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Scientists' Laser Beam Creates a Virtual Star

January 06, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are seeing stars with a new laser they helped develop that creates the first virtual star.

The laser is beamed onto a layer of sodium atoms 60 miles above the Earth in order to measure distortions in the atmosphere.

The orange-tinted virtual star measures only 39 inches in diameter and is 25 times fainter than anything that can be seen by the unaided eye.

Scientists say it has allowed them to obtain infrared images with four times better resolution than the Hubble Space Telescope.

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