Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

Astro-Porn of the Day: Panorama of the Southern Sky

This gorgeous 360° panorama shows the Milky Way arching across the night sky over the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. The photo is a composite of 37 smaller shots with a total exposure time of about 30 minutes, taken in the early morning hours. The Moon is just rising and the zodiacal light shines above it, while the Milky Way Galaxy (our home) stretches across the sky opposite the observatory:

Click the image to see the ESO website.

The observatory's open telescope domes are all visible in the image, including 4 smaller 1.8-meter Auxiliary Telescopes that can be used together as an interferometer and the 4 giant 8.2-meter Unit Telescopes. To the right in the image and below the arc of the Milky Way, you can see the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, our two irregular-galaxy companions.

Just WOW.

Tags: astronomy

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