ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Paranal Observatory's living quarters. Swimming pool and tropical plants inside the residencia (living quarters) at Paranal Observatory in Cerro Paranal, Chile. The observatory hosts the Very Large Telescope (VLT), which comprises four 8.2-metre mirror telescopes. The images from the telescopes combine to produce an image equivalent to that obtained by a 16-metre diameter mirror. This makes the VLT one of the most powerful telescopes in the world. The residencia is located 3 kilometres from the telescopes and 200 metres below them. It is built half into the mountain to blend into the landscape. The VLT is operated by the European Southern Observatory. It is at an altitude of 2600 metres in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth.
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