Poster: VLT's Laser and the Magellanic Clouds

This spectacular image shows Yepun, the fourth 8.2-metre Unit Telescope of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) facility, launching a powerful yellow laser beam into the sky. The beam creates a glowing spot — an artificial star — in the Earth’s atmosphere by exciting a layer of sodium atoms at an altitude of 90 km. This Laser Guide Star (LGS) is part of the VLT’s adaptive optics system. The light coming back from the artificial star is used as a reference to control the deformable mirrors and remove the effects of atmospheric distortions, producing astronomical images almost as sharp as if the telescope were in space. Read more about this image in the ESO image archive.

Credit:

ESO/B. Tafreshi (twanight.org)

Bookmark and Share

About the PrintedPoster

Buy in shop
Id:print_poster_0055
Release date:17 July 2012, 15:39
Dimensions:59 cm (W) x 87.5 cm (H)

More details about this product:
See the ESO Shop Catalogue.

Images

Large JPEG
10.5 MB
Screensize JPEG
501.3 KB

Files

PDF File
98.4 MB