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VLT

Space

ESO's GRAVITY instrument achieves first light

Astronomers have achieved first light with a powerful instrument that will allow scientists to probe the environments surrounding black holes. The GRAVITY instrument is in the process of being installed in the tunnels below the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) located at the Paranal Observatory, Chile.Read More

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.Read More

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.Read More

Space

Astronomers discover inexplicably massive "dark" star clusters

Astronomers have discovered a series of unusual globular star clusters with masses far exceeding what would be expected under the standard model for the celestial structures. The clusters are located in the giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A, and seem to hint at an enigmatic dark presence that cannot yet be accounted for.Read More

Space

Hubble and VLT team up to reveal giant galaxies shutting down from the inside out

Astronomers have used the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in conjunction with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to reveal the secrets of how star formation shuts down in distant galaxies, just three billion years after the Big Bang. Focusing on huge, quiescent elliptical galaxies known as spheroids, the findings are expected to improve our understanding of the evolution of the Universe. Read More

Space

VLT's SPHERE highlights a missing brown dwarf

The ESO has turned the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research instrument (SPHERE) towards an unusual double star with the expectation of finding an orbiting brown dwarf. However, the observations didn’t quite go according to plan, with the instrument – which is the latest addition to the Very Large Telescope (VLT) – coming up short. The findings have led to an ongoing re-examination of the cause of the binary stars’ unusual behaviour. Read More

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