Amazing views from Armazones

Amazing view from Armazones

Amazing view from Armazones

Me above the ELT construction site

In this view over Atacama Desert (image above), there is so much to see. The arch of majestic Milky Way is accompanied with two largest planets of the Solar System – Jupiter (brightest object) and Saturn (fainter, left way under the Milky Way’s bulge). Whole sky is covered by structured airglow of hydroxyl emission, coming from south, where the two Magellanic Clouds are hidden in the atmospheric phenomenon. What is probably even more exciting, is the place where the image was taken: Cerro Armazones, the site of future world’s biggest telescope, the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). In fact, the stony „sea“ around is relic of the summit, which was blasted off back in 2014 to create the base for the huge instrument. Closer look to the valley (just below the Milky Way’s center) can reveal the shadow of the Armazones’ summit as the image was taken during faint moonlit (Moon was just 3 days after the New Moon phase). If you look for an observatory, there is one – the summit on the right edge of the image is Cerro Paranal, base of Very Large Telescope system. And perhaps you can see a small meteor above Omega Centauri cluster. Actually, it is not a meteor bit tip of sodium laser coming from the Paranal Observatory. As I said – there is so much to see… Captured on 5th July 2019, used Canon 6D (modified), Samyang 24 mm, f2.8, ISO 10000, 35 single shots from tripod stitched to panorama.

Like man on the Moon

On the edge of ELT "crater"

On the edge of ELT „crater“

Like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin 50 years ago became the first men on the Moon, I felt it similar way when I stood up inside of this masterpiece of human’s achievements. The „extremely large shadow“ of my silhuette in the shot projects on the ground of artifical crater, where the the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in about 6 years will stay. Apart from that, you may note natural „gegenschein“ or anti-lunar point as bright area around the shadow of my head due to effective backward scattering. Similar one like astronauts captured on the lunar surface around their shadows the decades ago. If they saw such a beautiful Milky Way like I did over Armazones, is hard to say. Unlike them, I could use much longer exposures cause the lunar crescent illuminated the foreground, not the bright Sun. On the other hand, unlike me there is a chance to step again on the same places on the Moon, but in my case it is pretty unique. On this place, the huge dome of the future ELT telescope will be placed… Used same equipment like for first image. Full images credit: Petr Horálek / ESO.

Like man on the Moon

Like man on the Moon

The ELT „crater“ by the moonlight

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