Milky Way arching over La Silla

This stunning ultra high definition panorama, taken by ESO Photo Ambassador Petr Horálek, shows the Milky Way galaxy arching above ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile.

La Silla is located at the southern edge of the Atacama Desert, from where the observatory’s numerous telescopes observe the night sky — one of the darkest on the Earth — perched 2400 metres above sea level, and so making the most of the unrivalled atmospheric conditions at the site to reveal the cosmos in remarkable detail.

This image is certainly no different! Our galaxy’s cloudy and dusty structure appears as a brilliant and glowing coronet above the open dome of the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope, which appears to be gobbling up the bright smudge of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Various clouds and nebulae, including the well-known Gum Nebula, stand out against the dark sky in the central–upper part of the image, shining in a range of pinkish hues.

Horálek’s camera also reveals various colours of the airglow, visible across the sky and near the horizon. An ESOcast dedicated to this peculiar sky phenomenon is available here.


About the Image

Release date:11 July 2016, 06:00
Size:17953 x 7913 px

About the Object

Type:Milky Way
Category:La Silla

Image Formats

Large JPEG
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Screensize JPEG
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