Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'Borrowed' Photo Of The Day

This one's copyrighted, but I couldn't resist:
Image credit: Stephane Guisard/APOD. Reduced by Cujo359

Here's the caption from Astronomy Picture Of The Day:
From an altitude of over 5,000 meters, the night sky view from Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes is breathtaking in more ways than one. The dark site's rarefied atmosphere, at about 50 percent sea level pressure, is also extremely dry. That makes it ideal for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) designed to explore the universe at wavelengths over 1,000 times longer than visible light. Near the center of the the panoramic scene, ALMA's 7 and 12 meter wide dish antennas are illuminated by a young Moon nestled in the arc of the Milky Way. ALMA's antenna configurations are intended to achieve a resolution comparable to space telescopes by operating as an interferometer. At left, a meteor's streak and the Milky Way's satellite galaxies, the Large (bottom) and Small Magellanic Clouds grace the night.

Astronomy Picture Of The Day: November 23, 2011
Go to the link for explanatory links and the full size image.

I'm amazed at the quality of this panorama. As regular readers are probably aware, I quite often make panoramas for the Sunday Photo articles here, using Hugin software. The quality of those panos can be anywhere from good to great, but such a detailed star field would be at least a little muddled the way I do them.

In short, I'm impressed.

Of course, the view is lovely, too. I'm envious. I suppose if I were living there I'd be obsessing about the cold, heat, and isolation, but it sure is lovely.

Stephane Guisard has much more photography of astronomy on display at his site, including this photograph.

UPDATE/Afterword: As with a previous APOD I published here, I've asked permission to leave this photo up here. My schedule being what it is, this will probably be up until tomorrow in any event, and maybe Friday.

UPDATE 2 (Nov. 24): I have received permission from Stephane to publish the photo, as long as I added links to his photography page. Done, and thanks.

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