La Silla Family Photo

In this Picture of the Week, taken by drone, you can see nearly all of the telescopes at ESO’s La Silla Observatory snaking along the top of the 2400-metre saddle-shaped mountain and into the distance. One for the La Silla family album!

La Silla is located on the outskirts of Chile’s Atacama Desert, far from human-made light pollution in an area famed for its dark, clear skies. It was ESO’s first observatory, inaugurated in 1969, and remains at the forefront of astronomy today, with around 300 scientific papers using observations from La Silla telescopes published every year. 

The most prominent telescope in this image is the ESO 3.6-metre telescope, home to the world's foremost exoplanet hunting instrument: the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher, or HARPS. Thanks to the observations made with HARPS, astronomers have worked out that there are likely billions of rocky planets in the temperate zones around red dwarfs in the Milky Way, worlds that could potentially be home to life outside the Solar System.


R. Lucchesi/ESO

About the Image

Release date:20 September 2021, 06:00
Size:12595 x 8974 px

About the Object

Name:La Silla
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
Category:La Silla

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