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ESO


— Space

VLT dead star observations provide a glimpse at the fate of our Solar System

A team of researchers from the UK's University of Warwick has used data collected by the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) to study a distant white dwarf. The data, which was collected over a period of 12 years, provides a rare, detailed look at the star remnant interacting with a disk of material – thought to be the remains of an asteroid. The research has the potential to answer questions about the eventual fate of our own Solar System.

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— Space

First observations made with deep-space water-hunting instrument

A team of astronomers has made the first observations with a cutting-edge water-hunting instrument. The instrument, known as the Swedish–ESO PI receiver for APEX (SEPIA), is not only suited for identifying signatures of water and other molecules in the Milky Way but also in other galaxies, and it may even be capable of detecting ancient water dating back to the early Universe.

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— Space

ESO's VISTA telescope spies hidden Milky Way component

An international team of astronomers has discovered a previously unknown component of the Milky Way – a thin disk of variable stars hidden in the galactic bulge. The observations, made using the ESO's Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) telescope conflict with current theories regarding the composition of the center of our galaxy.

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— Space

Astronomers spot enormous twin stars heading for a cataclysmic end

Using the ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered a pair of enormous stars, known as an overcontact binary system, that orbit so close to each other that a bridge of stellar material has formed. Scientists predict that at some point, the strange partnership will end in spectacular fashion, with the stellar bodies either merging to create a single titanic star, or in a violent supernova, that would birth a binary black hole system.

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