Set lasers to star mode. The European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Chile now has four powerful laser beams with which to create artificial stars in the night sky.
Look deeply into this glowing red cloud drifting beyond the edges of our galaxy. Pretty weird, right? The weirdest thing of all, though, is what it’s been hiding.
I have only one piece of advice: Watch out for the spikes before sitting down when you are about to inspect radio telescope antenna.
Set 7,900 ft above sea level, on the outskirts of the Atacama Desert, the La Silla Observatory has an amazing view of the night sky. So good, in fact, that it’s possible to capture other-worldly photos like this, where space and Earth seem to exist as one.
This giant cosmic bubble may seem an unusual sight, but in fact it’s pretty common across the Universe—because its the remnants of a dying star, otherwise known as a planetary nebula.
Is this the Gordian knot of the 21st century? Or a high-tech Medusa? Or maybe both? Well, this photograph was taken inside the Very Large Telescope (VLT) operated by the European Southern Observatory on Cerro Paranal, Chile.
This picture shows the spectrum of light. You may have seen similar images in the past, but this one is something special—because it’s made of star light.
This breathtaking photo shows the intense orange beam of a new 22-watt laser pointed at the planet Saturn. Wait, isn’t this like the shocking scene in Star Wars where the Death Star’s superlaser completely annihilated planet Alderaan?
This stunning aerial photograph of the Very Large Telescope platform somehow reminds me of a smaller base in a real time strategy game, like Starcraft or Total Annihilation.
One way or another, the Pillars of Creation are toast. Based on new observations at the European Southern Observatory, these awe-inspiring structures have another 3 million years before their ghostly image fizzles away into cosmic nothingness.
Like a peaceful scene from a Star Wars movie, the European Southern Observatory's La Silla telescopes sit blanketed in fresh snow as the Sun sets.
Being an astronomer working at the Very Large Telescope is probably one of the best jobs in the world. Just look at the view this office has. It's full of stars!
There are not three, four or five, but six different night sky phenomena visible in this amazing astrophoto taken by Petr Horálek, European Southern Observatory's photo ambassador.
These days, we're all used to seeing colorful, saturated, high-resolution images of the weird and wonderful things that make up our universe. But they don't start off life looking quite as pretty.
Not how to destroy an entire planet, but how humans are able to create a star—with the help of a laser tuned to 589.2 nanometers wavelength.
Though the massive 66-antenna ALMA array in Chile's Atacama desert has been online since last October when the last of its 54, 12-meter radios was installed, the system has only been operating at a fraction of its potential resolution. But with the delicate delivery of 12 additional 7-meter radio dishes—the last of…
By nature, astronomical observatories have to be remote—far away from humans and cities and light pollution. That makes these extraordinary facilities difficult to visit, unless you've got Google Street View. Three of Chile's most remote observatories are now open to the digital tourist, and we've found you some of…
No, this isn't the Eye of Sauron: it's an amazing image of the ringed star HR 4796A, captured by the new Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research (SPHERE) instrument at the Very Large Telescope atop Cerro Paranal in Chile. The newly installed SPHERE filters out light to acquire exceptionally sharp images…
This stunning fisheye photograph shows the towering wonder of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope—plus, you know, some galaxy called the Milky Way in the background, too.
For the first time ever, astronomers have identified a small planet with a ring system. They previously thought that such a phenomenon could only happen on large planets like Saturn and Jupiter. But this special space rock, known as 10199 Chariklo, is a small planet called a Centaur.