VLT Laser Guide Star Facility

VLT Laser Guide Star Facility

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Credit: EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY/YURI BELETSKY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Restrictions: This image may not be used by or to promote the arms, nuclear power or tobacco industries or any religious organisation, or in any discriminatory way, or to imply the endorsement by ESO of any product, service or activity

Caption: Laser Guide Star Facility at the European Southern Observatory's VLT (Very Large Telescope), Cerro Paranal, Chile. The laser (PARSEC) produces this orange beam to create a guide star in the atmosphere. This facility began operating on 28 January 2006, in the VLT's Yepun telescope (left). By focusing on the artificial guide star, VLT telescopes are calibrated to remove the effects of the atmosphere on observations, a process known as adaptive optics. The beam is pointing at the Milky Way galactic centre. The Small Magellanic Cloud is above Yepun. Jupiter is at upper right, to the right of the star Antares. Photographed on 21 July 2007.Restrictions:

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