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February 22nd, 2013
ESO's VLT reveals the Carina Nebula's hidden secrets.
This broad panorama of the Carina Nebula, a region of massive star formation in the southern skies, was taken in infrared light using the HAWK-I camera on ESO's Very Large Telescope. Many previously hidden features, scattered across a spectacular celestial landscape of gas, dust and young stars, have emerged.
Credit: ESO/T. Preibisch
February 17th, 2013
The second of three images of ESO's GigaGalaxy Zoom project is a new and wonderful 340 megapixel vista of the central parts of our galactic home, a 34 by 20-degree wide image that provides us with a view as experienced by amateur astronomers around the world. Taken by Stephane Guisard, an ESO engineer and world-renowned astrophotographer, from Cerro Paranal, home of ESO's Very Large Telescope, this image directly benefits from the quality of Paranal's sky, one of the best on the planet. The image shows the region spanning the sky from the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer) to Scorpius (the Scorpion). The very colourful Rho Ophiuchi and Antares region features prominently to the right, as well as much darker areas, such as the Pipe and Snake Nebulae. The dusty lane of our Milky Way runs obliquely through the image, dotted with remarkable bright, reddish nebulae, such as the Lagoon and the Trifid Nebulae, as well as NGC 6357 and NGC 6334. This dark lane also hosts the very centre of our Galaxy, where a supermassive black hole is lurking.
The image was obtained by observing with a 10-cm Takahashi FSQ106Ed f/3.6 telescope and a SBIG STL CCD camera, using a NJP160 mount. Images were collected through three different filters (B, V and R) and then stitched together. This mosaic was assembled from 52 different sky fields made from about 1200 individual images totaling 200 hours exposure time, with the final image having a size of 24,403 x 13,973 pixels. Note that the final, full resolution image is only available through Stephane Guisard.
Credit: ESO/S. Guisard (www.eso.org/~sguisard)
January 18th, 2013
This wide-field view of the Orion Nebula (Messier 42), lying about 1350 light-years from Earth, was taken with the VISTA infrared survey telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile. The new telescope's huge field of view allows the whole nebula and its surroundings to be imaged in a single picture and its infrared vision also means that it can peer deep into the normally hidden dusty regions and reveal the curious antics of the very active young stars buried there. This image was created from images taken through Z, J and Ks filters in the near-infrared part of the spectrum. The exposure times were ten minutes per filter. The image covers a region of sky about one degree by 1.5 degrees.
Full press release: http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1006/
Original image: http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1006a/