The image shown shows a dazzling swath of the Milky Way overhanging a mountain range, with a tower in the middle of it. It belongs to the New Technology Telescope (NTT), one of the most important instruments in the history of modern astronomy.

As you know, the larger the main mirror of a telescope, the more light it can collect. But as its size increases, the problem arises of ensuring perfect surface accuracy. Astronomers have found that mirrors larger than five meters in diameter significantly deteriorate image quality due to the fact that gravity begins to distort the shape of the surface.

The solution to this problem was the technology of adaptive optics. Its essence is to equip the telescope with a thin deformable main mirror, which can be controlled by a system of supports. They allow you to correct surface distortions caused by gravity.

The NTT, which saw its first light in 1989, was the first telescope in history to receive fully adaptive optics. Another major innovation was its innovative ventilation system, which reduced air turbulence. These engineering solutions enabled a quantum leap in ground-based astronomy and became the standard used in all subsequent major telescopes around the world.

The image shown shows a dazzling swath of the Milky Way overhanging a mountain range, with a tower in the middle of it. It belongs to the New Technology Telescope (NTT), one of the most important instruments in the history of modern astronomy.
The image sh o w n s h o w s a d a zzling swath of the Milky Way overhanging a mountain range, with a tower in the middle of it. It belongs to the New Technology Telescope (NTT), one of the most important instruments in the history of modern astronomy.

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