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.
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 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.
Night falls in the Atacama Desert, but the day is far from over. In this wonderful little timelapse, sent along to us by the photographer Enrico Sacchetti, we get a sense for the constant work being done at the European Southern Observatory.
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.
Thor's Helmet is a cosmic bubble of gas blown from a bright, massive central star. The gorgeous bubble in space is a relaxing treat for your eyes before diving back into the work week.
The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope has been used to create history's first-ever map of weather on the surface of a brown dwarf. These images provide us with an unprecedented look at the atmospheric features of these poorly understood "failed stars."
This nebula measures a whopping 250 light-years across, and it's close enough to Earth that its relative size in the sky is equivalent to that of four full Moons. But it's so faint in the wavelengths our eyes can actually see that it's generally been ignored until now. As this gorgeous new image from the European…
We’ve found hundreds of planets outside the solar system, but taking a picture of one is still something quite special.
When it comes to enjoying the full-blown magnificence of a star-studded sky, or the peak of a spectacular meteor shower, the Moon (to borrow a phrase from astronomer Mike Brown) is your nemesis.
How do you create the world's largest virtual optical telescope and the most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory? Teamwork. The Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory combines the visual prowess of four huge telescopes—for the first time ever—to mimic a 130-meter-wide mirror.