Venus over the “black pearl” (photo)

The presented image was taken at the top of the Chilean mountain La Silla. They demonstrate Venus against the background of various telescopes of the European Southern Observatory.

Venus over the top of Mount La Silla. Source: Zdeněk Bardon (

Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky, second only to the Moon in this indicator. No wonder it shines dazzlingly, dominating the photo. You can also pay attention to the characteristic glow at the horizon. This is a phenomenon known as the zodiacal light. It occurs due to the scattering of sunlight on microparticles of space dust.

Among the telescopes caught in the picture, the BlackGEM dome array stands out (the left part of the frame). They are designed to search for one of the most powerful and large-scale events in the Universe — mergers of neutron stars and black holes. Such cataclysms produce “ripples” in the space-time continuum, known as “gravitational waves”. Therefore, the complex will work in conjunction with the gravitational wave detectors LIGO and Virgo.

After the detectors detect gravitational waves, BlackGEM telescopes will scan the sky in search of optical radiation generated by these events. This will allow astronomers to better understand the nature of the most high-energy and most elusive phenomena in our Universe.

In total, the BlackGEM complex will consist of fifteen 65-centimeter telescopes designed for wide-angle surveys of the sky. At the moment, three telescopes of the complex have been erected on the top of La Silla.

According to

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