Sunrise at Cerro Armazones

The Sun rises behind Cerro Armazones in this image from 2016, with the sunlight marking the flat silhouette of the mountain top and Venus witnessing the beginning of a new day from just above the mountain itself.

The picture is a stunning example of crepuscular rays, occurring when objects such as clouds or mountains block part of the incoming sunlight, a phenomenon typical at sunrise and sunset when the Sun is low on the horizon or below it.

The top of Cerro Armazones was flattened to become home to the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), ESO’s next flagship observatory currently under construction. With its main mirror 39 metres in diameter, the ELT will be the world’s largest eye on the Universe, able to collect 100 000 000 times more light than the human eye. It will help astronomers find new planets where life may have developed, shed light on the nature of stars and black holes and unveil some of the most intimate secrets of the Universe.

The picture was taken from Paranal, where ESO operates observatories such as the Very Large Telescope (VLT), the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) and the VLT Survey Telescope.


G. Hüdepohl (

About the Image

Release date:21 February 2022, 06:00
Related announcements:ann22005
Size:5752 x 2017 px

About the Object

Name:Cerro Armazones, Extremely Large Telescope
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory

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