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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

When north met south: Photographers capture trippy night sky

Petr Horálek and Juan Carlos Casado captured the night sky and digitally stitched them together.

By: Science Desk | Kochi |
Updated: September 17, 2021 7:06:24 pm
north-south imageTo create this image, the photographers took two pictures at observatories located at the same latitudes in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. (P. Horálek & J. C. Casado / ESO)

On Monday, the European Space Agency shared a mind-bending photo capturing the Northern and Southern Hemisphere at once. The photos were taken at two observatories located at the same latitudes in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Photographers Petr Horálek and Juan Carlos Casado captured the night sky and digitally stitched them together to create the view.

The top half of the image was taken at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias’ Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma in the Canary Islands, 29 degrees north of the equator. The bottom half was taken at European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert, 29 degrees south of the equator.

The eerie white glow seen vertically in the centre is called the zodiacal light and is caused by sunlight scattered dust in the Solar System. (Credit: P. Horálek & J. C. Casado / ESO)

The eerie white glow seen vertically in the centre is called the zodiacal light and is caused by sunlight scattered by dust in the Solar System. This phenomenon is only visible in light pollution-free areas with dark skies. The upper half of the photo also has the planet Venus shining brightly.

The reflective mirror seen upside-down in the top image is part of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, which is a ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy. The array will have more than 100 telescopes located in the northern and southern hemispheres and will help detect hundreds of objects in our galaxy and study their physical processes. According to the website, once completed, CTA will be the world’s largest and most sensitive high-energy gamma-ray observatory.

You can see the interactive 360º version of the image here

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