Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESO’s Very Large Telescope Passes the 1000 Refereed Publications Mark

27.04.2005


The ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) has just passed an impressive milestone with the publication of the 1,000th peer-reviewed scientific article based on data from the world’s largest and most advanced optical and near-infrared telescope.



"This remarkable landmark, reached in only six years of operations is another clear demonstration of the unique capabilities of this telescope, a true flagship in European research that is continuously opening new horizons in astrophysics", says Catherine Cesarsky, ESO Director General.

The number of scientific papers quantifies the success of an observatory. The passing of this milestone demonstrates the excellent acceptance of the VLT and its instrumentation by the astronomers.


For Alvio Renzini, VLT Programme Scientist: "It is exhilarating to see how well the astronomical community has made use of the capabilities offered by the VLT and VLTI. The astronomers are fully exploiting the unique flexibility of the VLT, which with four telescopes and ten instruments permanently mounted offers at any time a set of observational opportunities that has no parallel at any other observatory worldwide. This explains the still increasing demand of observing time, and only one out of four or five submitted research proposals can be given observing time."

In 2004 alone, 338 refereed papers using VLT data appeared. This corresponds to almost one new scientific paper being published per day, an increase of more than 25% compared to the previous year.

The Very Large Telescope comprises four 8.2-m reflecting Unit Telescopes (UTs) and will in due time also include four moving 1.8-m Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs), two of which have successfully passed their first tests in January 2004 and February 2005 (see ESO PR 01/04 and ESO PR 06/05).

In routine operation since April 1, 1999 when the first Unit Telescope became operational, the VLT has grown to include all four Unit Telescopes. The instrument suite covers most wavelengths accessible from the ground, adaptive optics instruments for small-field high spatial-resolution imaging, high-resolution spectroscopy and multi-object spectroscopy. The VLT was also designed from the beginning with the use of interferometry as a major goal. The VLT Interferometer (VLTI) combines starlight captured by two or three UTs or ATs, dramatically increasing the spatial resolution and showing fine details of a large variety of celestial objects.

The impressive battery of top-ranking instruments, coupled with the enormous light-collecting power of the VLT and what is certainly the best overall efficiency for an observatory of this size, has provided a real research bonanza of outstanding scientific results, some of which have been true breakthroughs. They include the amazing new knowledge about the Black Hole at the Galactic Centre, the first image of an exoplanet, the discovery of the most distant group of galaxies, the detection of spatially resolved emission from an Active Galactic Nucleus, the study of resolved stellar populations in nearby galaxies, etc. Other important discoveries deal with accurate cosmochronological dating by means of Uranium and Thorium spectral lines, high-redshift galaxy rotation curves, micro-quasars, properties of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, high-redshift supernovae and trans-neptunian objects.

These and other results are among the 1,000 scientific papers published in the six years of operation. The large impact of VLT-based results is demonstrated by their citation rates, which are among the best of ground-based observatories. Some refereed papers based on VLT data have a citation mark close to 250 only three or four years after publication.

Jason Spyromilio, Director of the La Silla Paranal Observatory, believes this is only the beginning: "With second generation instruments to be installed and the start of operations of the Auxiliary Telescopes, providing the Very Large Telescope Interferometer a further boost, I have no doubt that the VLT will continue to lead the field of ground-based astronomy for many years to come, bringing astronomers a wealth of new discoveries".

More information

All refereed publications based on ESO telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope, can be retrieved through the Telescope Bibliography Web interface at http://www.eso.org/libraries/telbib.html

Created in 1962, ESO is now supported by eleven member states (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). It operates major telescopes on two remote sites, all located in Chile: La Silla, about 600 km north of Santiago and at an altitude of 2400m; Paranal, a 2600m high mountain in the Atacama Desert 120 km south of the coastal city of Antofagasta. Most recently, ESO has started the construction of an observatory at Chajnantor, a 5000m high site, also in the Atacama Desert. ESO’s headquarters are located in Garching, in the vicinity of Munich (Germany).

Henri Boffin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eso.org/outreach/press-rel/pr-2005/pr-11-05.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>