Comet McNaught over the Atacama Desert

Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught), which reached its perihelion in January 2007, unexpectedly becoming the brightest comet in the previous 40 years, is seen from the coast of the II Region of Chile, near Antofagasta. This area of the Atacama Desert offers excellent conditions for professional astronomy. The II Region of Chile hosts the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT), the most advanced optical-infrared ground-based astronomical facility in the world, located some 120 km south from Antofagasta and the ALMA project, the largest radio observatory in the world, under construction at 5000 metres altitude, near San Pedro de Atacama. Moreover, Cerro Armazones, a 3060 metres high mountain located some 20 km away from Paranal, is the selected site for the European Extremely Large Telescope, the world's biggest eye on the sky.

This photograph was taken by ESO Photo Ambassador Gerhard Hüdepohl.

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Credit:

G. Hüdepohl (atacamaphoto.com)/ESO

About the Image

Id:gerd_huedepohl-02
Type:Photographic
Release date:26 February 2011, 21:10
Size:4288 x 2848 px

About the Object

Name:Atacama Desert, Comet McNaught
Type:• Solar System : Planet : Feature : Surface
• Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet
• X - Solar System
• X - ALMA

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