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Melipal, Yepun and the VST

Thursday, December 26th 2013

The VLT is the Very Large Telescope. That's the name given to the whole facility that consists of our four telescopes each with a mirror 8.2m across. Here, you see two of them, Melipal, which I work as a support astronomer for, and Yepun, which has a cool laser. In between them is the VST, which only has a 2.5m mirror, but VST is disappointingly not actually an acronym for Very Small Telescope, but instead means VLT Survey Telescope. It is used for large surveys, such as the VPHAS+, which I'm involved in and which is taking images of the Milky Way in the light emitted by hydrogen gas. VPHAS+ is a double nested acronym - it's the VST Photometric Hα Survey, so that would actually be the Very Large Telescope Survey Telescope Photometric Hα Survey.

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