ESO Blog

Maksym at La Silla

Exploring the Universe One Continent at a Time

La Silla Observing School 2024, organised by the ESO, has been a journey unlike any other – at least for me, a Ukrainian in Australia. From the breathtaking landscapes of the La Silla Observatory to the science-intensive lectures and workshops, every moment has left me in awe of...
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Global SFMS

MAGPI Magic IV: Forming stars in galaxies from the inside out

As some of the most complex structures in the universe, galaxies can be subject to multiple physical processes that make their evolutionary pathways unique. These processes include feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) and supernovae, on top of interactions with the environment leading to continuous gas accretion and/or...
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MAGPI 1534

MAGPI Magic III: Witnessing an early stage of galaxy evolution

One of the major fundamental questions in modern astronomy is how galaxies formed and evolved over cosmic time. To unveil these mysteries, astronomers often utilize Lyman-alpha emission from distant galaxies to investigate their formation mechanisms and evolution.
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MAGPI field 1202

MAGPI Magic II: Unwinding spiral galaxies

Hosting the majority of star formation in the local Universe, spiral galaxies are unique and complex astronomical objects. The interplay between spiral features and star formation activities through the distribution of gas in the interstellar medium (ISM) is diverse but remains mysterious.
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Group of MAGPI galaxies.

MAGPI Magic I: Jostling galaxies

How galaxies evolve over cosmic time is a fundamental question in extragalactic astronomy. In my research, I try to disentangle what physical processes impact galaxy evolution the most by observing how the gas and stars move within galaxies.
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X-shooter spectrum of a quasar

Pointing VLT/X-shooter at the most luminous high-redshift quasars

Despite their reputation as invisible gluttons which can devour light itself, black holes are also responsible for the brightest non-transient phenomena in the universe. Quasars are extremely luminous active galactic nuclei powered by supermassive black holes with masses ranging from millions to billions of suns.
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Tatooine sunset

Unveiling the Cosmic Chemistry with C3PO: Exploring Wide Binary Stars Beyond Star Wars

Binary stars (like this famous scene from Star Wars) are prime examples of pairs of stars born from the same gas cloud. They share the same age and initial chemical composition.
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The Mass Structure of a Galaxy Depends on Where it Lives

Can the region in which a galaxy resides - its environment - influence how the mass within it is distributed? This is the question we set out to answer with some of the first data from the Middle Ages Galaxy Properties with Integral field spectroscopy (MAGPI) Survey.
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CN & CO spectra

X-shooter helps to distinguish red clump stars from red giant branch stars

One of the biggest questions in the field of astrophysics is, how do galaxies form and evolve? The ways in which spiral galaxies form and evolve leave imprints in the distribution of stellar ages, kinematics and abundances.
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Spiral wake

Spiraling in on a protoplanet with SPHERE

Exoplanet surveys have revealed that planets around other stars are common. Yet, we have little understanding of how planets form and what sets their size and composition. One of the most direct ways to better understand planet formation is to detect young planets still embedded in disks of...
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Michael Murphy is the Australian representative on the ESO Science Technical Committee. Contact: [email protected]

Sarah Sweet is the Australian representative on the ESO Users Committee. Contact: [email protected]

Stuart Ryder is a Program Manager with AAL. Contact: [email protected]

Guest posts are also welcome – please submit these to [email protected]