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Celebrating 50 years of seeing space, courtesy of the European Southern Observatory

Celebrating 50 years of seeing space, courtesy of the European Southern Observatory

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In 1962, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden came together to create the European Southern Observatory to study the magnificent expanse of space from the Southern Hemisphere. Now supported by 15 nations, the ESO currently consists of eight telescopes across three observation sites in Atacama Desert region of Chile, and will eventually be home to the largest telescope ever, aptly titled the European Extremely Large Telescope. To celebrate the ESO's 50th anniversary, Wired has compiled a collection of beautiful images of and from the observatory, including photos of the Christmas Tree Cluster and the Helix Nebula, all of which can be seen at the source.