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Latest Paranal Observatory Stories

d2779cd3b5a1cf46393882fb2e389179
2011-08-10 14:12:08

This new picture from ESO's Very Large Telescope shows NGC 3521, a spiral galaxy located about 35 million light years away in the constellation of Leo (The Lion). Spanning about 50 000 light-years, this spectacular object has a bright and compact nucleus, surrounded by richly detailed spiral structure. The most distinctive features of the bright galaxy NGC 3521 are its long spiral arms that are dotted with star-forming regions and interspersed with veins of dust. The arms are rather irregular...

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2011-08-03 06:25:00

ESO's infrared survey telescope digs deep into star-forming regions in our Milky Way Using data from the VISTA infrared survey telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory, an international team of astronomers has discovered 96 new open star clusters hidden by the dust in the Milky Way. These tiny and faint objects were invisible to previous surveys, but they could not escape the sensitive infrared detectors of the world's largest survey telescope, which can peer through the dust. This is the first...

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2011-07-27 05:50:00

A huge image, from the new VLT Survey Telescope (VST) and its camera OmegaCAM at ESO's Paranal Observatory, shows a triplet of bright galaxies in the constellation of Leo (The Lion). But the faint objects in the background, rather than the foreground galaxies, are what may capture an astronomer's attention. The VST's sharp view of these dim objects hints at the power of the telescope and OmegaCAM for mapping the distant Universe. The VST [1] is the newest addition to ESO's Paranal...

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2011-07-06 06:15:00

Molecules of hydrogen peroxide have been found for the first time in interstellar space. The discovery gives clues about the chemical link between two molecules critical for life: water and oxygen. On Earth, hydrogen peroxide plays a key role in the chemistry of water and ozone in our planet's atmosphere, and is familiar for its use as a disinfectant or to bleach hair blonde. Now it has been detected in space by astronomers using the ESO-operated APEX telescope in Chile. An international team...

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2011-06-23 09:55:00

New image reveals vast nebula around famous supergiant star Using the VISIR instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have imaged a complex and bright nebula around the supergiant star Betelgeuse in greater detail than ever before. This structure, which resembles flames emanating from the star, is formed as the behemoth sheds its material into space. Betelgeuse, a red supergiant in the constellation of Orion, is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. It is also one of...

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2011-06-08 10:50:00

VST and 268 megapixel OmegaCAM start work The VLT Survey Telescope (VST), the latest addition to ESO's Paranal Observatory, has made its first release of impressive images of the southern sky. The VST is a state-of-the-art 2.6-meter telescope, with the huge 268-megapixel camera OmegaCAM at its heart, which is designed to map the sky both quickly and with very fine image quality. It is a visible-light telescope that perfectly complements ESO's VISTA infrared survey telescope. New images of the...

c8de01d1eaac3a75dfc37c317a3f89401
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....

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2011-04-08 09:10:00

On 6 April 2011, the ESO Paranal Observatory was honored with a visit from the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, and his wife Livia Klausová, who also took the opportunity to admire Cerro Armazones, the future site of the planned E-ELT.The distinguished visitor was shown the technical installations at the observatory, and was present when the dome of one of the four 8.2-meter Unit Telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope opened for a night's observing at Cerro Paranal,...

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2011-03-09 07:05:00

Young, but surprisingly grown-up Astronomers have used an armada of telescopes on the ground and in space, including the Very Large Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile to discover and measure the distance to the most remote mature cluster of galaxies yet found. Although this cluster is seen when the Universe was less than one quarter of its current age it looks surprisingly similar to galaxy clusters in the current Universe. "We have measured the distance to the most distant...

6947767fe834b6a648ba7b54edec0e051
2011-02-24 10:13:59

Astronomers may have found the first object clearing its path in the natal disc surrounding a young star Using ESO's Very Large Telescope an international team of astronomers has been able to study the short-lived disc of material around a young star that is in the early stages of making a planetary system. For the first time a smaller companion could be detected that may be the cause of the large gap found in the disc. Future observations will determine whether this companion is a planet or...


Latest Paranal Observatory Reference Libraries

7_a202abfa2c4d560e759cbc1e39a671ec2
2004-10-19 04:45:43

Very Large Telescope -- The Very Large Telescope (VLT) consist of four optical telescopes that have 8.4 meter aperture. The VLT is a project of the European Southern Observatory organization. It is located at the Paranal Observatory on Cerro Paranal, a 2,635-m high mountain in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. The VLT consists of a cluster four of large telescopes, and an interferometer (VLTI) which will be used to resolve fine features. The telescopes have been named after the...

2_3e157e33e77e0b476c8d3e5f48b696f32
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Overwhelmingly Large Telescope -- The European Southern Observatory has undertaken a concept study for the next generation of ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). Dubbed OWL, ESO's concept is conceived as a 100 m. diameter optical and near-infrared, adaptive telescope. With milliarc second resolution and limiting magnitude V~38, OWL will be capable of imaging solar system objects at resolutions comparable to that offered by space probes, over much longer time scales. It...

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
sough
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'
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