|Airglow, Paranal Observatory
Yuri Beletsky took this image and those below at Paranal, Chili. Paranal, part of the European Southern Observatory, is the world’s most advanced optical observatory with four 8.2m and four auxiliary 1.8m telescopes that can be optically linked into a giant interferometer.
Red (upper image) and green (lower picture) airglow over Paranal's 1.8m auxiliary telescopes. The fainter green airglow near the horizon represents the 'normal' sky over the Atacama Desert. The green comes from forbidden transitions ( O1S
to 1D ) of oxygen atoms 90-100 km high in a band that is easily visible from earth orbit. The yellow patch in the upper image is light pollution from a copper mine 200km away. In the lower image, satellite galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds blaze in the sky and at left is an upside-down Orion