eso2316 — Science Release
Furthest ever detection of a galaxy’s magnetic field
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have detected the magnetic field of a galaxy so far away that its light has taken more than 11 billion years to reach us: we see it as it was when the Universe was just 2.5 billion years old. The result provides astronomers with vital clues about how the magnetic fields of galaxies like our own Milky Way came to be.
eso2315 — Science Release
ESO telescopes help unravel pulsar puzzle
With a remarkable observational campaign that involved 12 telescopes both on the ground and in space, including three European Southern Observatory (ESO) facilities, astronomers have uncovered the strange behaviour of a pulsar, a super-fast-spinning dead star. This mysterious object is known to switch between two brightness modes almost constantly, something that until now has been an enigma. But astronomers have now found that sudden ejections of matter from the pulsar over very short periods are responsible for the peculiar switches.
eso2314 — Science Release
Mysterious Neptune dark spot detected from Earth for the first time
Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have observed a large dark spot in Neptune’s atmosphere, with an unexpected smaller bright spot adjacent to it. This is the first time a dark spot on the planet has ever been observed with a telescope on Earth. These occasional features in the blue background of Neptune’s atmosphere are a mystery to astronomers, and the new results provide further clues as to their nature and origin.
eso2313 — Science Release
New type of star gives clues to mysterious origin of magnetars
Magnetars are the strongest magnets in the Universe. These super-dense dead stars with ultra-strong magnetic fields can be found all over our galaxy but astronomers don’t know exactly how they form. Now, using multiple telescopes around the world, including European Southern Observatory (ESO) facilities, researchers have uncovered a living star that is likely to become a magnetar. This finding marks the discovery of a new type of astronomical object — massive magnetic helium stars — and sheds light on the origin of magnetars.
eso2312 — Photo Release
New image reveals secrets of planet birth
A spectacular new image released today by the European Southern Observatory gives us clues about how planets as massive as Jupiter could form. Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers have detected large dusty clumps, close to a young star, that could collapse to create giant planets.
eso2311 — Science Release
Does this exoplanet have a sibling sharing the same orbit?
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have found the possible ‘sibling’ of a planet orbiting a distant star. The team has detected a cloud of debris that might be sharing this planet’s orbit and which, they believe, could be the building blocks of a new planet or the remnants of one already formed. If confirmed, this discovery would be the strongest evidence yet that two exoplanets can share one orbit.
eso2310 — Organisation Release
ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope is now half completed
The European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope (ESO’s ELT) is a revolutionary ground-based telescope that will have a 39-metre main mirror and will be the largest telescope in the world for visible and infrared light: the world’s biggest eye on the sky. Construction of this technically complex project is advancing at a good pace, with the ELT now surpassing the 50% complete milestone.
eso2309 — Photo Release
'Smiling cat' nebula captured in new ESO image
This cloud of orange and red, part of the Sh2-284 nebula, is shown here in spectacular detail using data from the VLT Survey Telescope, hosted by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). This nebula is teeming with young stars, as gas and dust within it clumps together to form new suns. If you take a look at the cloud as a whole, you might be able to make out the face of a cat, smiling down from the sky.
eso2308 — Organisation Release
BlackGEM telescopes begin hunt for gravitational-wave sources at ESO's La Silla Observatory
The BlackGEM array, consisting of three new telescopes located at ESO’s La Silla Observatory, has begun operations. The telescopes will scan the southern sky to hunt down the cosmic events that produce gravitational waves, such as the mergers of neutron stars and black holes.
eso2307 — Photo Release
ESO telescope reveals hidden views of vast stellar nurseries
Using ESO’s Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA), astronomers have created a vast infrared atlas of five nearby stellar nurseries by piecing together more than one million images. These large mosaics reveal young stars in the making, embedded in thick clouds of dust. Thanks to these observations, astronomers have a unique tool with which to decipher the complex puzzle of stellar birth.
eso2306 — Science Release
Astronomers find distant gas clouds with leftovers of the first stars
Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), researchers have found for the first time the fingerprints left by the explosion of the first stars in the Universe. They detected three distant gas clouds whose chemical composition matches what we expect from the first stellar explosions. These findings bring us one step closer to understanding the nature of the first stars that formed after the Big Bang.
eso2305 — Science Release
First direct image of a black hole expelling a powerful jet
For the first time, astronomers have observed, in the same image, the shadow of the black hole at the centre of the galaxy Messier 87 (M87) and the powerful jet expelled from it. The observations were done in 2018 with telescopes from the Global Millimetre VLBI Array (GMVA), the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), of which ESO is a partner, and the Greenland Telescope (GLT). Thanks to this new image, astronomers can better understand how black holes can launch such energetic jets.
eso2304 — Science Release
Astronomers witness the birth of a very distant cluster of galaxies from the early Universe
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), of which ESO is a partner, astronomers have discovered a large reservoir of hot gas in the still-forming galaxy cluster around the Spiderweb galaxy — the most distant detection of such hot gas yet. Galaxy clusters are some of the largest objects known in the Universe and this result, published today in Nature, further reveals just how early these structures begin to form.
eso2303 — Science Release
First results from ESO telescopes on the aftermath of DART’s asteroid impact
Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), two teams of astronomers have observed the aftermath of the collision between NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft and the asteroid Dimorphos. The controlled impact was a test of planetary defence, but also gave astronomers a unique opportunity to learn more about the asteroid’s composition from the expelled material.
eso2302 — Science Release
Astronomers find missing link for water in the Solar System
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have detected gaseous water in the planet-forming disc around the star V883 Orionis. This water carries a chemical signature that explains the journey of water from star-forming gas clouds to planets, and supports the idea that water on Earth is even older than our Sun.
ESO and astronomy groups petition the UN to address the impact of satellites on dark and quiet skies
eso2301 — Photo Release
Serpent in the sky captured with ESO telescope
A myriad of stars is revealed behind the faint orange glow of the Sh2-54 nebula in this new infrared image. Located in the constellation Serpens, this stunning stellar nursery has been captured in all its intricate detail using the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) based at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile.
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25 Sep 2023 — ann23014
The CTAO will double its staff as major infrastructure development begins in 2024