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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 6:57 EDT
Starry La Silla
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Starry La Silla

October 27, 2010
The stars rotate around the southern celestial pole during a night at ESO's La Silla Observatory in northern Chile. The fuzzy parts in the trails on the right are due to the Magellanic Clouds, two small galaxies neighboring the Milky Way. The dome seen in the image hosts ESO's 3.6-meter telescope and is home to HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher), the world's foremost exoplanet hunter. The rectangular building seen in the lower right of the image contains the 0.25-meter TAROT telescope, designed to react very quickly when a gamma-ray burst is detected. Other telescopes at La Silla include the 2.2-meter MPG/ESO telescope, and the 3.58-meter New Technology Telescope, the first telescope to use active optics and, as such, the precursor to all modern large telescopes. La Silla was ESO's first observing site and is still one of the premier observatories in the southern hemisphere.