Monday, May 08, 2006

A Cerro Tololo Sky

Credit: Roger Smith, AURA, NOAO, NSF

Explanation: High atop a Chilean mountain lies one of the premier observatories of the southern sky: the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). Pictured above is the dome surrounding one of the site's best known instruments, the 4-meter Blanco Telescope. Far behind the dome are thousands of individual stars and diffuse light from three galaxies: the Small Magellanic Cloud (upper left), the Large Magellanic Cloud (lower left), and our Milky Way Galaxy (right). Also visible just to Blanco's right is the famous superposition of four bright stars known as the Southern Cross. A single 20 second exposure, this digital image was recorded with a sensitive detector intended for astronomical imaging. The observatory structures are lit solely by starlight.


Roya said...

It is amazing.

And all these came about in six days out of nothing (and breaking the most fundamental laws of physics)? What a good explanation, don't you think?

Stardust said...

Roya, that god wasn't just a prankster, he's a magician! I knew someone who told their kid that stars and stuff in space were gawd's fireworks. (Similar to what they told them about thunder..."gawd and the angels are bowling in heaven.")

Seriously though, I would love to go to one of these South American observatories because they say so many stars are visible they blanket the skies.

BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Light pollution is the biggest factor against seeing a full sky of stars.
I remember viewing the skies on a Greek Island 20 years ago how deprived we are. I remember seeing "shooting stars" every few seconds.
Back before electricity, the power of the night sky must have kept people in awe, and since the only explanation was God's fireworks, it probably enhanced belief.

Anonymous said...

What in incredible picture!

Thanks for posting it.