Press Releases

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eso9402-en-us — 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-en-us — 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-en-us — 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-en-us — 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-en-us — Photo Release
Wide-angle view of Cassiopeia
20 August 1993: This press release is only available in German.
eso9310-en-us — Photo Release
The ESO Schmidt Telescope
20 August 1993: This press release is only available in German.
eso9309-en-us — 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-en-us — 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-en-us — 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-en-us — 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-en-us — 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.
eso9305-en-us — Photo Release
Another Trans-plutonian Minor Planet: 1993 FW
1 June 1993: On March 28, 1993, American astronomers David Jewitt and Jane Luu on Hawaii discovered a slow-moving minor planet of magnitude 23. More observations were made the following night, confirming the unusual motion and indicating that it is located at a very large distance from the Sun, possibly far beyond Pluto, the outermost known, major planet. It was given the preliminary designation 1993 FW (IAU Circular 5730)
eso9303-en-us — Organisation Release
Relations Between the Republic of Chile and ESO
14 May 1993: 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 relations between ESO and the Republic of Chile, the host state for the ESO observatories in the southern hemisphere.
eso9302-en-us — Science Release
Frontiers of Astronomy
27 March 1993: The past decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in our knowledge of the Universe we live in. New instruments for astronomical observations and analysis are unveiling the secrets of deep space at an ever-increasing pace. Detailed studies of planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies and strange, exotic celestial objects have provided us with new insights into the formation, structure and evolution of our Universe.
eso9301-en-us — Photo Release
"Toutatis" Observed with the ESO New Technology Telescope
29 January 1993: This photo is a composite of five exposures of Minor Planet no.~4179, also known as Toutatis, obtained with the 3.5-m ESO New Technology Telescope on December 21, 1992, by ESO-astronomer Jesper Storm. At this time, Toutatis was about 13 million km from the Earth, i.e. 33 times more distant than the Moon. On December 8, this Minor Planet passed within 3.6 million km from the Earth, but at that time it was not possible to observe it with ground-based optical telescopes, because it was situated between the Earth and the Sun. However, very good radar images were obtained which showed thecratered surface of the object.
eso9216-en-us — Organisation Release
ESO to Help Central and Eastern European Astronomers
3 December 1992: The Council of the European Southern Observatory [1], meeting at the ESO Headquarters in Garching on December 1-2, 1992, has decided to initiate a Programme by this organisation, aimed at supporting some of the scientifically most active and internationally highly esteemed astronomical institutes and research groups in Central and Eastern Europe (C&EE).
eso9215-en-us — Science Release
Mysterious GEMINGA on the Move
13 November 1992: Based on observations just obtained with the ESO New Technology Telescope at La Silla, a group of Italian astronomers [1] have securely identified the optical emission from the mysterious GEMINGA object. Although GEMINGA is the second strongest source of energetic gamma-rays in the sky, its optical image is extremely faint and the real nature of this strange object has long been a subject of debate. The present break-through became possible when the astronomers discovered and accurately measured the object's motion in the sky. As a consequence, GEMINGA is now believed to be the closest neutron star known to us, at a distance of no more than 300 light-years, possibly even smaller.
eso9214-en-us — Science Release
New Planet Found in the Outer Solar System
2 October 1992: A new planet has just been found in the outer solar system. Although the observations do not yet allow an accurate determination of its orbit, it appears that it is situated about 6,000 million km away, outside the orbit of the outermost, known planet, Pluto. No other object has ever been found this far out in the solar system.
eso9213-en-us — Science Release
ESO Exhibition Opens in Milan
14 September 1992: An exhibition about Astronomy and the European organization for astronomy (ESO) will soon open at the Science and Technical Museum "Leonardo da Vinci" in Milan, Italy.
eso9212-en-us — Photo Release
A Minor Planet With a Tail!
18 August 1992: Minor Planet (4015) was discovered in 1979. It is of the Earth–crossing "Apollo" type and moves in an elongated orbit around the Sun; the period of revolution is 4.3 years.
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