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Waspie_Dwarf

'Artificial star' helps astronomers.

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Laser Guide Star at VLT to shine brighter light on stars

It does not twinkle, a rare characteristic for a star.

It appears suddenly over the southern hemisphere, a new neighbour in the crowded black sky.

But this "star" is not a real one.

Created by a powerful laser beam, it can be made to shine to order by the astronomers at the Paranal Observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert.

"We call it a Laser Guide Star, or LGS, and it is an artificial star that we create by illuminating the sodium layer of the atmosphere," explains Frederic Gonte, head of instrumentation at Paranal.

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Had no idea! That is something else!

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