Photography : Land & Sky: Magenta and Iron Sunset

Cerro Tololo in Chile is a fine site for astronomy: very high and very dry. Even at the best of sites, though, there's a chance for bad weather. These clouds provided an amazing sunset, and they also made everyone on the mountain anxious that they might hang around and prevent our getting data that night. Thankfully, they clearned off about an hour after sunset. The Sun looks oval because the atmosphere is acting like a lens and distoring the circle disk of the Sun. Pictures of the Moon provide a more dramatic example of this distortion.


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