Mounted image 147: Dark Sky and White Desert
The night sky above Cerro Paranal, the home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope, is dark and dotted with the bright stars of the Milky Way, and more distant galaxies. On the ground, a rare layer of white snow is dotted with darker spots of the desert terrain beneath. Cerro Paranal is in the Chilean Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth. Snow, however, does occasionally fall here, providing fleeting but magnificent views such as this one.