A New Instrument Gives the Very Large Telescope an Even Sharper View of the Cosmos

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal in northern Chile, is undoubtedly one of the premier ground-based observatories. But a new infrared instrument recently installed on the telescope has made the VLT even better. The Enhanced Resolution Imager and Spectrograph (ERIS) was delivered to Chile in December, 2021 and the first test observations were …

A New View of the Cone Nebula From the Very Large Telescope

Here’s a dramatic and spectacular new view of the Cone Nebula, as seen by the Very Large Telescope (VLT). This nebula is part of a distant star-forming region called NGC 2264, which about 2,500 light-years away. Its pillar-like appearance is a perfect example of the shapes that can develop in giant clouds of cold molecular …

A LEGO® Version of the Very Large Telescope. It Even has a Laser Interferometer

Interferometers are some of the most highly advanced sensor instruments that humans have made.  They are used in everything from astronomy to quantum mechanics and have profoundly impacted our understanding of science.  But not all interferometers have to be functional. A Dutch astronomer named Frans Snik has just designed one that, while it isn’t function, …

Watch Live: A Day in the Life of the Very Large Telescope

Ever wonder what takes place on a daily basis at one of the premier ground-based observatories? The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and on October 5, 2012, they will host a free, live event on the web, “A Day in the Life of ESO.” There will be live observations from ESO’s …

The Next Generation Very Large Array Would be 263 Radio Telescopes Spread Across North America

The iconic Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico has been at the forefront of astrophysical research since its dedication in 1980. The Y-shaped configuration of 27 radio astronomy dishes have made key discoveries about the cosmos, while becoming a part of pop-culture in several high-profile movies. But the aging array is due for an …

A Mission To Find 10 Million Near Earth Asteroids Every Year

So far, scientists have found around 34,000 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) that could serve as humanity’s stepping stone to the stars. These balls of rock and ice hold valuable resources as we expand throughout the solar system, making them valuable real estate in any future space economy. But the 34,000 we know of only make up …

New Telescope Images of Io are so Good, it Looks like a Spacecraft Took Them

The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), located on Mount Graham in Arizona and run by the University of Arizona, is part of the next generation of extremely large telescopes (ELTs). With two primary mirrors measuring 8.4 m (~27.5 ft), it has a collecting area slightly greater than that of a 30-meter (98.4 ft) telescope. With their …