50.4 MB (2.3 MB compressed)
4107 x 4287 pixels
34.8 x 36.3 cm ⏐ 13.7 x 14.3 in (300dpi)
EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / H. HEYER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / H. HEYER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Laser Guide Star Facility at the European Southern Observatory's VLT (Very Large Telescope), Cerro Paranal, Chile, being cleaned by a technician. Dust and debris will interfere with the accurate laser needed. This equipment (PARSEC) produces an orange laser light (seen here) to create a guide star in the atmosphere. This facility began operating on 28 January 2006, in the VLT's Yepun telescope. By focusing on the artificial guide star, telescopes at the VLT can be calibrated to remove the effects of the atmosphere on observations. This process is known as adaptive optics, and leads to improved observations.Restrictions:.
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