Galactic Centre Laser

The European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) is situated at Paranal, high up in the Atacama desert. The Chilean Andes seems to be littered with domes, dishes and instruments of one kind or another, and the VLT makes the largest combined optical telescope there. However, sometimes the best images don't come from the big, expensive pieces of kit. Sometimes a simple camera with a wide field-of-view and a long exposure can produce stunning results. ESO astronomer Yuri Beletsky has taken some fantastic shots showing the laser guide star shining out of the Yepun telescope at the VLT towards the centre of our galaxy which you can see beautifully in this image.

VLT, laser and Galactic Centre
The sky above Paranal on 21 July 2007. Two 8.2-m telescopes of ESOs VLT are seen against the Milky Way. The laser guide star is aimed at the Galactic Centre and both the Small Magellanic Cloud (left) and Jupiter (right) are visible too. CREDIT: Yuri Beletsky/ESO

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Friday 03rd Aug 2007 (18:17 PDT) | Permalink
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