From Tolkien Gateway

Vista (Q, pron. [ˈvista]) or Wista (pron. [ˈwista]) was a part of the atmosphere that surrounded the world of Arda before the cataclysm at the end of the Second Age.

Vista was the lowest layer of the atmosphere, filled with normal breathable air: above it was Ilmen, and above that Vaiya. Vista was divided into two parts: The upper part was Fanyamar, the home of clouds, and the lower part was Aiwenórë, the "land" of birds. Vista only lay upon Middle-earth and the seas; it was bounded by the Mountains of Valinor in the West, the Walls of the Sun in the East, and the Walls of the World in the North and South.

The air in Valinor is that of Ilmen which can only sustain the servants of Manwë or those to whom he has granted this ability. Thus the mortal creatures of Middle-earth were bound within the confines of Vista while they lived.[1]

Other versions of the legendarium

In the early schematic titled I Vene Kemen, the lowest layer of airs was marked as Vilna (Qenya).


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Of the Fashion of the World", pp. 289-290
Middle-earth Cosmology
 Constellations  Anarríma · Durin's Crown · Menelmacar · Remmirath · Soronúmë · Telumendil · Valacirca · Wilwarin
Stars  Alcarinquë · Borgil · Carnil · Elemmírë · Helluin · Luinil · Lumbar · Morwinyon · Nénar · Star of Eärendil · Til 
The Airs  Aiwenórë · Fanyamar · Ilmen · Menel · Vaiya · Veil of Arda · Vista
Narsilion  Arien · Moon (Isil, Ithil, Rána) · Sun (Anar, Anor, Vása) · Tilion
See also  Abyss · Arda · Circles of the World · · Timeless Halls · Two Lamps · Two Trees · Void