European South Observatory Images

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EarthlingX

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www.universetoday.com : 100 Epic Astronomy Images from ESO
by Nancy Atkinson

Oct 7th, 2010


The Sombrero Galaxy. Credit: ESO/P. Barthe

The European Southern Observatory pumps out incredible astronomical images, usually weekly, and they have now put together a collection of their top 100 images. They are all wonderfully amazing, so check them out for a large amount of eye candy. ESO is a consortium of countries, astronomers and telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope, VISTA, APEX, the telescopes at La Silla, and ALMA, so there were a lot of images to choose from to pick the top 100. Go get lost in the images!

ESO also just announced a free competition for anyone who enjoys making beautiful images of the night sky using real astronomical data. Called “Hidden Treasures,” the competition has some extremely attractive prizes for the lucky winners who produce the most beautiful and original images, including an all expenses paid trip to ESO’s VLT on Cerro Paranal, in Chile. And the winner will have a chance to participate in the nightly VLT observations, too. Check out the competition here.

www.eso.org : ESO - Top 100 (i have a lot of them, but too hard to pick just one, can't do it)


www.eso.org : Discover ESO's Hidden Treasures
An Astronomical Images Competition
 
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EarthlingX

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Check also (can't link it) :

www.eso.org : ESO - Virtual Tours
Now you can visit the ESO observatories and amazing astronomical landscapes from your armchair. On this page you will find various Virtual Tours. Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the visuals.

Once it loads in your screen, you can click on the fullscreen icon to the right to see the tour on a full screen. Click on the dots on the minimap (left) to go directly the panorama of your choice. Click on the hot spots onscreen to go to a new panorama. Press Ctrl or Shift keys to zoom in and out. Enjoy!
 
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EarthlingX

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www.eso.org : European Virtual Observatory Shows that Galaxies like the Milky Way Form Easily
10 October 2010



A new study has confirmed that galaxies like the Milky Way form easily. The investigation, carried out by Kambiz Fathi at the Institute of Astronomy of Stockholm University, also shows that Milky-Way-sized galaxies have been the biggest spiral galaxies for at least the last 3.4 billion years of the Universe’s 13.7-billion-year history.

To come to his conclusions, Fathi measured images of 30 000 galaxies, using the facilities of the European Virtual Observatory (EURO-VO) [1]. ESO is a co-leader of the EURO-VO Facility Centre. Virtual Observatories allow astronomers to use the power of the internet and large databases to re-use and combine existing observations from many different telescopes in innovative ways. For each of the 30 000 galaxies, he estimated the number of stars in the parts of galaxies where spiral arms are prominent, using images from the Sloan Digitized Sky Survey telescope [2]. The Sun occupies just such a place in the Milky Way.

Since the 1970s, astronomers have noticed that the number of stars in these unremarkable, middle regions of spiral galaxies is never much bigger than in the Milky Way. This upper limit is known as Freeman’s Law, named after the Australian astronomer Ken Freeman, who first described it. Previously astronomers had checked Freeman’s Law for a few tens of galaxies, but Fathi’s much larger sample has now shown that it applies much more generally, and as far back in time as 3.4 billion years ago [3].
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EarthlingX

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http://www.eso.org : Spiral Galaxies Stripped Bare
27 October 2010



Six spectacular spiral galaxies are seen in a clear new light in images from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The pictures were taken in infrared light, using the impressive power of the HAWK-I camera, and will help astronomers understand how the remarkable spiral patterns in galaxies form and evolve.

HAWK-I [1] is one of the newest and most powerful cameras on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). It is sensitive to infrared light, which means that much of the obscuring dust in the galaxies’ spiral arms becomes transparent to its detectors. Compared to the earlier, and still much-used, VLT infrared camera ISAAC, HAWK-I has sixteen times as many pixels to cover a much larger area of sky in one shot and, by using newer technology than ISAAC, it has a greater sensitivity to faint infrared radiation [2]. Because HAWK-I can study galaxies stripped bare of the confusing effects of dust and glowing gas it is ideal for studying the vast numbers of stars that make up spiral arms.

The six galaxies are part of a study of spiral structure led by Preben Grosbøl at ESO. These data were acquired to help understand the complex and subtle ways in which the stars in these systems form into such perfect spiral patterns.


HAWK-I image of NGC 5247

The first image shows NGC 5247, a spiral galaxy dominated by two huge arms, located 60–70 million light-years away. The galaxy lies face-on towards Earth, thus providing an excellent view of its pinwheel structure. It lies in the zodiacal constellation of Virgo (the Maiden).
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EarthlingX

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http://www.eso.org : EVALSO: A New High-speed Data Link to Chilean Observatories
4 November 2010



Stretching 100 kilometres through Chile’s harsh Atacama Desert, a newly inaugurated data cable is creating new opportunities at ESO’s Paranal Observatory and the Observatorio Cerro Armazones. Connecting these facilities to the main Latin American scientific data backbone completes the last gap in the high-speed link between the observatories and Europe.
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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SQ8nrFoHsU[/youtube]
ESOobservatory | November 04, 2010

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.

Credits, download options and more information are available on: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso1043a/
 
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