VLT telescopes, Paranal Observatory

VLT telescopes, Paranal Observatory

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Credit: ADAM HART-DAVIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: VLT telescopes. Enclosures housing the four telescopes (Antu, Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun) that make up the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal Observatory in Cerro Paranal, Chile. These 8.2-metre mirror telescopes have their images combined by interferometry to produce an image equal to that obtained by one 16 metre diameter mirror. This makes the VLT one of the most powerful telescopes in the world. The mirrors are flexible and are constantly adjusted by computers to compensate for errors. The VLT is operated by the European Southern Observatory. It is at an altitude of 2600 metres in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth. This provides the VLT with excellent viewing conditions.

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