SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Geminids, Two-Faced Moon, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Geminids, Two-Faced Moon, More
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December 11, 2009--A crisp new picture of the Flame Nebula is among the first to be released from the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA), which started operations this week.

Based at the European Southern Observatory's site on Cerro Paranal in Chile, VISTA is now the world's largest telescope dedicated to mapping the sky.

The telescope's three-ton camera sees in infrared light. This allows VISTA to penetrate otherwise opaque clouds of dust to capture stars being born and to see objects both too distant and too cold for their visible light to reach Earth.
— Image courtesy ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA
 
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