Star Trails as Viewed from Las Campanas Observatory, Chile

August 22, 2016

Startrails_gmt_beletsky (2)

Photographer: Yuri Beletsky
Summary Authors: Yuri Beletsky; Jim Foster

The photo above shows star trails circling the south celestial pole as viewed from the  southern Atacama Desert in Chile. Whereas Polaris shines brightly not far from the north celestial pole, there are no bright stars (1st or 2nd magnitude) in the vicinity of the south celestial pole. Note that the yellowish color of the night sky is probably due to elevated levels of dust in the atmosphere above the Andes.
Atop the high ridge in the background, a set of towers can be seen that's part of the Magellan Telescope, one of the biggest next generation telescopes in the world, located at the Las Campanas Observatory. Photo taken on August 1, 2016.