The VLT survey Telescope (VST) is one of the two European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes equipped with large format cameras, ideal for surveying the sky. In particular, the VST camera, OmegaCAM, is about 1×1 square degree wide, allowing to observe a sky area of about four times the size of the full Moon in a single shot.
The researchers of the INAF-OAAb, participate to various observing campaigns with the VST. The two leading projects we are participating are the Fornax Deep Survey (FDS), and the VST Elliptical Galaxy Survey (VEGAS).
Fornax Deep Survey (FDS)
The FDS project has obtained ~25 square degree deep VST data of the Fornax Cluster of galaxies, in the u, g, r and i passbands. Fornax is the second closest galaxy cluster, at about ~20 Mpc distance from our Milky Way, and represents one of the cornerstone clusters for our understanding of the processes of galaxy formation and evolution.
OAAb researchers participate to the FDS program leading the working group devoted to study the globular cluster population(s) in the galaxies in Fornax. Globular clusters are fundamental astronomical objects, as they are the fossil tracers of their host environment.
VST Elliptical Galaxy Survey (VEGAS)
VEGAS observes very massive elliptical galaxies in one single VST pointing, in the u, g, r and i bands. One of the key features of the survey is to identify and characterize the extremely faint morphological features of the target galaxy in its host environment. For VEGAS, as for FDS, one of the science topics is the study of globular clusters, which our group is leading too.