VISTA, our shiny new IR survey telescope, is ready for rock and roll. Check out the ESO press release . There some lervely pictures, including a zoomable mosaic of the Galactic Centre.

I am excited (and relieved) both scientifically and in project terms. Data is being processed by a combined Cambridge-Edinburgh team. The data will be deposited in the ESO archive, but also of course will be available in a flexible queryable interface pretty similar to what we already do for UKIDSS at the WFCAM Science Archive (WSA). (The VSA is ready but I am not sure I am allowed to show it to you yet…) Enjoy.

Next up : WISE. This is a spacecraft that will survey the sky in the mid-IR, nicely complementing UKIDSS and VISTA. It is due for launch on Monday from Vandenberg. Gad, the IR is getting exciting.

9 Responses to VISTA is Go

  1. Nick says:

    Its good to see the images released. Those who designed and built the telescope deserve a big round of applause. As Andy says, the VISTA Science Archive is ready to go: much the same as WFCAM, but with a few new things, which reflect some of the differences in the telescope.

  2. Paul Crowther says:

    ISTA not VISTA surely? Unless someone coughs up for a visible camera for it that is. Thinking of visible survey telescopes, any word on when VST will be operational? Hmm.. but then which of these consortia has the late penalty fee looming?

  3. andyxl says:

    The consortium doesn’t have to cough up for anything. Its the Yookay, ie EssTeeEffSee. The VST consortium wasn’t trying to get a cut-price entry by saying : “Tell you what, I’ll throw in the light fittings. Yeah, I know there aren’t any, but they are on order, see ?”.

  4. Nick says:

    Omega-Cam is ready of course, but no telescope, VISTA will be ISTA without a visible camera. Which would be cheaper and easier, converting Omega-Cam to work on VISTA or fixing VST? Of course the visible surveys would get in the way of the infra-red surveys if they were done on VISTA, and Pan-STARRS will do it all anyway.

  5. Ross Collins says:

    Alternatively, VISTA could become a recursive acronym, say, the VIRCAM Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy.

  6. andyxl says:

    Ross – surely thats the VISTA Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, otherwise its not recursive ?

  7. Sarah says:

    Great to see the VISTA images, nice work by everyone involved. It’s a great year for IR astronomy with the Herschel, and fingers crossed for WISE. Fingers crossed also for METIS, the IR instrument for the E-ELT which is getting reviewed this week (or maybe that’s just me).

  8. andyxl says:

    Maybe Sarah is getting reviewed this week ? Shum mishtake shurely ?

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