“Atacama Starry Nights” timelapse video by Babak Tafreshi

atacama-starry-nights-timelapse-video-by-babak-tafreshi

Babak Tafreshi, an astronomer, journalist and director of The World at Night (TWAN) is creating a series of timelapse videos from Paranal in Chile, and we present you his latest amazing work. This footage is made during an imaging expedition to Paranal assigned by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

Cerro Paranal is truly an astronomers paradise with its stunningly dark, steady and transparent sky. Located in the barren Atacama Desert of Chile it is home to some of the world’s leading telescopes. Operated by the European Southern Observatory, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) is located on Paranal, composed of four 8 m telescopes which can combine their light to make a giant telescope by interferometry. Four smaller auxiliary telescopes, each 1.8 m in aperture, are important elements of the VLT interferometer.

<Atacama Starry Nights: Episode I from Babak Tafreshi on Vimeo. >
On Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert you look all around the horizon and there is no prominent sign of city lights, neither direct lights or light domes. There are not many locations left on this planet where you can still experience a dark sky like that. Atacama Desert is dry and clear for many nights per year. Paranal was selected for cutting edge astronomical observations also because of the sky transparency and steady atmospheric condition which let astronomers peer in to tiny details in the deep cosmos using giant telescopes.

You can see more of Babak’s work here.

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