Eclipsed Moon at Paranal
Like Atlas holding up the sky in the Ancient Greek myth, it looks like ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) is supporting the Moon in this extraordinary picture of a total lunar eclipse at the Paranal Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The photograph was taken on 26 May 2021 by astrophotographer Yuri Beletsky and it is featured in the ESO Calendar 2022.
To take this Picture of the Week, some detailed planning was required on the part of the photographer. Careful calculations allowed him to pinpoint a location nine kilometres to the east of Paranal, where the setting lunar eclipse would be briefly visible just above the domes of the telescopes, glowing faintly in the early morning twilight.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon align, with the Earth between the Sun and Moon. The Earth’s shadow blocks direct sunlight, so that the only light reflected from the Moon’s surface has been refracted by Earth’s atmosphere, giving the Moon a reddish colour. Since sunlight is filtered by Earth’s atmosphere, astronomers often use lunar eclipses to understand the signatures that life can imprint on the atmosphere, which is extremely useful in our quest for life on other planets.
This image is featured in the month of April in the ESO Calendar 2022. If you want to buy a copy, you can find it on our online ESOshop. Deliveries will start in mid September. The calendar measures 49 x 39 cm when packed and has 14 pages, with a cardboard back. It is delivered in a cardboard box. Inside, Lunar phases are also indicated and stunning astronomical images together with breathtaking pictures of ESO's telescopes and landscapes will accompany you each month.Credit:
Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO
About the Image
|6 September 2021, 06:00
|7360 x 4912 px
About the Object
|Solar System : Planet : Satellite
Unspecified : Technology : Observatory