VISTA (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) is a survey telescope working at infrared wavelengths and is the world’s largest telescope dedicated to mapping the sky.
Because VISTA is a large telescope that also has a large field of view it can both detect faint sources and also cover wide areas of sky quickly. Each VISTA image captures a section of sky covering about ten times the area of the full Moon and it will be able to detect and catalogue objects over the whole southern sky with a sensitivity that is forty times greater than that achieved with earlier infrared sky surveys such as the highly successful Two Micron All-Sky Survey. This jump in observational power — comparable to the step in sensitivity from the unaided eye to Galileo’s first telescope — will reveal vast numbers of new objects and allow the creation of far more complete inventories of rare and exotic objects in the southern sky.
It has already taken some breathtaking images.
While my traffic has been way up since the Andreas Moritz incident, I know it isn’t going to stay that way. That’s why it’s especially disappointing that my Hubble contest post no longer shows up on Google images on the first page. It had been there for quite a long time, artificially boosting my stats, which in turn did raise the profile of FTSOS, if even only slightly. But since WordPress took me down for a couple days, that image has vanished from Google images. I suppose the best I can do is link back to it from time to time. More importantly, I suppose I can start making a few more posts about Hubble and Hubble news now.
But other than one of those slow news day stories, there doesn’t seem to be much out there. So in lieu of a real post, here is some eye candy.