The Road to Astronomers Paradise
Standard lights illuminated the road to Paranal Observatory, the place for giant telescopes at altitude of about 2600 meters in Atacama Desert of Chile. Because of its high altitude, nearly non-existent cloud cover, and lack of light pollution and radio interference from the very widely spaced cities, Atacama Desert is one of the best places in the world to conduct astronomical observations. The sky above Atacama in this panoramic view is dominated by the arc of the Milky Way. At right end our large spiral galactic neighbor, Andromeda Galaxy, is visible, while to the left the bright planet Jupiter shines from much closer neighborhood in our own Solar System. The bright bulge of the galactic center is notable just below Jupiter.