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Cosmic Diary

A tour in Paranal, including an earthquake

9 Jan 2011, 07:49 UTC
A tour in Paranal, including an earthquake ESO/H.H.Heyer
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Alien, as I said before. As a token, a couple of videos, with the landscape and the residence. The first time I visited, it looked like a research station in Mars. I still have the same feeling. I cannot avoid remembering a science fiction story by John Varley: In the Hall of the Martian Kings.

Perhaps the most impressive thing is the way down to the residence, below the dome. The external ambient is extremely dry. But once you cross the second door, everything changes. Watch and try to imagine the experience:

Anyway, this morning when we were working, preparing the observations for the night, we felt some noise, some vibration. I was not worried, but it was an earthquake.
Information about the earthquake
The earthquake lasted few seconds. Later on, we were informed that it was important: 5.1 int he Richter scale. As a matter of fact, the strongest in the last few days.
Earthquakes stronger than 4.5 during the last seven days. Source: USGS
A shaky start, just what I needed to wake up completely …

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