The VLT - A Space Opera

Why don't we start the new year with an uplifting video? The good folks from the European Southern Observatory's Paranal site in Chile's Very Large Telescope (that's what it's called) are constantly churning out magnificent discoveries and delicious images (check out the beauties already coming out of their VISTA survey telescope).

The VLT consists of an arrangement of four main telescopes and four auxiliaries telescopes, all of which can be combined into the equivalent of a massive telescope (200 meters in diameter!) multiple times more powerful than the sum of its parts. The results are simply astonishing...

And if you're wondering about the lasers, they are used to measure the distortions of the Earth's atmosphere so that we can assess the quality of our observations... either that, or it's a secret prototype for a death ray :)

If you're curious about black holes, you can watch this documentary (with Sam Neill), and if you want to 'see' the one in the middle of our galaxy, you can do that here.
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