A powerful new telescope called VISTA — the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy — just started work at the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in the Chilean desert.
In its first five years, the telescope will be used for six major sky surveys, including one of the entire southern sky. Other studies will examine smaller regions in greater detail.
The telescope can detect faint sources and cover wide areas of sky quickly. Each image captures a section of sky about 10 times the area of the full moon.