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Monday, May 30, 2011

European Very Large Telescope Video (Warning: It May Make you Cry)

The guys who run Slashdot are not known to be very sentimental, but they warned that this video may bring viewers to tears. They were right. This one is really magnificent. Makes me want to ditch the diplo gig and move to the Atacama desert. Sit back, put this on full screen mode, turn up the speakers a bit, and prepare to be amazed.


  1. Here you go Bill.


    73s de WP4BQV/VQ9BQV

  2. Anybody know what the laser was doing? Calibrating distance to a geo-stationary satalite?

  3. The laser is projecting a "virtual star" in our atmosphere, allowing the telescope to computationally subtract the "twinkle" caused by turbulent air from the other stars in the image.

  4. Hi Bill
    In 1992 I was invited to go to the factory that was polishing the mirrors for the VLT. It was a very interesting trip and the technology being used was fascinating. To prove out the process, they started by grinding a concrete blank. It was the smoothest piece of concrete you had every seen!

    The mirrors are also ridiculously thin and would break if it wasn't for the adaptive supports behind them. Really great trip and a total surprise since I was really visiting a sister company.

    73 Paul M1CNK


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