Carina Nebula and the Very Large Telescope

By: Babak A. Tafreshi


Region: Americas

Site: Cerro Paranal - Chile

Date: March 2014

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The Carina Nebula is photographed above the Cerro Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert, Chile. Left of the nebula is the IC 2602, also known as the Theta Carinae Cluster or Southern Pleiades, an open cluster in the constellation Carina with many young blue stars. At 2,635 meters (8,645 ft) from sea level, with its dark and transparent sky, Paranal is home to the Very Large Telescope (VLT), operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). It is composed of four 8-metre telescopes. Click on the constellation icon above the image to see a panoramic view of some of the southern sky photographed from the same place; Bright stars Alpha and Beta Centauri, the Southern Cross (constellation Crux) next to the Coalsack dark nebula, and the Carina Nebula. Both images are single exposure photos. Generally this kind of deep night sky images were used to be composite images resulted of various exposures but thanks to the pristine conditions at Paranal and the advanced camera technology these images were possible by classic single exposure photography. The photographer has also used a skyglow filter (for DSLR cameras) to increase the nebulosity contrast. Babak Tafreshi,

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