Press Releases

Subscribe to receive news from ESO in your language!
eso9525 — Organisation Release
VLT 8.2-m Unit Telescope no. 1 (as on September 7, 1995)
13 September 1995: The construction of the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) advances rapidly, both in Europe and in Chile. These three photos show some of the main mechanical parts of the first 8.2-metre telescope, as they presented themselves in Milan (Italy) on Thursday, September 7, 1995. Two versions of these photos, one smaller and one larger and with better image resolution, are accessible for convenient transfer over the networks.
eso9524 — Science Release
A Spectrum of Comet Hale-Bopp
11 September 1995: Comet Hale-Bopp is known to possess a bright coma, despite its large distance from the Sun, almost 1,000 million km. Observations have shown that this coma consists of dust particles of different sizes that have been ejected from the comet's nucleus.
eso9523 — Photo Release
An "International" Comet Hale-Bopp Image
5 September 1995: A brand new image of comet Hale-Bopp, showing its famous jet that comes out of the nuclear region, has just been released.
eso9522 — Photo Release
The Spectacular Jet in Comet Hale-Bopp
1 September 1995: A new image of comet Hale-Bopp, taken at ESO's observatory in La Silla, sheds new light on the structure of this peculiar comet.
eso9521 — Photo Release
The Enormous Size of Comet Hale-Bopp
30 August 1995: This series of three photos of the unusual Comet Hale-Bopp demonstrates that the comet is much larger than thought so far. In fact, its nucleus is surrounded by a dust cloud that measures more than 2.5 million kilometres across. Note that because of the wide field they represent, each of the images is available in two sizes, the larger of which has considerably better resolution.
eso9520 — Science Release
New Distant Comet Headed for Bright Encounter
25 August 1995: A very unusual comet was discovered last month, on its way from the outer reaches of the solar system towards the Sun. Although it is still situated beyond the orbit of Jupiter, it is so bright that it can be observed in even small telescopes. It has been named `Hale-Bopp' after the discoverers and is already of great interest to cometary astronomers.
eso9519 — Photo Release
NTT Observations of Bright Comet 1995 Q1 (Bradfield)
25 August 1995: In the evening of August 17, 1995, famous comet hunter William Bradfield (Australia) discovered his seventeenth comet. He found the comet as a 6th magnitude object with a tail longer than 1 degree in the southern constellation Crater. Soon thereafter, observations were made at the ESO La Silla Observatory with various telescopes.
eso9518 — Organisation Release
Paranal on August 6, 1995
22 August 1995: This series of four photos was taken on Sunday, August 6, 1995, on the top of the Paranal mountain, where the world's largest telescope, the ESO 16-metre equivalent Very Large Telescope , is now being installed. The VLT will consist of four 8.2-metre unit telescopes which can also be coupled. Together with some smaller, moveable telescopes, to be installed later, the four large telescopes will form the VLT Interferometer (VLTI) , a unique instrument that will allow extremely sharp images to be obtained. The first 8.2-metre telescope is expected to be in place in late 1997/early 1998.
eso9517 — Organisation Release
ESO Helps Antofagasta after the Earthquake
22 August 1995: On Sunday, July 30, 1995, at 1:15 hrs, the Antofagasta region was struck by a strong earthquake, reaching 7.8 on the Richter scale. Three people died and more than 130 houses and buildings were damaged beyond repair. The port also suffered damage.
eso9516 — Photo Release
Last ESO Image of Bright Comet 1995 Q1 (Bradfield)
22 August 1995: Moving steadily closer to the Sun, Comet 1995 Q1 (Bradfield) can no longer be observed with the larger telescopes at La Silla. Nevertheless, Guido Pizarro succeeded in obtaining one more image with the ESO Schmidt telescope last evening (21 - 22 August 1995). At the moment of the 10 minute exposure, the comet was only 26 degrees from the Sun. This is most likely to be the last image of this comet that will be made from the ESO observatory.
eso9515 — Photo Release
The Swan Bands in Bright Comet 1995 Q1 (Bradfield)
21 August 1995: Observations of Comet 1995 Q1 (Bradfield) were again made at La Silla last night (20 - 21 August 1995), but were hindered by high winds and the fact that the comet is rapidly approaching the Sun.
eso9514 — Photo Release
NTT Observations of Bright Comet 1995 Q1 (Bradfield)
20 August 1995: The observations of the bright comet 1995 Q1, now named after its discoverer, William Bradfield, continued for the third night in a row at La Silla (19 - 20 August 1995). Two telescopes were employed to obtain more unique data of this interesting object.
eso9513 — Photo Release
An Infrared Image of Bright Comet 1995 Q1
19 August 1995: The newly discovered, bright Comet 1995 Q1 was again observed at La Silla last night (18 - 19 August 1995).
eso9512 — Science Release
Bright Comet 1995 Q1
18 August 1995: In the evening of August 17, 1995, famous comet hunter William Bradfield (Australia) discovered his seventeenth comet. He found the comet as a 6th magnitude object with a tail longer than 1 degree in the southern constellation Crater.
eso9511 — Science Release
Beyond the Hubble Constant
17 August 1995: A few months ago, a violent stellar explosion -- a supernova -- was discovered in an extremely distant galaxy by an international team of astronomers [1]. This is the very promising first result of a recently initiated, dedicated search for such objects. Subsequent spectral observations have shown this to be the most distant supernova ever observed. Although it is very faint, it has been possible to classify it as a supernova of Type Ia, a kind that is particularly well suited for cosmological distance determinations.
eso9510 — Organisation Release
Earthquake in Antofagasta
2 August 1995: The Antofagasta Earthquake of last Sunday, July 30, 1:15 hours, violently shook Cerro Paranal, the site where ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is building the VLT, the world's largest optical telescope. The quake's intensity in Paranal was estimated at grade 8 on the Richter scale.
eso9509 — Science Release
ROSAT Discovers Unique, Distant Cluster of Galaxies
19 June 1995: Based on exciting new data obtained with the ROSAT X-ray satellite and a ground-based telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory, a team of European astronomers [2] has just discovered a very distant cluster of galaxies with unique properties. It emits the strongest X-ray emission of any cluster ever observed by ROSAT and is accompanied by two extraordinarily luminous arcs that represent the gravitationally deflected images of even more distant objects. The combination of these unusual characteristics makes this cluster, now known as RXJ1347.5-1145, a most interesting object for further cosmological studies.
eso9508 — Organisation Release
ESO Council Resolves to Continue VLT Project at Paranal
8 June 1995: The ESO Council has just met at the ESO Headquarters in Garching during two days of intensive consultations. Among the important items on the agenda were the recent developments around the Very Large Telescope Project at Paranal, and also the possible membership of other countries.
eso9507 — Organisation Release
"Europe Towards the Stars"
7 June 1995: With the above title, and following the very successful events of the past two years [1], ESO again organises an "educational adventure" in 1995. It takes place within the framework of the "Third European Week for Scientific and Technological Culture", initiated and supported by the European Commission. This time ESO will invite about fifty 17-18 year old grammar school pupils with their teachers to try their skills at one of the world's most advanced astronomical telescopes.
eso9506 — Organisation Release
Giat Industries selected for construction of the "Very Large Telescope"
2 June 1995: Versailles-Satory (France) May 31, 1995 - Giat Industries has just obtained a contract from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) for the construction of the primary and tertiary mirror supports and the positioning apparatus of the world's largest optical telescope. This contract, worth almost 140 million francs, represents over 100,000 hours of work. It was won by Gitech, a division of Giat Industries, in collaboration with the Sfim group, following an international competition between the largest European groups in the space field. Gitech is charged with the development of civil and military industrial equipment for the Giat Industries group, in particular in high technology fields.