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A bit of History
Submitted by administrator on Mon, 2006-06-05 01:08.
The opportunity to undertake a major scientific and technological venture was offered to OAC by the assignment of an unexpectedly substantial grant in the framework of resources reserved by the Italian Government to promote southern regions.
Such funds had been previously solicited to further develop the observing station implemented at Toppo di Castelgrande with a 1.5m alt-azimuthal telescope (TT1). In 1996 the OAC director set a commission of experts with the task of updating the program with ideas for a > 5 Mega-Euros observing facility, leading in science and capable of boosting the growth of the OAC community.
A constraint to be duly considered was the una tantum nature of the grant, which strongly suggested not to hypothecate the future of the Observatory with the need of a regular flow of resources for operations and maintenance.
As a result, in July 1997 the Capodimonte Observatory was able to present to ESO a scientific and technical proposal envisaging the design, construction, and installation at the Cerro Paranal Observatory, of a new technology telescope with a medium aperture, specialized in, and entirely devoted to wide-field (WF) imaging at optical and infrared wavelengths.
The goal was to ensure, by this instrument, its camera and the seeing qualities of the Paranal site, a more than tenfold increase in the scientific output with respect to the combination of MPI/ESO 2.2m reflector with WFI. Named VST for VLT Survey Telescope, the instrument was intended to complement VLT with wide-angle imaging for the detection and pre-characterization of sources to be further observed with the larger telescopes, but it was also meant for non-VLT related stand-alone survey programmes.
VST + OmegaCam Exposure Time calculator
Description: VOCET is a versatile calculator allowing the observer to compute various quantities related to the VST + OmegaCam 16kx16k observing performance (source type, magnitude, filter, seeing, sky brightness, airmass, atmospheric transmission).
Link: Official Site
Author: A. Rifatto - INAF-OACN
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