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SPHERE instrument
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Sculpting Solar Systems

Sharp new observations have revealed striking features in planet-forming discs around young stars. The SPHERE instrument, mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope, has made it possible to observe the complex dynamics of young solar systems - including one seen developing in real-time. The recently published results from three teams of astronomers showcase SPHERE's impressive capability to capture the way planets sculpt the discs that form them - exposing the complexities of the environment in which new worlds are formed.
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The MUSE instrument
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Looking Deeply into the Universe in 3D

The MUSE instrument on ESOs Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep Universe. After staring at the Hubble Deep Field South region for only 27 hours, the new observations reveal the distances, motions and other properties of far more galaxies than ever before in this tiny piece of the sky. They also go beyond Hubble and reveal previously invisible objects.
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First Light for SPHERE Exoplanet Imager
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Revolutionary new VLT instrument installed

SPHERE - the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument - has been installed on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile and has achieved first light. This powerful new facility for finding and studying exoplanets uses multiple advanced techniques in combination. It offers dramatically better performance than existing instruments and has produced impressive views of dust discs around nearby stars and other targets during the very first days of observations. SPHERE was developed and built by a consortium of many European institutes, led by the Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, France, working in partnership with ESO. It is expected to revolutionise the detailed study of exoplanets and circumstellar discs.
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Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer
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First Light for MUSE

A new innovative instrument called MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) has been successfully installed on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MUSE has observed distant galaxies, bright stars and other test targets during the first period of very successful observations.
Following testing and preliminary acceptance in Europe in September 2013, MUSE was shipped to ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile. It was reassembled at the base camp before being carefully transported to its new home at the VLT, where it is now installed on Unit Telescope 4. MUSE is the latest of the second generation instruments for the VLT (the first two were X-shooter and KMOS and the next, SPHERE, will follow shortly).

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Posts: 128093
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Very Large Telescope
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ESO's Very Large Telescope Celebrates 15 Years of Success

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With this new view of a spectacular stellar nursery ESO is celebrating 15 years of the Very Large Telescope - the world's most advanced optical instrument. This picture reveals thick clumps of dust silhouetted against the pink glowing gas cloud known to astronomers as IC 2944. These opaque blobs resemble drops of ink floating in a strawberry cócktail, their whimsical shapes sculpted by powerful radiation coming from the nearby brilliant young stars.
This new picture celebrates an important anniversary for the Very Large Telescope - it is fifteen years since the first light on the first of its four Unit Telescopes, on 25 May 1998.

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NACO
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Title: Image quality and high contrast improvements on VLT/NACO
Authors: Julien H. V. Girard, Jared O'Neal, Dimitri Mawet, Markus Kasper, Gérard Zins, Benoît Neichel, Johann Kolb, Valentin Christiaens, Martin Tourneboeuf

NACO is the famous and versatile diffraction limited NIR imager and spectrograph with which ESO celebrated 10 years of Adaptive Optics at the VLT. Since two years a substantial effort has been put in to understanding and fixing issues that directly affect the image quality and the high contrast performances of the instrument. Experiments to compensate the non-common-path aberrations and recover the highest possible Strehl ratios have been carried out successfully and a plan is hereafter described to perform such measurements regularly. The drift associated to pupil tracking since 2007 was fixed in October 2011. NACO is therefore even better suited for high contrast imaging and can be used with coronagraphic masks in the image plane. Some contrast measurements are shown and discussed. The work accomplished on NACO will serve as reference for the next generation instruments on the VLT, especially those working at the diffraction limit and making use of angular differential imaging (i.e. SPHERE, VISIR, possibly ERIS).

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RE: Very Large Telescope
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That's not what the Batsignal is supposed to look like.

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Choose What the VLT Observes

For the first time in its history, ESO invites you to decide where in the Universe it should point the Very Large Telescope (VLT).
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 In the hot and desolate lands of Chile's Atacama Desert, seemingly lonely and lost, four huge metallic structures tower over the dusty summit of Cerro Paranal.
Look closer, though, and you will detect a buzz of activity.
The structures have names - Antu, Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun - and each encloses a telescope. Together they form the VLT, or Very Large Telescope, the world's biggest optical telescope facility.

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The Laser Guide Star (LGS) is launched from the Very Large Telescope (VLT)'s 8.2-meter Yepun Telescope and aims at the center of our galaxy, the heart of the Milky Way. The laser beam is part of the VLT's adaptive optics system. It creates an artificial star at 90 km altitude in the Earth's mesosphere.
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