VLT Survey Telescope (ESO)

The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) is a 2.6m diameter optical imaging telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory in Chile supporting the VLT (Very Large Telescope) through its wide-field capabilities and ability to perform stand-alone survey projects. It will be equipped with an enormous 268-megapixel camera called OmegaCAM.  Like the VLT, the survey telescope will cover a wide-range of wavelengths from ultraviolet through optical to the near-infrared. But whereas the largest telescopes, such as the VLT, can only study a small part of the sky at any one time, the VST is designed to photograph large areas quickly and deeply.

The VST was conceived to support the VLT with wide-angle imaging by detecting and pre-characterising sources, which the VLT Unit Telescopes can then observe further. The VST will be dedicated to survey programmes. It has the potential to make important discoveries in a wide of areas of astrophysics and cosmology.

The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) program is a cooperation between the Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte (OAC), Italy, and the European Southern Observatory. UK scientists lead two out of the three initial VST survey programmes.

 

UK Involvement

University of Durham
 
University of Hertfordshire
 
University of Cambridge

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000