified plan for the construction of the ESO Very Large Telescope at the Paranal mountain in Chile.
eso9312 — Organisation Release
Eighteen "Young Astronomers" to Observe with ESO Telescopes
5 November 1993: A group of young people, aged between 16 and 18 years and with a special interest in astronomy, are about to experience two most exciting and formative weeks at the European Southern Observatory, first at the ESO Headquarters in Garching and then at the ESO La Silla Observatory in Chile.
eso9311 — Photo Release
Wide-angle view of Cassiopeia
20 August 1993: This press release is only available in German.
eso9310 — Photo Release
The ESO Schmidt Telescope
20 August 1993: This press release is only available in German.
eso9309 — Organisation Release
Schott Delivers First 8.2 Metre VLT Mirror Blank to ESO
29 June 1993: On June 25, 1993, Schott Glaswerke (Mainz, Germany) officially handed over to ESO the largest mirror blank ever made. Weighing 22,000 kilograms and with a diameter of 8.2 metres, the blank has a thickness of only 177 millimetres.
eso9308 — Organisation Release
Supplementary and Modifying Agreement Regarding the 1963 Convention Between The Government of Chile and The European Southern Observatory (ESO)
24 June 1993: The delegations of the Government of Chile and of the International Organisation ESO [1] report on the outcome of their discussions regarding the installation of the largest telescope in the world "The Very Large Telescope" and "Very Large Telescope Interferometer" (VLT /VLTI) at Cerro Paranal (in the Chilean region II — Antofagasta) and the clarification of the future relations between ESO and Chile. The object of these discussions was a closer cooperation between ESO and Chile to the mutual benefit of this country and the eight European member countries of ESO.
eso9307 — Organisation Release
"Future Astronomers of Europe"
22 June 1993: ESO's Contribution to the European Week for Scientific Culture The European Southern Observatory is pleased to announce the launch of its new programme "Future Astronomers of Europe". It is organised in conjunction with the European Week for Scientific Culture (November 22 -27, 1993), with support from the Commission of the European Communities.
eso9306 — Science Release
First Optical Identification of an Extragalactic Pulsar
3 June 1993: The recent identification of the optical image of a pulsar in the Large Magellanic Cloud is a fine illustration of astronomy as a high-tech international science. It is the first extragalactic pulsar to be so identified and only the third radio pulsar, after those in the Crab and Vela nebulae in the Milky Way, for which this has been possible.
eso9304 — Science Release
Brightest Known Double Quasar Discovered
3 June 1993: Although astronomy is an exact natural science, chance sometimes plays an important role. The recent discovery during an otherwise routine observation of the hitherto brightest known double quasar [1] would not have been possible without some luck.
Showing 941 to 960 of 1051