P. GONTIER / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY P. GONTIER / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Very Large Telescope. Man checking the mirror for the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope at Cerro Paranal, Chile. This mirror is being visually checked by a loupe magnifying device. The mirror has been polished over a period of 12 months to achieve an accuracy of 0.05 millionths of a metre (microns). The 23-tonne mirror needs to be flat to make good astronomical observations, & will be protected from damage by a very thin coating of aluminium. The VLT will con- sist of four 8-metre telescopes side by side, tog- ether acting as a much bigger telescope. The VLT is due to be completed soon after 2000. Photo- graphed in the Reosc workshops, Melun, France.
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