Observing with ANTU
Hub of the Observatory — The VLT Control Room
Astronomers at the ANTU module discuss the progress of observations in the middle of the night.
The Control Building is located on a "shelf" below the main observing platform at the top of the Paranal Mountain. It is the true hub of the Paranal Observatory and it is from here that the VLT telescopes and instruments are controlled by the observing teams. Daytime maintenance routines are also carried out by the ESO engineers via the computer terminals and monitors here.
Each of the four Unit Telescopes is controlled from a specific area (a "module") within the Control Room. From here, the night assistants, engineers and astronomers perform the observations. The work includes continuous monitoring and optimisation of the telescope status, pointing of the telescope towards the celestial objects to be observed, adjustments of the instrument (camera, spectrograph) before the exposures, as well as subsequent transfer and storage of the data from the instrument and a first evaluation of the results.
The fact that all work is done from a single room greatly facilitates the direct interaction between the different groups of observers.Credit:
About the Image
|Release date:||16 June 2000|
|Size:||3000 x 1956 px|
About the Object
|Name:||Paranal, VLT Control Room|
|Type:||Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Facility|