360-degree Web Camera Installed at Paranal

12. září 2014

A state-of-the-art 360-degree high-resolution camera has been installed at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile, at the home of the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The new webcam allows anyone online to see the platform of the observatory in its entirety — for the first time in very high resolution — as well as more distant sights such as Cerro Armazones, home of the future European Extremely Large Telescope.

The high-resolution camera delivers a 16,000-pixel 360-degree panorama every hour to the web. The system, a so-called NEOS360 camera, was installed by Apical Technologies also features extremely high resolution zooms in on specific points of interest on the VLT platform and around the observatory. The camera itself is located on the VLTI building [1].

The new camera complements the existing live webcams at ESO which shows views from APEX, and from the ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS) at the Chajnantor Plateau, located at 5000 metres above sea level; from the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) near Toconao, and the La Silla Observatory night-time all-sky camera.

The live high-resolution views from can now be seen on the VLT page on the ESO website, and zoomed high-resolution views of a Unit Telescope, several Auxiliary Telescopes, the VLT Survey Telescope, Cerro Armazones, home of the E-ELT and even the distant volcano Llullaillaco can sometimes be spotted at an amazing distance of 190 km from Paranal.


[1] The VLTI building is where light beams from each of the telescopes are combined so that the individual telescopes work together to form a giant interferometer, the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), allowing astronomers to see details up to 25 times finer than with the individual telescopes.



François GLASSER
Apical Technologies
Marseille, France
Cell: +33 617 644 142
Email: fglasser@apical.fr

Olivier Hainaut
ESO outreach
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6752
Email: ohainaut@eso.org

Lars Lindberg Christensen
Head of ESO ePOD
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6761
Cell: +49 173 3872 621
Email: lars@eso.org

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Image from panoramic webcam at Paranal
Image from panoramic webcam at Paranal