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European Southern Observatory Articles

New Planets Found Among Star Cluster New Planets Found Among Star Cluster

Astronomers this week have announced the discovery of three planets found within the Messier 67 star cluster. The finding is significant because planets have rarely found orbiting stars that are part of star clusters. The new research shows that planets …

‘Snow Line’ Spotted in Young Solar System ‘Snow Line’ Spotted in Young Solar System

Astronomers this week revealed that the first-ever “snow line” of a solar system has been spotted. Scientists believe that the snow line – similar to ones seen on the tops of mountains on Earth – could provide information about how …

Astronomers Spot Massive Star In-Utero Astronomers Spot Massive Star In-Utero

Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory‘s Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) this week revealed that they have spotted a massive star in the process of being born. Researchers hope the new information can help uncover just how massive (stars with …

Distant Galaxy Caught ‘Feeding’ on Gas Clouds Distant Galaxy Caught ‘Feeding’ on Gas Clouds

Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory‘s Very Large Telescope have found a distant galaxy that is “feeding” on nearby gas clouds. The flow of gas into the galaxy, astronomers say, is generating star formation and driving the rotation of the …

Three Planets Found in the Habitable Zone of Nearby Star Three Planets Found in the Habitable Zone of Nearby Star

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) this week announced it has found six planets in the Gliese 667C system, and that three of those planets are located within the system’s habitable zone. The habitable zone of a system is the area …

Globular Cluster Aging Revealed in New Study Globular Cluster Aging Revealed in New Study

Globular clusters are spherical groupings of stars tightly bound by gravity. While these objects are usually 12 to 13 billion years old, a new study has found that clusters can appear to be vastly different ages, depending on the behavior …

New “Green Bean” Galaxies Discovered New “Green Bean” Galaxies Discovered

A new type of galaxy nicknamed “green bean galaxies” has been identified and they are some of the rarest objects in the known universe. The nickname comes from the galaxies’ appearance: they glow with intense light generated by the ionized …

Rocky Planets Could Be More Common Than Previously Thought Rocky Planets Could Be More Common Than Previously Thought

Astronomers have now observed that the dust disc orbiting a brown dwarf contains millimeter-sized solid particles – the same “grains” found in the denser discs surrounding new stars.The new data suggests that rocky planets, such as Earth, may be more …

Astronomers Discover Dwarf Planet Makemake Has No Atmosphere Astronomers Discover Dwarf Planet Makemake Has No Atmosphere

Astronomers have discovered that a dwarf planet in our solar system named Makemake has no atmosphere. The object, which orbits in the outer solar system, was expected to have an atmosphere similar to another dwarf planet, Pluto, but new observations …

Close Rogue Planet Identified by ESO Astronomers Close Rogue Planet Identified by ESO Astronomers

Astronomers have identified what is “very probably” a relatively close-by planet hurtling through space – not orbiting a star. The European Southern Observatory used its Very Large Telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope to study the object, which it calls the …

New Estimate: Billions of Earth-like Planets in our Galaxy New Estimate: Billions of Earth-like Planets in our Galaxy

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has announced a new estimate for the number of planets similar to Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy: tens of billions. “Our new observations with HARPS mean that about 40% of all red dwarf stars …