Don't try to use this to peak on your next door neighbors. This is Vista, an acronym for something that has nothing to do with Microsoft. It stands for "Visible and Infared Survey Telescope for Astronomy", and it's located near the peak of Cerro Paranal, a Chilean mountaintop.
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It fixes that all too common problem of not being able to see things because they're too far away for the visible spectrum, and uses infared technology to locate objects that are miles away in space.The actual mechanics of the telescope are extremely complex, but to sum it up, parts of the device are required to stay at -200 degrees Celsius, and an attached camera is believed to be the biggest of its kind in the world, and unless it discovers an alien race somewhere, quite possibly the biggest in the universe.
For some reason, these PhD geniuses built it on an active seismic zone, so there's also about a million extra rugged parts to ensure its safety. The actual reason it was built where it is is because it happens to have a great view of the sky year round.
The UK is in with about a dozen other countries in the project, which has a goal of, well, exploring the cosmos even more than we already can.
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