Star trails at Paranal Observatory
images below are long exposures tripod astrophotos taken with a Canon
camera and a wide field lens. They were taken at Paranal Observatory in the Atacama region, north of Chile. The several hours
cumulated exposures make the star leave light trails on the camera due
to the Earth rotation.
The first image below shows the 4x 8m telescope
domes of the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). The camera was pointed
west and towards the celestial equator. The stars on the left of the
image seem to rotate around the Southern Celestial Pole (which is the
projection in the sky of the Earth South pole) while the stars to the
right seem to rotate around the Northern Celestial Pole. The
stars located at the celestial equator make straight lines.
This image below shows Paranal
Observatory taken from the distance. The Southern celestial pole is
located just outside the left hand side of the picture. The Pacific
ocean is on the right, below the clouds. The landscape was lit by an
old Moon that appeated at the end of the cumulated exposures.