Star Trails over the SOAR Telescope (photo)

The presented image was taken on the territory of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, located on the territory of the Chilean Atacama Desert. It demonstrates star trails over the SOAR telescope (Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope).

The movement of stars over the SOAR telescope. Source: CTIO/NOIRLab/SOAR/NSF/AURA/M. Paredes

Star trails are formed as a result of the visible movement of stars in the sky around the pole point, which is explained by the fact that the Earth rotates around its axis. To achieve this effect, photographers take pictures of the sky with a long exposure.

You can also see several straight lines in the photo. Some of them are left by flying planes, others are traces of satellites and meteors.

The question may arise why there are no star trails in the images of telescopes that also conduct many hours of observations. The fact is that modern observatories are equipped with sophisticated tracking and guidance systems that allow them to accurately follow their targets during the time necessary for shooting. Combined with adaptive optics, this allows them to generate clear images of all types of celestial bodies.

According to

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