Inside the VST

This seldom-seen perspective offers a true insider’s view of one of ESO’s world-leading telescopes: the VLT Survey Telescope, or VST.

The VST is installed at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. It is the largest telescope surveying the sky in light visible to humans and its cutting-edge design makes it a powerful tool for studying the Universe.  From this viewpoint the OmegaCAM instrument — a camera with a large field of view — can be seen front and centre, nestled inside its stabilising control structure.  

When night falls the telescope’s dome opens and the VST gets to work. The high altitude and arid conditions of the Atacama Desert provide the perfect conditions for astronomical observing, delivering cloud-free skies and very low light pollution for the vast majority of the year. This allows for truly spectacular views of the Milky Way overhead, complete with its array of striking colours, streaks of dark interstellar dust, and bright foreground stars — as seen here.

Credit:

ESO/B. Tafreshi (twanight.org)

About the Image

Id:potw1944a
Type:Photographic
Release date:4 November 2019, 06:00
Size:7487 x 8388 px

About the Object

Name:VLT Survey Telescope
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope
Category:Paranal

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