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
Some content from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

VLT discovers new kind of globular star cluster

Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a new class of 'dark' globular star clusters around the giant galaxy Centaurus A. These mysterious objects look similar to normal clusters, but contain ...

dateMay 13, 2015 in Astronomy
shares243 comments 7

First exoplanet visible light spectrum

Astronomers using the HARPS planet-hunting machine at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile have made the first-ever direct detection of the spectrum of visible light reflected off an exoplanet. These observations also revealed ...

dateApr 22, 2015 in Astronomy
shares323 comments 0

An old-looking galaxy in a young universe

A team of astronomers, led by Darach Watson, from the University of Copenhagen used the Very Large Telescope's X-shooter instrument along with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe one of the ...

dateMar 02, 2015 in Astronomy
shares87 comments 6

Giant galaxies die from the inside out

A major astrophysical mystery has centred on how massive, quiescent elliptical galaxies, common in the modern Universe, quenched their once furious rates of star formation. Such colossal galaxies, often also called spheroids ...

dateApr 16, 2015 in Astronomy
shares109 comments 2

A grand extravaganza of new stars

This dramatic landscape in the southern constellation of Ara (The Altar) is a treasure trove of celestial objects. Star clusters, emission nebulae and active star-forming regions are just some of the riches observed in this ...

dateMar 11, 2015 in Astronomy
shares1529 comments 0

Looking deeply into the universe in 3-D

The MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep Universe. After staring at the Hubble Deep Field South region for only 27 hours, the new observations ...

dateFeb 26, 2015 in Astronomy
shares53 comments 0

The strange case of the missing dwarf

The new SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope has been used to search for a brown dwarf expected to be orbiting the unusual double star V471 Tauri. SPHERE has given astronomers the best look so far at the surroundings ...

dateFeb 18, 2015 in Astronomy
shares471 comments 3