1. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    28 Dec '04
    25 Jul '18 08:56

    This article says it is as good as Hubble but the newest image of Neptune looks better than Hubble to me.

    That scope uses adaptive optics, shooting a powerful laser into the atmosphere and seeing where it wiggles around and servo's adjusting out that distortion 1000 times per second, microscopic movements you couldn't even see if you were looking at it. You might feel the operation of that technology if you could touch the mirrors but you would not see anything but the results speak for themselves. That scope is almost 10 METERS wide and there are 4 others much smaller but can be used together to make much sharper images.
    That is just the start, the full resolution should be something like ten times that of Hubble when they get it fully up to speed. The mirror in Hubble is about 2 meters wide but the addition of the corrective optics that fixed the out of focus mirror means they lose some resolution but the VLT scope is some 15 times bigger and if that scope was in space, it WOULD have 15 times the resolution of Hubble but it's on top of a mountain in Chile so has to deal with atmospheric distortion which it is starting to do quite well but is still limited in IR wavelengths since the atmosphere absorbs a number of IR wavelengths and at those wavelengths that scope is more or less useless. But in visual wavelengths, it is right now king. There are even larger scopes on the horizon though, using the same adaptive optics so Hubble's days may be numbered, which it is anyway due to lack of fuel to keep it oriented. When that fuel runs out, so does Hubble and there are no plans to replenish the fuel so it's life is almost over already.