A Cosmic Vista

The telescope in this eye-catching picture is appropriately named VISTA, short for the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy. The telescope is located at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile, where the altitude and arid climate make for cloudless skies and excellent viewing conditions. 

Different phenomena in the Universe produce different kinds of light, only a tiny fraction of which is visible to the human eye. VISTA observes infrared light, the same radiation that we can feel as heat. The three-tonne camera housed inside the telescope is extremely sensitive, allowing VISTA to detect this kind of light from very distant sources in the Universe and to produce both stunning images and groundbreaking scientific results.

Enjoying the same exceptional skies as VISTA is another of ESO’s facilities, the Very Large Telescope (VLT), which can be just about be seen atop a distant peak. Despite the impressive size and ingenuity of these facilities, they cannot help but be dwarfed by the sheer majesty of the Universe above, as demonstrated by the kaleidoscopic Milky Way arching across the panorama. 

This image was taken by ESO photo ambassador Petr Horálek.



ESO/P. Horálek

About the Image

Release date:5 August 2019, 06:00
Size:30000 x 10592 px
Field of View:360° x 127.1°

About the Object

Name:Panorama, Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
Category:360 Panorama

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