Saturday, June 18, 2011

Very Large Telescope (VLT) array - Atacama Desert, Chile

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is made up of four separate optical telescopes organized in an array formation, built and operated by the European Southern Observatory on Cerro Paranal, a 2,635 meter high mountain in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

Each telescope has an 8.2 m aperture. The array is complemented by four movable Auxiliary Telescopes of 1.8 meter aperture. Working together in interferometric mode, the telescopes can achieve an angular resolution of around 1 milliarcsecond, meaning it could distinguish the gap between the headlights of a car located on the Moon.

The video below was shot there. I knew we can't see our Milky Way galaxy from here in the North, still surprised. Would be worth the trip south to see such a true starlit night.

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