On the left the blasted summit with the observatory
( before the summit is blown)
|location||Atacama Desert , Chile|
The Cerro Paranal is a mountain in the north of Chile in the Atacama desert . The mountain is about 120 km south of Antofagasta and 12 km from the coast. It houses the Paranal Observatory of the European Southern Observatory .
The atmosphere above the summit is characterized by dry and exceptionally calm air currents, which makes the mountain a very attractive location for an astronomical observatory . The summit was blown down from its original height of 2660 m to 2635 m in the early 1990s to create a plateau for the telescopes .
With a seeing of 0.18 arc seconds, the location achieved the best value ever measured.
- http://www.eso.org/paranal/site/paranal.html - data tables on observation conditions, geography, climate and seismics (English, 2004)
- http://www.eso.org/outreach/press-rel/pr-2000/phot-36-00.html - ESO press release on the history of Paranal (English, 2000)