Entire Milky Way captured in one stunning picture

This incredible picture captures the moment that dawn meets the Milky Way.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 21st March 2016, 5:01 pm
Updated Monday, 21st March 2016, 5:03 pm
The Milky Way meets dawn.
The Milky Way meets dawn.

A layer of orange creeping over the horizon signals the imminent arrival of the sun, and the end of the night.

The first hints of daylight are kissed by the Milky Way, which stretches out across the entire night sky in the cosmic scene.

The picture was taken at the La Silla Observatory, in the outskirts of the Chilean Atacama Desert in the South American country.

The view of the home galaxy is covered with dark patches, formed from dust particles blocking the light behind them.

Meanwhile, on the ground are the observatory's telescopes, which face out to unravel the mysteries of the sky.

The closest in the picture is the Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope, which has a dish which measures 15 metres across.

The scene shows it pointing at an extremely bright object, which is Venus, one of Earth's neighbouring planets.

Lit up by the sun, Venus outshines all of the stars in the night sky.

The triangular white glow that reaches up from the horizon through Venus is called a zodiacal light.

Zodiacal light is sunlight scattered by dust in the ecliptic, which is the plane of Earth's orbit around the sun.

And in the background of the scene stands the ESO 3.6-metre telescope, with the Coudé Auxiliary Telescope right behind it.