Mounted image 159: Yepun's Laser and the Magellanic Clouds
Yepun, the fourth 8.2-metre Unit Telescope of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), launches a powerful laser beam into the sky. The beam creates a glowing spot — an artificial star, used as a reference for the VLT’s adaptive optics system, which produces images almost as sharp as if the telescope were in space. To the left and right of the beam, respectively, are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.
ESO/B. Tafreshi/TWAN (twanight.org)