I really enjoyed this video of a day and night cycle over the very large telescope.

The Atacama Desert plateau in South America has some of the finest conditions for astronomy on the planet. Only the summits of Hawaii and the polar plateau in Antarctica approach it. Therefore astronomers have built several telescopes in this region to take advantage of the perfect skies.

The ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) is unsurprisingly one of the larger telescopes. Until the 30 metre class scopes start coming on line, the four 8 metre class telescopes of the VLT is one of the most powerful instruments on the planet.

In the video we can see the stars rising and falling and the operation of the telescopes by starlight. During the night the telescopes turn from target to target, track the sky. The shoot telescope guiding lasers into the sky and you can also see the ventilation flaps opening and closing on the sides of the telescope domes.


Really worth watching in HD :)

I can't wait for ESO to finish building the E-ELT (European extremely large telescope). Can you imagine what the telescope mount looks like for a 42 metre telescope?

Happy Astronomy!