Blogs about ESO (European Southern Observatory) activities

Antares seen by VLTI (Image ESO/K. Ohnaka)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the creation of the most detailed image of the surface and atmosphere of a star other than the Sun. A team of astronomers led by Keiichi Ohnaka of the Universidad Católica del Norte in Chile used the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) to achieve this result with the red supergiant Antares. It’s also the first map of the materials that make up the atmosphere of a star other than the Sun.

The jellyfish galaxy JO204 (mage ESO/GASP collaboration)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research that shows a new function of the “tentacles” of the so-called jellyfish galaxies. An international team of astronomers led by Bianca Poggianti of the INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Padua in Italy used the observations conducted during ESO’s GASP program with the MUSE instrument installed on the Very Large Telescope (VLT), discovering that the mechanism that generates those tentacles is the same that powers the supermassive black holes at the center of those galaxies.

Artist's concept of the planet LHS 1140b about to pass in front of its star (Image M. Weiss/CfA)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of a super-Earth called LHS 1140b. A team led by Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics used the HARPS instrument installed on ESO’s 3.6-meter telescope in La Silla, Chile, to study that exoplanet after identifying it with the MEarth-South telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Its location in ​​its solar system’s habitable zone makes it particularly interesting.

NGC 6334 and NGC 6357 (Image ESO)

ESO has released one of the largest astronomical images created thanks to the VST (Very Large Telescope Survey Telescope) which includes two cosmic clouds of gas and dust, NGC 6334 and NGC 6357. Because of their shapes, they’re also known respectively with their popular names as the “Cat’s Paw Nebula” and the “Lobster Nebula”.

The solar disc seen by ALMA (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO))

The first images of the Sun generated by observations carried out using the ALMA radio telescope have been published. This is the first time that the largest radio telescope in the world has been used in this way and this is the beginning of an important expansion in ALMA’s use. The first results are details of the Sun’s chromosphere such as a sunspot twice the size of Earth.