Bright Night at Paranal

When night falls, ESO's observatories spring to life. Astronomers and technicians take their positions, and telescopes are pointed skywards. This image shows the pristine skies over ESO's Paranal Observatory in the Chilean Atacama Desert, far away from city lights.

Here, ESO photo ambassador Gabriel Brammer has captured the serene beauty of the Milky Way from the platform of the Very Large Telescope. The four massive blocks in the bottom of the image are the four VLT Unit Telescopes, each of them housing incredibly precise 8.2-metre mirrors. Scattered around are the VLT's Auxiliary Telescopes, easily identifiable due to their round, white domes. The bright spot to the left is the Moon, shining as brightly as if it were the Sun, and to the right, the shadow of the photographer can be seen, waving to the viewer with outstretched arms.

The entire night sky is visible due to Brammer's use of a fish-eye lens, creating this circular effect with the ground bordering the frame.


ESO/G. Brammer

About the Image

Release date:30 December 2013, 10:00
Size:10000 x 10000 px

About the Object

Name:Chile, Paranal, Very Large Telescope
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory

Image Formats

Large JPEG
33.3 MB
Screensize JPEG
324.6 KB



262.7 KB
429.1 KB
596.7 KB
685.1 KB
932.8 KB


Also see our