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Vista was a part of the atmosphere surrounding the world of Arda before the cataclysm at the end of the Second Age. It formed the inner layer of normal air: above it was Ilmen, and above that Vaiya.

Vista is the breathable air; within the top part are the clouds, and in the lower parts are the paths of birds.[1][2]


In Quenya, Vista means "Inner Air".[2] It comes from the stem wis ("air").[3]


  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth, Introduction
  2. 2.0 2.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 4: The Shaping of Middle-earth, V: "The Ambarkanta"
  3. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 5: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"

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