Peeking above the horizon

This image, taken at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert, shows the Milky Way as it peeks above the horizon, with two of the observatory’s telescopes bracketing the starry, dusty band as it stretches across the sky.

To the right stands the domed enclosure of the ESO 3.6-metre telescope and its adjacent smaller sibling, the now-decommissioned Coudé Auxiliary Telescope. To the left is the receiver dish for the Swedish–ESO Submillimetre Telescope, also now decommissioned. 

Stretching into the distance to the left, and nearly at the centre of the image, lie the other buildings and telescope enclosures hosted at La Silla, their outlines silhouetted against the glowing sky. Visible in the far distance are city lights which, although faint in absolute terms, can become noticeable over long exposures such as this one. The soft glow of light just to the left of centre, which gently curves through the sky, is called zodiacal light, and it’s sunlight scattered by dust particles in the plane of the Solar System.


About the Image

Release date:25 April 2022, 06:00
Size:16712 x 6188 px

About the Object

Name:La Silla
Type:Unspecified : Sky Phenomenon : Night Sky : Night glow
Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
Category:La Silla

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