Atacama Desert View with Cerro Armazones

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From left to right and above the horizon we can see in this panoramic view of Atacama desert, the Cerro Armazones mountain, illuminated by the sunset reddish color that is reflected in the land and high clouds, coming from the right edge of the image in the opposite direction, where it is located the Pacific Ocean. With an altitude of 3060 meters in the central part of Chiles Atacama Desert, some 130 kilometers south of the town of Antofagasta and about 20 kilometers from Cerro Paranal, home of ESOs Very Large Telescope. Cerro Armazones will be the baseline site for the planned 39-meter-class European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), with a planned construction period of about a decade. The telescope’s “eye” will be almost half the length of a soccer pitch in diameter and will gather 15 times more light than the largest optical telescopes operating today. The telescope has an innovative five-mirror design that includes advanced adaptive optics to correct for the turbulent atmosphere, giving exceptional image quality. The main mirror will be made up from almost 800 hexagonal segments.

Image taken taken in 16/10/2015 from Cerro Paranal, Atacama desert, Chile.


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