Main page | Meet our Heroes | Journey Schedule | Equipment | Technology Partners | Blog

The ESO Ultra HD Expedition team first travelled to Paranal, home of the Very Large Telescope array (VLT) — ESO’s flagship facility for European ground-based astronomy. At 2635 metres above sea level, and 120 kilometres south of Antofagasta, Chile, the observatory is high above the clouds on Cerro Paranal — one of the world’s finest sites for astronomy. ESO’s observatory hosts the world's most advanced optical instrument, the Very Large Telescope.

Next, they drove to ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array. ALMA is a large interferometer, and is composed initially of 66 high-precision antennas. Located on the Chajnantor Plateau, 5000 metres above sea level in northern Chile, the individual antennas can combine to act together as a giant single telescope.

Finally, the ESO Ultra HD Expedition headed to La Silla, ESO’s first observatory. Located on the edge of the Atacama Desert, it is 600 kilometres north of Santiago, and 2400 metres above sea level. La Silla is home to the ESO 3.6-metre telescope and the 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT).

The team captured time-lapses, stills, videos, panoramas in Ultra HD and also time-lapses in planetarium fulldome format from each of the sites, taking views of the cosmos to a whole new dimension. Atmospheric conditions are so stable in the Atacama Desert, that they provide crystal-clear views of the night sky, further enhancing this visually stunning production.


  1. Beginning of expedition 24 March 2014
  2. Arrival in Santiago de Chile 25 March 2014
  3. Arrival in Paranal 26 March 2014
  4. Arrival in ALMA 31 March 2014
  5. Travel to La Silla 4 April 2014
  6. Return to Europe 8 April 2014

This map is an excerpt from the ePublication that can be downloaded from this link

Days since start: 1535




Read more about the Expedition in the PDF brochure (26.7 MB)