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 spectacular landscape of star formation

This image, captured by the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, shows two dramatic star formation regions in the Milky Way. The first, on the left, is dominated by the star cluster NGC 3603, located ...

dateAug 20, 2014 in Astronomy
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Triangulum galaxy snapped by VST

The VLT Survey Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile has captured a beautifully detailed image of the galaxy Messier 33. This nearby spiral, the second closest large galaxy to our own galaxy, is packed with bright ...

dateAug 06, 2014 in Astronomy
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Lives and deaths of sibling stars

This beautiful star cluster, NGC 3293, is found 8000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Carina (The Keel). This cluster was first spotted by the French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille in 1751, during his ...

dateJul 23, 2014 in Astronomy
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Green light for E-ELT construction

The E-ELT will be a 39-metre aperture optical and infrared telescope sited on Cerro Armazones in the Chilean Atacama Desert, 20 kilometres from ESO's Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal. It will be the world's largest "eye ...

dateDec 04, 2014 in Astronomy
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ALMA takes close look at drama of starbirth

( —Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have obtained a vivid close-up view of material streaming away from a newborn star. By looking at the glow coming from carbon monoxide ...

dateAug 20, 2013 in Astronomy
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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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