Grantecan Lonely in the Universe

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From lower left to the right side of the picture, we can see the silver dome open of Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), with a 10,4 meters primary mirror reflecting telescope. It is designed to incorporate the most up-to-date technology and it is one of the most advanced telescopes in the world, actually, the largest one until now in the optical-infrared system. At right edge, in the background, we can see the beautiful light coming from the central region of the “vertical” Milky Way, where the main stars of Sagittarius constellation are shining surrounded by a region rich in emission nebulae, like the Lagoon Nebula (M8) and the Trifid Nebula (M20), or even M23 and M24,  – seen in the top right corner of the picture. Behind the GTC dome, the sky is smoothly shining as an orange airglow, normally from oxygen atoms at 150-300km high where the atmosphere is so sparse and collisions so infrequent that the atoms have time to radiate ‘forbidden’ light.

The image was taken in Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) situated on the edge of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, 2.400 m. above sea level, on the island of La Palma, Canarias, Spain. It is home to one of the most extensive fleets of telescopes to be found anywhere in the world, and where 15 telescopes from 19 nations use the best night sky in Europe to explore the cosmos.

| Canon 60Da – ISO2500; 24mm at f/2; Exp. 15 secs. in 30/09/2013 at: 22h25 AM

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