Spatterings of stars and snow

This stunning panorama shows the Licancabur volcano, just left of centre, high on the Chajnantor Plateau near to the site of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The spattering of white objects in the sky, though it could be mistaken for snow, is in fact stars.

Licancabur stands some 5920 metres high, located on the border between Chile and Bolivia. The border between the two countries cuts across the northeastern slope of the volcano, meaning that the lower two thirds of this northeastern slope actually belong to Bolivia.

The sweep of white in the foreground of this image is made up of tall, thin blades of hardened snow and ice. These icy needles, known as penitentes, are a natural phenomenon found in the region (potw1221). Not so natural is the glow to the left of the image emanating from the street lights of the small Chilean town, San Pedro de Atacama.

This photograph was taken by Babak Tafreshi, one of the ESO Photo Ambassadors, near the ALMA site.

Links

Credit:

ESO/B. Tafreshi (twanight.org)

About the Image

Id:potw1508a
Type:Photographic
Release date:23 February 2015, 10:00
Size:9000 x 2568 px

About the Object

Name:Chajnantor
Type:Unspecified
Category:ALMA
Chile

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