The foundation of the European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope is taking shape in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Once in operation, the ELT and its 39-metre (128-foot) segmented mirror will collect 200 times more light than the Hubble Space Telescope, using advanced adaptive optics to counteract atmospheric turbulence. The gargantuan telescope will be located atop the Cerro Armazones mountain. where construction crews removed the top 18 metres (60 feet) to provide the area needed for the giant instrument’s foundations.
The spectacular aftermath of a 360 million year old cosmic collision is revealed in great detail in new images from ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Among the debris is a rare and mysterious young dwarf galaxy. This galaxy is providing astronomers with an excellent opportunity to learn more about similar galaxies that are expected to be common in the early universe, but are normally too faint and distant to be observed by current telescopes.
Pale Red Dot is an international search for an Earth-like exoplanet around the closest star to us, Proxima Centauri. It will be one of the few outreach campaigns allowing the general public to witness the scientific process of data acquisition in modern observatories via blog posts and social media updates. The Pale Red Dot campaign will run from January to April 2016.