Space Breaking News:

New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope show the star cluster RCW 38 in all its glory. This image was taken during testing of the HAWK-I camera with the GRAAL adaptive optics system. It shows the cluster and its surrounding clouds of brightly glowing gas in exquisite detail, with dark tendrils of dust threading through the bright core of this young gathering of stars. Credit: ESO/K. Muzic

Colourful Celestial Landscape

Colourful Celestial Landscape New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope show the star cluster RCW 38 in all its glory. This image was taken during testing of the HAWK-I camera with the GRAAL adaptive optics system. It shows RCW 38 and its surrounding clouds of brightly glowing gas in exquisite…

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This spectacular image from the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope is the first clear image of a planet caught in the very act of formation around the dwarf star PDS 70. The planet stands clearly out, visible as a bright point to the right of the centre of the image, which is blacked out by the coronagraph mask used to block the blinding light of the central star. Credit: ESO/A. Müller et al.

First Confirmed Image of Newborn Planet Caught with ESO’s VLT

First Confirmed Image of Newborn Planet Caught with ESO’s VLT SPHERE, a planet-hunting instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, has captured the first confirmed image of a planet caught in the act of forming in the dusty disc surrounding a young star. The young planet is carving a path through…

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This artist’s impression shows a dusty galaxy in the distant Universe that is forming stars at a rate much higher than in our Milky Way. New ALMA observations have allowed scientists to lift the veil of dust and see what was previously inaccessible — that such starburst  galaxies have an excess of massive stars as compared to more peaceful galaxies. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

ALMA and VLT Find Too Many Massive Stars in Starburst Galaxies, Near and Far

ALMA and VLT Find Too Many Massive Stars in Starburst Galaxies, Near and Far Astronomers using ALMA and the VLT have discovered that both starburst galaxies in the early Universe and a star-forming region in a nearby galaxy contain a much higher proportion of massive stars than is found in…

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A composite image of the supernova 1E0102.2-7219 contains X-rays from Chandra (blue and purple), visible light data from VLT’s MUSE instrument (bright red), and additional data from Hubble (dark red and green). A neutron star, the ultra dense core of a massive star that collapses and undergoes a supernova explosion, is found at its center. Credits: X-ray (NASA/CXC/ESO/F.Vogt et al); Optical (ESO/VLT/MUSE & NASA/STScI)

Astronomers Spot a Distant and Lonely Neutron Star

Astronomers Spot a Distant and Lonely Neutron Star Astronomers have discovered a special kind of neutron star for the first time outside of the Milky Way galaxy, using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Neutron stars are the ultra…

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This artist’s impression shows the exiled asteroid 2004 EW95, the first carbon-rich asteroid confirmed to exist in the Kuiper Belt and a relic of the primordial Solar System. This curious object likely formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and must have been transported billions of kilometres from its origin to its current home in the Kuiper Belt. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Exiled Asteroid Discovered in Outer Reaches of Solar System

Exiled Asteroid Discovered in Outer Reaches of Solar System ESO telescopes find first confirmed carbon-rich asteroid in Kuiper Belt An international team of astronomers has used ESO telescopes to investigate a relic of the primordial Solar System. The team found that the unusual Kuiper Belt Object 2004 EW95 is a…

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Seventeen years ago, astronomers witnessed supernova 2001ig go off 40 million light-years away in the galaxy NGC 7424, in the southern constellation Grus, the Crane. Shortly after, scientists photographed the supernova with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in 2002. Two years later, they followed up with the Gemini South Observatory, which hinted at the presence of a surviving binary companion. As the supernova’s glow faded, scientists focused Hubble on that location in 2016. They pinpointed and photographed the surviving companion, which was possible only due to Hubble’s exquisite resolution and ultraviolet sensitivity. Hubble observations of SN 2001ig provide the best evidence yet that some supernovas originate in double-star systems. Credits: NASA, ESA, S. Ryder (Australian Astronomical Observatory), and O. Fox (STScI)

Stellar Thief Is the Surviving Companion to a Supernova

Stellar Thief Is the Surviving Companion to a Supernova Seventeen years ago, astronomers witnessed a supernova go off 40 million light-years away in the galaxy called NGC 7424, located in the southern constellation Grus, the Crane. Now, in the fading afterglow of that explosion, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured…

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New images from the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope are revealing the dusty discs surrounding nearby young stars in greater detail than previously achieved. They show a bizarre variety of shapes, sizes and structures, including the likely effects of planets still in the process of forming. Credit: ESO/H. Avenhaus et al./E. Sissa et al./DARTT-S and SHINE collaborations

SPHERE Reveals Fascinating Zoo of Discs Around Young Stars

SPHERE Reveals Fascinating Zoo of Discs Around Young Stars New images from the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope are revealing the dusty discs surrounding nearby young stars in greater detail than previously achieved. They show a bizarre variety of shapes, sizes and structures, including the likely effects of…

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This artist’s impression shows several of the planets orbiting the ultra-cool red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. New observations, when combined with very sophisticated analysis, have now yielded good estimates of the densities of all seven of the Earth-sized planets and suggest that they are rich in volatile materials, probably water. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

TRAPPIST-1 Planets Probably Rich in Water

TRAPPIST-1 Planets Probably Rich in Water A new study has found that the seven planets orbiting the nearby ultra-cool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 are all made mostly of rock, and some could potentially hold more water than Earth. The planets’ densities, now known much more precisely than before, suggest that some…

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A dark cloud of cosmic dust snakes across this spectacular wide field image, illuminated by the brilliant light of new stars. This dense cloud is a star-forming region called Lupus 3, where dazzlingly hot stars are born from collapsing masses of gas and dust. This image was created from images taken using the VLT Survey Telescope and the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope and is the most detailed image taken so far of this region. Credit: ESO/R. Colombari

Glory From Gloom

Glory From Gloom A dark cloud of cosmic dust snakes across this spectacular wide field image, illuminated by the brilliant light of new stars. This dense cloud is a star-forming region called Lupus 3, where dazzlingly hot stars are born from collapsing masses of gas and dust. This image was…

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Astronomers using ESO’s MUSE instrument on the Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a star in the cluster NGC 3201 that is behaving very strangely. It appears to be orbiting an invisible black hole with about four times the mass of the Sun — the first such inactive stellar-mass black hole found in a globular cluster. This important discovery impacts on our understanding of the formation of these star clusters, black holes, and the origins of gravitational wave events.This artist’s impression shows how the star and its massive but invisible black hole companion may look, in the rich heart of the globular star cluster. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/spaceengine.org

Odd Behaviour of Star Reveals Lonely Black Hole Hiding in Giant Star Cluster

Odd Behaviour of Star Reveals Lonely Black Hole Hiding in Giant Star Cluster Astronomers using ESO’s MUSE instrument on the Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a star in the cluster NGC 3201 that is behaving very strangely. It appears to be orbiting an invisible black hole with about…

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The OmegaCAM imager on ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope has captured this glittering view of the stellar nursery called Sharpless 29. Many astronomical phenomena can be seen in this giant image, including cosmic dust and gas clouds that reflect, absorb, and re-emit the light of hot young stars within the nebula. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Stellar Nursery Blooms into View

Stellar Nursery Blooms into View The OmegaCAM camera on ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope has captured this glittering view of the stellar nursery called Sharpless 29. Many astronomical phenomena can be seen in this giant image, including cosmic dust and gas clouds that reflect, absorb, and re-emit the light of hot…

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This colourful image shows spectral data from the First Light of the ESPRESSO instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile. The light from a star has been dispersed into its component colours. This view has been colourised to indicate how the wavelengths change across the image, but these are not exactly the colours that would be seen visually. Close inspection shows many dark spectral lines in the stellar spectra and also the regular double spots from a calibration light source. The dark gaps are features of how the data is taken, and are not real. Credit: ESO/ESPRESSO team

First Light for ESPRESSO — the Next Generation Planet Hunter

First Light for ESPRESSO — the Next Generation Planet Hunter The Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet and Stable Spectroscopic Observations (ESPRESSO) has successfully made its first observations. Installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, ESPRESSO will search for exoplanets with unprecedented precision by looking at the minuscule changes…

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This artist’s impression shows the first interstellar asteroid: `Oumuamua. This unique object was discovered on 19 October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawai`i. Subsequent observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and other observatories around the world show that it was travelling through space for millions of years before its chance encounter with our star system. `Oumuamua seems to be a dark red highly-elongated metallic or rocky object, about 400 metres long, and is unlike anything normally found in the Solar System. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

ESO Observations Show First Interstellar Asteroid is Like Nothing Seen Before

ESO Observations Show First Interstellar Asteroid is Like Nothing Seen Before For the first time ever astronomers have studied an asteroid that has entered the Solar System from interstellar space. Observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and other observatories around the world show that this unique object was…

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Countless galaxies vie for attention in this dazzling image of the Fornax Cluster, some appearing only as pinpricks of light while others dominate the foreground. One of these is the lenticular galaxy NGC 1316. The turbulent past of this much-studied galaxy has left it with a delicate structure of loops, arcs and rings that astronomers have now imaged in greater detail than ever before with the VLT Survey Telescope. This image was processed with the VST-Tube data reduction program. Credit: ESO/A. Grado and L. Limatola

Revealing Galactic Secrets

Revealing Galactic Secrets Countless galaxies vie for attention in this monster image of the Fornax Galaxy Cluster, some appearing only as pinpricks of light while others dominate the foreground. One of these is the lenticular galaxy NGC 1316. The turbulent past of this much-studied galaxy has left it with a…

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