Image of the star VY Canis Majoris captured by the SPHERE instrument on VLT (Photo ESO)

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” describes a study on the star VY Canis Majoris, one of the largest in the Milky Way. The SPHERE instrument installed on ESO’s VLT (Very Large Telescope) allowed to obtain very detailed images of this star making it possible to study the dust that surrounds it and the considerable mass it loses in time ejecting it.

Scheme of carbon exchange and loss processes on Mars (Image Lance Hayashida/Caltech)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” offers an explanation to the loss of carbon in the planet Mars’ atmosphere. A team of scientists from CalTech (California Institute of Technology) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory studied the available data focusing on the problem of carbon because what remained is less than expected even taking into account the recent results on the red planet’s atmosphere loss.

Aurorae Chaos and Ganges Chasma (Image ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, licence CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

ESA has published images of Valles Marineris on Mars captured by its Mars Express space probe in July 2015. It’s a huge complex of geological fractures much wider and longer than the American Grand Canyon. In particular, scientists focused on the photographs taken by Mars Express’ High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) in an area called Aurorae Chaos, where there are still traces of ancient water flows.

Images of Pluto's surface (Image NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

NASA released images of the dwarf planet Pluto and its main moon Charon showing most of their surface. They’re formed by compositions of various photographs taken by two cameras of the New Horizons space probe: the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera. The photographs were taken between July 7 and 13, during the approach that led to the extraordinary July 14, 2015 flyby.

The early massive galaxies just discovered marked in red circles (Image ESO/UltraVISTA team. Acknowledgement: TERAPIX/CNRS/INSU/CASU)

An article published in the journal “Astrophysical Journal” describes the discovery of the oldest giant galaxies carried out thanks to ESO’s VISTA (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) telescope. A team of astronomers led by Karina Caputi of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, identified galaxies that existed when the universe was between 750 million and 2.1 billion years old. This result is surprising because the birth of galaxies so massive wasn’t expected so soon.