APICAM all-sky images from Paranal available in the Archive

Published: 04 Apr 2018

Since March 2018, ApiCam-3 acquires all-sky images from Paranal. They are now available in the Science Archive.

ApiCam-3 has a science-grade 4k x 4k KAF-16803 CCD mounted behind a Canon 12 -mm focal length fish-eye lens providing a 180deg diameter field-of-view, resulting in a 160 arcsec pixel. The instrument is equipped with a filter wheel (although currently the observation sequence uses only a clear "luminance" filter), and is mounted on a tracking station ensuring that the stars are not trailed. The filter sequence and exposure time sequences are likely to evolve over time. Apicam-3 is installed on the roof of the VLTI building on the Paranal platform; it is part of the outreach instrument which also provides deep colour JPG images, to be used in the ESO Supernova and other planetariums, and are available on the ESO webcam page. ApiCam-3 was built by Apical Technologies.

ApiCam-3 is not meant as a replacement of the existing MASCOT all-sky camera (which is scheduled for an upgrade), and is not "operation-critical", meaning its availability is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, we are planning to use its data to test and develop various sky characterization tools. These data could also be useful to spot bright transients.

The data can be retrieved from the usual interface, selecting APICAM as the instrument in the "Other" category.


Approximate linear scale: 1 : 10