potw1535 — Picture of the Week
Aerial sunset over Paranal
31 August 2015: This remarkable image was taken using a quadcopter, hovering high above the Atacama. Ocean, cloud and desert come together to form the aerial scene, stretching out along the Chilean coast. ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) is softly illuminated by the Sun as it sets in the evening sky, throwing hues of orange and apricot across the observatory. On an adjacent peak towards the right of the frame, the 4.1-metre Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) stands apart, cutting a more solitary figure. The region in front of the VLT, filled with a lattice-like grid of rails, is used by the four small movable VLT Auxiliary Telescopes. Placing these telescopes at different distances apart adjusts the effective size of the VLT Interferometer, which acts as a single giant stargazer.