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Cosmic Explorers

By: Babak A. Tafreshi

 

Region: Americas

Site: Cerro Paranal - Chile

Date: October 2011

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A deep view of the Milky Way in the constellation Carina is photographed in this single-exposure image from Cerro Paranal observatory in Chile. Click on the constellation icon above the image to see the labels for the notable objects. The most stunning is the Great Carina Nebula. Although it is four times as large and even brighter than the famous Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is much less well known, due to its location far in the southern celestial hemisphere. To its upper right is a star cluster filled with young blue stars, known as the Southern Pleiades. As Added by the photographer "This is not a composite or a photo-montage. The challenge of going deep in this single-exposure photograph was achieved using a fast telephoto lens, high sensitivity of a modified DSLR camera, a tracking mount, and not too long exposure to avoid the foreground getting blurred by the tracking mount. These come along with excellent sky quality of Cerro Paranal far from any major source of light pollution." Paranal is an astronomer paradise in the barren Atacama Desert. It is home to some of the world's leading telescopes. Operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) the Very Large Telescope (VLT) is located on this mountain, composed of four 8 m telescopes which can combine their light to make a giant telescope by interferometry. What captured here are two of the smaller auxiliary telescopes each 1.8 m in diameter. They are important part of the VLT interferometer. Babak Tafreshi/Dreamview.net

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