As the night arrives over La Palma, Canary Islands, an ocean of stars appears above the cloud-covered island. Here at altitude of 2400 meters Roque de los Muchachos observatory is above the clouds. Some of the world-leading large telescopes are located at this mountain top including the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope which is pictured here. The bright object in the center is the crescent moon over the west. To its lower right the large elongated zodiacal light is visible in the constellation Gemini. It is sunlight reflection from dust particles in the Solar System plane. Also note the prominent star cluster M44, known as the Beehive, above the moon in constellation Cancer. Click on the second photo to see a beautiful sunset view from the observatory with the 1.2 meter Mercator telescope in the foreground.



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