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RE: Very Large Telescope
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Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of ESO's Very Large Telescope's (VLT) First Light.
'First Light' of "Antu", Unit Telescope number 1 on the VLT was on the 25 to 26 May 1998. Images taken were officially presented to the media on the 27 May, 1998.
The Antu, went into routine scientific operations on 1 April 1999.

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Cerro Paranal
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Cerro Paranal, the 2600m high mountain in the Chilean Atacama Desert that hosts ESO's Very Large Telescope, will be the stage for scenes in the next James Bond movie, "Quantum of Solace".
Looking akin to Mars, with its red sand and lack of vegetation, the Atacama Desert is thought to be the driest place on Earth. Cerro Paranal is home to ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), which, with its array of four giant 8.2-m individual telescopes, is the world's most advanced optical observatory. The high-altitude site and extreme dryness make excellent conditions for astronomical observations.

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RE: Very Large Telescope
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On November 14 at 12:41 LT an earthquake with magnitude 7.7 (Richter) with epicenter north of Antofagasta affected the north of Chile. In Paranal it was registered with a magnitude of 5.7, a peak ground acceleration of 0.6m/s2 and for a duration of approx 2 minutes. This has been the strongest earthquake since 1997, the first "high risk" earthquake since the start of operation of the VLT, and the first strong earthquake since the opening of the residencia. Neither injuries to the people nor damages to the installations have been registered. After extended checkout procedures, the regular night time operations have been resumed at the sunset. All the systems have been operated without restrictions, including all four UTs (with their instruments and the LGS) and the ATs with VLTI.

Source ESO

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HAWK-I
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Europe's flagship ground-based astronomical facility, the ESO VLT, has been equipped with a new 'eye' to study the Universe. Working in the near-infrared, the new instrument - dubbed HAWK-I - covers about 1/10th the area of the Full Moon in a single exposure. It is uniquely suited to the discovery and study of faint objects, such as distant galaxies or small stars and planets.

HAWK-I will build on this experience by being able to study much larger areas with an excellent image quality. HAWK-I has four 2k x 2k array detectors, i.e. a total of 16 million 0.1 arcsecond pixels.

"Until the availability of the James Webb Space Telescope in the next decade, it is clear that 8-m class telescopes will provide the best sensitivity achievable in the near-infrared below 3 microns" - Mark Casali, the ESO scientist responsible for the instrument.


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Very Large Telescope
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New Wide Field Near-Infrared Imager for ESO's Very Large Telescope
Europe's flagship ground-based astronomical facility, the ESO VLT, has been equipped with a new 'eye' to study the Universe. Working in the near-infrared, the new instrument - dubbed HAWK-I - covers about 1/10th the area of the Full Moon in a single exposure. It is uniquely suited to the discovery and study of faint objects, such as distant galaxies or small stars and planets.

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