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Observatory Receives Fourth Mirror

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2000
Optics manufacturer REOSC of St.-Pierre-du-Perray, France, formally presented in December the last of four 8.2-m primary mirrors for the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile. The polished mirror displays a precision of 8.5 nm over the surface, which corresponds to an optical resolution of 0.03 arc sec in the visible range.

The Very Large Telescope also will incorporate smaller auxiliary telescopes that can be placed at 30 stations for interferometric observations. The project will include studies of the earliest galaxies, infrared analyses of active galactic nuclei and the search for extrasolar planets.

Photo courtesy of the Sagem Group and the European Southern Observatory.

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