by Nancy Atkinson on June 9, 2011
“There’s a new telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile and what big eyes it has! The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) is a wide-field survey telescope with a field of view twice as broad as the full Moon, enabling new, spectacular views of the cosmos. It is the largest telescope in the world designed to exclusively survey the sky in visible light.
The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) is the latest telescope to be added to ESO’s Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Credit: ESO/G. Lombardi
The first image released from these new eyes on the Universe is a spectacular view star-forming region Messier 17, also known as the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula, shown above. The VST field of view is so large that the entire nebula, including its fainter outer parts, is captured — and retains its superb sharpness across the entire image.
The spectacular star-forming region Messier 17, A.K.A. the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula. Credit: ESO/INAF-VST/OmegaCAM. Acknowledgement: OmegaCen/Astro-WISE/Kapteyn Institute.
The second image is the globular star cluster Omega Centauri. This is the largest globular cluster in the sky, but the very wide field of view of VST and OmegaCAM allows even the faint outer regions to be seen clearly. This view includes about 300,000 stars.
Omega Centauri, in the constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur)Credit: ESO/INAF-VST/OmegaCAM. Acknowledgement: A. Grado/INAF-Capodimonte Observatory
See the full article here.