Space telescopes are great — so why do we still build ground-based ones?

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A laser is beamed into the atmosphere, where it will react with sodium several kilometers above the observatory, creating an artificial guide star for astronomers utilizing adaptive optics at the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Image credit: ESO (cc)

This article was originally published on The Cosmic Companion by James Maynard, founder and publisher of The Cosmic Companion. He is a New England native turned desert rat in Tucson, where he lives with his lovely wife, Nicole, and Max the Cat. You can read this original piece here.

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