Sunset at Paranal

Twice per year, the sunset passes exactly behind Paranal for somebody located on the summit of Armazones mountain, 20 kilometres away. The dates and time when this happens were calculated using coordinates of both sites found on Google Earth and taking into account atmospheric effects.

The picture clearly shows 3 of the 4 big 8.2-m Unit Telescope (UT) domes (the 4th one is behind the others) of ESO's Very Large Telescope, the VST enclosure on their right and the high meteorological post with the DIMM tower on the extreme right. On the left of the picture, the partially opened domes of the smaller 1.8-m Auxiliary Telescopes (AT) are also visible.

The image was taken with a Takahashi FS128 refractor telescope, a Canon20Da camera and special Solar filters, by Stéphane Guisard (ESO).

Please remember that looking at the Sun through an optical device (Camera, Telescope, Binoculars etc.) is VERY dangerous, and could cause immediate blindness!


ESO/S. Guisard (

About the Image

Release date:3 December 2009, 23:22
Size:3504 x 2336 px

About the Object

Type:• Solar System : Sky Phenomenon : Light Phenomenon : Sunrise-Sunset
• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
• X - Paranal

Image Formats

Fullsize Original
1007.8 KB
Large JPEG
235.3 KB
Screensize JPEG
37.0 KB



43.4 KB
60.8 KB
77.0 KB
85.6 KB
114.6 KB


Also see our