Latest ESO's La Silla Observatory Stories

star cluster NGC 3293
2014-07-23 10:22:45

Richard Hook, European Southern Observatory (ESO) In this striking new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile young stars huddle together against a backdrop of clouds of glowing gas and lanes of dust. The star cluster, known as NGC 3293, would have been just a cloud of gas and dust itself about ten million years ago, but as stars began to form it became the bright group of stars we see here. Clusters like this are celestial laboratories that allow astronomers to learn more about...

Image 1 - HARPS Finds Fifty New Exoplanets
2011-09-12 12:45:58

  Richest haul of planets so far includes 16 new super-Earths [ View Video ] Astronomers using ESO´s world-leading exoplanet hunter HARPS have today announced a rich haul of more than 50 new exoplanets, including 16 super-Earths, one of which orbits at the edge of the habitable zone of its star. By studying the properties of all the HARPS planets found so far, the team has found that about 40% of stars similar to the Sun have at least one planet lighter than Saturn. The...

2011-04-13 08:25:00

This image of the nebula NGC 3582, which was captured by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, shows giant loops of gas bearing a striking resemblance to solar prominences. These loops are thought to have been ejected by dying stars, but new stars are also being born within this stellar nursery. These energetic youngsters emit intense ultraviolet radiation that makes the gas in the nebula glow, producing the fiery display shown here....

2011-03-02 06:45:00

This image of NGC 247, taken by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, reveals the fine details of this highly inclined spiral galaxy and its rich backdrop. Astronomers say this highly tilted orientation, when viewed from Earth, explains why the distance to this prominent galaxy was previously overestimated. The spiral galaxy NGC 247 is one of the closest spiral galaxies of the southern sky. In this new view from the Wide Field Imager...

2011-02-02 10:20:00

The bright galaxy NGC 3621, captured here using the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, appears to be a fine example of a classical spiral. But it is in fact rather unusual: it does not have a central bulge and is therefore described as a pure-disc galaxy. NGC 3621 is a spiral galaxy about 22 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra (The Sea Snake). It is comparatively bright and can be seen well in moderate-sized telescopes. This...

2010-11-18 13:55:00

Galactic cannibalism brings an exoplanet of extragalactic origin within astronomers' reach An exoplanet orbiting a star that entered our Milky Way from another galaxy has been detected by a European team of astronomers using the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. The Jupiter-like planet is particularly unusual, as it is orbiting a star nearing the end of its life and could be about to be engulfed by it, giving tantalizing clues about the fate of our own...

2010-11-10 10:25:00

European Southern Observatory astronomers have produced a spectacular new image of the famous Atoms-for-Peace galaxy (NGC 7252). This galactic pile-up, formed by the collision of two galaxies, provides an excellent opportunity for astronomers to study how mergers affect the evolution of the Universe. Atoms-for-Peace is the curious name given to a pair of interacting and merging galaxies that lie around 220 million light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius. It is also known as NGC 7252...

2010-09-08 09:20:00

ESO has released a spectacular new image of NGC 300, a spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way, and located in the nearby Sculptor Group of galaxies. Taken with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, this 50-hour exposure reveals the structure of the galaxy in exquisite detail. NGC 300 lies about six million light-years away and appears to be about two thirds the size of the full Moon on the sky. Originally discovered from Australia by the Scottish astronomer James...

2010-06-30 09:05:00

This magnificent view of the region around the star R Coronae Australis was created from images taken with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. R Coronae Australis lies at the heart of a nearby star-forming region and is surrounded by a delicate bluish reflection nebula embedded in a huge dust cloud. The image reveals surprising new details in this dramatic area of sky. The star R Coronae Australis lies in one of the nearest and most spectacular star-forming...

2010-06-08 10:12:50

A new robotic telescope has had first light at ESO's La Silla Observatory, in Chile. TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is devoted to the study of planetary systems through two approaches: the detection and characterization of planets located outside the Solar System (exoplanets) and the study of comets orbiting around the Sun. The 60-cm telescope is operated from a control room in Lige, Belgium, 12 000 km away. "The two themes of the TRAPPIST project are...

Word of the Day
  • Good cheer; viands.
  • To revel; to feast.
The word 'bellycheer' may come from 'belle cheer', "good cheer".