|What's that bright orange dot above the large telescope on the right?
Even seasoned sky enthusiasts might
ponder the origin of the orange orb seen by
panoramic image, taken last December.
Perhaps identifying known objects will help.
To start, on the far left is a diagonal band of light known as
sunlight reflected off of dust orbiting in the inner Solar System.
The bright white spot on the left, just above the horizon, is
Venus, which also glows by reflected sunlight.
Rising diagonally from the ground to the right of Venus is the band of our
In the image, the band, which usually
stretches dramatically overhead, appears to arch above the elevated
Under the Milky Way arch, toward the left, lie both the Large and Small
galaxies, while toward the right lies the
constellation of Orion surrounded by the red ring of
On the ground, each of the four
Very Large Telescopes is busy keeping an eye on the distant universe.
The orange spot -- it's the Moon.
The image was taken during a
total lunar eclipse
when the normally bright full moon turned into a faint
orb tinted orange
by the intervening Earth's atmosphere.