The Atacama Desert
in South America is one of the driest places on Earth. It is so dry that it is virtually sterile (indeed, a team of scientists who tested the soil for life in simulation of NASA's Viking missions called the soils of Atacama "Mars-like").
But in the hand of French astronomer Serge Brunier, the beauty of the Atacama Desert is revealed at night:
At night, the purity of the sky is unmatched. When the Sun goes down in Atacama, the sky quickly turned dark blue and the glow of thousands of stars awakened while the desert - invisible, empty and silent - seems to disappear.
Check out the time lapse video clip of the Milky Way galaxy over the Atacama Desert: Link | If you like that, check out Sky Time Lapse's website as well.