ESOcast 42 Special: Looking Up — Special 50th anniversary episode #2

“Looking Up” is the second special episode of this series and ESOcast 42 overall. In it we look at how, over the past fifty years, ESO has helped to unravel some of the mysteries of the Universe in which we live. Astronomers were in need of more powerful tools to observe the sky and […]

ESOcast 41 Special: Going South

Leading up to ESO’s 50th anniversary in October 2012, we are releasing eight special ESOcasts, each a chapter from the movie Europe to the Stars — ESO’s First 50 Years of Exploring the Southern Sky.

This first special episode — entitled “Going South” — describes the birth of ESO, and in particular why astronomers […]

ESOcast 40: When Speed Matters – Discovery of the Accelerating Universe Wins Nobel Prize for Physics

In the past two decades, astronomers have made a truly revolutionary discovery: that the cosmos is not only expanding, but is doing so at an ever-faster rate. The discovery of the accelerated expansion of the Universe was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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ESOcast 39: A Black Hole’s Dinner is Fast Approaching

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have discovered a gas cloud with several times the mass of the Earth accelerating towards the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. This is the first time ever that the approach of such a doomed cloud to a supermassive black hole has been observed. This […]

ESOcast 38: Faraway Eris is Pluto’s twin

This ESOcast describes how astronomers have accurately measured the diameter of the faraway dwarf planet Eris for the first time by catching it as it passed in front of a faint star. This event was seen at the end of 2010 by telescopes in Chile, including the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory. […]

ESOcast 37: Full-size Mock-up of World’s Largest Telescope Mirror Built at ESO’s Open House Day

On Saturday 15 October 2011 ESO opened the doors of its headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany, to the public. Throughout the day, thousands of visitors had the chance to help build a full-size mock-up mirror of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) — the largest planned telescope in the world — and to […]

ESOcast 36: ALMA Opens Its Eyes

The most complex ground-based astronomy observatory in the world, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), has officially opened for astronomers. The first released image, from a telescope still under construction, reveals a view of the Universe that cannot be seen at all by visible-light and infrared telescopes.

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ESOcast 35: Fifty New Exoplanets

Astronomers using ESO’s leading exoplanet hunter HARPS have today announced more than fifty newly discovered planets around other stars. Among these are many rocky planets not much heavier than the Earth. One of them in particular seems to orbit in the habitable zone around its star. This ESOcast we look at how astronomers discover […]

ESOcast 34: How To Stop a Star’s Twinkle – YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx9vwM3r54c

We have all looked up at the sky at night and seen the stars twinkle. It may be pretty and romantic, but it is also a big problem for astronomers, as the shimmering starlight blurs observations.

In this ESOcast we visit the Allgäu public observatory amid the picturesque landscape of southern Germany. Here, as […]