A lonely little telescope (annotated)

This once-busy eye on the sky now gazes wistfully into the heavens from its mountaintop home. Located at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert, this is the dish of the now-retired Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope (or SEST for short).

The SEST was decommissioned in 2003 to make way for the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope (APEX) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), both of which sit on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region (as their names suggest). In its day, the SEST was the largest sub-millimetre telescope in the southern hemisphere; it notably broke new ground in the study of some of the coldest regions in the Milky Way, where stars are just beginning to form from cosmic gas and dust.

The image above the dish is filled with various astronomical objects, many of which have been annotated in this image. Among them are the bright stars Sirius and Procyon to the Orion Nebula, the Cone Nebula, the atmospheric and cosmic phenomena of airglow and zodiacal light, and Comet Lovejoy. You can find the image without annotation here.

Link:

Credit:

ESO

About the Image

Id:potw1845b
Type:Photographic
Release date:5 November 2018, 06:00
Size:6945 x 9921 px

About the Object

Name:Swedish–ESO Submillimetre Telescope
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope
Category:La Silla

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