The European Southern Observatory

High in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has built several collections of telescopes and observatories on remote, arid mountaintops. The locations are ideal for ground-based astronomy -- far from city lights, high above sea level, with more than 350 cloudless days a year. The ESO is an intergovernmental research organization with 15 member states, founded in 1962. It has been making observations from the southern hemisphere since 1966, and continues to expand its facilities to this day. The sites are La Silla, which hosts the New Technology Telescope (NTT); Paranal, home to the Very Large Telescope (VLT); and Llano de Chajnantor, which hosts the APEX submillimeter telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Construction on the newest project in Chile's desert -- the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), a 40-meter-class telescope -- is due to start later this year in Cerro Armazones. I've collected below some amazing images of the ESO's observatories, and a few of the astronomical images they've been able to make over the years.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Ads are being blocked

For us to continue writing great stories, we need to display ads.

Un-block Learn more
Back

Whitelist

Please select the extension that is blocking ads.

Back

Please follow the steps below

Most Recent

  • Joe Raedle / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 7/23-7/29

    Sledding in Saudi Arabia, hyperrealist sculptures in Spain, a 12-meter-tall puppet in England, snowfall in South Africa, Pokemon Go in Syria, and much more.

  • Jim Young / Reuters

    Scenes From the Democratic National Convention

    This week, an estimated 50,000 people have gathered in Philadelphia for the four-day Democratic National Convention.

  • U.S. Navy / Maj. R.V. Spencer, UAF

    Remembering the Korean War

    Sixty-three years ago today, on July 27, 1953, the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed, ceasing hostilities between North Korea and South Korea.

  • Noah Berger / AP

    Flying Around the World in a Solar Powered Plane

    Pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg successfully landed the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, after flying around the world using only the power of the Sun.

Join the Discussion