The VLT control room

Hub of the Observatory — The VLT Control Room

The VLT Control Building, from which all observations are made. (Photo obtained on 23 March 2000).

The Control Building is located on a "shelf" below the main observing platform at the top of the Paranal Mountain. It is the true hub of the Paranal Observatory and it is from here that the VLT telescopes and instruments are controlled by the observing teams. Daytime maintenance routines are also carried out by the ESO engineers via the computer terminals and monitors here.

Each of the four Unit Telescopes is controlled from a specific area (a "module") within the Control Room. From here, the night assistants, engineers and astronomers perform the observations. The work includes continuous monitoring and optimisation of the telescope status, pointing of the telescope towards the celestial objects to be observed, adjustments of the instrument (camera, spectrograph) before the exposures, as well as subsequent transfer and storage of the data from the instrument and a first evaluation of the results.

The fact that all work is done from a single room greatly facilitates the direct interaction between the different groups of observers.



About the Image

Release date:16 June 2000
Related releases:eso0021
Size:3000 x 2487 px

About the Object

Name:Paranal, VLT Control Room
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Facility

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