VLTI First Fringes with Two Auxiliary Telescopes at Paranal

World’s Largest Interferometer with Moving Optical Telescopes on Track


The Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at Paranal Observatory has just seen another extension of its already impressive capabilities by combining interferometrically the light from two relocatable 1.8-m Auxiliary Telescopes.

Following the installation of the first Auxiliary Telescope (AT) in January 2004 (see ESO PR 01/04), the second AT arrived at the VLT platform by the end of 2004. Shortly thereafter, during the night of February 2 to 3, 2005, the two high-tech telescopes teamed up and quickly succeeded in performing interferometric observations.

This achievement heralds an era of new scientific discoveries. Both Auxiliary Telescopes will be offered from October 1, 2005 to the community of astronomers for routine observations, together with the MIDI instrument.

By the end of 2006, Paranal will be home to four operational ATs that may be placed at 30 different positions and thus be combined in a very large number of ways (“baselines”). This will enable the VLTI to operate with enormous flexibility and, in particular, to obtain extremely detailed (sharp) images of celestial objects – ultimately with a resolution that corresponds to detecting an astronaut on the Moon.

Media Contact

Richard West EurekAlert!

More Information:

http://www.eso.org

All latest news from the category: Physics and Astronomy

This area deals with the fundamental laws and building blocks of nature and how they interact, the properties and the behavior of matter, and research into space and time and their structures.

innovations-report provides in-depth reports and articles on subjects such as astrophysics, laser technologies, nuclear, quantum, particle and solid-state physics, nanotechnologies, planetary research and findings (Mars, Venus) and developments related to the Hubble Telescope.

Back to home

Comments (0)

Write a comment

Newest articles

Compact QKD system

… paves the way to cost-effective satellite-based quantum networks. Researchers demonstrate successful quantum key distribution between space lab and four ground stations. Researchers report an experimental demonstration of a space-to-ground…

Exploring quantum electron highways with laser light

Spiraling laser light reveals how topological insulators lose their ability to conduct electric current on their surfaces. Topological insulators, or TIs, have two faces: Electrons flow freely along their surface…

First image of antigen-bound T-cell receptor at atomic resolution

Immune system: Antigen binding does not trigger any structural changes in T-cell receptors – Signal transduction probably occurs after receptor enrichment. The immune system of vertebrates is a powerful weapon…

Partners & Sponsors