Oasis in the Desert

The onset of early morning reveals the ESO Residencia hotel, where astronomers and engineers stay while working with the ESO telescopes at the Paranal Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert. These telescopes include the Very Large Telescope (VLT), the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) — which are  visible in the background — and VISTA (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy).

Because of the arid desert that surrounds it, the Residencia is sometimes called an “oasis in the desert”. The scenery is so striking that the building was featured in the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace. The views from the western side of the Residencia towards the Pacific Ocean are spectacular, and the architecture itself is also award-winning.  

Guests staying at the Residencia are well provided for, with over a hundred bedrooms, a restaurant, a swimming pool and even a sauna available. There is also an artificial garden that acts as a refuge from some of the harshest weather conditions on Earth, including extreme dryness, high winds, intense sunlight and large temperature fluctuations.

ESO’s latest and most ambitious project, the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), is being built nearby at Cerro Armazones and the Residencia will also serve the scientists and engineers working there.

Credit:

About the Image

Id:potw2025a
Type:Photographic
Release date:22 June 2020, 06:00
Size:9645 x 4766 px

About the Object

Name:Paranal Residencia
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Facility
Category:Paranal

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