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ESOcast 65: The Chilean Sky in Ultra High Definition

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In the Spring of 2014, a team of ESO Photo ambassadors embarked on a pioneering expedition to ESO’s three observatories in Chile. Their mission was to capture a wide range of images and timelapses of the magnificent Chilean night sky and landscape in crisp Ultra High Definition. Join our heroes in their adventures in the arid Atacama Desert as they bring our Universe closer than ever before. This is the ESOcast! Cutting-edge science and life behind the scenes of ESO, the European Southern Observatory. Chile hosts some of the world’s finest sites for astronomy. They offer crystal-clear views and some of the darkest night skies on Earth. This is where ESO sites its world-class telescopes. To share this unspoiled view of the sky with the public, ESO arranged an Ultra High Definition Expedition to each of ESO’s observatories in Chile. The team was equipped with state-of-the-art tools from the world’s leaders in this area of technology. The three astrophotographers, Yuri Beletsky, Christoph Malin and Babak Tafreshi, were accompanied by ESO’s video specialist, Herbert Zodet. The team began their work at the Paranal Observatory, home to the Very Large Telescope. The time soon came for the team to leave Paranal and begin a six-hour drive through the barren Chilean desert. Their next stop was ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. Here, high on the Chajnantor Plateau at some 5000 metres above sea level, Babak, Christoph and Yuri were in for the ultimate low-oxygen experience. Human operations here are limited due to the extremely high altitude but they worked hard to deliver as many stunning shots as they could in the cold dry thin air. After long nights of imaging at ALMA in the tough conditions of the Chajnantor Plateau, our team took a deep breath and headed south towards their final destination: La Silla – ESO’s first observatory. On the outskirts of the Chilean Atacama Desert, it is here that ESO operates several telescopes and many ESO Member States also run projects at their own facilities. The team made a tour of the large site to scout for the best places for imaging during the nights ahead. Once again they captured some visually-stunning content. ESO’s Ultra High Definition Expedition has resulted in wide range of content including timelapses, stills and panoramas of the night sky in superb ultra HD quality — ten terabytes and more than 100,000 thousand photos in total. And for Babak, Christoph and Yuri this trip certainly was the perfect occasion to test their skills at the best possible sites for astrophotography. The Chilean skies did not disappoint them. With very little public ultra HD content widely available up to now, ESO is offering all of these high-quality visuals — for audiences from consumers to broadcasters — for free. You can now download the first results from ESO’s website. Stay tuned for much more as the very best images will be released as ESO Pictures of the Week over the coming months. Ultra HD adds a new level to our stunning footage of the cosmos — a whole new, immersive dimension. Transcription by ESO; translation by –

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 45 seconds
Country: Germany
Language: English
Producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen
Director: Herbert Zodet
Views: 161
Posted by: esoastronomy on May 27, 2014

In the Spring of 2014, a team of ESO Photo ambassadors embarked on a pioneering expedition to ESO's three observatories in Chile. Their mission was to capture a wide range of images and timelapses of the magnificent Chilean night sky and landscape in crisp Ultra High Definition. Join our heroes in their adventures in the arid Atacama Desert as they bring our Universe closer than ever before.

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