Touching the Arc of Space

The dark skies above ESO’s Paranal Observatory, home to ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), yield breathtaking views so clear and so full of stars that you could almost touch them. Standing atop a platform at VLT, ESO Photo Ambassador Petr Horálek reaches towards a standout object in the sky. You may assume this bright body, like many others in the sky, to be a star, but it is in fact a planet in our Solar System: the gas giant Jupiter.

Closer to Earth, the four Unit Telescopes (UTs) that comprise the VLT can be seen in the background. Each UT features an 8.2-metre mirror and they operate synergistically to produce some of the sharpest views of the Universe. Accompanying the four UTs are four smaller, moveable Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) which have 1.8-metre mirrors. 

The Chilean Atacama desert once again proves its value as the ideal location for ESO’s VLT. The remoteness of the observatory means that there is very little to no light pollution, which is vital for astronomy and also yields such breathtaking views.


About the Image

Release date:14 June 2021, 06:00
Related announcements:ann23001, annlang21003-es-cl, annlocal20007-es-cl
Size:20526 x 10171 px

About the Object

Name:Jupiter, Milky Way, Very Large Telescope
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
Unspecified : Sky Phenomenon : Night Sky

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