Mounted image 112: A Laser Beam Towards the Milky Way's Centre

A powerful laser beam, part of the laser guide star system, is launched from the VLT’s 8.2-metre diameter Yepun telescope. It excites sodium atoms high in the Earth’s mesosphere, creating an artificial star at an altitude of 90 kilometres. Seen arching across the starry sky is the Milky Way, our own galaxy, with the yellow bulge of the galactic nucleus crossed by prominent dark lanes of opaque intergalactic dust.


ESO/Y. Beletsky

About the Mounted Image

Release date:23 March 2011, 15:29
Dimensions:30 cm (W) x 27 cm (H) x 1 cm (D)
Related archive image:potw1036a