This Stunning Single Image Blurs The Line Between Earth And Space

This Stunning Single Image Blurs the Line Between Earth and Space

Sat 7,900 ft above sea level, on the outskirts of the Atacama Desert, the La Silla Observatory has an amazing view of the night sky. So good, in fact, that it's possible to capture other-worldly photos like this, where space and Earth seem to exist as one.

This image shows the Geminid meteor as it whistles through the sky above the cool vista of the European Southern Observatory's La Silla telescope domes. It's difficult to believe that it's not two separate images. If you don't believe your eyes either, just read the original caption:

A colourful meteor photographed above La Silla telescope domes and inversion layer in the southern outskirts of the Atacama desert, Chile. The close-up view of the meteor shows a stumbling path which is the actual aerodynamic flight path of the meteoroid, due to the shape of the object as it spins and spirals through the atmosphere. This European Southern Observatory's (ESO) site has telescopes which observe at optical and infrared. The largest optical telescope has a mirror with a diameter of 3.6 metres. The high altitude of La Silla (2400 metres), the dark sky, and the clear air above it (reducing atmospheric distortions of incoming light), make the site an ideal location for astronomical observations.

Here is the full image:

This Stunning Single Image Blurs the Line Between Earth and Space

[ESO/B. Tafreshi (twanight.org)]


Comments

    Photographer here: What's not mentioned is that it is shot at night time on a tripod with a timed exposure. As you can see with the light trails from car lights (there are numerous light trails around the earth part of the image) and the general lighting around the complex. You can also see a slight blurring of the stars and meteor from the rotation of the Earth. So in actual fact if you were physically there it would be much darker. Having said that it's a great image that you could only take in a rarefied place such as the Atacama.

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