Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Chile Diary - Day Three

I thought I was tired yesterday - today is worse!

But that's because it was such an amazing and productive day.

Today was really the start of real work, filming short tours of five telescopes.

We managed to get inside each of the four main telescopes at the Very Large Telescope - known as UT1, UT2, UT3 and UT4.

UT stands for Unit Telescope.

I also filmed the amusing sight of the VLT's ATs (Auxillary Telescopes) being moved around the platform.

They looked like little R2D2s wandering the landscape, dwarfed by the huge UTs.

(But then you get up close and realise the ATs are themselves quite big!)

I also filmed inside the VST (VLT's Survey Telescope) - the VLT's wide-angle cousin that sits nearby. Again a HUGE telescope which looks small compared with its neighbours.

Another treat was taking the camera into the workshop where the VLT's huge 8.2m mirrors are re-coated with aluminium.... What an operation that is!

Fo rthe second night running we were inside UT4 at sunset, filming it being opened for the night.

Then some quick filming in the control room and ended the evening with a cheeky night shot - what do you think?

Tomorrow there is plenty more to do, including a trip to the nearby mountain where the ELT (Extremely Large Telescope) will be built.

All these videos will eventually appear at Deep Sky Videos and Sixty Symbols.

Chile Diary - Day Four
Chile Diary - Day Five
Chile Diary - Day Six

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