Very Large Telescope mirror jacks

Very Large Telescope mirror jacks

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Very Large Telescope (VLT) mirror jacks. Engineer inspecting one of the jacks during the construction of one of the four VLT primary mirrors. The mirror (seen above the engineer's head) is 8.2 metres in diameter, and is supported and operated by over 300 of these electric and hydraulic jacks. The VLT is an array of four telescopes built and operated by the European Southern Observatory at Paranal in Chile. The combined observations, equivalent to using a 16-metre-wide mirror, make the VLT one of the world's most powerful telescopes. It was built in the 1990s by REOSC, the optical department of the SAGEM group, and began operating in 2001. Photographed in Saint-Pierre du Perray, France.

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