21. The glowing sky above La Silla
The night sky glows orange above ESO’s La Silla Observatory in this stunning 360 degree panorama. The observatory is situated in the Chilean Atacama Desert to make the most of its exceptionally dark and clear skies, shown by the detailed view of the Milky Way stretched across the sky. The glow on the horizon is not caused by light pollution but occurs naturally. Energetic particles from the Sun strike the Earth’s atmosphere, causing the air to emit in visible light. Airglow on this night was especially intense, with the strong emissions of orange and red light rippling across the sky ...
35. Twilight at Paranal base camp
At over 2600m above sea level, the view at ESO’s Paranal Observatory during twilight is exceptionally clear. At this high altitude many permanent buildings and structures have been erected to provide facilities for the thousands who travel to the telescopes every year.
37. Paranal Residencia
Christine Desbordes, a former Head of Logistics and Facilities Management at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile, stands in the observatory’s Residencia. The building where staff stay while observing and working on the telescopes. It’s built into the side of the mountain, Cerro Paranal, and designed to blend into the landscape.
41. What's on the horizon?
A view from inside the planetarium at the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre, which opened its doors to the public on Saturday 28 April 2018. The building is open five days a week and features planetarium screenings, tours and a permanent exhibition in both German and English. The 25-degree tilted planetarium dome does not just give the audience the sensation of watching the Universe, but of being immersed in it.
46. Planet finding in center stage
Looking up into the starry night sky one might speculate just how many worlds like our own might be out there. Astronomers are now working towards answering this question with the help of the SPECULOOS Southern Observatory project. The four 1-metre telescopes are tasked with locating and studying potentially habitable Earth-sized planets orbiting stars with cooler temperatures.
51. Horizon at SPECULOOS
Hosted at ESO's Paranal Observatory in the Chilean Atacama Desert, the Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars, or SPECULOOS, scans the night sky for Earth-like planets around tiny, dim stars. These four robotic telescopes are highly sensitive to the near-infrared which is what the stars they look for planets around emit.
60. Road to the Milky Way
It appears almost as if this road at the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) construction site joins the Milky Way as it stretches up into the sky, a fitting metaphor for the location of the "world's biggest eye on the sky". The ELT will tackle some of the biggest scientific challenges of our time and hopefully deliver on a number of firsts as well.
67. Milky Way high in the sky
This unique view of the Milky Way was taken at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile. Stretching across the night sky is the bright centre of our Galaxy so clearly visible thanks to Paranal's remote location and the around 300 clear nights the Chilean Atacama Desert hosts each year.
78. Working under the Milky Way at ELT construction site
On top of Chile's Cerro Armazones lies the future home of ESO's Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). This revolutionary telescope will tackle the biggest scientific challenges of our time, including tracking down Earth-like planets around other stars and probing the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
85. Astronaut's view of Milky Way above La Silla
As if reflected in the visor of an astronaut, La Silla Observatory and the spectacular night sky is captured here. With about 300 clear nights such as this one per year, the Chilean Atacama Desert, where ESO's La Silla Observatory is located, is perfect for professional and amateur astronomers alike.
90. Path of a total solar eclipse
On 2 July 2019, a total solar eclipse darkened the day sky above La Silla Observatory in Chile. This cosmic phenomenon is only possible because the Moon and Sun take up just about the same amount of space in the sky, allowing the Moon to block out the Sun when their paths cross.
95. VLT Laser Guide Star joins the night sky
The Laser Guide Star (LGS) is launched from the VLT's 8.2-metre Yepun Telescope and aims at the centre of our Galaxy, in the heart of the brightest part of the Milky Way, creating an artificial star in the Earth's mesosphere. This star is used as reference to correct images and spectra.