APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

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APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:06 am

Image The Snows of Paranal

Explanation: Recorded last week, this dawn portrait of snowy mountain and starry sky captures a very rare scenario. The view does feature a pristine sky above the 2,600 meter high mountain Cerro Paranal, but clear skies over Paranal are not at all unusual. That's one reason the mountain is home to the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. Considering the number of satellites now in orbit, the near sunrise streak of a satellite glinting at the upper left isn't rare either. And the long, bright trail of a meteor can often be spotted this time of year too. The one at the far right is associated with the annual Perseid meteor shower whose peak is expected tomorrow (Friday, August 12). In fact, the rarest aspect of the picture is just the snow. Cerro Paranal rises above South America's Atacama desert, known as the driest place on planet Earth.

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bystander
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Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by bystander » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:19 am

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

Michael S

Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by Michael S » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:27 am

This looks like a well executed composite of a night sky image and the sunrise landscape. The are just too many low magnitude stars visable during daylight, even for the altitude.

Maik

Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by Maik » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:17 am

Does anyone know what the slightly off colour fuzzy patch on the right side is? Andromeda?

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Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:18 pm

Wow the Google picture showing all the satellites was simply amazing!
http://www.gearthblog.com/satellites.html 8-)
Orin

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Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by alter-ego » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:32 pm

Maik wrote:Does anyone know what the slightly off colour fuzzy patch on the right side is? Andromeda?
Yup. The view is about due NW. The Great Square is directly over the observatory, but with one corner (γ Peg, Algenib) not visible, just beyond the FoV at the top.
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Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by neufer » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:33 pm

http://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/vlt.html wrote: <<The excellent astronomical conditions at Paranal come at a price. In this forbidding desert environment, virtually nothing can grow outside. The humidity drops below 10%, there are intense ultraviolet rays from the sun, and the high altitude leaves people short of breath. Living in this extremely isolated place feels like visiting another planet. To make it possible for people to live and work here, a hotel or “Residencia” was built in the base camp, allowing them to escape from the arid outside environment. Returning from long shifts at the VLT and other installations on the mountain, here they can breathe moist air and relax, sheltered from the harsh conditions outside. Designed by German architects Auer+Weber as a subterranean L-shape, with a 35-metre dome covering an indoor garden; the use of natural materials and colours allows for a smooth integration in the Atacama’s landscape.

The VLT hotel, the Residencia, is an award-winning building, and served as a backdrop for part of the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. Perfectly integrated into the Mars-like landscape of Paranal in order to affect the astronomical observations as little as possible, it is no surprise that the Residencia was chosen as the perfect Bond villain’s hide-out. The movie producer, Michael G. Wilson, said: “The Residencia of Paranal Observatory caught the attention of our director, Marc Forster and production designer, Dennis Gassner, both for its exceptional design and its remote location in the Atacama desert. It is a true oasis and the perfect hide out for Dominic Greene, our villain, whom 007 is tracking in our new James Bond film.” In addition to the shootings at the Residencia, further action will take place at the Paranal airstrip.

The film crew present on Paranal includes Englishman Daniel Craig, taking again the role of James Bond, French actor Mathieu Amalric, leading lady Olga Kurylenko, from the Ukraine, as well as acclaimed Mexican actors, Joaquin Cosio and Jesus Ochoa. This cast from across Europe and Latin America mirrors the international staff that works for ESO at Paranal. >>
Art Neuendorffer

LivingNDixie

Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by LivingNDixie » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:27 pm

I am thinking that satellite streak is a Iridium satellite since it flares in the middle....

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Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:28 pm

LivingNDixie wrote:I am thinking that satellite streak is a Iridium satellite since it flares in the middle....
It's possible, but many other satellites flare like this. The thing about Iridium satellites is that it's easy to predict when and where the flares will be visible. With most other satellites, flares are chance events that go unpredicted.
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Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by saturn2 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:56 am

Cerro Paranal on Atacama desert, Chile, South America.
Here is the Very Large Telescope.
The sky is clean and scientific can to see many objects in the space.
It´s the driest place on planet Earth.

saturn2

Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by saturn2 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:04 am

Escuse me. Error of computer. Saturday for saturn2

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Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by alter-ego » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:46 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
LivingNDixie wrote:I am thinking that satellite streak is a Iridium satellite since it flares in the middle....
It's possible, but many other satellites flare like this. The thing about Iridium satellites is that it's easy to predict when and where the flares will be visible. With most other satellites, flares are chance events that go unpredicted.
As much as it appears to be an Irridium flare, I couldn't find one.
The horizontal coordinates of that satellite are: Altitude ≈ 22°, Azimuth ≈ 284°. Heavens Above did not list any IF's anywhere near that position anytime in July and August - Zero, zip, nada, nunca.
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Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by Guest » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:11 am


Guest

Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by Guest » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:21 pm

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From the archive .... 2008 February 02: Venus and Jupiter in Morning Skies ... keep up these wonderful pictures!!!

Guest

Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by Guest » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:56 pm

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keep up these wonderful pictures
above is 2008 February 02: Venus and Jupiter in Morning Skies

Case Rijsdijk

Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by Case Rijsdijk » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:35 am

I thought the driest place on Earth was Antartica. :D

KInd regards

Case Rijsdijk

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Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by neufer » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:07 am

Case Rijsdijk wrote:
I thought the driest place on Earth was Antartica. :D
It all depends on whether you are talking about relative humidity or absolute humidity.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: The Snows of Paranal (2011 Aug 11)

Post by Case » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:49 am

Case Rijsdijk wrote:I thought the driest place on Earth was Antartica.
Yeah, McMurdo Dry Valleys is pretty dry, too. It is however just a small part (4800 km²) of Antarctica, and about 5% of the area of Atacama Desert (105,000 km²).
Google Maps image of Dry Valleys