Sunset over Atacama

This outstanding picture taken in Chile’s Atacama Desert shows the Sun setting behind three of the four unit telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). The prime observing conditions are due to the location of the observatory. At an altitude of 2600m, ESO’s Paranal Observatory is hosted in one of the driest areas in the world, with incredibly clear skies.

Taken only a dozen minutes after sunset, stars already scatter across the cloudless sky in this image. The bright star Sirius is visible, while the famous constellation of Orion, the hunter, hovers over the dome of the unit telescope in the foreground. As the darkness deepens, the starry skies will be revealed in more and more detail, until the conditions are perfect for world-leading science observations.

Credit:

ESO/ P. Horalek

About the Image

Id:potw2029a
Type:Photographic
Release date:20 July 2020, 06:00
Size:10996 x 11469 px

About the Object

Name:Paranal
Type:Milky Way : Technology : Observatory
Category:Paranal

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