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.

Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2 D-85748 Garching bei Munchen
Website
http://www.eso.org/public/
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Southern_Observatory

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GRAVITY instrument breaks new ground in exoplanet imaging

The GRAVITY instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) has made the first direct observation of an exoplanet using optical interferometry. This method revealed a complex exoplanetary atmosphere with clouds ...

ESO's Cosmic Gems Programme captures the Cosmic Bat's dusty clouds

Hidden in one of the darkest corners of the Orion constellation, this Cosmic Bat is spreading its hazy wings through interstellar space two thousand light-years away. It is illuminated by the young stars nestled in its core — despite ...

Bubbles of brand new stars

This region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) glows in striking colours in this image captured by the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). The region, known as LHA 120-N ...

A fleeting moment in time

The faint, ephemeral glow emanating from the planetary nebula ESO 577-24 persists for only a short time—around 10,000 years, a blink of an eye in astronomical terms. ESO's Very Large Telescope captured this shell of glowing ...

First light for SPECULOOS

The SPECULOOS Southern Observatory (SSO) has been successfully installed at the Paranal Observatory and has obtained its first engineering and calibration images—a process known as first light. After finishing this commissioning ...

The pirate of the southern skies

FORS2, an instrument mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope, has observed the active star-forming region NGC 2467—sometimes referred to as the Skull and Crossbones Nebula. The image was captured as part of the ESO Cosmic ...

Image: Cloudlets swarm around our local supermassive black hole

This image from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shows the area surrounding Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole that lurks at the centre of the Milky Way—highlighted here with a small circle. ...

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