Hand of the Desert at night

Artist Mario Irarrázabal created the Hand of the Desert after the city of Antofagasta, Chile, asked him for something notable, to fill the empty space of the Atacama Desert. Astrophotographer Yuri Beletsky captured it at night.

One of our favorite night sky photographers, Yuri Beletsky, captured this image of Chile’s Mano del Desierto, a huge sculpture of a hand – roughly 36 feet (11 meters) tall – in the Atacama Desert. It’s located about 47 miles (75 km) to the south of the city of Antofagasta, Chile. Yuri posted this photo to EarthSky Facebook on March 30, 2018, and wrote:

Hand of the Desert under the stars in Atacama desert :) It does look totally surreal at night! The Milky Way spans above the monument in its full glory, and the brightest stars of Southern Cross and Centaurus constellations are the crown jewels of the sky. We were lucky to witness beautiful greenish airglow too! Some artificial yellow lights are also visible. Would you go there? I hope you’ll enjoy the view. Nikon, D810a.

10 things to know before visiting the Hand of the Desert, Chile

La Mano del Desierto during the day, via Marcos Escalier on Flickr, January 14, 2006.

Bottom line: Night photo of the Mano del Desierto – the Hand of the Desert – in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

Deborah Byrd