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Welcome to the VST ATLAS survey home page.

June 2011 - First light on the VST
August 2011 - the survey has started
*** November 2013 - DR1 data release ***
*** November 2015 - DR2 data release ***
g,i,z image of NGC253

What is ATLAS?

The initial aim of ATLAS is to survey 4500 deg2 of the Southern Sky at high galactic latitudes to comparable depths to the SDSS in the North. The VST ATLAS will be the first step towards a panoramic digital survey of the Southern Sky in the optical bands. The ATLAS will complement the proposed VISTA Hemisphere Survey in the South. A prime science driver is to determine the dark energy equation of state by detecting 'baryon wiggles' in the power-spectrum of ~450000 z~0.7 Luminous Red Galaxies (LRGs), using either photo-z from VST ATLAS + VHS imaging or spectroscopic redshifts via the new AAOmega instrument. Other uses include the colour selection of QSO candidates out to z~7. Further potential dark energy probes exist including LRG z-space distortion, the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe Effect and the dependence of QSO lensing on redshift. Finally, the VST ATLAS+AAOmega will feed VLT with rare galaxy and QSO targets for high resolution spectroscopy, constituting a new and uniquely powerful tool for survey cosmology.

The survey started in August 2011. Processing is being done at the Cambridge Astronomy Survey Unit (CASU), whilst the data release is being prepared by the Wide Field Astronomy Unit (WFAU) at the ROE. DR2 is now available from the ESO archive.

Atlas survey area

RA rangeDec range
21h30 -> 04h00 -40o -> -10o
10h00 -> 15h30-20o -> -2o
10h00 -> 15h00-29o -> -20o
Exposure times (secs)

Survey progress maps:
(these are constructed monthly from the information in the ESO database)
Numbers in brackets are completed tiles. There are a total of 4276 tiles to be observed in ugr and 5073 in iz.
  • 4th January 2016: u-band (3519), g-band (3955), r-band (4038), i-band (4507), z-band (4609).
  • 1st February 2016: u-band (3536), g-band (3972), r-band (4038), i-band (4552), z-band (4654).
  • 1st March 2016: u-band (3585), g-band (3972), r-band (4038), i-band (4654), z-band (4688).
  • 4th April 2016: u-band (3734), g-band (4072), r-band (4089), i-band (4722), z-band (4837).
  • 3rd May 2016: u-band (3751), g-band (4072), r-band (4089), i-band (4841), z-band (4871).
  • 1st June 2016: u-band (3768), g-band (4072), r-band (4089), i-band (4892), z-band (4922).
  • 1st July 2016: u-band (3802), g-band (4072), r-band (4157), i-band (4892), z-band (4922).
  • 1st August 2016: u-band (3851), g-band (4089), r-band (4208), i-band (4892), z-band (4922).
  • 8th September 2016: u-band (4140), g-band (4208), r-band (4242), i-band (4907), z-band (4922).
  • 3rd October 2016: u-band (4157), g-band (4208), r-band (4242),i-band (4907), z-band (4922).
  • 10th November 2016: u-band (4157), g-band (4208), r-band (4242),i-band (4907), z-band(4922).
  • 13th December 2016: u-band (4157), g-band (4208), r-band (4242),i-band (4907), z-band(4922).
  • 4th January 2017: u-band (4157), g-band (4208), r-band (4242),i-band (4907), z-band(4922).
  • 1st February 2017: u-band (4191), g-band (4225), r-band 4276, i-band (4920), z-band(4922).

    You can also try the Chilean Data Hub for more maps

    Who is involved?


    T. Shanks, University of Durham, UK
    Co Is:
    C.M. Baugh (Durham), 
    S.L. Bridle (UCL), 
    B.J. Boyle (ATNF), 
    G. Busarello (OAC),
    M. Capaccioli (OAC), 
    M.M. Colless (AAO), 
    S.M. Croom (AAO), 
    C. Davenhall (Edinburgh),
    M.J. Drinkwater (UQ), 
    A.C. Edge (Durham), 
    J.P. Emerson (QMUL), 
    D. Evans (Cambridge), 
    C.S. Frenk (Durham), 
    E. Gonzalez-Solares (Cambridge)
    N. Hambly (Edinburgh), 
    S. Hodgkin (Cambridge),
    M.J. Irwin (Cambridge)
    O. Lahav (UCL), 
    J. Lewis (Cambridge)
    N. Loaring (MSSL),
    S.J. Maddox (Nottingham),
    B. Mann (Edinburgh)
    R.G. McMahon (Cambridge), 
    N. Metcalfe (Durham), 
    S.L. Morris (Durham), 
    R.C. Nichol (Portsmouth), 
    K. Noddle (Edinburgh),
    J.A. Peacock (Edinburgh), 
    K. Pimbblet (UQ), 
    M. Read (Edinburgh), 
    I. Roseboom (UQ), 
    N.J. Ross (LBNL),
    R. Savage (Sussex), 
    U. Sawangwit (Durham),
    E. Sutorius (Edinburgh), 
    W.J. Sutherland (QMUL), 
    E. van Kampen (Innsbruck), 
    S.J. Warren (IC), 
    P. Williams (Edinburgh) 


    VST ATLAS Proposal (pdf) 24/02/05
    VST ATLAS ESO Large Programme Case for Support (pdf) 13/10/05
    VST ATLAS ESO Large Programme Proposal Form (pdf) 13/10/05
    VST ATLAS Survey Management Plan (pdf) 15/04/06
    Revised VST ATLAS Survey Management Plan (pdf) 6/09/06
    June 2011 VST ATLAS Survey Management Plan (pdf) 17/Jun/2011
    P89 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 28/Oct/2011
    VST presentation at KIDS kick-off meeting (ppt) 3/Nov/2011
    2QDES Telecon presentation Wednesday 29/2/12 11pm UT(ppt) 29/Feb/2012
    P90 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 14/May/2012
    P91 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 31/Oct/2012
    P92 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 30/Apr/2013
    P93 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 8/Nov/2013
    DR1 release description (pdf) 8/Nov/2013
    Public Survey Panel Review: Status Report (pdf) 7/Apr/2014
    P95 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 4/Nov/2014
    P97 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 20/Oct/2015
    P99 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 21/Oct/2016

    Related documents

    AAOmega LRG Z Survey AATAC Pilot proposal (gzipped postscript) 15/09/05
    AAOmega LRG Z Survey AATAC Long Term proposal (gzipped postscript) 15/03/06
    AAOmega LRG Z Survey Report on Pilot Run (pdf) 20/04/06
    VST-ISW Chilean Survey (pdf) 31/03/06
    VISTA Hemisphere Survey (pdf) 31/03/06
    VISTA Hemisphere Survey management plan (web page) June 2007
    VISTA Hemisphere Survey Project Management Wiki

    Kick-off meeting, Durham Nov 23rd 2010

    Instroduction & Overview - Tom Shanks (pdf)
    Science Archives at WFAU - Eckhard Sutorius (pdf)
    Quality control/User interface at WFAU - Eckhard Sutorius (pdf)
    Global Calibration - Steve Maddox (pdf)
    CASU processing for VST - Mike Irwin (pdf)

    Science kick-off meeting, Durham Dec 5th 2011

    Final programme (pdf)
    VST ATLAS Data reduction at CASU - Mike Irwin (pdf)
    GalaxyFormation - Claudia Lagos-Urbina (pdf)
    Galaxy Groups and Clusters - Sean McGee (pdf)
    GAMA + Herschel ATLAS - Peder Norberg (pdf)
    VST ATLAS Archiving at WFAU - Bob Mann (pdf)
    VISTA Hemisphere Survey - Richard McMahon (pdf)
    ATLAS Galaxy Photo-z - Roberto Saglia (pdf)
    Simulations + 2dFGRS - Alex Merson (pdf)
    ATLAS Status - Tom Shanks (pdf)
    LRG Cosmology - Tom Shanks (pdf)
    High-z QSOs with VHS+ATLAS - Manda Banerji (pdf)
    VST Kilo Degree Survey (KIDS) - Jelte de Jong (pdf)
    ATLAS UVX QSO Surveys - Utane Sawangwit (pdf)
    Stellar Streams - Berenice Pila Diez (pdf)
    VST Calibration - Nigel Metcalfe (pdf)

    DEX meeting, Durham Jan 13th 2012

    VST Atlas - Tom Shanks (pdf)

    ESO VST Data Products meeting, Mar 21st 2012

    Atlas - Tom Shanks (ppt)

    VST Workshop, Durham, April 2014

    Webpage with pdfs of talks ...

    Last updated February 01 2017 18:23:24.