ESO

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 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.