ESO — Reaching New Heights in Astronomy
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ESO Outreach Community Newsletter
January 2018

Dear Fellow Communicators,

Happy New Year! We hope you had a fantastic start of the year!

With less than 100 days left before the opening of the ESO Supernova, we’re getting ever more excited (and maybe just a tiny bit anxious at the same time). The Evans & Sutherland Digistar 6 planetarium system is being installed this week and there is lots of progress across all areas of the project.

We have recently launched the HubbleCast Light series, a shorter, more punchy version of the HubbleCast. The first episode was well received so stay tuned for more.

On Monday 15 January the Insight Astronomy of the Year 2018 Competition opened for entries. If you are an astrophotographer, we encourage you to enter for a chance to win one of the generous awards and have your photos gain a lot of visibility worldwide. On that same topic, the Photo NightScape Awards Competition is also eagerly looking for your entries.

Friday 12 January saw the launch of PicSat, a CubeSat that will work together with our HARPS instrument at La Silla to observe the Beta Pictoris star system. This will be the first time that a small modular satellite — a CubeSat — and a ground-based telescope will work together to address some of the mysteries of the Universe. You can read more about the project in our ESOblog post. You can follow the PicSat project on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Let’s reach new heights in astronomy together!

Lars Lindberg Christensen (
Head, ESO education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD)

  ESO Announcements

2018 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition Opens — ESO in partnership with the Royal Observatory Greenwich

15 January 2018: The Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine, has announced the key dates for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 competition ...

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The Messenger No. 170 Now Available

22 December 2017: 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 ...

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Combining the freedom of a CubeSat with the power of an ESO telescope — How ESO’s HARPS will help PicSat the CubeSat to unravel the mysteries of the Beta Pictoris star system

Interview with: Sylvestre Lacour from the PicSat team

12 January 2018: A shoebox-sized satellite called PicSat, developed in record time by a small team of scientists and engineers at the Paris Observatory in France, has just been launched into space to ...

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ESO’s Collaboration with Industry

Author: Xavier Barcons

22 December 2017: In this blog post, our Director General Xavier Barcons explains how ESO works together with industry partners throughout our Member States to deliver some of the most advanced telescopes and ...

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David Gilmour visited the ALMA Operations Support Facility

15 January 2018: British guitarist, singer, and songwriter, David Gilmour, visited the ALMA Operations Support Facility on 28 December 2017. Gilmour is best known for his involvement in the rock band Pink Floyd ...

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ESOcast 145 Light: First ELT Main Mirror Segments Successfully Cast (4K UHD)

9 January 2018: The first hexagonal segments for the main mirror of ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) have been successfully cast by the German company SCHOTT at their facility in Mainz. These segments ...

ESOcast 144 Light: Giant Bubbles on Red Giant Star’s Surface (4K UHD)

20 December 2017: Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have for the first time directly observed granulation patterns on the surface of a star outside the Solar System — the ageing red giant ...

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 ESO Press Releases

Upcoming Events


26 April 2018: Girls' Day at ESO Headquarters

2 July 2019: Total Solar Eclipse

Upcoming Exhibitions

26 - 28 February 2018: Big Science Business Forum. Copenhagen, Denmark.

3 - 6 April 2018: EWASS. Liverpool, United Kingdom.

20 - 31 August 2018: IAU General Assembly. Vienna, Austria.

24 - 29 June 2019: Starmus V event. Berne, Switzerland.

Supermoon beckons in the new year  Ribbons and pearls  Comparison image: HAWK-I and Hubble Explore a Cluster with the Mass of two Quadrillion Suns 

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