Short Description:

PARSEC is a sodium line laser which can produce a high quality 12W continuous wave output beam. It is currently installed on Yepun, the fourth 8.2-m unit telescope of the VLT in Chile, as part of the Laser Guide Star Facility. The aim of the LGSF is to substantially increase the sky coverage available to, and hence the scientific potential of, the adaptive optics cameras CONICA (with NAOS) and SPIFFI (as part of SINFONI). This has been achieved as a collaborative effort between the Max Planck Institutes and the European Southern Observatory (who were responsible for the laser clean room, the beam relay, and the launch telescope).

Project Type:

Supporting instrument for ground-based telescope

MPE Contribution:

PARSEC was build at MPE in a joint project by MPE (Garching) and MPIA (Heidelberg).


Start of operation was on January 28, 2006.

PARSEC is operational at the VLT on Paranal.


PARSEC pages at MPE

Infrared/Submillimeter Astronomy (web pages of the MPE department involved in the project)

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