Image Credit & Copyright: ESO/Alex Tudorica.
What a beautiful image of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal in Chile’s Atacama Desert. As you look at the detail in the night sky, you notice that you don’t see the vast plane of the Milky Way. You do however see a beautiful meteor streak overhead as well as some very familiar friends that those of us here in the Northern Hemisphere are starting to see every morning which lets us know that fall is on the way.
Let’s begin at the left side of the image, just left of one of the four main VLT telescopes. That smudge that slightly resembles a small, distant meteor itself is actually Messier 31 (M31), the Andromeda Galaxy. You soon realize that you’re looking at a 9 billion year old mass roughly twice the diameter of the Milky Way which contains nearly a trillion stars…
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