How many telescopes can you spot?

Have you ever seen so many telescopes all together? This Picture of the Week was taken at sunset at ESO’s La Silla Observatory, suspended over an ocean of mountains and soft, foggy clouds. Nestled in the Chilean Atacama Desert at an altitude of 2400 metres, La Silla is far from sources of light pollution and has one of the darkest skies on Earth, which explains why it's packed full with telescopes!

How many can you spot here? Let’s take a closer look at a few of them. Almost at the centre of the frame, ESO’s 3.6-metre telescope stands out, with the smaller dome of the Coudé Auxiliary Telescope attached to it. The 3.6 m telescope is home to one of the world’s best extrasolar planet hunters, the so-called High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectrograph. The antenna to the left side of the picture is the Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope (SEST). In the crowded right hand side there’s a pill of history: the rightmost dome in the picture is the ESO 1-metre telescope, which was the first telescope installed at the La Silla Observatory in 1966.

As you can see, La Silla Observatory has a long history, and it has been an ESO stronghold for more than fifty years, helping astronomers to unveil the mysteries of the Universe with its many telescopes. Are you up to the challenge of identifying all of them? This map may help!



About the Image

Release date:3 July 2023, 06:00
Size:3840 x 2160 px

About the Object

Name:ESO 3.6-metre telescope
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
Category:La Silla

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