Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy
Artist's impression of VISTA

The UK ATC is responsible for the design and construction of VISTA, the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, which is a new 4m diameter telescope currently under development. When it is completed in 2006 it will be the world’s largest telescope dedicated to ground based survey work. Initially it will be equipped with the world’s largest infrared camera, and later may be augmented with an optical camera. VISTA will become part of ESO's Cerro Paranal Observatory at an altitude of 2635m, in the Atacama Desert in Chile. VISTA is financed by the UK’s Joint Infrastructure Fund with an additional contribution from PPARC through a consortium of 18 UK universities led by Queen Mary, University of London.

VISTA will be capable of supporting a huge variety of projects from solar-system studies to cosmology. Some examples of future projects are:

VISTA’s discoveries will be crucial in optimising UK exploitation of southern hemisphere 8m telescope time.

The VISTA consortium consists of: Queen Mary University of London, Queen's University of Belfast, The University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Durham, The University of Edinburgh, University of Hertfordshire, Keele University, Leicester University, Liverpool John Moores University, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of St Andrews, University of Southampton, University of Sussex, University College London.

More information about VISTA is available from the ATC project pages, the VISTA website or by contacting Will Sutherland.

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