Latest Very Large Telescope Stories

messier 54
2014-09-11 03:00:30

Richard Hook, ESO VLT observations of Messier 54 show the lithium problem also applies outside our galaxy This new image from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile shows a vast collection of stars, the globular cluster Messier 54. This cluster looks very similar to many others but it has a secret. Messier 54 doesn’t belong to the Milky Way, but is part of a small satellite galaxy, the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. This unusual parentage has now allowed...

Messier 33
2014-08-06 11:14:16

ESO Messier 33, otherwise known as NGC 598, is located about three million light-years away in the small northern constellation of Triangulum (The Triangle). Often known as the Triangulum Galaxy it was observed by the French comet hunter Charles Messier in August 1764, who listed it as number 33 in his famous list of prominent nebulae and star clusters. However, he was not the first to record the spiral galaxy; it was probably first documented by the Sicilian astronomer Giovanni Battista...

SPHERE first light
2014-06-04 08:00:35

ESO Revolutionary new VLT instrument installed SPHERE — the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument — has been installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile and has achieved first light. This powerful new facility for finding and studying exoplanets uses multiple advanced techniques in combination. It offers dramatically better performance than existing instruments and has produced impressive views of dust discs around...

Artist’s impression of the planet Beta Pictoris b
2014-04-30 12:55:00

European Southern Observatory VLT measures the spin of Beta Pictoris b Observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) have, for the first time, determined the rotation rate of an exoplanet. Beta Pictoris b has been found to have a day that lasts only eight hours. This is much quicker than any planet in the Solar System — its equator is moving at almost 100,000 kilometers per hour. This new result extends the relation between mass and rotation seen in the Solar System to...

Celestial Diamond Ring Created By Chance Meeting
2014-04-09 11:35:16

[ Watch The Video: Zooming In On The Planetary Nebula Abell 33 ] ESO Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured this eye-catching image of planetary nebula PN A66 33 — usually known as Abell 33. Created when an aging star blew off its outer layers, this beautiful blue bubble is, by chance, aligned with a foreground star, and bears an uncanny resemblance to a diamond engagement ring. This cosmic gem is unusually symmetric, appearing to be almost circular...

Astronomers Discover Hypergiant Star 1300 Times The Size Of Our Sun
2014-03-12 12:34:41

[ Watch the Video: Artist's Impression of Yellow Hypergiant Star HR 5171 ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope have discovered the largest yellow star so far. The team discovered yellow hypergiant star HR 5171 in a double star system about 12,000 light-years away from Earth. The star is so huge that it can just about be seen with the naked eye, despite its distance from Earth. “The...

Powerful 3D Spectrograph Successfully Installed On ESO’s Very Large Telescope
2014-03-05 10:17:58

[ Watch The Video: MUSE Views the Unusual Galaxy NGC 4650A ] ESO A new innovative instrument called MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) has been successfully installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MUSE has observed distant galaxies, bright stars and other test targets during the first period of very successful observations. Following testing and preliminary acceptance in Europe in September 2013, MUSE was shipped to...

Brown Dwarf Weather Map
2014-01-29 13:17:01

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the European Southern Observatory created the world’s first map of the weather on the surface of a brown dwarf. The international team developed a map featuring the dark and light features of WISE J104915.57-531906.1B, which is the nearest brown dwarf to Earth. This brown dwarf, informally known as Luhman 16B, is one of two recently discovered brown dwarfs only six light years away...

ESO Lagoon Nebula Images
2014-01-22 11:11:31

[ Watch The Video: Zooming In On The Lagoon Nebula ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The European Space Observatory (ESO) is currently in the midst of conducting eleven public surveys of the sky using telescopes at its facility in Chile, and scientists have just released images from the project of the Lagoon Nebula. Located approximately 5,000 light years from Earth in the constellation of Sagittarius, the Lagoon Nebula is a giant cloud 100 light-years across that...

Rob Ivison Is Next ESO Director for Science
2013-12-09 19:29:17

ESO The ESO Council, at its meeting this week in Garching, has approved the appointment of Rob Ivison as the next ESO Director for Science. Ivison will take up his post on 31 March 2014. Ivison is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Astronomy, based at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, and holds an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. He has a strong and broad track record in astronomy, with expertise covering optical, infrared,...

Latest Very Large Telescope 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 04:45:43

Adaptive Optics -- Adaptive optics is a technology to improve the performance of Earth-based telescopes, reversing the effect of atmospheric distortions. When light from a star or another astronomical object enters the Earth's atmosphere, the different temperature layers and different wind speeds distort and move the image in various ways (see seeing for a proper discussion). The net result is that an 8 meters or 10 meters telescope (like the VLT or Keck), while theoretically capable...

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 goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).