At the beginning of dawn the southern Milky Way is photographed over the Cerro Paranal Observatory in the barren Atacama Desert. Bright stars Alpha and Beta Centauri are near the horizon and the Southern Cross (Crux) appear above them. Higher in the sky is the large red emission Carina Nebula. The Large Magellanic Clouds is on the right. With its dark, steady, and transparent sky, Paranal 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-meter telescopes and smaller auxiliary telescopes, each 1.8 m in aperture (appear in this image), which are important elements of the VLT interferometer.
Image credit & copyright: Babak Tafreshi