“Comet McNaught of 2007 has been, so far, the most photogenic comet of our time. After making quite a show in the northern hemisphere in early 2007 January, the comet moved south and developed along and unusual dust tail that dazzled southern hemisphere observers. In this image, Comet McNaught was captured above Santiago, Chile. The bright comet dominates on the left while part of its magnificent tail spreads across the entire frame. From this vantage point in the Andes Mountains, one looks up toward Comet McNaught and a magnificent sky, across at a crescent moon, and down on clouds, atmospheric haze, and the city lights. The current year — 2013 — holds promise to be even better for comets than 2007. In early March, Comet PANSTARRS is on track to become visible to the unaided eye, while at the end of the yearComet ISON shows possibilities that include casting a tail that spreads across the sky, breaking up, and even becoming one of the brightest comets in recorded history.”
José Francisco Salgado
“The Celestial Equator (on the left) appears to divide the sky into the Northern and Southern (right) Hemispheres. The Southern Celestial Pole (SCP) is just off the frame to the right. Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile.”
“This picture of the star formation region NGC 3582 was taken using the Wide Field Imager at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. The image reveals giant loops of gas ejected by dying stars that bear a striking resemblance to solar prominences.”
Credit: ESO, Digitized Sky Survey 2 and Joe DePasquale
Where the Snow Is Like Knives
These sharp snow formations make the white stuff look uninviting. They’re called penitentes, and although they can form at high altitudes anywhere, there’s no place better to see them than in the Dry Andes of Chile and Argentina, way up past 13,000 feet (about 4,000 meters).
Penitentes, named after pointy hats worn by people doing penance for their sins in Christian traditions, form in very cold, dry air, where the water in snow sublimates, or turns directly into vapor without melting first. Sublimation randomly occurs faster in some areas than in others; once uneven pock-marks form in the snow, they focus the sunlight, causing those areas to sublimate ever faster. Spiky penitentes get left behind, unmelted. The tallest penitentes can reach 12 feet (4 meters) high.
(Image Credit: European Southern Observatory)
High and Dry
Credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi/TWAN
Friday, April 20, 2012: The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope looks skyward during a moonlit night on Chajnantor Plateau in Chile, one of the highest and driest observatory sites in the world. On the left shines the tail of the constellation of Scorpius, the Scorpion. Across the sky stretches the plane of the Milky Way. Elsewhere in this photo, one can see the constellation of Sagittarius, The Archer, looming over APEX’s dish. Also, Messier 7 (AKA Ptolemy’s Cluster), Messier 6 (the Butterfly Cluster), and the Lagoon Nebula all appear here. Image released April 16, 2012.
— Tom Chao
“Explanation: Despite their resemblance to R2D2, these three are not the droids you’re looking for. Instead, the enclosures house 1.8 meterAuxiliary Telescopes (ATs) at Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert region of Chile. The ATs are designed to be used for interferometry, a technique for achieving extremely high resolution observations, in concert with the observatory’s 8 meter Very Large Telescope units. A total of four ATs are operational, each fitted with a transporter that moves the telescope along a track allowing different arrays with the large unit telescopes. To work as an interferometer, the light from each telescope is then brought to a common focal point by a system of mirrors in underground tunnels. Above these three ATs, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are the far far away satellite galaxies of our own Milky Way. In the clear and otherwise dark southern skies, planet Earth’s greenish atmospheric airglow stretches faintly along the horizon.”
Easter Island Milky Way
Easter Island - Chile
“Stunning view of Milky Way as seen from the Easter Island in the south Pacific Ocean. Its a bizarre experience to stand besides the giant statues of the island. They are locally called Moais and date back to 13th to 15th century from the lost ancient civilization of this isolated island. “
Copy Credit : Juan Carlos Casado
Source: Milky way scientists
“Lightning strikes over the Puyehue volcano, over 500 miles south of Santiago, Chile, Monday June 6. Authorities have evacuated about 3,500 people in the nearby area.
The volcano was calm on Monday, two days after raining down ash and forcing thousands to flee, although the cloud of soot it had belched out still darkened skies as far away as Argentina. (Francisco Negroni/ AgenciaUno/Associated Press).”
Source: Milky way scientists
Protesters are hit with water from a police water canon during a march for education reform in Santiago, Chile, Thursday Nov. 24, 2011. Protesters have demanded more funding and other changes to the public education system. The annual budget is due to be approved by Nov. 30. (Luis Hidalgo)