Wired Science has posted a photo gallery of the new VLT Survey Telescope (VST) in Chile, including VST’s first breathtaking photos of the Southern sky.
The VST is a celestial scout of sorts — its purpose is to take vivid photos of celestial objects and identify suitable candidates for more detailed study by the VLT (Very Large Telescope). The VLT is an array of four large telescopes — each 8.2-m in diameter — with a combined resolution of 1 milli-arcsecond. In practical terms, this means the VLT would be able to distinguish two astronauts standing five feet apart on the surface of the Moon. Since time on the VLT is very precious, the VST — with its impressive 268-megapixel wide-field imaging camera — will be invaluable in selecting optimum targets for it.