The Earth Shadow over Atacama

By: Babak A. Tafreshi


Region: Americas

Site: Cerro Paranal - Chile

Date: October 2011

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The shadow of the Earth appears over the western horizon of Atacama Desert few minutes before sunrise (at the opposite horizon from the rising sun). Note the red-pink glow or antitwilight band that extends the horizon. The glow is separated from the horizon by a dark layer which is the shadow of Earth in the atmosphere. The red-pink band is due to back scattering of reddened light from the rising Sun and is named the Belt of Venus. On the left of the panorama the mountain rising over the desert is Cerro Paranal observatory. Operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), Cerro Paranal is the home of the Very Large Telescope (VLT). Click on the star-pattern icon above the image to see this far vista of Paranal Observatory at sunset light. Babak Tafreshi/

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