There are not three, four or five, but six different night sky phenomena visible in this amazing astrophoto taken by Petr Hor√°lek, European Southern Observatory's photo ambassador.

The image was captured earlier in January 2015, during a visit to La Silla Observatory, just on the outskirts of the Chilean Atacama Desert. Let's count together! We can see:

  1. Comet Lovejoy, glowing green in the centre of the image
  2. The Pleiades above and to the right of the comet
  3. California Nebula, a red arc of gas to the right of Lovejoy
  4. A meteor on the left of Comet Lovejoy
  5. The hazy pool of green light collecting along the horizon
  6. A thin shroud of low altitude clouds below the observatory

The Panamericana Highway and the telescopes of La Silla are the grateful audience for this celestial performance. I wish I were there, so I knew it was definitely real. [P. Hor√°lek/ESO]

Advertisement