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Happy birthday ESO: 50 years of European awesomeness

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ESO, the European Southern Observatory, celebrates today 50 years of existence. During this time it has amazed the entire world with awesome pictures of the deep sky, it has observed the first exoplanet and showed that the Universe is, indeed, expanding.

It has also found the oldest star in our Milky Way. See the list of 10 greatest things here.

Today they are doing a live webcast named A Day in the Life of ESO (timetable links here) and you can ask the scientists directly your astronomy questions. Follow ESO on Facebook and Twitter.

There will be live observations from ESO’s flagship observatory, the Very Large Telescope (VLT), on Cerro Paranal in Chile’s Atacama Desert, as well as fascinating talks from astronomers at ESO’s Headquarters in Germany.

You can ask your questions in these ways:

  • Send a tweet @ESO, also using the hashtag #ESO50years
  • Write a question on your Facebook wall in which you tag ESO’s Facebook page ( To tag a page you must first “like” the page and then type @ESO Astronomy in your question. A menu will appear from where you have the option to choose our page, ESO Astronomy. See an example of a tag (“via ESO Astronomy”) on this post:
  • Send an email to with the subject ESO50years. Optionally, please include your name and country.
  • Happy B-Day ESO and another 50 years of space glory!

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