Lomonosov Moscow State University
Sternberg Astronomical Institute

Ya. B. Zeldovich All-Moscow Seminar of Astrophysicists

Seminar 14 September 2012


"The VLT Survey Telescope: a year after its coming into operation"

The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) is a 2.6 m wide field optical telescope located at the Cerro Paranal Observatory of ESO in the Chilean Andes.  It has been built by the INAF in the framework of a joint venture between the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, Naples, and the European  Southern Observatory, with the main drive of carrying on public surveys of cosmological interest. VST features an active optics system which guarantees an overall instrumental resolution of 0.5 arc-seconds over a field of view of 1°x1°, with only marginally elongated images. The wide field is sampled by OmegaCam, a camera with a mosaic of 32 CCD for a total of 256 Mpixels, provided by the homonymous consortium. The facility is in operation since October of 2011.

In the talk I shall review the characteristics of the VST system, tell briefly the history of this realization which was marked by a major transport accident to the mirror manufactured by the Russian firm LZOS, and present the on-going surveys and some of the preliminary results in comparison with competing facilities all over the world.