How It Works

The most powerful survey telescope in the world brings new images of outer space

VISTA reveals a brand new view of the southern sky

Based in Chile’s European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Paranal Observatory, the VISTA telescope, or Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, can see into deep space and map out the sky using infrared wavelengths. VISTA has a large mirror, a wide field of view and sensitive detectors, which help it to reveal a new view of the southern sky. The telescope has already produced exciting new images of the Flame Nebula at the centre of the Milky Way.

VISTA telescope 2

ESO’s director general,Tim de Zeeuw, is extremely pleased with the results so far: “VISTA is a unique addition to ESO’s observatory on Cerro Paranal. It will play a pioneering role in surveying the southern sky at infrared wavelengths and will find many interesting targets for further study by the Very Large Telescope, ALMA and the future European Extremely Large Telescope.

  • Skip


    Great to see Vista on the sky. I Helped build and install the In house coating plant. I was part of a mainly 3 man team from the U.K. I worked for Metalcraft,The other main man was Mike Swann-Taylor.

    Have you got any info on how the coating went I know it went well but I would still like to see the 4.1m mirror in the plant. Being as it is one of the first in house coating plants.

    Any info or pics would be great!

    Thanks Skip