ESO’s ELT home in the desert

© ESO

Cerro Armazones is the home of ESO’s upcoming flagship facility, the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). Located in the Chilean Atacama Desert and just 20 km away from ESO’s Paranal Observatory, home to the Very Large Telescope, Cerro Armazones sits just over 3000 metres above sea level.

The isolated nature of this peak is illustrated by a magnificently clear band of the Milky Way galaxy that frames the Armazones crater almost perfectly. This isolation, away from the light pollution of cities, makes the Atacama Desert an ideal location for astronomical facilities, including the ELT, which is set to be “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

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