A starry combination

This beautiful image taken at ESO's Paranal Observatory shows the four Auxiliary Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Array, set against an incredibly starry backdrop on Cerro Paranal in Chile.

The Auxiliary Telescopes are each 1.8 metres in diameter and work with the four 8.2-metre diameter Unit Telescopes to make up the world's most advanced optical observatory.

The telescopes work together to form the VLT Interferometer (VLTI), a giant interferometer which allows astronomers to see details up to 25 times finer than would be possible with the individual Unit Telescopes.

Hanging over the site are the prominent Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, visible only in the southern sky. These two irregular dwarf galaxies are in the Local Group and so are companion galaxies to our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

The image was taken by our Flickr friend John Colosimo who submitted it to the Your ESO Pictures Flickr group.

Credit:

About the Image

Id:potw1511a
Type:Photographic
Release date:16 March 2015, 10:00
Size:4703 x 2909 px

About the Object

Name:Auxiliary Telescopes
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
Category:Paranal

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