Stargazers head for Chilean mountains

March 3, 2000

Astronomers from the United Kingdom will create the most detailed atlas of the sky ever attempted using a new telescope to be built in Chile.

The executive board for the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (Vista), have chosen the Cerro Paranal mountain in the Atacama Desert, home to the European Southern Observatory to base the new instrument.

Experts from the UK Astronomy Technology Centre at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh will design, construct and commission the telescope which will perform the deepest-ever large area surveys of the southern sky. It should be operational by 2004.

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