The passage of the first VLT mirror through Paris at night

This image shows the river barge Eldor passing in front of the Paris City Hall at night, with the first VLT mirror blank safely stored in its hold.

Not surprisingly, the passage of the mirror led to considerable attention by the local population as roads were blocked by the slowly moving lorry carrying the 8.4-metre wide, and rather unusual-looking, mirror container. It may have caused some traffic delays and, perhaps, some irritation among motorists, but it also represented a chance to raise the visibility of the project in the public mass media.

Of course, ESO's Information Service was on the spot, covering the mirror's journey with pictures and video footage, to be used for press releases and other publicity materials. A great deal of planning had gone into this effort, and it seemed that the passage through Paris would offer a unique chance to obtain a spectacular picture. The VLT represented the utmost in cutting-edge technology made-in-Europe.

Now the mirror would pass close by the Eiffel Tower, itself a powerful symbol of Europe's technological prowess, albeit from bygone days. And so the team descended on Paris ahead of the vessel's arrival. The photographers first found the best location for their shot and then went out to the locks at Suresnes to meet the vessel. Here Herbert Zodet, one of the photographers, boarded the vessel to film the passage from the bridge of the ship, while the others went back through the Bois de Boulogne to their chosen location near the Debilly footbridge to wait for the right moment, which would occur around 11 pm. Shortly before the boat arrived, however, the lights that had illuminated the Eiffel Tower and every night provide a spectacular view of this iconic building were abruptly turned off.

Credit:

ESO

About the Image

Id:eldor-seine-2
Type:Photographic
Release date:5 July 2013, 16:46
Size:4914 x 4662 px

About the Object

Name:Mirror, Very Large Telescope
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope
• X - People and Events
• X - Paranal

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