Courtesy ESA. This 3D animation simulates a flyby over the Very Large Telescope in Chile and towards the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is a telescope operated by the European Southern Observatory on Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The VLT consists of four individual telescopes, each with a primary mirror 8.2m across, which are generally used separately but can be used together to achieve very high spatial resolution. The four separate optical telescopes are known as Antu, Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun, which are all words for astronomical objects in the Mapuche language. The telescopes form an array which is complemented by four movable Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) of 1.8 m aperture.
The VLT operates at visible and infrared wavelengths. Each individual telescope can detect objects roughly four billion times fainter than what can be detected with the naked eye, and when all the telescopes are combined, the facility can achieve an angular resolution of about 0.001 arc-second. This is equivalent to roughly two metres at the distance of the Moon.
The VLT is the most productive ground-based facility for astronomy, with only the Hubble Space Telescope generating more scientific papers among facilities operating at visible wavelengths. Among the pioneering observations carried out using the VLT are the first direct image of an exoplanet, the tracking of individual stars moving around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, and observations of the afterglow of the furthest known gamma-ray burst.
In: Science and Technology
Tags: space, outer, telescope, chile, very, large, science
Location: Antofagasta, Chile (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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