Astronomy news and discoveries from the European Southern Observatory.

Elliptical Elegance

8 Aug 2018 at 5:00am
A glittering host of galaxies populate this rich image taken with ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope, a state-of-the-art 2.6-m telescope designed for surveying the sky in visible light. The features of the multitude of galaxies strewn across the image allow astronomers to uncover the most delicate detail... Read more...

Stellar Corpse Reveals Origin of Radioactive Molecules

30 Jul 2018 at 10:00am
Astronomers using ALMA and NOEMA have made the first definitive detection of a radioactive molecule in interstellar space. The radioactive part of the molecule is an isotope of aluminium. The observations reveal that the isotope was dispersed into space after the collision of two stars, that left... Read more...

First Successful Test of Einstein’s General Relativity Near Supermassive Blac...

26 Jul 2018 at 7:00am
Observations made with ESO’s Very Large Telescope have for the first time revealed the effects predicted by Einstein’s general relativity on the motion of a star passing through the extreme gravitational field near the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way. This long-sought resul... Read more...

Supersharp Images from New VLT Adaptive Optics

18 Jul 2018 at 5:00am
ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has achieved first light with a new adaptive optics mode called laser tomography — and has captured remarkably sharp test images of the planet Neptune, star clusters and other objects. The pioneering MUSE instrument in Narrow-Field Mode, working with the GALACSI a... Read more...

2019 Total Solar Eclipse Event at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile

4 Jul 2018 at 9:00am
On 2 July 2019 one of nature’s most impressive phenomena will be visible from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile — a total solar eclipse. As these are very rare — the next one visible from La Silla will occur in 212 years — ESO is organising a campaign of observing and outreach activities on sit... Read more...

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

2 Jul 2018 at 5:00am
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 the primordial disc of gas and dust around the very young star ... Read more...

ESO’s VLT Sees `Oumuamua Getting a Boost

27 Jun 2018 at 12:00pm
`Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System, is moving away from the Sun faster than expected. This anomalous behaviour was detected by a worldwide astronomical collaboration including ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. The new results suggest that `Oumuamua is most ... Read more...

VLT Makes Most Precise Test of Einstein’s General Relativity Outside Milky Way

21 Jun 2018 at 1:00pm
Astronomers using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, have made the most precise test yet of Einstein’s general theory of relativity outside the Milky Way. The nearby galaxy ESO 325-G004 acts as a strong gravitational lens, distorti... Read more...

ALMA Discovers Trio of Infant Planets around Newborn Star

13 Jun 2018 at 9:00am
Two independent teams of astronomers have used ALMA to uncover convincing evidence that three young planets are in orbit around the infant star HD 163296. Using a novel planet-finding technique, the astronomers identified three disturbances in the gas-filled disc around the young star: the strong... Read more...

European Southern Observatory Resources

ESO - The European Southern Observatory Homepage
The European Southern Observatory is an intergovernmental, European organisation for astronomical research and operates astronomical observatories in Chile.

Deep Impact at ESO
ESO's telescopes will also be used in the post-impact observations. As soon as the comet is visible after the impact from Chile, all major ESO telescopes - the four Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope Array at Paranal, as well as the 3.6m, 3.5m NTT and the 2.2m ESO/MPG telescopes at La Silla - will be observing Comet 9P/Tempel 1.

The site contains a number of animations, photos, interviews and background information on the mission and comets in general.