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Latest La Silla Observatory Stories

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2010-12-08 09:55:00

We know of about 150 of the rich collections of old stars called globular clusters that orbit our galaxy, the Milky Way. This sharp new image of Messier 107, captured by the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, displays the structure of one such globular cluster in exquisite detail. Studying these stellar swarms has revealed much about the history of our galaxy and how stars evolve. The globular cluster Messier 107, also known as NGC 6171, is a...

e863c32c8cb7f85dfc097833c0d5600d1
2010-11-04 13:45:00

Stretching 100 kilometers through Chile's harsh Atacama Desert, a newly inaugurated data cable is creating new opportunities at ESO's Paranal Observatory and the Observatorio Cerro Armazones. Connecting these facilities to the main Latin American scientific data backbone completes the last gap in the high-speed link between the observatories and Europe. This new cable is part of the EVALSO (Enabling Virtual Access to Latin American Southern Observatories) project [1], a European Commission...

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2010-09-01 12:55:00

The galaxy NGC 4666 takes pride of place at the center of this new image, made in visible light with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. NGC 4666 is a remarkable galaxy with very vigorous star formation and an unusual "superwind" of out-flowing gas. It had previously been observed in X-rays by the ESA XMM-Newton space telescope, and the image presented here was taken to allow further study of other objects detected in the earlier...

1e56f6b8b6c8e05203917376080699ef1
2010-07-28 08:40:00

A spectacular new image from ESO's Wide Field Imager at the La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the brilliant and unusual star WR 22 and its colorful surroundings. WR 22 is a very hot and bright star that is shedding its atmosphere into space at a rate many millions of times faster than the Sun. It lies in the outer part of the dramatic Carina Nebula from which it formed. Very massive stars live fast and die young. Some of these stellar beacons have such intense radiation passing through...

02ed608e588374d64446bd326a7f20ef1
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...

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2010-06-16 07:20:00

A spectacular new image of the Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253) has been taken with the ESO VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile as part of one of its first major observational campaigns. By observing in infrared light VISTA's view is less affected by dust and reveals a myriad of cooler stars as well as a prominent bar of stars across the central region. The VISTA image provides much new information on the history and development of the galaxy. The Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253) lies in...

fcf8b0a9a6a9e1c7f447e92d8ab3f02d1
2010-04-21 07:10:00

The Cat's Paw Nebula, NGC 6334, is a huge stellar nursery, the birthplace of hundreds of massive stars. In a magnificent new ESO image taken with the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, the glowing gas and dust clouds obscuring the view are penetrated by infrared light and some of the Cat's hidden young stars are revealed. Towards the heart of the Milky Way, 5500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius (the...

b8657b00e96bdebd6490fddb2d543169
2010-03-03 07:15:00

An Island of Stars in the Making on the Outskirts of Orion The delicate nebula NGC 1788, located in a dark and often neglected corner of the Orion constellation, is revealed in a new and finely nuanced image that ESO is releasing today. Although this ghostly cloud is rather isolated from Orion's bright stars, the latter's powerful winds and light have had a strong impact on the nebula, forging its shape and making it home to a multitude of infant suns. Stargazers all over the world are...

87fa3b9f0098d7517eab45e1d1d95b0c1
2010-02-24 07:25:00

Today ESO has released a dramatic new image of NGC 346, the brightest star-forming region in our neighboring galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud, 210 000 light-years away towards the constellation of Tucana (the Toucan). The light, wind and heat given off by massive stars have dispersed the glowing gas within and around this star cluster, forming a surrounding wispy nebular structure that looks like a cobweb. NGC 346, like other beautiful astronomical scenes, is a work in progress, and changes...

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2010-01-20 09:20:00

ESO has just released a stunning new image of the vast cloud known as the Cat's Paw Nebula or NGC 6334. This complex region of gas and dust, where numerous massive stars are born, lies near the heart of the Milky Way galaxy, and is heavily obscured by intervening dust clouds. Few objects in the sky have been as well named as the Cat's Paw Nebula, a glowing gas cloud resembling the gigantic pawprint of a celestial cat out on an errand across the Universe. British astronomer John Herschel first...


Latest La Silla Observatory Reference Libraries

2_a939de6ff82a1bda0a57cee7dd9bce652
2004-10-19 04:45:40

La Silla Observatory -- La Silla is a 2400-m mountain, bordering the southern extremity of the Atacama desert in Chile. It is located about 160 Km north of La Serena. Its geographical coordinates are: Latitude 29 15' south & Longitude 70 44' west. Originally known as Cinchado, the mountain was renamed La Silla (the saddle) after its shape. It rises quite isolated and remote from any artificial light and dust sources (astronomy's worst enemies). La Silla was the first ESO...

2_ba71a7acc79052838276f5ebe43de3842
2004-10-19 04:45:40

European Southern Observatory -- ESO, the European Southern Observatory, was created in 1962 to: "establish and operate an astronomical observatory in the southern hemisphere, equipped with powerful instruments, with the aim of furthering and organising collaboration in astronomy". ESO is supported by Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Other countries have expressed interest to become a member as well. ESO...

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Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'