News

Exoplanet hunter sees first light at La Silla Observatory

19 July 2017 Astronomy Now

The MASCARA station at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has achieved first light. This new facility will seek out transiting exoplanets as they pass in front of their bright parent stars and create a catalogue of targets for future exoplanet characterisation observations.

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UK scientists seal deal on European Extremely Large Telescope’s first-light spectrograph

23 September 2015 Astronomy Now

UK researchers have just signed an agreement to lead one of the first instruments for what will become the World’s largest visible and infrared telescope, the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The spectrograph, called HARMONI, will provide the European Southern Observatory’s telescope with a sensitivity that is up to hundreds of times better than any current telescope of its kind.

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Chilean astronomical site becomes world’s first international dark sky sanctuary

12 August 2015 Astronomy Now

The International Dark-Sky Association has just announced that the site of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) Observatory in the Elqui Valley of northern Chile has been recognised and designated as the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world. The site will be known as the “Gabriela Mistral Dark Sky Sanctuary” after the famed Chilean poet.

Picture This

Colourful skies over ESO

21 April 2015 Keith Cooper

A kaleidoscope of colours hang above the giant structures of the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. The scene is a mixture of a red sunset, the hazy zodiacal light and the pearlescent pinks of star-forming regions in our own Milky Way Galaxy.

News

A new VISTA through the Milky Way

4 February 2015 Astronomy Now

While mapping the central regions of the Milky Way in infrared light searching for new and hidden objects, the 4.1-metre VISTA telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile looked through a familiar object to wonders beyond.