Very Large Telescope mirror testing

Very Large Telescope mirror testing

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Very Large Telescope (VLT) mirror testing. Screenshot of spherometer testing during the construction of the primary 8.2-metre-wide mirror of one of the four VLT units. This test is used to adapt the tools being used to polish the mirror to improve its optical quality. 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.

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