Latest Paranal Observatory Stories

2010-04-26 13:05:00

The European Southern Observatory said on Monday that the world's largest telescope will be built in Chile's northern desert for over $1 billion and will set its sights on discovering other worlds like our own. The European Extremely Large Telescope will examine the skies for exoplanets, as well as try and unravel the mystery of dark matter and dark energy. The 137-foot telescope will be built 10,040 feet above sea level on a mountain in Chile's northern, mine rich Atacama desert. ...

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...

2010-02-13 07:45:00

An International group of four professional stargazers are backing Chile's Atacama Desert as the future home to the world's biggest telescope. The telescope is on schedule to be built in 2018, and astronomers say Chile provides the perfect conditions due to its geographical advantages. The experts say that because of its cloud-free skies 360 nights a year, the high-altitude Armazones mountains in northern Chilean desert is the perfect place for the European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT)....

2010-02-10 08:05:00

The Orion Nebula reveals many of its hidden secrets in a dramatic image taken by ESO's new VISTA survey telescope. The telescope's huge field of view can show the full splendor of the whole nebula and VISTA's infrared vision also allows it to peer deeply into dusty regions that are normally hidden and expose the curious behavior of the very active young stars buried there. VISTA "” the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy "” is the latest addition to ESO's Paranal...

2009-12-11 06:40:00

A new telescope "” VISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) "” has just started work at ESO's Paranal Observatory and has made its first release of pictures. VISTA is a survey telescope working at infrared wavelengths and is the world's largest telescope dedicated to mapping the sky. Its large mirror, wide field of view and very sensitive detectors will reveal a completely new view of the southern sky. Spectacular new images of the Flame Nebula, the center...

2009-09-21 08:25:00

The second of three images of ESO's GigaGalaxy Zoom project has just been released online. It is a new and wonderful 340-million-pixel vista of the central parts of our home galaxy as seen from ESO's Paranal Observatory with an amateur telescope. This 34 by 20-degree wide image provides us with a view as experienced by amateur astronomers around the world. However, its incredible beauty and appeal owe much to the quality of the observing site and the skills of St©phane Guisard, the...

2009-08-05 09:10:00

ESO has just released a stunning new image of a field of stars towards the constellation of Carina (the Keel). This striking view is ablaze with a flurry of stars of all colors and brightnesses, some of which are seen against a backdrop of clouds of dust and gas. One unusual star in the middle, HD 87643, has been extensively studied with several ESO telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). Surrounded by a complex, extended nebula that is the result of previous...

2009-05-25 08:55:00

ESO's Very Large Telescope "” Europe's flagship facility for ground-based astronomy "” has been equipped with the first of its second generation instruments: X-shooter. It can record the entire spectrum of a celestial object in one shot "” from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared "” with high sensitivity. This unique new instrument will be particularly useful for the study of distant exploding objects called gamma-ray bursts. "X-shooter offers a capability that is...

2009-05-20 09:45:00

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have succeeded in measuring the size of giant galaxy Messier 87 and were surprised to find that its outer parts have been stripped away by still unknown effects. The galaxy also appears to be on a collision course with another giant galaxy in this very dynamic cluster. The new observations reveal that Messier 87's halo of stars has been cut short, with a diameter of about a million light-years, significantly smaller than expected, despite being...

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...

Latest Paranal Observatory Reference Libraries

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...

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...

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 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.'