ESO

Blogs about ESO (European Southern Observatory) activities

Artist's impressione of the exoplanet Ross 128 b and its star (Image ESO/M. Kornmesser)

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” describes the discovery of the exoplanet Ross 128 b, which might be similar to Earth with a mass of at least 35% higher than the Earth’s. A team of researchers used the HARPS instrument at the Silla Observatory in Chile to discover this planet about 11 light years from Earth. Its orbit might be in ‚Äčits system’s habitable zone making it the second exoplanet closest to the solar system with those characteristics after Proxima b.

Artist's impression of the planet NGTS-1b and its star (Image University of Warwick/Mark Garlick)

An article published in the magazine “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the discovery of a hot Jupiter-type gas giant planet orbiting the star NGTS-1, a red dwarf. This is an extraordinary pair that’s in conflict with the current planetary formation models. The exoplanet NGTS-1b is the first to be discovered with the new Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) instrument installed at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile.

The galaxy NGC 4993 seen from several different ESO telescopes (Image VLT/VIMOS. VLT/MUSE, MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope/GROND, VISTA/VIRCAM, VST/OmegaCAM)

Yesterday ESO and LIGO/VIRGO collaboration held a press conference to present the results of a complex research that led to the discovery of the merger of two neutron stars observed in the emission of both electromagnetic and gravitational waves. These findings were collected in a series of articles that were published or will be published in the magazines “Nature”, “Nature Astronomy”, “Astrophysical Journal Letters” and “Physical Review Letters”.

V766 Cent and its companion (Image ESO/M. Wittkowski (ESO))

An article accepted for publication in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophisics” describes a study on the star V766 Cent, also known as the HR 5171 A, the largest yellow hypergiant discovered so far. A team of researchers used ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) to conduct new observations and compare them to the previous ones. The observation of the evolution of V766 Cent is made more complicated by the fact that a companion passes in front of it.

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 Cat√≥lica 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.