Amazing video timelapse of big telescopes at work in Chile

Sep 03, 2014 by Elizabeth Howell, Universe Today

What's it like to spend a night at a huge telescope observatory? Jordi Busque recorded a brilliant timelapse of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). What makes this video unique is not only the exotic location in Chile, but the use of sound in the area rather than music.

The VLT has four main mirrors that are each 8.2 meters (27 feet) in diameter, and four auxiliary telescopes that are each 1.8 meters (six feet) in diameter. When working together as a large interferometer, the European Southern Observatory says, the telescopes can resolve the equivalent of two headlights on a car on the Moon.

ALMA also uses interferometry, but in this case it is spread across 66 antennas that can be put as far apart as 16 kilometers (9.9 miles). It focuses on submillimeter astronomy, which allows astronomers to look past items such as dust clouds to see in formation.

You can see more of Busque's work at this website.


Explore further: Chile hilltop razed for world's largest telescope (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The economic impact of a Very Large Telescope

Jul 02, 2014

The European Southern Observatory's VLT, Very Large Telescope, is a group of four 8.2-metre diameter optical telescopes located in northern Chile. It also has four movable 1.8-metre diameter auxiliary telescopes and they ...

Recommended for you

Image: Galactic wheel of life shines in infrared

Oct 24, 2014

It might look like a spoked wheel or even a "Chakram" weapon wielded by warriors like "Xena," from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released ...

New window on the early Universe

Oct 22, 2014

Scientists at the Universities of Bonn and Cardiff see good times approaching for astrophysicists after hatching a new observational strategy to distill detailed information from galaxies at the edge of ...

User comments : 0