Maëlle's New Toys

Astronomy and telescopes can sometimes bring out our inner child. In a testament to human curiosity, astronomers keep building ever-larger instruments in remote places throughout the world.

ESO Astronomer Julien Girard snapped this cute picture of his daughter during a family day at Paranal Observatory, in the Chilean Andes. Thanks to a trick of perspective, little Maëlle seems to be looking into the open dome of one of the 1.8-metre Auxiliary Telescopes of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). Although the telescopes are used for serious scientific research, astronomers can sometimes feel like children when playing with such giant “toys”.

Julien Girard is an ESO astronomer and an ESO Photo Ambassador based in Chile, working at the VLT. He is the instrument scientist for the NACO adaptive optics instrument on the VLT’s Unit Telescope 4. He submitted this photograph to the Your ESO Pictures Flickr group, from where it was picked out as an ESO Picture of the Week.



About the Image

Release date:8 July 2013, 10:00
Size:1624 x 1145 px

About the Object

Name:Very Large Telescope
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope
• X - Paranal

Image Formats

Large JPEG
287.9 KB
Screensize JPEG
121.7 KB



163.7 KB
231.8 KB
302.8 KB


Also see our