The Sciences

An astronomer's paradise

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitFeb 5, 2012 12:00 PM

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Cerro Paranal, in the high, dry, Atacama desert in Chile, is where some of the best astronomy in the world is done. It's graced with incredibly dark and steady skies, and a view of the southern hemisphere skies that, frankly, makes me jealous. So it's hard to argue with the title of this short time lapse video, An Astronomer's Paradise:

[embed width="610"]http://vimeo.com/36154212[/embed]

This was taken by photographer Babak Tafreshi

, who alerted me that he had put it online. Watch it to 1:30 in if only to watch Orion rise -- upside down, to my northern hemisphere bias! -- with colors and texture that are simply stunning.

Isn't that awesome? And then a few seconds later, he shows a still image of the great Carina Nebula

with the four domes of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer silhouetted against the sky. You can get a better look at that at The World At Night website

, which has amazing shots of the sky. I hope someday to make a trip to this part of the world. To see this for myself... Credit: Babak Tafreshi

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