Artificial laser stars at the VLT over Paranal

Artificial laser stars at the VLT over Paranal

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Credit: F. Kamphues/EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Artificial laser stars at the VLT over Paranal. Laser beams rising into the night sky from a unit of the European Southern Observatory's VLT (Very Large Telescope), Cerro Paranal, Chile. By focusing on the artificial guide stars in the form of the laser beams, VLT telescopes are calibrated to remove the effects of the atmosphere on observations, a process known as adaptive optics. This is Unit Telescope 4, with the lasers produced by the VLT's 4 Laser Guide Star Facility, which was switched on in April 2016. These are the most powerful laser guide stars ever used for astronomy and mark the first use of multiple laser guide stars at ESO. The Milky Way is visible in the night sky. Photographed in September 2016.

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Keywords: 2016, 21st century, 4 laser guide star facility, 4lgsf, adaptive optics, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, atacama, calibrating, calibration, chile, engineering, eso, european southern observatory, guide star, laser guide star, latin america, lgs, milky way, multiple, night sky, no-one, nobody, paranal, powerful, reference point, reference star, research, september, south america, south american, technological, technology, telescope, unit telescope 4, very large telescope, vlt

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