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The Paranal and the Shadow of the Earth

17 Dec , 2012

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This beautiful photo, taken by ESO photo ambassador Babak Tafreshi, shows the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope array and VISTA telescope atop the peaks of the Cerro Paranal in Chile’s Atacama Desert. In the distance the Earth’s shadow extends outward toward the horizon, divided from the bluer daytime sky by the dusky pink “Belt of Venus.”

At an altitude of 2,635 meters (8,645 feet) the Paranal looks down onto a sea of clouds covering the Pacific Ocean, visible at right, whose shores lie 12 km in the distance.

Image credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi (twanight.org

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