Hey! I was a runner-up in the “Tweet Your Way to the VLT” competition. I almost went on an observing run in Chile at Paranal. (Probably not really, but it’s great to think about.)
As it is, I get a package of ESO goodies, DVDs, books, posters, etc.
The winner, Brigitte Bailleul, a freelance writer in France, will travel to the Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile to work on the observing run chosen in the other competition, an open vote to choose what the VLT observes. For what I suspect are rather obvious reasons to anyone connecting “internet” and “vote”, the winner what the Thor’s Helmet Nebula (NGC 2359). As the ESO’s outreach astronomer states, though, it’s an interesting object anyway, as it has a distinctive shape and the star at its center is massive, hot, and ready to go supernova.
You can read more about the two contests and the winners here: