What is VLT Survey Telescope?

The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) is located at the Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile and is adjacent to the four Very Large Telescope (VLT) Unit Telescopes. It is located atop the Cerro Paranal mountain. The VST is unique as it is the world’s largest telescope specifically designed to survey the sky in visible light. The program is a collaboration between Italy’s OAC and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

Why is VLT Survey Telescope in News?

The VLT Survey Telescope has recently captured a detailed image of IC 4701, an emission nebula found in the Sagittarius constellation. This nebula, also known as LBN 55 or NRL 18, was discovered by astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard in August 1905.

Who built VLT Survey Telescope?

It is a cooperation between Italy and 16 other European countries. These 16 countries formed the ESO – Earth Southern Observatory that signed the agreement with Italy to build the VLT Survey Telescope. ESO is a research facility.

Is VLT Survey Telescope and VLT Telescope the same?

No. The VLT Survey telescope supports the VLT Telescope. The VLT Telescope is operated by the European Southern Observatory. But VLT Survey Telescope is operated by Italy and ESO.

Both telescopes are located in the Atacama desert. The VLT survey telescope creates maps of the night sky. It scans and takes pictures of different parts of the sky. This data provided by the VLT survey telescope is used by the VLT telescope team to continue the research further.

What are the functions of the VLT Survey Telescope?

It conducts multi-colour imaging surveys and searches for rare objects in the sky. It is a part of the Public Surveys Project. The surveys conducted under this project take five or more years to complete and are extensive. Surveys are done on the sky.

The telescope studies solar system bodies, galactic planes, interactions happening in Milky Way, intra-cluster planetary nebulae, and other micro-lensing events.




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