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ESO's Paranal Observatory: the VLT's Laser Guide Star and star trails

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is ESO's flagship facility at the Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.

Below the trails left by the stars in a dark and clear night, a laser beam shoots out of Yepun, the fourth Unit Telescope of Europe's flagship observatory, ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). This beam is used to create an artificial star above Paranal to assist the adaptive optics instruments on the VLT.

Adaptive optics is a technique that allows astronomers to overcome the blurring effect of the atmosphere and obtain images almost as sharp as would be possible if the whole telescope were placed in space, above Earth's atmosphere.

Credit:

Dave Jones/ESO

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About the Image

Id:sciann13041a
Language:en-ie
Type:Photographic
Release date:6 November 2013, 14:00
Related releases:eso1346
Size:3118 x 4530 px

About the Object

Name:Cerro Paranal, Laser Guide Star, Very Large Telescope
Type:• Unspecified : Sky Phenomenon : Night Sky : Trail : Star
• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope
• X - Paranal

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