The Very Large Telescope
ESO is building what will be the World's largest optical telescope
array, The Very Large Telescope (VLT). The VLT Project organisation
is responsible for the design and construction of the Unit
Telescopes, including enclosures, optics, adapter-rotators and
coating unit. It is based at the ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany.
The VLT Project
The ESO Very Large Telescope will consist of four 8-meter telescopes
which can work independently or in combined mode. In this latter mode the
VLT provides the total light collecting power of a 16 meter single telescope,
making it the largest optical telescope in the world. The four 8-m
telescopes supplemented with 3 auxilliary 1 m telescopes may also be used
in interferometric mode providing high angular resolution imaging.
The useful wavelength range extends from the near UV up to 25 microns
in the infrared.
The Paranal Observatory is located on Cerro
Paranal in the Atacama
Desert, northern Chile. Science operation with the first unit
telscope (UT1) is scheduled for the first half of 1999. Full
operations of all telescopes is expected shortly after the turn
of the century. The latest
news, press releases, and other information material about the VLT
can be found in a separate web document.
The following links provide information about the VLT
Project, in particular concerning the engineering aspects and the
on-going construction activities.
- Layout of the Observatory
- Unit Telescopes
- Auxiliary Telescopes
- Coating Unit
- Environmental Specifications
Related Projects and Information
VLT Interferometer (VLTI)
VLT Survey Telescope
VLT Software Development
VLT Data Flow System