Sep 15

The many mysteries of Pluto

Source: HubbleCast

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Sep 15

Revisiting the Veil Nebula

Source: ESA/Hubble heic1520

heic1520aImage credits: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope imaged three magnificent sections of the Veil Nebula in 1997. Now, a stunning new set of images from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 capture these scattered stellar remains in spectacular new detail and reveal its expansion over the last years. (read more)

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Sep 15

Sagittarius A*: Milky Way's Black Hole Shows Signs of Increased Chatter

Source: Chandra Space Telescope

sgra2_525Image credits:NASA/CXC/MPE/G.Ponti et al; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss.

Three orbiting X-ray telescopes have been monitoring the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy for the last decade and a half to observe its behavior, as explained in our latest press release. This long monitoring campaign has revealed some new changes in the patterns of this 4-million-solar-mass black hole known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*).(read more)

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Sep 15

Total Eclipse of the Harvest Moon

Source: NASA Science Casts

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Sep 15

A Cosmic Rose With Many Names

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1537

eso1537aThe star formation region Messier 17.Image credits: ESO.

This new image of the rose-coloured star forming region Messier 17 was captured by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. It is one of the sharpest images showing the entire nebula and not only reveals its full size but also retains fine detail throughout the cosmic landscape of gas clouds, dust and newborn stars. (read more)

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Sep 15

Astronomers find galaxy cluster with bursting heart

Source: ESA/Hubble heic1519

heic1519aImage of the galaxy cluster SpARCS1049 .
Image credits: NASA/STScI/ESA/JPL-Caltech/McGill

An international team of astronomers has discovered a gargantuan galaxy cluster with a core bursting with new stars — an incredibly rare find. The discovery, made with the help of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is the first to show that gigantic galaxies at the centres of massive clusters can grow significantly by feeding off gas stolen from other galaxies. (read more)

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Sep 15

Cosmic Recycling

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1535

eso1535aThe Prawn Nebula in close-up.
Image credits: ESO.

Dominating this image is part of the gigantic nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later returned to the stellar nursery when the aging stars either expel their material gently into space or eject it more dramatically as supernova explosions. This image was taken with the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile as part of ESO’s Cosmic Gems programme.(learn more)

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Sep 15

The Third ESO Astronomy Camp for School Students! Applications before 4 October

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) in collaboration with the science education event organiser Sterrenlab are organising the third ESO Astronomy Camp on the topic of the Solar System and Extrasolar Planets, dedicated to school students aged between 16-18.

Invite your students to sign up for the camp until 4 October and enjoy the extraordinary experience of exploring the Universe! Lectures, hands-on activities, nighttime observations, social activities, winter sports, and excursions will all be part of the schedule.

The camp will take place from 26 December 2015 until 1 January 2016 at the Astronomical Observatory of the Aosta Valley, located in Saint-Barthelemy, Nus, Italy. The registration fee of 500 euros covers full board accommodation, supervision by professional staff, all astronomical and leisure activities, materials, excursions, internal transport, and insurance. Bus transport between the observatory and the airport of Milan Malpensa will be provided.

In addition a series of bursaries are offered by the following institutions:

  • The European Southern Observatory
  • Institute of Astronomy of Leuven: Belgium
  • Stellar Astrophysics Centre at Aarhus University: Denmark
  • German Astronomical Society: Germany
  • Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica: Italy
  • Polish Astronomical Society: Poland
  • Ciência Viva: Portugal
  • Center for the Promotion of Science: Serbia
  • Spanish Astronomical Society: Spain
  • Swedish Astronomical Society: Sweden
  • University of Geneva: Switzerland
  • Eyuboglu High School: Turkey
  • Royal Astronomical Society: United Kingdom

More information can be found at:
ESO's website: http://www.eso.org/public/announcements/ann15038/
The camp website: http://www.sterrenlab.com/camps/eso-astronomy-camp-2015/

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Sep 15

Blast off! The Launch of Odysseus II


Science education contest gets underway – youth throughout Europe invited to compete for prizes, internships and travel opportunities


Brussels, Belgium – XX August 2015Odysseus II, a fun-based educational contest focusing on space science, is up and running. As of September 1st, young people all over Europe can register to take part in an exciting competition that combines scientific learning with hands-on experience. Aimed at learners between the ages of 7 and 22, the contest is designed to engage talented young people with a spirit of discovery and an interest in science.


Odysseus II challenges European youth to push the boundaries of their knowledge by discovering answers to fundamental questions on topics ranging from satellites and space probes to astrobiology and interplanetary travel. The ultimate aim to of the contest is to inspire young Europeans to get involved in space science.


Organized in multiple rounds, the competition will be conducted in two cycles covering the academic years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. Teachers are encouraged to participate by coaching teams and will be offered access to professional mentoring upon request. Entries can be submitted in any of the EU’s 24 official languages.


Three academic levels are targeted, with separate competitions for:


  • Skywalkers (primary school pupils)
  • Pioneers (secondary school students)
  • Explorers (university undergraduates)


Participants will first compete at national level on the merits of their submissions addressing one of the contest’s broadly defined topics. Experienced judges will evaluate submissions on the basis of scientific knowledge, practical implementation and creativity. Winners will be selected at national, regional and international levels. Prizes include iPads, telescopes, travel opportunities, paid internships at the European Space Agency and trips to the Guiana Space Centre in South America.


The deadline for entries from students at secondary schools and universities is January 15, 2016. Entries from primary school pupils are expected by March 31, 2016.


Complete information – including detailed instructions on how to register and submit an entry online – is available at www.odysseus-contest.eu. High-resolution logos and a 30-second promotional video is available for download by the media.




The contest is being organized by the consortium partners of Odysseus II, a three-year project funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement 640218). Odyseus II is an expanded version of a pilot project that ran from 2011 to 2013. The current consortium consists of 14 partners and 4 supporting organizations from 11 European countries.

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