- CRIRES (CRyogenic high-resolution InfraRed Echelle Spectrograph) provides a resolving power of up to 100 000 in the spectral range from 1 to 5 μm.
- FLAMES (Fibre Large Array Multi-Element Spectrograph) offers the unique capability to study simultaneously and at high spectral resolution hundreds of individual stars in nearby galaxies. It is also equipped for integral field spectroscopy.
- FORS2 (FOcal Reducer and Spectrograph) is a multi-mode instrument that can be used for imaging in the visible and for low-resolution spectroscopy.
- HAWK-I (High Acuity Wide field K-band Imager) is a near-infrared imager with a relatively large field of view.
- ISAAC (Infrared Spectrometer And Array Camera) is a cryogenic infrared imager and spectrometer, observing in the 1 to 5 µm range.
- KMOS (K-band Multi Object Spectrograph) is a near-infrared spectrograph equipped with 24 positionable integral-field units.
- NACO is an Adaptive Optics facility producing images as sharp as if taken in space. It is also equipped with a spectrometer, polarimeter, coronographs, etc.
- SINFONI (Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observations in the Near Infrared) is a near-infrared (1 - 2.5 μm) integral field spectrograph fed by an adaptive optics module.
- UVES (UltraViolet and Visible Echelle Spectrograph) is the high-dispersion spectrograph of the VLT, observing from 300 nm to 1100 nm, with a maximum spectral resolution of 110 000.
- VIMOS (VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph), a four-channel multiobject spectrograph and imager, allows obtaining low-resolution spectra of up to 1000 galaxies at a time.
- VIRCAM (VISTA InfraRed CAMera) allows us to see some of the most distant astronomical objects, such as quasars and galaxies from when our Universe was very young.
- X-shooter is a spectrograph covering a very wide range of wavelengths [UV to near infrared] simultaneously.
Current and planned telescopes and instruments on Paranal
- MIDI is a MID-infrared Interferometric instrument for photometry and spectroscopy.
- AMBER is a near infrared Astronomical Multi-Beam combineR — an instrument for photometric and spectroscopic studies, which combines the light of three telescopes.