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FORS2, an instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope captured the spiral galaxy NGC 3981 in all its glory. The image, captured during the ESO Cosmic Gems Programme, showcases the beauty of the southern skies when conditions don’t allow scientific observations to be made.

A Galactic Gem

This wonderful image shows the resplendent spiral galaxy NGC 3981 suspended in the inky blackness of space. This galaxy, which lies in the constellation...
Breakthrough Detection and Imaging Technology

€17 Million Fund to Power European Detection and Imaging Innovation

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This wider coverage area reveals even more stars from the crowded neighbourhood surrounding the Carina nebula. Captured by VISTA, the world’s largest infrared survey telescope, we witness the dramatic evolution of this living stellar city, where stars form and perish side by side.

Stars v. Dust in the Carina Nebula

The Carina Nebula, one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the night sky, has been beautifully imaged by ESO’s VISTA telescope at the...
This deep image of the area of sky around the elliptical galaxy NGC 5018 offers a spectacular view of its tenuous streams of stars and gas. These delicate features are hallmarks of galactic interactions, and provide vital clues to the structure and dynamics of early-type galaxies.

Astronomers have captured a collection of elliptical galaxies in different environments

Utilizing the sensitive OmegaCAM detector at the core of the VST, a group driven by Marilena Spavone from INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte in Naples,...
Radioactive molecules in the remains of a stellar collision

Stellar corpse reveals origin of radioactive molecule in interstellar space

A team of astronomers at ESO using ALMA and NOEMA for the first time have discovered a radioactive molecule in interstellar space. The radioactive molecule...
Artist’s impression of S2 passing supermassive black hole at centre of Milky Way

First successful test of Einstein’s general relativity near supermassive black hole

or the first time, scientists have observed the impacts anticipated by Einstein's general relativity on the movement of a star going through the extreme gravitational...
This image of the planet Neptune was obtained during the testing of the Narrow-Field adaptive optics mode of the MUSE/GALACSI instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The corrected image is sharper than a comparable image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Supersharp images from new VLT Adaptive Optics

ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has accomplished first light with another versatile optics mode called laser tomography — and has caught amazingly sharp test...
Celestial Art

Colourful celestial landscape

New observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope demonstrate the star cluster RCW 38 in the entirety of its glory. This picture was taken amid...
This spectacular image from the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope is the first clear image of a planet caught in the very act of formation around the dwarf star PDS 70. The planet stands clearly out, visible as a bright point to the right of the centre of the image, which is blacked out by the coronagraph mask used to block the blinding light of the central star. Credit: ESO/A. Müller et al.

Newborn planet caught in the act of forming in the dusty disc

Astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany have caught a fabulous snapshot of planetary development around the youthful dwarf star...

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