Cerro Paranal

Left of the blown-up summit with the Observatory

The Cerro Paranal is a mountain in northern Chile, in the Atacama desert. The mountain is located about 120 km south of Antofagasta and 12 km from the coast. It houses the Paranal Observatory of the European Southern Observatory.

The atmosphere above the summit is characterized by dry and exceptionally smooth air flow, which makes the mountain at a very attractive location for an astronomical observatory. The summit was shut blown up in the early 1990s from its original height of 2660 m to 2635 m in order to create a plateau for the telescopes.

The site achieved the best ever measured value with a seeing of 0.18 arcseconds.