Lasers. They can be used for a wide variety of things, or utilized in all sorts of methods, to create all sorts of different results. For all intents and purposes, lasers are the Jack of All Trades when it comes to high tech things that could be used as weapons. Or, in some cases, a good defensive tool. But, for one observatory and its researcher and scientists, they think a laser can be used to create an artificial star. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.
While the image may not get the full point across, it certainly gives it a good shot. That laser that’s shooting up out of the observatory is meant to excite the atoms within the upper atmosphere. Somewhere in the ball park of 56 miles above the planet. The intent? To artificially manifest a star. The European Southern Observatory has actually done this before. It’s called the Laser Guide Star, which will be used to act as a reference to the very, very large Very Large Telescope (VLT) array.
The point is to give the researchers and scientists a better ability to take pictures of the cosmos, and by creating an artificial star as their reference point for the four mirror-based VLT, they make that easier on themselves.