Yuri Beletsky captured these star trails last month and posted them to EarthSky Facebook. He wrote:
Star trails over the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) summit located in the southern Atacama desert in Chile Here you can see amazing dance of stars around the Southern Pole. But what is that at the very top of the mountain?! These are the first towers which belong to construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope – one of the biggest next generation telescopes.
The yellowish color of the night sky is probably due to a bit elevated level of dust content in the atmosphere.
I hope you’ll enjoy the image.
Thank you, Yuri!
According to its website, the Giant Magellan Telescope is expected to have the resolving power 10 times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope. It’ll be the largest optical observatory in the world at the time of its completion in 2025, combining seven of the largest mirrors that can be manufactured, each 27 feet (8.4 meters) across. Together, they’ll create a single telescope effectively 85 feet (25 meters) in diameter.
An international consortium of universities and research institutions is building the super-scope. It’ll be located in the southern Atacama Desert of Chile, approximately 62 miles (100 km) northeast of the city of La Serena, at the southern end of the the long mountain ridge that also holds the Las Campanas Observatory.
Cerro Las Campanas – the future home of the Giant Magellan Telescope – is over 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) high.
Bottom line: Star trails over the planned site of the Giant Magellan Telescope by Yuri Beletsky Nightscapes.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.