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.
Hiding the Sun
Shadow of the Moon
The dark side of the Earth
Astronomers using the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope captured the first clear image of a planet caught in the act of forming in the dusty disc surrounding a young star. The young planet is carving a path through the primordial disc of gas and dust around the very young star PDS 70. The data suggest that the planet’s atmosphere is cloudy.
Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are bodies in the Solar System with orbits that can bring them into close proximity with the Earth. Every day, many of these objects collide with our planet, but most are too small to have any noticeable effect. However, there are larger objects that lurk within our Solar System with the potential to impact the Earth, like the large Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013, or even larger -- like the devastating asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Astronomers have found that ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System, is moving away from the Sun faster than expected. Using data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope, and from NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope, a team of researchers concluded that ‘Oumuamua is most likely outgassing — suggesting that this enigmatic interstellar nomad is a peculiar comet rather than an asteroid.
Astronomers have made the most precise test ever of general relativity outside the Milky Way.
Each year, several outstanding early-career scientists have the opportunity to further develop their independent research programmes at the European Southern Observatory. Fellowships are available both at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, and at ESO’s astronomy centre in Santiago, Chile.
ALMA has uncovered convincing evidence that three young planets are in orbit around the infant star HD 163296. Using a new planet-finding technique, astronomers have identified three discrete disturbances in the young star’s gas-filled disc: the strongest evidence yet that newly formed planets are in orbit there. These are considered the first planets discovered with ALMA.
Astronomers using ALMA and the VLT have discovered that starburst galaxies in both the early and the nearby Universe contain a much higher proportion of massive stars than is found in more peaceful galaxies.
Glowing brightly about 160 000 light-years away, the Tarantula Nebula is the most spectacular feature of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way. The VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile has imaged this region and its rich surroundings in exquisite detail. It reveals a cosmic landscape of star clusters, glowing gas clouds and the scattered remains of supernova explosions. This is the sharpest image ever of this entire field.
Astronomers have used observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to determine that star formation in the very distant galaxy MACS1149-JD1 started at an unexpectedly early stage, only 250 million years after the Big Bang. This discovery also represents the most distant oxygen ever detected in the Universe and the most distant galaxy ever observed by ALMA or the VLT.
ESOcast 160 Light: Lost in Space (4K UHD)
Most supernovae occur at the end of a massive star’s life, whose dramatic and catastrophic destruction is marked by one final explosion.
On 26 April 2018, the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre was officially inaugurated, and its doors will be open to the public from tomorrow 28 April 2018. The centre, located at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany provides visitors with an immersive experience of astronomy in general, along with ESO-specific scientific results, projects, and technological breakthroughs. All activities in the ESO Supernova will be free of charge during 2018, and shows and other events can be booked online.