Is this the Gordian knot of the 21st century? Or a high-tech Medusa? Or maybe both? Well, this photograph was taken inside the Very Large Telescope (VLT) operated by the European Southern Observatory on Cerro Paranal, Chile.
This breathtaking photo shows the intense orange beam of a new 22-watt laser pointed at the planet Saturn. Wait, isn’t this like the shocking scene in Star Wars where the Death Star’s superlaser completely annihilated planet Alderaan?
This stunning aerial photograph of the Very Large Telescope platform somehow reminds me of a smaller base in a real time strategy game, like Starcraft or Total Annihilation.
Night falls in the Atacama Desert, but the day is far from over. In this wonderful little timelapse, sent along to us by the photographer Enrico Sacchetti, we get a sense for the constant work being done at the European Southern Observatory.
Not how to destroy an entire planet, but how humans are able to create a star—with the help of a laser tuned to 589.2 nanometers wavelength.
How do you create the world's largest virtual optical telescope and the most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory? Teamwork. The Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory combines the visual prowess of four huge telescopes—for the first time ever—to mimic a 130-meter-wide mirror.