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This Hubble photo is of a small portion of one of the largest-seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks. Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI). View larger image
The Very Large Telescope array (VLT) is the flagship facility for European ground-based astronomy at the beginning of the third Millennium. It is the world's most advanced optical instrument, consisting of four Unit Telescopes with main mirrors of 8.2m diameter and four movable 1.8m diameter Auxiliary Telescopes. The telescopes can work together, to form a giant ‘interferometer’, the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer , allowing astronomers to see details up to 25 times finer than with the individual telescopes. The light beams are combined in the VLTI using a complex system of mirrors in underground tunnels where the light paths must be kept equal to distances less than 1/1000 mm over a hundred metres.
The 4,200 meter high summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii houses the world's largest observatory for optical, infrared, and submillimeter astronomy. Move your mouse over a dome to identify a telescope Click on the dome to go to its website Subaru Telescope
Hobby-Eberly Telescope The HET is one of the world's largest optical telescopes, with an effective aperture of 9.2 meters and a 78 square meter, hexagonal mirror array made from 91 segments. Its design is revolutionary.