Latest Very Large Telescope Stories

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...

2011-05-25 09:41:46

An extraordinarily bright isolated star has been found in a nearby galaxy "” the star is three million times brighter than the Sun. All previous similar "superstars" were found in star clusters, but this brilliant beacon shines in solitary splendor. The origin of this star is mysterious: did it form in isolation or was it ejected from a cluster? Either option challenges astronomers' understanding of star formation. An international team of astronomers [1] has used ESO's Very Large...

2011-05-04 09:30:00

The Meathook Galaxy, or NGC 2442, has a dramatically lopsided shape. One spiral arm is tightly folded in on itself and host to a recent supernova, while the other, dotted with recent star formation, extends far out from the nucleus. The MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have captured two contrasting views of this asymmetric spiral galaxy. The Meathook Galaxy, or NGC 2442, in the southern constellation of Volans (The Flying Fish), is easily recognized for its...

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....

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,...

2011-03-23 10:00:00

Observations with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, along with two other telescopes, have shown that there is a new candidate for the coldest known star: a brown dwarf in a double system with about the same temperature as a freshly made cup of tea "” hot in human terms, but extraordinarily cold for the surface of a star. This object is cool enough to begin crossing the blurred line dividing small cold stars from big hot planets. Brown dwarfs are essentially...

2011-03-16 09:40:00

New-born stars wreak havoc in their nursery A new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope gives a close-up view of the dramatic effects new-born stars have on the gas and dust from which they formed. Although the stars themselves are not visible, material they have ejected is colliding with the surrounding gas and dust clouds and creating a surreal landscape of glowing arcs, blobs and streaks. The star-forming region NGC 6729 is part of one of the closest stellar nurseries to the Earth and...

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...

2011-03-02 06:45:00

This image of NGC 247, taken by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, reveals the fine details of this highly inclined spiral galaxy and its rich backdrop. Astronomers say this highly tilted orientation, when viewed from Earth, explains why the distance to this prominent galaxy was previously overestimated. The spiral galaxy NGC 247 is one of the closest spiral galaxies of the southern sky. In this new view from the Wide Field Imager...

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 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
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.