Astro movie : A night at Paranal Observatory
"Paranal and the Laser Guide Star"
© Stéphane Guisard, Valère Leroy and Jean Pajus
This is a time lapse movie made from individual images taken with a Canon 20Da camera and a 8mm lens. This accelerated movie shows a complete night at Paranal Observatory starting at sunset and finishing at dawn. That night, the Laser Guide Star Facility was in use and its yellow sodium Laser beam left its footprint on our movie. The laser beam creates a Laser Guide Star in the high atmosphere, 90 km above us. This 'bright' artificial star helps the adaptive optics system located in the main telescope, to measure and correct the distorsions of the images produced by the atmosphere, in real time and several hundreds of times per second.
The following animated gif is only a very rough preview of the movie. We highly recommend you to download the full movie. It is available in different formats and sizes for Windows, Macintosh and even ipod users by clicking on one of the following download links :