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ESOcast SD
website ESOcast SD
ESOcast is a video podcast series dedicated to bringing you the latest news and research from ESO, the European Southern Observatory. Here we explore the Universe's ultimate frontier with our host Doctor J, a.k.a. Dr. Joe Liske.
ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has achieved first light with a new adaptive optics mode called laser tomography — and has captured remarkably sharp test images of the planet Neptune, star clusters and other objects. The pioneering MUSE instrument in Narrow-Field Mode, working with the GALACSI adaptive optics module, can now use this new technique to correct for turbulence at different altitudes in the atmosphere. It is now possible to capture images from the ground at visible wavelengths that are sharper than those from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The combination of exquisite image sharpness and the spectroscopic capabilities of MUSE will enable astronomers to study the properties of astronomical objects in much greater detail than was possible before.
New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope have revealed the star cluster RCW 38 in all its glory. These observations was taken during testing of the HAWK-I camera with the GRAAL adaptive optics system. It shows the cluster and its surrounding clouds of brightly glowing gas in exquisite detail, with dark tendrils of dust threading through the bright core of this young gathering of stars.
video Hiding the Sun
Wed, 04 Jul 2018 16:00:00 +0200

video Shadow of the Moon
Wed, 04 Jul 2018 16:00:00 +0200

Astronomers using the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope captured the first clear image of a planet caught in the act of forming in the dusty disc surrounding a young star. The young planet is carving a path through the primordial disc of gas and dust around the very young star PDS 70. The data suggest that the planet’s atmosphere is cloudy.
video ESOcast 168: NEOs — Near Earth Objects
Fri, 29 Jun 2018 16:00:00 +0200
Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are bodies in the Solar System with orbits that can bring them into close proximity with the Earth. Every day, many of these objects collide with our planet, but most are too small to have any noticeable effect. However, there are larger objects that lurk within our Solar System with the potential to impact the Earth, like the large Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013, or even larger -- like the devastating asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.
video ESOcast 167: VLT sees `Oumuamua getting a boost
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 19:00:00 +0200
Astronomers have found that ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System, is moving away from the Sun faster than expected. Using data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope, and from NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope, a team of researchers concluded that ‘Oumuamua is most likely outgassing — suggesting that this enigmatic interstellar nomad is a peculiar comet rather than an asteroid.
Astronomers have made the most precise test ever of general relativity outside the Milky Way.
Each year, several outstanding early-career scientists have the opportunity to further develop their independent research programmes at the European Southern Observatory. Fellowships are available both at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, and at ESO’s astronomy centre in Santiago, Chile.
ALMA has uncovered convincing evidence that three young planets are in orbit around the infant star HD 163296. Using a new planet-finding technique, astronomers have identified three discrete disturbances in the young star’s gas-filled disc: the strongest evidence yet that newly formed planets are in orbit there. These are considered the first planets discovered with ALMA.
Astronomers using ALMA and the VLT have discovered that starburst galaxies in both the early and the nearby Universe contain a much higher proportion of massive stars than is found in more peaceful galaxies.
Glowing brightly about 160 000 light-years away, the Tarantula Nebula is the most spectacular feature of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way. The VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile has imaged this region and its rich surroundings in exquisite detail. It reveals a cosmic landscape of star clusters, glowing gas clouds and the scattered remains of supernova explosions. This is the sharpest image ever of this entire field.
Astronomers have used observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to determine that star formation in the very distant galaxy MACS1149-JD1 started at an unexpectedly early stage, only 250 million years after the Big Bang. This discovery also represents the most distant oxygen ever detected in the Universe and the most distant galaxy ever observed by ALMA or the VLT.
video ESOcast 160 Light: Lost in Space (4K UHD)
Wed, 09 May 2018 12:00:00 +0200

video ESOcast 159: Stan Dart: Supernova
Mon, 07 May 2018 14:00:00 +0200
Most supernovae occur at the end of a massive star’s life, whose dramatic and catastrophic destruction is marked by one final explosion.
On 26 April 2018, the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre was officially inaugurated, and its doors will be open to the public from tomorrow 28 April 2018. The centre, located at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany provides visitors with an immersive experience of astronomy in general, along with ESO-specific scientific results, projects, and technological breakthroughs. All activities in the ESO Supernova will be free of charge during 2018, and shows and other events can be booked online.
The ALMA and APEX telescopes have peered deep into space — back to the time when the Universe was one tenth of its current age — and witnessed the beginnings of gargantuan cosmic pileups: the impending collisions of young, starburst galaxies. Astronomers thought that these events occurred around three billion years after the Big Bang, so they were surprised when the new observations revealed them happening when the Universe was only half that age! These ancient systems of galaxies are thought to be building the most massive structures in the known Universe: galaxy clusters.
New images from the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope are revealing the dusty discs surrounding nearby young stars in greater detail than previously achieved. They show a bizarre variety of shapes, sizes and structures, including the likely effects of planets still in the process of forming.
New images from ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and other telescopes reveal a rich landscape of stars and glowing clouds of gas in one of our closest neighbouring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud.
New data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and other telescopes have been used to create a stunning image showing a web of filaments in the Orion Nebula. These features appear red-hot and fiery, but in reality are so cold that astronomers must use telescopes like ALMA to observe them.
The new MATISSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) has now successfully made its first observations at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MATISSE is the most powerful interferometric instrument in the world at mid-infrared wavelengths. It will use high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy to probe the regions around young stars where planets are forming as well as the regions around supermassive black holes in the centres of galaxies.
The ESPRESSO instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile has used the combined light of all four of the 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes for the first time. Combining light from the Unit Telescopes in this way makes the VLT the largest optical telescope in existence in terms of collecting area.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a state-of-the-art telescope to study light from some of the coldest objects in the Universe. The music is by Stan Dart from "Supernova", the soundtrack for the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre, available on syngate.com and for download on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.