ESO Press Event: Very Large Telescope 5 Years (1999-2004)

Five years of breathtaking results


As of 1 April, 2004, the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has been available to the astronomical community for five years.

The VLT at the Paranal Observatory (Atacama, Chile) is the world's largest and most advanced optical telescope. It comprises four 8.2-m reflecting Unit Telescopes and four moving 1.8-m Auxiliary Telescopes, the light beams of which can be combined in the VLT Interferometer (VLTI). With its unprecedented optical resolution and unsurpassed surface area, the VLT produces extremely sharp images and can record light from the faintes t and most remote objects in the Universe.

On the occasion of this fifth anniversary, ESO has released several products, some of which are aimed more particularly at the media:

    • A DVD containing the Top 20 most stunning astronomical images collected by the VLT. The images are provided as high-resolution Tiffs allowing colour printing at 300 dpi with a minimum A4 size. These images as well as other more recent ones are also available on the web on the ESO Public Image Archive web page.


    • A Video of broadcasting quality with most rushes about the VLT, including the recent installation of the first Auxiliary Telescope (cf. ESO Press Release 01/04) and the best astronomical images.


  • In addition, an A1 poster highlighting the 5 years of the VLT has been published.

A Press release has also been issued on the occasion of this anniversary.