Superb new mirrors bring exoplanet discoveries nearer

The three high quality toric mirrors for SPHERE, one of the second generation of new instruments on ESO’s VLT. These mirrors were polished under stress using active optics techniques at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM) in France and form part of the powerful extreme adaptive optics system that will help SPHERE to image Jupiter-sized exoplanets orbiting nearby stars directly. One mirror appears at the back and is 133 millimetres in diameter, the second is very small, only 40 millimetres across, and appears to the left of the first, while the large third mirror is 400 millimetres in diameter and appears in the foreground.

Credit:

ESO/LAM/CNRS

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About the Image

Id:ann11024a
Type:Photographic
Release date:28 April 2011, 10:00
Related announcements:ann11024
Size:1746 x 1300 px

About the Object

Name:SPHERE
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Instrument
• X - Paranal

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