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The “Little World” of Paranal

We’re bringing you something a little different for our new Picture of the Week — this charming fan-made ”Little World” image of ESO’s Paranal Observatory is an example of some of the great things people are doing with ESO images and videos. Almost all of ESO’s images and videos are released under a very flexible Creative Commons Attribution licence, so it’s easy for you to create your own material!

This interpretation of a previous Picture of the Week was created by astronomer Alex Parker. It captures some of the essence of Paranal Observatory — a little world where astronomers leave the Earth behind and travel to the stars... metaphorically at least.

The observatory lies deep in the barren Atacama Desert, which can really seem like an alien environment. It is far from civilisation and modern life, a place where visiting astronomers spend their nights gazing out at the wonders of the Universe using ESO’s flagship facility, the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The VLT is the reason why Cerro Paranal was transformed from just another mountain in the Chilean Andes into a base for world-class scientific research.

When night falls over Paranal, and the night sky is aglow with stars, nebulae and nearby galaxies, the unearthly view emphasises our place in the Universe — as Alex Parker so creatively demonstrates — floating through space on a tiny chunk of rock.

Have you made something special using ESO’s images or video? Let us — and other ESO fans — know through our new Flickr group, called Your ESO Pictures.

Links

Credit:

ESO/Y. Beletsky/A. H. Parker 

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About the Image

Id:potw1138a
Type:Artwork
Release date:19 September 2011, 10:00
Size:3021 x 2417 px

About the Object

Name:Paranal
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
• X - Paranal

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