Gegenschein, Milky Way and Airglow in a Fulldome Show


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In the upper right side of the sky in this fish-eye (fulldome) picture, we can see the Gegenschein, that is a faint brightening of the night sky in the region of the antisolar point. like the zodiacal light, the gegenschein is sunlight scattered by interplanetary dust. Most of this dust is orbiting the Sun in about the ecliptic plane. It is distinguished from zodiacal light by its high angle of reflection of the incident sunlight on the dust particles. In the upper left side, is also visible the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) and above it, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Surrounding the entire sky we can see the presence of green airglow, while, below, the Milky Way is setting in the horizon behind the VLT.

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is a telescope operated by the ESO – European Southern Observatory on Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The VLT is the world’s most advanced optical instrument, consisting of four Unit Telescopes with main mirrors of 8.2m diameter, which are generally used separately but can be used together to achieve very high angular resolution. The four separate optical telescopes are known as Antu, Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun, which are all words for astronomical objects in the Mapuche language, with optical elements that can combine them into an astronomical interferometer (VLTI), which is used to resolve small objects. The interferometer is complemented by four movable Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) of 1.8 m aperture.

Image taken taken in 15/10/2015 from Cerro Paranal, Atacama desert, Chile.

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