Introducing the ESO Ultra HD Expedition

27 January 2014

ESO has launched a pioneering expedition into the Ultra High Definition Universe. This campaign will document the travels and work of four world-renowned astrophotographers and ESO Photo Ambassadors as they journey through the Chilean Atacama Desert, equipped with the powerful tools of imaging technological leaders.

ESO’s videographer Herbert Zodet and the three Photo Ambassadors, Yuri Beletsky, Christoph Malin and Babak Tafreshi embark on their expedition with the goal of capturing footage at ESO’s three unique observing sites in all their grandeur — using state-of-the-art Ultra High Definition 4K still and video cameras

The team will first travel up to Paranal, home to ESO’s flagship facility Very Large Telescope array (VLT), before continuing to ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array at 5000 metres above sea level. Their trip will finish at La Silla, ESO’s first observatory in Chile.

The team will capture crisp Ultra High Definition time-lapse images, stills, videos and panoramas from each site, as well as time-lapses in planetarium fulldome format, showing the landscapes, observatory technology and the sky itself. Atmospheric conditions are so stable here that they provide crystal-clear views that are perfectly matched to the spectacular resolution of the Ultra High Definition format.

The ESO website dedicated to the expedition provides information on the expedition and on the availability of the Ultra High Definition videos after everyone has returned home. The astrophotographers will maintain a regular online blog with personal accounts of their journey — offering behind the scenes insights into the Ultra High Definition expedition.

Following the announcement of ESO’s support of the new Ultra High Definition format, the expedition provides an opportunity to demonstrate this new technology — with four times the resolution of HD, Ultra HD takes our stunning views of the cosmos into a new, immersive dimension.


  • The ESO website dedicated to the expedition


Richard Hook
ESO Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591

About the Announcement



ESO Ultra HD Expedition logo
ESO Ultra HD Expedition logo