Auxiliary telescope, Paranal Observatory

Auxiliary telescope, Paranal Observatory

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Caption: Auxiliary telescope at Paranal Observatory, Cerro Paranal, Chile. This telescope is one of four 1.8-metre secondary telescopes for the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The VLT comprises four 8.2-metre mirror telescopes, the images of which combine 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 auxiliary telescopes allow observations while the main telescopes are in use. 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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