Paranal summit ready for the VLT - 1994

This aerial view of Cerro Paranal, the site of ESO's Very Large Telescope, was obtained in 1994. It shows the construction of the concrete base for the four telescope enclosures. To the left and a little lower than the rest of the platform is the excavation for the control building.

The platform altitude is about 2640 metres above sea level and it measures about 150 metres across. The width of the access road is no less than 12 metres, i.e. nearly equal to that of a three-lane highway; this is necessary to ensure the safe transport of all telescope parts, especially the four 8.2-metre fragile mirrors, to the top. 

The summit of Paranal has been blasted away so to create the flat platform that supports the 4 Unit Telescopes, as well as the network of tunnels that transport the light from the telescopes to the interferometric laboratory. On this 1994 aerial view, the summit is ready: the platform is flattened, and the volume of the foundations is excavated. Note the white marks indicating the location of the interferometric tunnels.

Credit:

ESO/H.Zodet

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About the Image

Id:po_aerial_94
Type:Photographic
Release date:3 December 2009, 23:19
Size:3000 x 2997 px

About the Object

Name:Cerro Paranal
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
• X - Paranal

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