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The European Very Large Telescope (VLT) will provide the European scientific community with a ground-based telescope system with collecting power significantly greater than any facilities available at present, offering basic imaging and spectroscopic capabilities at visible and infrared wavelengths. The concept is based on an array of four identical, independent 8-meter telescopes called "Unit Telescopes". The resulting collecting area is equivalent to that of a 16-meter dish. The Unit Telescopes may be used totally independently on different observational programmes or in a combined mode. This combined mode may consist of a post-detection summation of data obtained simultaneously at different telescopes on the same object and with identical instruments. Furthermore the VLT will provide an interferometric mode by which milli-arcsecond level angular resolution will be attained.
The VLT Programme is in an advanced phase of construction and the "first light" is expected in 1997. This presentation will give a description of the new technologies that have been developed, the importance of the contribution of industry, the variety of problems still to be solved and the results obtained. A video will be shown.
8:30a program listing