European Southern Observatory

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Astronomers Say We Owe Our Lives to These Stars

Galaxy CR7 said to contain some of the universe's earliest stars

(Newser) - Astronomers peering through the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a faraway galaxy of stars so significant, they say we wouldn't exist without them. The galaxy, known as Cosmos Redshift 7, or CR7—a name inspired by soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo—is three times... More »

Mountain Blasted to Build World's Biggest Telescope

'Extremely Large Telescope' will see to edge of universe

(Newser) - To look further into space and time than ever before possible, astronomers needed to get a mountaintop out of the way first. The top of Chile's Cerro Armazones mountain was blasted to rubble Thursday to clear the way for the European Southern Observatory's Extremely Large Telescope, which will... More »

Solar System First: Asteroid With Rings

'Centaur' has only rings seen outside gas giants

(Newser) - Only five bodies in the solar system are known to have rings: The gas giants Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus—and Chariklo, a remote asteroid just 154 miles across. Astronomers say they were amazed to spot two rings made up of billion of bits of dust and ice circling the... More »

New 'Super-Earth' Spotted

It's seven times the size of our planet, and just 42 light years away

(Newser) - Scientists have found another planet to add to the growing list of potential homes for life. Researchers recently spotted three new planets circling around HD 40307, just 42 light years from Earth, the BBC reports, and one of them is just far enough from the star that it could harbor... More »

Scientists: 'Holy Grail' World Could Support Life

Hello, Gliese 667Cc

(Newser) - Researchers poring over old European Southern Observatory data have found a world so potentially similar to Earth that one researcher called it a "Holy Grail" discovery, the Telegraph reports. Gliese 667Cc orbits a red dwarf 22 light years away, and likely has temperatures extremely similar to those on Earth,... More »

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