Very Large Telescope. Site of the European South- ern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal, Chile, during construction. The VLT will consist of four 8.2-metre telescopes side by side, which can work either individually or in combination. Together they will provide the light- collecting power of a single 16-metre telescope, making the VLT the world's largest optical tele- scope. Cerro Paranal's high altitude (about 2600 metres), and the clear air above it, make the site an ideal location for astronomical observations because atmospheric distortions to incoming light are reduced. Construction of the VLT is due to be completed soon after 2000. Photographed in 1997.
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