Paranal Telescopes Overview

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal is ESO's premier site for observations in the visible and infrared light. All four unit telescopes of 8.2-m diameter are individually in operation with a large collection of instruments.

The VLT offers also the possibility of combining coherently the light from the four UTs to work as an interferometer. The Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), with its own suite of instruments, ultimately providing imagery at the milli arcsecond level as well as astrometry at 10 micro arcsecond precision. In addition to the 8.2m diamter telescopes the VLTI is complemented with four Auxiliary Telescopes (AT) of 1.8m diameter to improve its imaging capabilities and enable full nighttime use on a year-round basis.

Two new and powerful telescope - the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) and the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) with the instrument OmegaCAM - have started their work at ESO's Paranal observatory in northern Chile. They are arguably the most powerful dedicated imaging survey telescopes in the world and will hugely increase the scientific discovery potential of the Paranal Observatory.

Paranal Telescopes Overview provides comprehensive information about the Telescopes and Instruments that are currently operational:

Detailed information for each of the instruments on the VLT and VLTI can be found via the Paranal Instruments menu.