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VISTA Science Verification — The Galactic and Extragalactic Mini-surveys

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M. Arnaboldi, M. Petr-Gotzens, M. Rejkuba, M. Neeser, T. Szeifert, V. D. Ivanov, W. Hummel, M. Hilker, N. Neumayer, P. Møller, K. Nilsson, B. Venemans, E. Hatziminaoglou, G. Hussain, T. Stanke, P. Teixeira, S. Ramsay, J. Retzlaff, R. Slijkhuis, F. Comerón & 8 more J. Melnick, M. Romaniello, J. Emerson, W. Sutherland, M. Irwin, J. Lewis, S. Hodgkin, E. Gonzales-Solares

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The Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) will be mostly dedicated to the execution of ESO public surveys, requiring large amounts of service observing time. VISTA Science Verification (SV) thus differs from that usually implemented for other VLT instruments. VISTA SV consisted of two self-contained mini-surveys: a Galactic mini-survey in the region around the Orion Belt stars; and a deep extragalactic mini-survey of the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 253. ESO astronomers used these mini-surveys as benchmarks to optimise the survey operation procedures, minimise overheads, and experience the full end-to-end process of survey data acquisition. The raw data and associated calibrations from both mini-surveys were released in December 2009, and the reduced images and catalogues will soon be available, enabling the first exciting science with VISTA.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-11
JournalThe Messenger
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

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