INSTRUMENT VISTAVISTA (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) is a 4-m class specialized wide field survey telescope for the southern hemisphere, equipped with a near infrared camera VIRCAM (VISTA InfraRed CAMera) with 1.65 degree diameter field of view at VISTA's nominal pixel size, containing 67 million pixels of mean size 0.339 arcsec and available broad band filters at Z,Y,J,H,Ks and narrow band filters at 0.98, 0.99, and 1.18 micron.The telescope has an altitude-azimuth mount, and quasi-Ritchey-Chretien optics with a fast f/1 primary mirror giving an f/3.25 focus to the instrument at Cassegrain. The instrument mounts to the rotator on the back of the primary mirror cell, and includes a wide-field corrector lens system (3 infrasil lenses), autoguider and active optics sensors. VISTA is located at ESO's Cerro Paranal Observatory in Chile (latitude 24° 40' S) on its own peak about 1500m from the four VLTs and the VST.The point spread function (PSF) of the telescope+camera system (including pixels) is expected to have a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 0.51 arcsec.

Publications based on data obtained with VISTA should quote the following reference papers: Emerson, J. et al. 2006, The Messenger 126, p41 and Dalton, G.B. et al. 2006, SPIE 6269, p30.

Contact Information

  • Questions related to service mode observations and proposal preparation should be addressed to the User Support Department.
  • Questions related to visitor mode observations should be addressed to Paranal Science Operations
  • Please send us your comments, suggestions and report errors and inaccurate statements in the web pages and manuals.

Content of these pages

The following items are available on all the VISTA pages, using the bar on the left.

  • Overview: a short description of the instrument, the public surveys, and the VISTA Data Flow System
  • News: list of changes affecting the instrument and/or its pages.
  • Instrument Description: all the important parameters of the instrument.
  • Manuals: links to all the documents related to VISTA.
  • Tools: a collection of useful tools and informations for preparing and analyzing the VISTA observations.
  • Instrument Operations Team
  • Visitor Instructions: Instrument specific instructions for Visiting Astronomers