Space & Astronomy
Work begins on world's largest telescope
By T.K. Randall
May 27, 2017 · 4 comments
The telescope's final design. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 Swinburne Astronomy Productions / ESO
When it is completed, the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) will offer unprecedented views of the cosmos.
Currently under construction in Chile's Atacama Desert atop Cerro Armazones - a mountain peak sitting at an altitude of 3046 meters - the enormous telescope, which will have a main mirror 39 meters in diameter, will be the largest optical and infrared telescope ever built.
In addition to providing crystal clear images of stars and planets, the ELT will be able to collect data about celestial events in distant parts of the universe while also offering up new opportunities to study the formation and evolution of galaxies.
One of its main instruments, 'HARMONI', will be able to simultaneously capture 4,000 photographs, each a slightly different color, producing incredibly sharp and detailed images.
"The ELT will produce discoveries that we simply cannot imagine today, and it will surely inspire numerous people around the world to think about science, technology and our place in the universe," said Tim DE Zeeuw, Director General of the European Southern Observatory.
"This will bring great benefit to the ESO member states, to Chile, and to the rest of the world."
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