Starry night in Northern Chile

Beautiful night shot of a camp in the area of Salar de Aguas Calientes, in the Andes of the II Region of Chile, southeast of San Pedro de Atacama. The Milky Way — the plane of our own galaxy, seen edge on — appears vertical in this image, like a column supporting the vault of heaven. Along the Milky Way we can distinguish, from bottom to top: the Carina Nebula, the Southern Cross and the Coal Sack, and Beta and Alpha Centauri. The bright spot to the right of these two stars is the globular cluster Omega Centauri. On the left of the image, the Small Magellanic Cloud, an irregular galaxy neighbouring the Milky Way, is clearly visible together with the globular cluster 47 Tucanae to its upper left. Thanks to its excellent atmospheric conditions, the II Region of Chile is a world-class capital in ground-based astronomy. It is the home of the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT), located some 120 km south of Antofagasta, and of the ALMA project, currently under construction at 5000 metres altitude near San Pedro de Atacama. Moreover, Cerro Armazones, a 3046-metre mountain located 20 km from Paranal, is the selected site for the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT).


G. Hüdepohl (

About the Image

Release date:26 February 2011, 17:21
Size:4256 x 2832 px

About the Object

Type:Solar System : Sky Phenomenon : Night Sky
Unspecified : People : Other/General
Category:People and Events

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