Paranal Observatory

Paranal Observatory is the site of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope; it is located on the top of Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile in what is believed to be the driest area on Earth. Cerro Paranal is a 2,635-meter high mountain, about 120 kilometers south of the town of Antofagasta and 12 kilometers inland from the Pacific Coast. There is minimal light pollution, atmospheric conditions are unusually stable, humidity is virtually zero, and there are around 330 clear nights a year. The geographical coordinates are 24° 40' S, 70° 25' W.