Source: ESO 49/09 - Organisation Release
The new infrared southern sky survey telescope VISTA (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) right here on Earth has gone online and released its first few wonderful pictures of the Universe.
Flame Nebula, or NGC 2024, in the constellation of Orion (the Hunter). Credit: ESO/VISTA.
VISTA is the latest telescope to be added to ESO’s Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. It is housed on the peak adjacent to the one hosting the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) and shares the same exceptional observing conditions. VISTA’s main mirror is 4.1 metres across and is the most highly curved mirror of this size and quality ever made — its deviations from a perfect surface are less than a few thousandths of the thickness of a human hair — and its construction and polishing presented formidable challenges. (read more)