Press Releases 2009

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eso0910 — Science Release
Hubble and ESO’s VLT provide unique 3D views of remote galaxies
10 March 2009: Astronomers have obtained exceptional 3D views of distant galaxies, seen when the Universe was half its current age, by combining the twin strengths of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s acute eye, and the capacity of ESO’s Very Large Telescope to probe the motions of gas in tiny objects. By looking at this unique “history book” of our Universe, at an epoch when the Sun and the Earth did not yet exist, scientists hope to solve the puzzle of how galaxies formed in the remote past.
eso0909 — Organisation Release
New Inspiring Planetarium Show Introduces ALMA to the Public
9 March 2009: As part of a wide range of education and public outreach activities for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), ESO, together with the Association of French Language Planetariums (APLF), has produced a 30-minute planetarium show, In Search of our Cosmic Origins. It is centred on the global ground-based astronomical Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) project and represents a unique chance for planetariums to be associated with the IYA2009.
eso0908 — Science Release
The lower atmosphere of Pluto revealed
2 March 2009: Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have gained valuable new insights about the atmosphere of the dwarf planet Pluto. The scientists found unexpectedly large amounts of methane in the atmosphere, and also discovered that the atmosphere is hotter than the surface by about 40 degrees, although it still only reaches a frigid minus 180 degrees Celsius. These properties of Pluto's atmosphere may be due to the presence of pure methane patches or of a methane-rich layer covering the dwarf planet's surface.
eso0907 — Photo Release
Into the Eye of the Helix
25 February 2009: A deep new image of the magnificent Helix planetary nebula has been obtained using the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory. The image shows a rich background of distant galaxies, usually not seen in other images of this object.
eso0906 — Organisation Release
Hundred metre virtual telescope captures unique detailed colour image
18 February 2009: A team of French astronomers has captured one of the sharpest colour images ever made. They observed the star T Leporis, which appears, on the sky, as small as a two-storey house on the Moon [1]. The image was taken with ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), emulating a virtual telescope about 100 metres across and reveals a spherical molecular shell around an aged star.
eso0905 — Photo Release
Strong Winds over the Keel
12 February 2009: The latest ESO image reveals amazing detail in the intricate structures of one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the sky, the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372), where strong winds and powerful radiation from an armada of massive stars are creating havoc in the large cloud of dust and gas from which the stars were born.
eso0904 — Science Release
Powerful New Technique to Measure Asteroids' Sizes and Shapes
4 February 2009: A team of French and Italian astronomers have devised a new method for measuring the size and shape of asteroids that are too small or too far away for traditional techniques, increasing the number of asteroids that can be measured by a factor of several hundred. This method takes advantage of the unique capabilities of ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI).
eso0903 — Photo Release
Black hole outflows from Centaurus A detected with APEX
28 January 2009: Astronomers have a new insight into the active galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128), as the jets and lobes emanating from the central black hole have been imaged at submillimetre wavelengths for the first time. The new data, from the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope in Chile, which is operated by ESO, have been combined with visible and X-ray wavelengths to produce this striking new image.
eso0902 — Science Release
Frantic activity revealed in dusty stellar factories
19 January 2009: Thanks to the Very Large Telescope's acute and powerful near-infrared eye, astronomers have uncovered a host of new young, massive and dusty stellar nurseries in nearby galaxy NGC 253. The centre of this galaxy appears to harbour a twin of our own Milky Way's supermassive black hole.
eso0901 — Organisation Release
ESO Highlights in 2008
5 January 2009: As is now the tradition, the European Southern Observatory looks back at the exciting moments of last year.

2008 was in several aspects an exceptionally good year. Over the year, ESO's telescopes provided data for more than 700 scientific publications in refereed journals, making ESO the most productive ground-based observatory in the world.
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