The Paranal Observatory is located on the top of Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert in the northern part of Chile

The Paranal Observatory is located on the top of Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert in the northern part of Chile

Moonset at Parnal Observatory in Chile, site of the Very Large Telescope--four networked telescopes operating in tandem.

Moonset at Parnal Observatory in Chile, site of the Very Large Telescope--four networked telescopes operating in tandem.

The winding road up to the Paranal Observatory is captured in this stunning shot from the Chilean Atacama Desert. ESO's Paranal Observatory is the flagship facility for European ground-based astronomy at the beginning of the third Millennium. It is the world's most advanced optical instrument, housing the four Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope, which can be seen sitting atop summit of Cerro Paranal.  Credit: D. Schreiner and S. Degezelle/ESO

The winding road up to the Paranal Observatory is captured in this stunning shot from the Chilean Atacama Desert. ESO's Paranal Observatory is the flagship facility for European ground-based astronomy at the beginning of the third Millennium. It is the world's most advanced optical instrument, housing the four Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope, which can be seen sitting atop summit of Cerro Paranal. Credit: D. Schreiner and S. Degezelle/ESO

There are several lovely dark spots in the United States and beyond to see the stars. Here are 7 prime viewing areas to consider.

7 places for top-notch stargazing

There are several lovely dark spots in the United States and beyond to see the stars. Here are 7 prime viewing areas to consider.

The magnificent Milky Way glitters over the Paranal Observatory atop Cerro Paranal in Chile's high Atacama Desert in this photo captured by ESO photo ambassador Yuri Beletsky. The image was released on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.<br />

The magnificent Milky Way glitters over the Paranal Observatory atop Cerro Paranal in Chile's high Atacama Desert in this photo captured by ESO photo ambassador Yuri Beletsky. The image was released on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.<br />

NOM NOM NOM NOM!  This is an auxiliary unit at the Very Large Telescope in Paranal, Chile.) NASA Earth photo

NOM NOM NOM NOM! This is an auxiliary unit at the Very Large Telescope in Paranal, Chile.) NASA Earth photo

A beautiful atmospheric phenomenon descended over the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) last week, giving the participants of the inaugural #MeetESO social media event an evening treat.

A beautiful atmospheric phenomenon descended over the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) last week, giving the participants of the inaugural #MeetESO social media event an evening treat.

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