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. For more information about VIRCAM please read the VIRCAM Instrument pages.