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eso0613 — Photo Release
7 April 2006: Hanging above the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) - one of our closest galaxies - in what some describe as a frightening sight, the Tarantula nebula is worth looking at in detail. Also designated 30 Doradus or NGC 2070, the nebula owes its name to the arrangement of its brightest patches of nebulosity that somewhat resemble the legs of a spider. This name, of the biggest spiders on Earth, is also very fitting in view of the gigantic proportions of the celestial nebula - it measures nearly 1,000 light years across!
eso0612 — Organisation Release
Bringing Science out of the Lab into the Classroom — Europe's first international, multidisciplinary journal for science teaching launched today
28 March 2006: Science is moving more rapidly than ever; one groundbreaking discovery chases the next at an incredible speed. School teachers have trouble keeping up with the pace, and many pupils call science classes "boring". Today, Europe's major research organisations launch Science in School, the first international, multidisciplinary journal for innovative science teaching, to provide a platform for communication between science teachers, practising scientists and other stakeholders in science education.
eso0611 — Science Release
The Sun's New Exotic Neighbour — Very Cool Brown Dwarf Discovered Around Star in the Solar Neighbourhood
22 March 2006: Using ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile, an international team of researchers  discovered a brown dwarf belonging to the 24th closest stellar system to the Sun. Brown dwarfs are intermediate objects that are neither stars nor planets. This object is the third closest brown dwarf to the Earth yet discovered, and one of the coolest, having a temperature of about 750 degrees Celsius. It orbits a very small star at about 4.5 times the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun. Its mass is estimated to be somewhere between 9 and 65 times the mass of Jupiter.
eso0610 — Science Release
The Cosmic Dance of Distant Galaxies — GIRAFFE at VLT reveals the turbulent life of distant galaxies
15 March 2006: Studying several tens of distant galaxies, an international team of astronomers found that galaxies had the same amount of dark matter relative to stars 6 billion years ago as they have now. If confirmed, this suggests a much closer interplay between dark and normal matter than previously believed. The scientists also found that as many as 4 out of 10 galaxies are out of balance. These results shed a new light on how galaxies form and evolve since the Universe was only half its current age.
eso0609 — Science Release
28 February 2006: Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at Cerro Paranal, Chile, and the CHARA Interferometer at Mount Wilson, California, a team of French and North American astronomers has discovered envelopes around three Cepheids, including the Pole star. This is the first time that matter is found surrounding members of this important class of rare and very luminous stars whose luminosity varies in a very regular way. Cepheids play a crucial role in cosmology, being one of the first "steps" on the cosmic distance ladder.
eso0608 — Photo Release
23 February 2006: Possibly similar to what our own Milky Way looks like, Messier 100  is a grand design spiral galaxy that presents an intricate structure, with a bright core and two prominent arms, showing numerous young and hot massive stars as well as extremely hot knots (HII regions). Two smaller arms are also seen starting from the inner part and reaching towards the larger spiral arms.
eso0607 — Organisation Release
23 February 2006: Scientists celebrate another major milestone at Cerro Paranal in Chile, home of ESO's Very Large Telescope array. Thanks to their dedicated efforts, they were able to create the first artificial star in the Southern Hemisphere, allowing astronomers to study the Universe in the finest detail. This artificial laser guide star makes it possible to apply adaptive optics systems, that counteract the blurring effect of the atmosphere, almost anywhere in the sky.
eso0606 — Science Release
15 February 2006: Astronomers, using the unique capabilities offered by the high-resolution spectrograph UVES on ESO's Very Large Telescope, have found a metal-rich hydrogen cloud in the distant universe. The result may help to solve the missing metal problem and provides insight on how galaxies form.
eso0605 — Organisation Release
eso0604 — Photo Release
eso0603 — Science Release
It's Far, It's Small, It's Cool: It's an Icy Exoplanet! — Distant Planet Brings Astronomers Closer To Home
25 January 2006: Using a network of telescopes scattered across the globe, including the Danish 1.54m telescope at ESO La Silla (Chile), astronomers  discovered a new extrasolar planet significantly more Earth-like than any other planet found so far. The planet, which is only about 5 times as massive as the Earth, circles its parent star in about 10 years. It is the least massive exoplanet around an ordinary star detected so far and also the coolest . The planet most certainly has a rocky/icy surface. Its discovery marks a groundbreaking result in the search for planets that support life.
eso0602 — Science Release
Measuring the Size of a Small, Frost World — Stellar occultation allows VLT to determine Charon's size and to put upper limit on its atmosphere
4 January 2006: Observing a very rare occultation of a star by Pluto's satellite Charon from three different sites, including Paranal, home of the VLT, astronomers were able to determine with great accuracy the radius and density of the satellite to the farthest planet. The density, 1.71 that of water, is indicative of an icy body with about slightly more than half of rocks. The observations also put strong constraints on the existence of an atmosphere around Charon.
eso0601 — Organisation Release
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