Competition 1: Choose What the VLT Observes
Update: The competitions are now closed. The list of winners can be found at the bottom of this page. Thank you to everyone who participated!
For the first time in its history, ESO invites you to decide where in the Universe it should point the Very Large Telescope (VLT).
- From the pictures below, pick the object you would like ESO to observe with the VLT.
- Go to the bottom of the page and complete the boxes.
- Cast your vote!
Important: After voting, you MUST follow the link in the confirmation email to confirm your vote!
About the European Southern Observatory (ESO)
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) builds and operates some of the most advanced telescopes on Earth. These incredible machines explore the southern sky from Chile and make fascinating discoveries about the Universe. back to top
Usually, astronomers have to prepare a detailed plan describing why they want to use the VLT, and only a small fraction of them are given the chance. But for you, it’s going to be rather easier.
ESO has already chosen a selection of celestial objects that are visible in the sky on 5 October and will look great when imaged by the VLT. All you need to do is cast your vote for the galaxy or nebula you like most. The one that gets the most votes will be observed using the VLT on the 50th anniversary of ESO — 5 October 2012.
We also need to consider that the VLT is like a very powerful telephoto lens, so its field of view is tiny. This means that a large object like the Orion Nebula or the Carina Nebula would be far too big for the VLT to image.
To vote, you need to click on the image, and then enter your email address. To help you, ESO has prepared black and white previews of the objects using older images from the Digitized Sky Survey. Of course, the VLT image will look much better than the black and white preview. For example, here is a “before-and-after” comparison of a pair of galaxy.
The Eyes of the Virgin - Digitized Sky Survey preview (left) and VLT image (right).
Just by voting for your favourite of the 16 celestial objects above, you can win one of the latest iPads, or one of ten prize packs.
- We will contact the winners using their email addresses, so make sure yours is valid.
- You can change your mind and swap your vote as many times as you wish, but only your last vote will count.
The detailed rules are available here.
Winner of the first prize, consisting of the latest iPad and other ESO products: Mario Cannistra, Italy
Winners of ESO products:
- ulrike.hecht, Austria
- kallemsilva, Brazil
- ivansklenar, Czech Republic
- Christian Probst, Denmark
- sabine.philipp-may, Germany
- Philipp Weber, Germany
- Stefano Morandi, Italy
- Marcin Pryczek, Poland
- Vlad Moraru, Romania
- katemccor, United Kingdom
- Teresa Jambur, United Kingdom
- Aaron Stover,United States
- moore3t1, United States