Beautiful Sky over Paranal *

This image, taken an early morning two weeks ago, shows with great clarity the amazing sky over Paranal, the home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.

The wonderful landscape of the Milky Way hangs in all its glory above three of the four 1.8-metre VLT Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs). They observe simultaneously, using interferometry to get a vision as sharp as if they used a telescope with a diameter equal to the largest distance between the telescopes, in this case, 48 metres. Because the larger 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes of the VLT are usually used individually, the four ATs have been added to the system to make full use of the interferometric laboratory.

Facing the East, the remarkable photo shows the constellations Ophiuchus (the ‘snake-holder’), Sagittarius (the ‘archer’), Scorpius (the ‘scorpion’), and Triangulum Australe (the ‘southern triangle’). The Centre of the Milky Way is just below the centre of the image.

This image is available as a mounted image in the ESOshop.


About the Image

Release date:3 December 2009, 23:19
Size:3500 x 2333 px

About the Object

Name:Very Large Telescope
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope

Mounted Image

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.4 MB
Screensize JPEG
228.6 KB



304.0 KB
507.8 KB
728.6 KB
872.9 KB
1.1 MB


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