IMAGE: Durham University logo




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 ***
*** March 2017 - DR3 data release ***
*** May 2019 - DR4 data release ***

Survey paper: Shanks, T., Metcalfe, N., Chehade, B., Findlay, J. R., Irwin, M. J., Gonzalez-Solares, E., Lewis, J. R., Yoldas, A. Kupcu, Mann, R. G., Read, M. A., Sutorius, E. T. W., and Voutsinas, S. 2015
MNRAS, 451, 4238. The VLT Survey Telescope ATLAS

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.

Original Survey Completed (apart from some repeats of bad observations)
2018 - the ugr data is being extended to cover the area below -20 deg. in the northern cap which only had iz data in the original survey. New area is an extra 797 tiles.
Extension Completed (apart from some repeats of bad observations)

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
P101 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 30/Oct/2017
P102 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 4/May/2018
P103 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 31/Oct/2018
P105 Public Survey Status Report (pdf) 1/Nov/2019

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 ...

Durham discussion meeting, June 12th 2017

Tom Shanks (pdf)
Nigel Metcalfe (pdf)
Nicholas Cross (pdf)

Last updated May 28 2024 15:49:50.