The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is building the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) on the top of Cerro Armazones mountain at 3,060 meters altitude, in the Sierra Vicuña Mackenna of the Chilean Coast Range. This revolutionary telescope will have 39-meter primary mirror and will be the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world. It will gather 13 times more light than the largest optical telescopes existing today.
This simple animation shows you just how immense the European Extremely Large Telescope is going to be compared to the Pyramids of Giza, the Colosseum in Rome, and the Statue of Liberty.
The ESO stared to work on the development in 2005 and seven years later, in 2012, the E-ELT program was approved and preparatory works started. In 2014 actual construction began and first light is targeted for 2024.
E-ELT will tackle big scientific challenges of present days. Among them is to discover planets like Earth where life could exist – the “Holy Grails” of modern observational astronomy. The telescope will attempt to image Earthlike exoplanets that possibly exist. Also, with the help of E-ELT scientist may answer the question how planets were formed and how they further evolve. One of the goals of the E-ELT is the possibility of making a direct measurement of the acceleration of the Universe’s expansion. Such a measurement would have a major impact on understanding of the Universe creation.
Let’s wait till the telescope will be launched and how it will achieve current challenges. Are you excited to see European extremely large telescope in action?