Atacama Starry Nights: episode I

By: Christoph Malin & Babak A. Tafreshi


Region: Americas

Site: Cerro Paranal - Chile

Date: October 2011

Comments: 1

Make sure to watch this timelapse movie full-screen with the sound on! As featured on the National Geographic News Astronomer's Paradise is the first episode of Atacama Starry Nights timelapse movie series by Babak Tafeshi, Chrisotph Malin, and Stephane Guisard. Cerro Paranal is truly an astronomers paradise with its stunningly dark, steady, and transparent sky. Located in the barren Atacama Desert of Chile it is home to some of the world's leading telescopes. Operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) the Very Large Telescope (VLT) is located on Paranal, composed of four 8 m telescopes which can combine their light to make a giant telescope by interferometry. Four smaller auxiliary telescopes, each 1.8 m in aperture, are essential elements of the VLT interferometer. Walking on the desert near Paranal between the scattered stones and boulders on the pale red dust feels like being on Mars but under the Earth sky. It is an amazing experience to be under an ideal night sky, a pure natural beauty unspoiled by urban lights. In many areas of the Atacama Desert when you look all around the horizon there is no prominent sign of city lights, neither direct lights or light domes. There are not many locations left on this planet where you can still experience a dark sky like this. Paranal was selected for cutting edge astronomical observations also because of the sky transparency and steady atmospheric condition which let astronomers peer in to the deep cosmos using giant telescopes.
The music is by Carbon Based Lifeforms, song Arecibo extract from the album [Twentythree], wrote & produced by Johannes Hedberg and Daniel Segerstad, published by Ultimae. Produced by Christoph Malin and Babak Tafreshi.

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