A Coffee Break — La Silla Style

Thanks to the dark and clear conditions at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, capturing stunning images of the Milky Way is relatively commonplace for visiting photographers. However, despite the favourable conditions, producing beautiful and detailed images such as this is not easy — as ESO Photo Ambassador Petr Horálek discovered when taking this unusual photograph of the La Silla Observatory main building, which hosts the hotel, the canteen and other facilities.

Petr took 52 individual shots to assemble this composite, moving and rearranging various pieces of furniture and himself — the coffee-drinking stargazer featured in the image — as he did so. Petr worked into the early hours, with only the low light of the corridor to disturb him. However, just as he prepared for the final few shots, all the chefs arrived, turning on a plethora of bright lights and ruining the photo. Petr had to return before 5:15 the next morning in order to finish his image! Such dedication and patience are important qualities for an astrophotographer — and what appears to be a beautifully peaceful moment was in fact the result of much hard work behind the scenes.

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About the Image

Id:potw1932a
Type:Photographic
Release date:12 August 2019, 06:00
Size:30000 x 12574 px
Field of View:360° x 150.9°

About the Object

Name:La Silla
Type:Unspecified : Sky Phenomenon : Night Sky
Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
Category:360 Panorama
La Silla

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