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.

Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2 D-85748 Garching bei Munchen
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A cosmic sackful of black coal

Dark smudges almost block out a rich star field in this new image captured by the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. The inky areas are small parts of a huge dark nebula known as the Coalsack, ...

dateOct 14, 2015 in Astronomy
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A celestial butterfly emerges from its dusty cocoon

Some of the sharpest images ever made with ESO's Very Large Telescope have, for the first time, revealed what appears to be an ageing star giving birth to a butterfly-like planetary nebula. These observations of the red giant ...

dateJun 10, 2015 in Astronomy
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ESO image: Sibling stars

Open star clusters like the one seen here are not just perfect subjects for pretty pictures. Most stars form within clusters and these clusters can be used by astronomers as laboratories to study how stars evolve and die. ...

dateAug 19, 2015 in Astronomy
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A shy galactic neighbor

The Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy, pictured in this new image from the Wide Field Imager camera, installed on the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory, is a close neighbour of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Despite ...

dateSep 16, 2015 in Astronomy
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Prawn Nebula: Cosmic recycling

Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later ...

dateSep 02, 2015 in Astronomy
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Image: The ghost of a dying star

This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary nebula, the remnants of a dying ...

dateAug 05, 2015 in Astronomy
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Huge new survey to shine light on dark matter

The first results have been released from a major new dark matter survey of the southern skies using ESO's VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The VST KiDS survey will allow astronomers to make ...

dateJul 09, 2015 in Astronomy
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NGC 2367: Buried in the heart of a giant

This rich view of an array of colorful stars and gas was captured by the Wide Field Imager camera, on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. It shows a young open cluster of stars known as ...

dateJul 01, 2015 in Astronomy
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