The Swan Nebula as photographed through the VST.
A section of our universe previously not photographed now is visible to all due to a newly installed super telescope. The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) recently snapped its first impressive images of the southern sky over the Paranal Observatory in Chile.
The state-of-the-art telescope is the latest addition to the European Southern Observatory's network of telescopes at Paranal in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The first image released from the VST shows the spectacular star-forming region Messier 17, also known as the Omega nebula or the Swan nebula, as it has never been seen before.
According to LiveScience.com:
This nebula, full of gas, dust and hot young stars, lies in the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer). The VST's field of view is so large that is able to observe the entire nebula, including its fainter outer parts.
The second of the newly released images is a portrait of the star cluster Omega Centauri in unprecedented detail. Omega Centauri is the largest globular cluster in the sky and the VST's view includes about 300,000 stars.
The VST and its OmegaCAM over the next five years will make three detailed surveys of the southern sky. The data will be made public for astronomers around the world to analyze.