La Silla Paranal Observatory: The Paranal Facilities


On Paranal, ESO operates the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) with four 8.2-m Unit Telescopes (UTs). Each UT can work independently, in which case it sends the light beam towards either a Cassegrain or one of two Nasmyth focus stations for facility instruments. In addition, the UTs can work together to form an interferometric array (VLTI). In this case, they send the light beams towards their Coudé focus station, where adaptive optic systems correct the light beams for atmospheric turbulence before forwarding them to an interferometric laboratory to be coherently combined.

ESO also operates four 1.8m Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) which form the VLT interferometer small array (VISA). 

Furthermore, ESO also operates two survey telescopes, each with its own instrument: the 4-m infrared VISTA, and the 2.5-m visible VST.

Currently, 15 instruments are operational and offered for science observations.

In Case of Emergency

In all Emergencies, dial 5555 from any phoning station
Read the Emergency Procedures