Three teams of astronomers have made use of SPHERE, an advanced exoplanet-hunting instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, in order to shed light on the enigmatic evolution of fledgling planetary systems. The explosion in the number of known exoplanets in recent years has made the study of them one of the most dynamic fields in modern astronomy.
Portrayed in this image from ESA’s Planck satellite are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, dwarf galaxies that are among the nearest companions of our Milky Way. The Large Magellanic Cloud, about 160,000 light-years away, is the large red and orange blob close to the centre of the image. The Small Magellanic Cloud lies some 200,000 light-years from us.