Press Releases 1999

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eso9914 — Science Release
The VLT Moves into the Infrared
27 February 1999: Various observations were made with ISAAC at the Nasmyth focus of VLT UT1 during the recent commissioning periods for this infrared multi-mode instrument. Some of the first results from the VLT Infrared Spectrometer And Array Camera (ISAAC) were published earlier. The following photos illustrate the type of front-line work that is now possible with ISAAC. The possibility to obtain high-quality infrared spectra of even quite faint (and remote) objects is particularly interesting.
eso9913 — Science Release
VLT Observes Small and Nearby Galaxies
27 February 1999: The VLT UT1 and FORS1 has performed observations of many different types of objects during the past months. While much effort has been spent on extremely distant galaxies, some exposures were also made on more nearby systems, including some dwarf galaxies in the Local Group of Galaxies. The Andromeda Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds, as well as our own Milky Way Galaxy, are the best known members of this group.
eso9912 — Photo Release
VLT Studies a Moderately Distant Cluster of Galaxies
27 February 1999: Studies of "Deep Fields" are becoming common practice in astronomy. To mention a few: the two Hubble Deep Fields ( HDF-N and HDF-S , north and south of the celestial equator), the NTT Deep Field , the AXAF Deep Field , the FORS Deep Field . The latter will be observed during FORS1 "guaranteed time" that is available to astronomers from those institutes that built this instrument. All of these sky fields have been selected for being quite 'empty', in the sense that few brighter objcts are seen in them. They are thus of the same type ('generic'), with the partial exception of HDF-S that contains a QSO (quasar).
eso9911 — Photo Release
VLT Photos of NGC 1365
27 February 1999: NGC 1365 is one of the most prominent "barred" galaxies in the sky. It is a supergiant galaxy with a diameter of about 200,000 lightyears, seen in the direction of the southern constellation Fornax (The Furnace). It is a major member of the Fornax Cluster of Galaxies . The distance is about 60 million light-years and the recession velocity has been measured as 1632 km/sec.
eso9910 — Organisation Release
First Light Approaches for Second VLT Unit Telescope
25 February 1999: While much attention is now directed towards the VLT Opening Symposium that will take place in Antofagasta on 1-4 March 1999, assembly work on the VLT Unit Telescopes proceeds at Paranal.
eso9909 — Science Release
The Making of the Milky Way Halo
18 February 1999: A group of ESO astronomers [1] has used new observations, obtained with the first 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescope (UT1) during the "Science Verification" programme, to show that a globular cluster in the Milky Way galaxy is "evaporating" and has already lost its faintest stars.
eso9908 — Organisation Release
VLT UT1 Soon Ready to Receive the Astronomers
16 February 1999: A new, short videotape, ESO Video News Reel no. 4 - "VLT UT1 Soon Ready to Receive the Astronomers," is being issued in connection with the start, on April 1, 1999, of regular observations with the VLT UT1 and the associated events in Chile. These include the VLT Opening Symposium in Antofagasta (March 1-4, 1999) and the official VLT Inauguration Ceremony at Paranal (March 5, 1999).
eso9907 — Organisation Release
Three VLT UT1 Photos and a Viewgraph
11 February 1999: Here are some recent wide-angle photos of the first 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescope (UT1) with FORS1 and ISAAC attached. Regular observations with these astronomical instruments are scheduled to start from April 1, 1999.
eso9906 — Organisation Release
Third 8.2-m VLT Mirror Arrives Safely at Paranal
4 February 1999: On December 17, 1998, the third polished 8.2-m Zerodur mirror in its special transport box was loaded onto the vessel "Scanscot Oceanic" in the harbour of Le Havre (France). The ship left the same day and arrived with its precious cargo in Antofagasta in the morning of January 25, 1999. Here it was unloaded and placed on a heavy-duty carriage and moved to Paranal where it arrived two days later.
eso9905 — Organisation Release
FEROS Finds a Strange Star
2 February 1999: While a major effort is now spent on the Very Large Telescope and its advanced instruments at Paranal, ESO is also continuing to operate and upgrade the extensive research facilities at La Silla, its other observatory site. Within this programme, a new and powerful spectrograph, known as the Fibre-fed Extended Range Optical Spectrograph (FEROS) , has recently been built by a consortium of European institutes. It was commissioned in late 1998 at the ESO 1.52-m telescope by a small team of astronomers and engineers and has already produced the first, interesting scientific results.
eso9904 — Organisation Release
Into the Invisible with ISAAC
26 January 1999: The present video clip contains some scenes, just published on ESO Video News Reel no. 3 - "Into the Invisible with ISAAC" and based on recent footage from the Paranal Observatory.
eso9903 — Organisation Release
First Light with a 67-Million-Pixel WFI Camera
15 January 1999: The newest astronomical instrument at the La Silla observatory is a super-camera with no less than sixty-seven million image elements. It represents the outcome of a joint project between the European Southern Observatory (ESO) , the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPI-A) in Heidelberg (Germany) and the Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte (OAC) near Naples (Italy), and was installed at the 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope in December 1998. Following careful adjustment and testing, it has now produced the first spectacular test images.
eso9902 — Organisation Release
New Photographs from the Paranal Observatory
14 January 1999: New photographic photos with large-format cameras were obtained in December 1998 at the ESO Paranal Observatory, the site of ESO's Very Large Telescope Array (VLT), by the ESO EPR team. High-resolution electronic versions (300 dpi, about 3000 pixels; 4-8 Mbytes) of some of these are now available on the web.
eso9901 — Organisation Release
Catherine Cesarsky - ESO's Next Director General
8 January 1999: The ESO Council has appointed Dr. Catherine Cesarsky as Director General for a five year period, succeeding Professor Riccardo Giacconi, whose term ends this year. Dr. Cesarsky will take up her duties on September 1, 1999, at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (Germany).
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