The VLT's Laser Guide Star

A laser beam launched from VLT's 8.2-metre Yepun telescope crosses the majestic southern sky and creates an artificial star at 90 km altitude in the high Earth's mesosphere. The Laser Guide Star (LGS) is part of the VLT's Adaptive Optics system and it is used as reference to correct images from the blurring effect of the atmosphere. The picture field is crossed by an impressive Milky Way, our own galaxy seen perfectly edge-on. Other prominent objects in the image are: the Carina nebula, seen as a bright patch to the left of the laser beam point; in between the two Unit Telescopes, from top to bottom: the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud; on the right edge of the picture, right on top of the telescope, Canopus, the second brightest star in the sky.

The photo was taken by Julien Girard, one of ESO's photo ambassadors.

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About the Image

Id:20130215-img_9626-cc
Type:Photographic
Release date:12 April 2013, 10:56
Size:5184 x 3456 px

About the Object

Name:Laser Guide Star, Paranal, Very Large Telescope, VLT Unit Telescopes
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Facility
• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope
• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Instrument
• X - Paranal

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