Announcements

ann13095-en-us — Announcement
Media Advisory: Invitation to ESO Headquarters Extension Inauguration
28 November 2013: Media representatives are invited to attend the inauguration of the new ESO Headquarters extension buildings on 4 December 2013 at 18:00 CET, in Garching bei München, Bavaria, Germany. As the only international scientific organisation in Bavaria, ESO plays an important role in sustaining Bavaria’s position as a leading international research region. The new office and conference building together with the technical building have a total area of 13 200 square metres, which more than doubles ESO’s Headquarters total area. The new buildings will strengthen ESO’s presence on the Garching research campus, allowing the organisation to further expand its economic and scientific contribution to the region. ESO provides 450 high-tech jobs in Bavaria, and will use the additional office space to bring all of its staff together, along with the students who are enrolled in the ESO Fellowship Programme (a significant fraction of whom come from German universities). The new technical ...
ann13094-en-us — Announcement
New Planetarium Show by ESO Photo Ambassador Serge Brunier
26 November 2013: A photo project, developed by ESO Photo Ambassador, Serge Brunier, with ESO in 2009, has given birth to a new 360-degree fulldome planetarium show produced by Point Du Jour/TOTAVISION Le Plus–Communauté Urbaine de Dunkerque/RSA Cosmos. The show called Le Navigateur du Ciel (The Navigator of Outer Space), is 30 minutes long and is available in French and English. In recognition of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, ESO commissioned the famous French astrophotographer Serge Brunier to take on the challenging task of creating a photo of the entire sky as seen from both the southern and the northern hemispheres. The resulting photo has almost 1 billion pixels and is one of the best and most natural all-sky images taken so far. To accomplish such a stunning feat, Serge Brunier had to travel to the driest place on Earth, the Atacama Desert, crossing it from south to north, and to the ...
ann13093-en-us — Announcement
Media Advisory: Press Conference to Announce New Planetarium and Exhibition Centre in Bavaria
21 November 2013: On 3 December 2013 at 11:00 CET, ESO will host a press conference in Garching bei München, Germany, to announce plans to build an exhibition centre and planetarium at the ESO Headquarters in Bavaria. The new building for the popularisation of astronomy is being funded through a donation from the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, a German foundation that supports the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. The new centre will be supported by operational funding from ESO and is designed to inspire people to look up at the stars, and teach people about the importance of astronomy and its effects on our day-to-day lives. The project is based on an idea that originated out of cooperation between ESO and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies — the research institute of the Klaus Tschira Stiftung. The construction work is scheduled to begin in 2014. Public interest in astronomy and space science has ...
ann13092-en-us — Announcement
President Piñera Receives ESO's First Atomic Clock
15 November 2013: At a ceremony held yesterday at the La Moneda Palace, Sebastián Piñera, the President of Chile, received the first atomic clock used by ESO in Chile from Tim de Zeeuw, ESO Director General. This gift, a timepiece that was originally installed at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in 1975, was in gratitude for fifty years of successful collaboration between ESO and the host country. In return the President gave the Director General a fine volume describing the rich history of the La Moneda Palace. The Rohde & Schwarz atomic clock was the first of its kind in Chile and, for many years, the time signal of this clock was very important beyond La Silla. It served as an accurate time reference that was synchronised with the national source of time of Chile, located at the Cerro Calán Observatory in Santiago. This was done by means of a “transporter of time”, that ...
ann13091-en-us — Announcement
Café & Kosmos 12 November 2013
11 November 2013: With Dr Nadine Neumayer, ESO Exactly 50 years ago, the discovery of quasars revolutionised astronomy. Black holes turned from a theoretical idea into reality. Today, black holes seem to be ubiquitous at the centres of massive galaxies. They can remain dormant, as in our galaxy, the Milky Way, or they can be actively accreting and “swallowing” the matter, gas and stars, surrounding them and in the process becoming bright, active galactic nuclei, of which quasars are the most extreme example. Surprisingly, astronomers have found a very tight relationship between the mass of the central black hole, and the mass of its host galaxy. They believe that the reason for this tight relationship is the common origin and evolution of these two objects. Dr Nadine Neumayer, from ESO, will discuss with the guests of Café & Kosmos when and how black holes get to the centre of galaxies in the first ...
ann13090-en-us — Announcement
ESO Astronomy News for Kids on your Android Phone
8 November 2013: Universe Awareness (UNAWE) has released a new Space Scoop App for Android users, offering access to the latest astronomy news — whenever it happens, wherever you are! Space Scoop is an astronomy news service for children aged eight and above that aims at sharing exciting new astronomical discoveries with them. ESO was among the first astronomy institutions that joined up with this service and had its press releases translated into “kids language”. The Space Scoop Android app is designed to share the most exciting new astronomical discoveries with children in the hope of inspiring them to develop an interest in science and technology. The concept design and development was lead by UNAWE Romania's project manager, Cătălina Movileanu, and her team in partnership with company TAGonSoft. Almost 200 child-friendly news articles are already available in 22 languages, and up to two new stories will be added each week. ESO’s online press ...
ann13089-en-us — Announcement
Winners of First ESO Astronomy Camp Bursaries Announced
7 November 2013: The registrations for the first ESO astronomy camp for secondary school students have closed with 170 applications from 23 countries submitted and the winners of the 12 bursaries offered by ESO and the national partners have been selected. The camp, organised by Sterrenlab in collaboration with ESO and its science outreach network, will take place from 26–31 December 2013 at the Astronomical Observatory of the Aosta Valley, located in Saint-Barthelemy, Nus, Italy. The camp will accommodate around 50 secondary school students aged between 16 and 18 from the ESO Member States and ESO science outreach network countries. From these, nine were selected to receive a bursary that covers the complete cost of the camp including transport, and three to receive partial grants. ESO was initially going to offer only one bursary, but the many entries from Brazil and Poland and their excellent quality convinced the ESO organisers to grant exceptionally ...
ann13088-en-us — Announcement
ESA Astronauts Visit Chile for ESO's 50th Anniversary in Chile
24 October 2013: On Tuesday, 29 October 2013, Spanish astronaut Pedro Duque from the European Space Agency (ESA) will be an honoured guest during the meeting Science and Art — 50 Years of ESO in Chile. This event will serve as a kick-off for several cultural events with which the ESO and the Chilean embassies of ESO’s Member States will celebrate ESO’s 50th Anniversary in Chile and its key contributions to world astronomy (see ESO Top 10 Astronomical Discoveries). The event with Pedro Duque, who has travelled into space twice, will be held at the Centro Cultural de España, at 19:30, and is being organised by the Spanish Embassy. Pedro Duque will also have a public discussion with Enrique Rivera, President of Chilean Video Corporation and Director of the Biannual Celebration of Media Arts. “During these 50 years the Government of Chile and ESO have managed to build a scientific and cultural bridge ...
ann13087-en-us — Announcement
ESO Opens its Doors to the Public on 19 October 2013
18 October 2013: On 19 October, between 11:00 and 18:00 the Headquarters of the European Southern Observatory in Garching bei München, Germany, will open its doors to curious visitors. Most of the research institutes that are located on Garching research campus will also take part in Open House Day. At ESO, visitors can participate in several exciting activities: Connect live with ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence, located on the Chajnantor Plateau, Chile, at 5000 metres above sea level. Make a live connection also to ESO’s Very Large Telescope on the Paranal platform, the most advanced visible-light telescope in the world. Watch interesting documentaries such as Europe to the Stars — ESO’s first 50 years of exploring the southern sky, ALMA — in search of our cosmic origins. Listen to talks from ESO astronomers, with topics ranging from life on other planets to black holes. Learn how astronomers observe in the infrared ...
ann13086-en-us — Announcement
ESOcast 61: Chile Chill 5
17 October 2013: In this episode of Chile Chill we take a closer look at the telescopes and instruments of ESO's first observatory at La Silla in northern Chile. Undisturbed by narration, and set to instrumental music by John Stanford (johnstanfordmusic.com), this Chile Chill takes you on a relaxing journey beneath the pristine Chilean skies, and through the stark but beautiful wilderness of the surrounding desert. This episode shows the graceful dance of ESO's telescopes, in time-lapse video, as they follow the heavens along their celestial path. Also, high resolution images from ESO's telescopes zoom deep into the cosmos, showing detail imperceivable to the human eye. The video is available to watch here. More Information The ESOcast is a video podcast series dedicated to bringing you the latest news and research from ESO — the European Southern Observatory. Subscribe to our video podcast now to keep up with the latest news from ESO: ...
ann13085-en-us — Announcement
The Return of the Robot Rovers
14 October 2013: In early October 2013, the Atacama Desert became the site of a Mars simulation for a week, as a team of scientists and engineers visited the area to test out their prototype Mars rover. The test site is located close to ESO's Paranal Observatory and was selected due to its harsh climate and its physical resemblance to the red planet. Additionally, the Atacama Desert is known for its virtually sterile soil, largely due to the lack of moisture in the region: this makes the area particularly suitable for simulating the lifeless Martian environment. The recent trials in Chile have featured a rover named Bridget (provided by Astrium, Stevenage in the UK), which is part of the SAFER field trials (Sample Acquisition Field Experiment with a Rover). ESA's 2018 ExoMars mission is acting as the reference mission for the trial. The project aims to give the science team first-hand experience of ...
ann13084-en-us — Announcement
Science In School Issue 27: Now Available!
11 October 2013: The latest issue of the free magazine Science in School is now available online and in print. The European journal, dedicated to the interests of science teachers and educators, offers numerous science articles and activities to help inspire and encourage school-aged students. Some of the highlights of this issue include the cover story, which looks at the phenomenon of zoonotic infections, an article on how scientists can use cosmic rays to investigate the inner workings of volcanoes, and a look at how medieval herbal medicine is influencing current research. Teaching activities include; how to model a black hole, a phylogenetics demonstration in the classroom, and an extremely hands-on demonstration of how a heart pumps using a pig heart, a knife and some water! Science in School is published by EIROforum, a collaboration between eight European intergovernmental scientific research organisations, of which ESO is a member. The journal addresses science teaching ...
ann13083-en-us — Announcement
Trailer for IMAX 3D® Cosmic Experience Hidden Universe Released
10 October 2013: If you are still not looking for a theatre location nearby to watch the 3D production Hidden Universe, we invite you to take a look at this trailer to see what you are missing out.  Recorded last October at several locations, including Paranal in Chile, the site of ESO’s Very Large Telescope, and at the site of the ALMA Observatory, the film combines live action scenes with 3D versions of celestial objects, offering an immersive cosmic experience. You will witness the stunning magnificence of the Universe and the equally amazing tools that astronomers use to reveal its secrets in the cinematic medium that does it best. To check the most up-to-date list of theatre locations where the movie is available, go here.
ann13082-en-us — Announcement
E-ELT Talk in Portugal to be Webcast Live
9 October 2013: ESO astronomer Joe Liske (a.k.a. Dr J, star of the Hubblecast and ESOcast video podcasts) will be visiting the Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (CAUP) in Portugal on 15 October, to give a talk on the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The talk will also be webcast live, so those unable to attend can still catch up on the latest news from the project. There will be facilities for live web chat on the website which will allow audience members at home to participate in the Q&A. During the talk, Dr J will provide a preview of the largest optical telescope ever, and will discuss the science and technology of this megaproject. What is dark energy? Are we alone in the Universe? What did the first galaxies look like? These are some of the most fundamental questions of our time, and it is hoped that the E-ELT will help ...
ann13081-en-us — Announcement
ESO Calendar 2014 Now Available
8 October 2013: The European Southern Observatory’s 2014 calendar is now available to buy from the ESO online shop, or to download as a free PDF file. The calendar’s cover features a spectacular image of the Carina Nebula captured by the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. The calendar itself is packed full of images of the cosmos as well as pictures of the ESO telescopes in the desolate landscapes of the Atacama Desert. Highlights include a landscape picture for the month of May that shows the beautiful pastel colours of the sky seen from Paranal as the Sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. October shows the deep darkness of the Chilean sky shattered by the brilliant beam of the VLT’s Laser Guide Star — part of the VLT’s adaptive optics system that allows the observatory to take exceptionally crisp images of the heavens. Each month also marks the dates of ...
ann13080-en-us — Announcement
ESO Releases The Messenger No. 153
7 October 2013: The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. Find out the latest news from ESO on topics ranging from new instruments to the latest science discoveries. Highlights of this edition include: ESPRESSO — An Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observation HARPS observations of the Transit of Venus 2012 Following the G2 Gas Cloud towards the Galactic Centre The Magellanic Stream — A Tail of Two Galaxies Science Days at ESO Download The Messenger in PDF format or visit The Messenger website to subscribe and receive a free printed copy.
ann13079-en-us — Announcement
Café & Kosmos 8 October 2013
7 October 2013: With Drs Jan Machacek & Karl Rieger, Max Planck Institute for Physics The particle accelerators used for research in high-energy physics are among the largest and most expensive scientific instruments ever built. They are like giant microscopes that have allowed us to discover the fundamental laws of the Universe —from the Big Bang, to the Standard Model of particle physics, and even to the actual structure of the cosmos. In order to continue exploring new areas of physics with particle accelerators, scientists are now investigating new ways to make them not only more powerful, but also smaller. In the very promising plasma wakefield accelerators, "wake waves" are generated in an ionised gas (plasma). Electrons and positrons, their antiparticles, can “surf” that wake and be accelerated to speeds corresponding to over 1000 times the energy that they could get from current particle accelerators. The final aim is to reduce the distance ...
ann13078-en-us — Announcement
Handback of 2.2-metre Telescope
30 September 2013: As of 1 October 2013, the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, will no longer be offered to the ESO community. Up to now the telescope has been operated by ESO and made available to the ESO community, as well as users from the Max Planck Society (MPG). In future ESO will no longer offer the telescope to its users, although the Max Planck Society will continue to use it. The telescope and its instruments were also made available to Chilean astronomers and this will also continue in the future. The MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope was originally constructed by the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (Heidelberg, Germany) and intended to be sited in Namibia. It was not installed there and later offered to ESO under an agreement where ESO undertook the installation of the telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile — achieved in 1983 — ...
ann13077-en-us — Announcement
ESO Celebrates 1000th Press Release
18 September 2013: The press release this week, a new image of the Prawn Nebula, is a small milestone in itself —  it is ESO’s 1000th press release. This impressive number is a reflection of ESO’s status as the most productive ground-based astronomy organisation in the world in terms of number of scientific papers produced [1]. On a coincidental note, this week also marks the release of ESO’s 10 000th scientific paper. The ESO outreach department, which is behind ESO’s public communication, was created in 1986, during the exciting period of the 1985–86 Halley apparition, making it one of the oldest astronomical outreach departments in the world. It started life with a somewhat different remit under the name of the ESO Information and Photographic Service (IPS, reflecting the origins of key staff in the former ESO Sky Atlas Laboratory). With growing experience came the realisation that information for the public was a commodity ...
ann13076-en-us — Announcement
Participate in Origins 2013
18 September 2013: CERN, ESA, ESO and UNESCO in partnership with the Italian Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), invite the public to participate in Origins 2013, a unique event to take place simultaneously in Geneva, Paris and Bologna on European Researchers’ Night, Friday 27 September 2013. People around the world can follow the event live through webcasts. What do particle physics, astrophysics and space research have in common? They all address fundamental questions linked to our origins: the origin of matter, the origin of the Universe, and potentially, the origins of life itself. In the last few months, the Large Hadron Collider, with the discovery of a Higgs boson, and the Planck satellite, with the release of the most precise picture so far of the very early Universe, have achieved major scientific breakthroughs. In addition, the ALMA telescope array was recently inaugurated in Chile. ALMA is the largest astronomy project in existence and will ...
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