In addition to shooting lasers into space because it's fun, the Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile uses them to take better pictures. The laser beam excites sodium atoms in the upper atmosphere, creating an artificial star that can be used to compensate for the atmospheric suckage that space telescopes like Hubble avoid completely.
This series of pics was taken by Yuri Beletsky, one of the European Southern Observatory's photo ambassadors. Give 'em all a good look in the gallery below.
Via Yuri Beletsky