Petr Horalek is an astrophotographer in Czech Republic. After the graduation of Bachelor’s study in theoretical physics and astrophysics at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech, he worked in Astronomical institute of Academy of Sciences (until 2012), and in Úpice observatory (until 2014). In January, 2015, as the ESO (European Southern Observatory) Photo Ambassador, he visited La Silla and Paranal observatories in Chile, which have the largest telescopes in the world. Through the lens, Petr Horalek captured the spectacular images of the night skies above the world-renowned observatories.
For more information about the astrophotography of Petr Horalek, please visit the website of the European Southern Observatory and his Facebook and website.
Pure skies above the La Silla:
Pink skies and the hidden galaxy:
Resting VLT and airglow "ribs":
La Silla ear vs. Milky Way ear:
Magellanic Clouds above the Danish 1.54-metre telescope:
Celestial Nomad Takes Centre Stage:
Colourful La Silla:
View above La Silla:
View above the Swedish/ESO Submillimetre Telescope:
Sprites at Paranal Observatory:
[Sprites are extremely rare atmosphere phemomena caused by irregularities in the ionosphere, high above storm clouds, at altitudes of about 80 kilometres. Typically seen as groups of red-orange flashes, they are triggered by positive cloud-to-ground lightning, which is rarer and more powerful than its negative counterpart, as the lightning discharge originates from the upper regions of the cloud, further from the ground. In a short burst, the sprite extends rapidly downwards, creating dangling red tendrils before disappearing.]
Paranal red sprites:
Paranal before the daybreak: