The new survey telescope, Vista, has revealed its first spectacular images. This is the star-forming region known as the Flame Nebula, in the constellation of Orion. Photos courtesy of the European Southern Observatory.
This picture of the ghostly Horsehead Nebula was taken in the near-infrared part of the spectrum, which human eyes cannot see. The bright bluish star towards the right is one of the three stars of Orion's belt.
By detecting infrared light, Vista can see through dust that obscures many objects in the cosmos. This image looks deep into the heart of our own Milky Way galaxy. There are about one million stars pictured.
Vista has a very wide field of view and can capture large areas of the sky in a single image. This picture shows the Fornax Galaxy Cluster - one of the closest such groupings beyond our "local group" of galaxies.
Vista is based at the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. It is the world’s largest infrared telescope dedicated to mapping the sky.
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