The night sky above the 2600-metre-high Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert in Chile is dark and clear in this space wallpaper. So clear, that very long sequences of photos can easily be taken without a single cloud obscuring the stars as they rotate around the southern celestial pole. The site is home to ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) array. Its four 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes dominate this image made by Farid Char, a student at Chile’s Universidad Católica del Norte. One of the smaller Auxiliary Telescopes is also visible, hiding in the background in the bottom left corner.
(Image: © F. Char/ESO)