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"A Laser Strike at the Galactic Center"

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"Why are these people shooting a powerful laser into the center of our Galaxy? Fortunately, this is not meant to be the first step in a Galactic war. Rather, astronomers at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) site in Chile are trying to measure the distortions of Earth's ever changing atmosphere. Constant imaging of high-altitude atoms excited by the laser -- which appear like an artificial star -- allow astronomers to instantly measure atmospheric blurring. This information is fed back to a VLT telescope mirror which is then slightly deformed to minimize this blurring. In this case, a VLT was observing our Galaxy's center, and so Earth's atmospheric blurring in that direction was needed. As for inter-galaxy warfare, when viewed from our Galaxy's center, no casualties are expected. In fact, the light from this powerful laser would combine with light from our Sun to together appear only as bright as a faint and distant star."

Courtesy of Astronomy Picture of the Day

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Bill_I_Am

Well, it is very dark there. But I'll bet Yuri made a long exposure to be sure the Milky Way and all the stars were visible.

Why does their sky have so many stars and ours is so spare on stars. Maybe all our buildings and other light sources take away the night sky like this one? Nice puzzle, thanks so much.

Bill_I_Am

Haha, Sherry! I think that must be another piece of equipment next to this one. There are quite a few at the site.

https://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/paranal-observatory/vlt/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUyJHG2u5DM

Thanks for stopping to comment!

Bill_I_Am

Returner I think that was the idea--or maybe a hint of Star Wars. :-)))

jojosmom417

Bill, what is that in the upper left corner? Looks like the mother ship has arrived. LOL. Sherry

Returner

Not to belittle the image or the astronomy but this photo has a Halloween feel. Made me smile :-))

Bill_I_Am

Think of it as a sophisticated way of focusing. And thanks for visiting!

patw

Annnnd again, none it makes any sense to me. :-)

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