ESO

ESO (European Southern Observatory) is the preeminent inter-governmental organization focused on astronomy and technology headquartered in Garching, Germany. ESO operates La Silla Paranal Observatory in Chile. The flagship facility is the Very Large Telescope (VLT) on top of the Paranal Mountain. The VLT sets the standard for ground-based optical and infrared astronomy and the data it produces are used every day in scientific publications. The next step for ESO is Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA), an inter-continental effort with North America, East Asia and Chile expected to be completed by 2012. The next generation VLT in the planning stages is the Extremely Large optical/infrared Telescope with a primary mirror between 30m and 60m that will make visible the earth-like planets around other stars.

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Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2 D-85748 Garching bei Munchen
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First light for SPHERE exoplanet imager

SPHERE—the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument—has been installed on ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. This powerful facility for studying exoplanets uses multiple ...

dateJun 04, 2014 in Astronomy
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A star cluster in the wake of Carina

This colorful new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the star cluster NGC 3590. These stars shine brightly in front of a dramatic landscape of dark patches of dust and ...

dateMay 21, 2014 in Astronomy
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Magnetar formation mystery solved?

Magnetars are the super-dense remnants of supernova explosions. They are the strongest magnets known in the Universe—millions of times more powerful than the strongest magnets on Earth. A team of astronomers using ESO's ...

dateMay 14, 2014 in Astronomy
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Length of exoplanet day measured for first time

Observations from ESO's Very Large Telescope have, for the first time, determined the rotation rate of an exoplanet. Beta Pictoris b has been found to have a day that lasts eight hours. This is quicker than any planet in ...

dateApr 30, 2014 in Astronomy
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ESO image: A study in scarlet

This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that causes the surrounding ...

dateApr 16, 2014 in Astronomy
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Chance meeting creates celestial diamond ring

Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured this eye-catching image of planetary nebula PN A66 33—usually known as Abell 33. Created when an aging star blew off its outer layers, this beautiful blue ...

dateApr 09, 2014 in Astronomy
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Image: Galactic serial killer

This new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows two contrasting galaxies: NGC 1316, and its smaller neighbour NGC 1317. These two are quite close to each other in space, but ...

dateApr 02, 2014 in Astronomy
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