Field of Science


ESO's Hidden Treasures

The ESO launched a rather technical competition in 2010 inviting amateur astronomers to sift through their vast archives of astronomical data for diamonds in the rough. First prize--and what a prize it was, a trip to ESO's Very Large Telescope at Paranal, Chile--went to astronomy enthusiast Igor Chekalin. Below is a sampling of the 20 highest ranked images out of the nearly 100 entries submitted, including Chekalin's winning submission of the reflection nebula Messier 78.
Abell 1060
Orion Nebula
NGC3169 & NGC3166 and SN 2003cg
NGC 3521
Source/Credit: ESO