November 2012 — Starry La Silla

The stars rotate around the southern celes­tial pole during a night at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in northern Chile. The fuzzy parts in the trails on the right are due to the Magellanic Clouds, two small galaxies neighbouring the Milky Way. The dome seen in the image hosts ESO's 3.6-metre tele­scope and is home to HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher), the world’s foremost exoplanet hunter. The rectangular building seen in the lower right of the image contains the 0.25-metre TAROT telescope, designed to react very quickly when a gamma-ray burst is detected. Other telescopes at La Silla include the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope, and the 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope, the first tele­scope to use active optics and, as such, the precursor to all modern large telescopes. La Silla was ESO's first observing site and is still one of the premier observatories in the southern hemisphere.

Credit:

Iztok Bončina/ESO

About the Calendar

Id:cal201211
Year:2012
Month:11

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