VISTA on Video

A chance tweet brought to my attention this video that fits well with a news story that’s been doing the rounds for a few days.   This concerns a very deep and wide survey called UltraVISTA, that has been made using the VISTA telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. You can find the full press release from ESO that started the media interest here, where some lovely images can also be found.

VISTA is the world’s largest infra-red survey telescope, and is unusual among telescopes for having only one instrument on it, an Infra-red camera.  Technically, therefore,  it should really be called ISTA; owing to cost constraints the Visible camera that was initially proposed to accompany the Infra-red one and supply the V in its acronym,  was never built. Anyway, VISTA was designed explicitly to do survey work involving very distant and faint objects; its forte is to allow very deep images to be made with a very wide field of view, as demonstrated on the video…

Since I’m using the handle “telescoper” on this blog, I suppose I really should post about telescopes a bit more often than I do but I hope this will do for now!

3 Responses to “VISTA on Video”

  1. Mark McCaughrean Says:

    “It’s forte”, Prof Coles? The shame, the shame … move that apostrophe over to the right a few characters, slant it a bit, and you’ll have fixed your grammar in two languages 🙂

    (Yes, I know it can be “forte” or “forté”, but … )

  2. I can add that our team has made RGB colour images with more vivid colours at and
    ESO make RGB colour images where it (quote) ‘is our house style to aim for “natural” colours’ — whatever that means when all the input images are obtained using infrared filters!

  3. Nick Cross Says:

    There will be public releases through the VISTA Science Archive next week. The VISTA Hemisphere Survey has already been released this way. The Magellanic Clouds survey (VMC), VIKING (1500 square degree extragalactic) and VIDEO (15 sq. degree extragalactic, deeper than VIKING but not as deep as UltraVISTA) will be released next week and the VISTA Variables in Via Lactea (VVV) will be released in the next few weeks. I should point out that in each case the surveys are not complete, but a lot of good data will be released.

    Enjoy it when it comes.

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