Night Begins at Paranal Observatory

The ESO Very Large Telescope begins a night of observations. Three of the four 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes (UTs) are visible in this picture, taken looking toward the west,  the closest one being Yepun (UT4). The bright object on the right is the crescent moon. The glow which stretches from the lower right in the direction of the Moon is the zodiacal light. This is sunlight reflected by the interplanetary dust in the plane of the ecliptic. The Milky Way stretches from the lower left to the upper edge of the picture, where the central bulge of our galaxy is partially visible. The dark lanes in the plane of the Milky Way are huge clouds of interstellar dust, which absorb the visible light and reemit it at longer wavelengths. To the upper left of UT4, the constellation of the Southern Cross and the dark nebula of the Coal Sack can be spotted.


ESO/G. Lombardi (

About the Image

Release date:13 January 2011, 14:17
Size:3456 x 5184 px

About the Object

Name:Very Large Telescope
Type:• Solar System : Sky Phenomenon : Night Sky : Milky Way
• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope

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