Latest La Silla Observatory Stories

2009-07-07 08:05:00

The Omega Nebula, a stellar nursery where infant stars illuminate and sculpt a vast pastel fantasy of dust and gas, is revealed in all its glory by a new ESO image. The Omega Nebula, sometimes called the Swan Nebula, is a dazzling stellar nursery located about 5500 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer). An active star-forming region of gas and dust about 15 light-years across, the nebula has recently spawned a cluster of massive, hot stars. The intense light...

2009-06-18 13:35:00

The next generation of instruments for ground-based telescopes took a leap forward with the development of a new ultra-fast camera that can take 1500 finely exposed images per second even when observing extremely faint objects. The first 240x240 pixel images with the world's fastest high precision faint light camera were obtained through a collaborative effort between ESO and three French laboratories from the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National des Sciences...

2009-03-24 08:45:00

ESO's La Silla Observatory, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, became the largest astronomical observatory of its time. It led Europe to the frontline of astronomical research, and is still one of the most scientifically productive in ground-based astronomy. With about 300 refereed publications attributable to the work of the observatory per year, La Silla led the forefront of astronomy. La Silla has led to an enormous number of scientific discoveries, including several "firsts". The...

2008-12-16 08:25:00

The festive season has arrived for astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the form of this dramatic new image. It shows the swirling gas around the region known as NGC 2264 "” an area of sky that includes the sparkling blue baubles of the Christmas Tree star cluster. NGC 2264 lies about 2600 light-years from Earth in the obscure constellation of Monoceros, the Unicorn, not far from the more familiar figure of Orion, the Hunter. The image shows a region of space about...

2008-12-02 08:00:00

Omega Centauri is one of the finest jewels of the southern hemisphere night sky, as ESO's latest stunning image beautifully illustrates. Containing millions of stars, this globular cluster is located roughly 17 000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus. Sparkling away at magnitude 3.7 and appearing nearly as large as the full moon on the southern night sky, Omega Centauri is visible with the unaided eye from a clear, dark observing site. Even through a modest amateur...

2008-10-21 11:00:00

A new image released by ESO shows the amazing intricacies of a vast stellar nursery, which goes by the name of Gum 29. In the center, a small cluster of stars "” called Westerlund 2 "” has been found to be the home of one of the most massive double star systems known to astronomers. Gum 29 is a huge region of hydrogen gas that has been stripped of its electrons (ionized) by the intense radiation of the hot young stars located at its center. Astronomers call this an HII...

2005-12-25 21:30:00

ESO -- Just like Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol takes us on a journey into past, present and future in the time of only one Christmas Eve, two of ESO's telescopes captured various stages in the life of a star in a single image. ESO PR Photo 42a/05 shows the area surrounding the stellar cluster NGC 2467, located in the southern constellation of Puppis ("The Stern"). With an age of a few million years at most, it is a very active stellar nursery, where new stars are born continuously from...

2005-07-15 10:00:13

Astronomers Having Used ESO Telescopes Start Analysing Unique Dataset on the Comet Following the Deep Impact Mission ESO -- Ten days after part of the Deep Impact spacecraft plunged onto Comet Tempel 1 with the aim to create a crater and expose pristine material from beneath the surface, astronomers are back in the ESO Offices in Santiago, after more than a week of observing at the ESO La Silla Paranal Observatory. In this unprecedented observing campaign - among the most ambitious ever...

2005-07-15 09:40:00

APEX telescope Sees First Light at Chajnantor ESO -- The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) project has just passed another major milestone by successfully commissioning its new technology 12-m telescope, located on the 5100m high Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert (Chile). The APEX telescope, designed to work at sub-millimetre wavelengths, in the 0.2 to 1.5 mm range, has just performed its first scientific observations. This new front-line facility will provide access to the "Cold...

2005-07-05 15:45:00

Through the night of 4 July 2005, all European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes observed the effects of the impact on Comet 9P/Tempel 1. At sunset in Chile, the seven telescopes of the La Silla Paranal Observatory went into action. The FORS2 multi-mode instrument on Antu, one of the 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) array, took stunning images, showing that the morphology of the comet had dramatically changed: a new bright fan-like structure was now visible....

Latest La Silla Observatory Reference Libraries

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...

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
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.