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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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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Violent origins of disc galaxies probed by ALMA

For decades scientists have believed that galaxy mergers usually result in the formation of elliptical galaxies. Now, for the the first time, researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array and a host ...

dateSep 17, 2014 in Astronomy
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The anatomy of an asteroid

ESO's New Technology Telescope has been used to find the first evidence that asteroids can have a highly varied internal structure. By making measurements astronomers have found that different parts of the asteroid Itokawa ...

dateFeb 05, 2014 in Astronomy
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First weather map of brown dwarf

ESO's Very Large Telescope has been used to create the first ever map of the weather on the surface of the nearest brown dwarf to Earth. An international team has made a chart of the dark and light features on WISE J104915.57-531906.1B, ...

dateJan 29, 2014 in Astronomy
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First planet found around solar twin in star cluster

Astronomers have used ESO's HARPS planet hunter in Chile, along with other telescopes around the world, to discover three planets orbiting stars in the cluster Messier 67. Although more than one thousand planets outside the ...

dateJan 15, 2014 in Astronomy
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