Still in Chile, and we heard today that the VLT survey telescope has just started to produce some results with its vast 238 mega-pixel camera. This imaging system is located next to the VLT scopes we saw in the video in my previous post.

The VLT suvey telescope is going to undertake 3 major surveys overs the next 5 years resulting in a catalogue of over 500 million objects. Compare that to your average amateur GOTO telescope with a catalogue of about 50,000 objects!

This photo shows the camera itself - looks to be the size of an armchair. Slightly bigger than you average DSLR camera! It weighs in at around 770kg and contains 32 separate CCD sensors making up it huge total pixelage.

First Images from the VLT Survey Telescope

The 2.6 metre aperture ESO telescope has a staggering 238 mega-pixel camera giving something like a 1 degree. Pretty amazing.

Let us look at those figures a little more closely.

My telescope is a mere 20cm across. Their telescope is 13 times wider!

We all use filters in are astrophotography. My filters are 1.25 inches across. The filters on their setup are supposed to be 30cm across! Considering a cheap narrowband 1.25 inch filter costs at least 100, each of their filters could easily cost 20k.

My CCD camera is 1.5 mega-pixels. That makes their CCD camera nearly 160 times bigger than me!

I feel very small today!