Summary: ESOcast is a video podcast series dedicated to bringing you the latest news and research from ESO, the European Southern Observatory. Here we explore the Universe's ultimate frontier.
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Zooming in on the remote cluster CL J1449+0856
The barren landscape surrounding the Paranal Observatory in Chile is stunning, but for the ESO staff who work there, on-site recreational activities are important for entertainment and general wellbeing. In this episode of the ESOcast, we follow three staff members in a unique behind-the-scenes look at the Paranal Residencia at the observatory's base camp -- a remarkable hotel that has won architectural design awards -- to see some of their leisure activities.
This video podcast explains the ESO Very Large Telescope’s Rapid Response Mode, which makes it possible to observe gamma-ray bursts only a few minutes after they are first spotted. As the optical afterglow of a gamma-ray burst fades extremely rapidly, observations must start as quickly as possible. And the Very Large Telescope has the capability to master this time critical issue better than any other telescope.
An exoplanet orbiting a star that entered our galaxy, the Milky Way, from another galaxy has been detected by a European team of astronomers using the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. The Jupiter-like planet is particularly unusual, as it is orbiting a star nearing the end of its life and could be about to be engulfed by it, giving clues about the fate of our own planetary system in the distant future.
In this episode of the ESOcast, we travel to the inhospitable but dramatic landscape of the Atacama Desert. Beneath the ground there, a new high-speed data cable is helping connect Paranal, the world’s most advanced astronomical observatory, with scientists and engineers based at ESO headquarters in Germany. Dr J presents this new project and explains its impact on scientific research at ESO.
A European team of astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has measured the distance to the most remote galaxy so far. By carefully analysing the very faint glow of the galaxy they have found that they are seeing it when the Universe was only about 600 million years old (a redshift of 8.6). These are the first confirmed observations of a galaxy whose light is clearing the opaque hydrogen fog that filled the cosmos at this early time.
Today's telescopes study the sky across the electromagnetic spectrum. Each part of the spectrum tells us different things about the Universe, giving us more pieces of the cosmic jigsaw puzzle. The most powerful telescopes on the ground and in space have joined forces over the last decade in a unique observing campaign, known as the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey, or GOODS, which reaches across the spectrum and deep back into cosmic time.
Zooming in on Abell 315
Chance discovery reveals star factories in the distant Universe