Headlines > News > A Laser Strike at the Galactic Center

A Laser Strike at the Galactic Center

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sun Jan 6, 2019 12:44 pm via: NASA
Share
More share options
Tools
Tags

Why are these people shooting a powerful laser into the center of our Galaxy? Fortunately, this is not meant to be the first step in a Galactic war. Rather, astronomers at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) site in Chile are trying to measure the distortions of Earth’s ever changing atmosphere. Constant imaging of high-altitude atoms excited by the laser — which appear like an artificial star — allow astronomers to instantly measure atmospheric blurring.

This information is fed back to a VLT telescope mirror which is then slightly deformed to minimize this blurring. In this case, a VLT was observing our Galaxy’s center, and so Earth’s atmospheric blurring in that direction was needed. As for inter-galaxy warfare, when viewed from our Galaxy’s center, no casualties are expected. In fact, the light from this powerful laser would combine with light from our Sun to together appear only as bright as a faint and distant star.

Image Credit: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory, TWAN), ESO

Image Credit: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory, TWAN), ESO

No comments
Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2019 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use