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 colorful gathering of middle-aged stars

NGC 3532 is a bright open cluster located some 1300 light-years away in the constellation of Carina(The Keel of the ship Argo). It is informally known as the Wishing Well Cluster, as it resembles scattered silver coins which ...

dateNov 26, 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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This star cluster is not what it seems

This new image from the VLT Survey Telescope in northern Chile shows a vast collection of stars, the globular cluster Messier 54. This cluster looks similar to many others but it has a secret. Messier 54 doesn't belong to ...

dateSep 10, 2014 in Astronomy
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Largest yellow hypergiant star spotted

ESO's Very Large Telescope has revealed the largest yellow star—and one of the 10 largest stars found so far. This hypergiant has been found to measure more than 1,300 times the diameter of the Sun, and to be part of a ...

dateMar 12, 2014 in Astronomy
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Construction secrets of a galactic metropolis

Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in the Universe held together by gravity but their formation is not well understood. The Spiderweb Galaxy (formally known as MRC 1138-262) and its surroundings have been studied for ...

dateOct 15, 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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Wild ducks take flight in open cluster

The Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile has taken this beautiful image, dappled with blue stars, of one of the most star-rich open clusters currently known—Messier ...

dateOct 01, 2014 in Astronomy
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