The Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet and Stable Spectroscopic Observations (ESPRESSO) has successfully made its first observations. Installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, ESPRESSO will search for exoplanets with unprecedented precision by looking at the minuscule changes in the light of their host stars.

For the first time ever, an instrument will be able to sum up the light from all four VLT telescopes and achieve the light collecting power of a 16-metre telescope.

ESPRESSO has achieved first light on ESO’s Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile [1]. This new, third-generation echelle spectrograph is the successor to ESO’s hugely successful HARPS instrument at the La Silla Observatory.

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