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Photos: World's Largest Telescope Being Built in Chile

World's Largest Telescope to Be Built in Chile

ESO

A new architectural concept drawing of ESO’s planned European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) shows the telescope at work, with its dome open and its record-setting 42-metre primary mirror pointed to the sky. In this illustration, clouds float over the valley overlooked by the E-ELT’s summit.

World's Largest Telescope Front View

ESO/L. Calçada

Artist's impression of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in its enclosure on Cerro Armazones, a mountaintop in Chile's Atacama Desert. The E-ELT will be the largest optical telescope in the world. Operations are planned to start early in the next decade, and the E-ELT will tackle some of the biggest scientific challenges of our time.

World's Largest Telescope Engineer

ESO

Several test segments of the giant primary mirror of the European Extremely Large Telescope are currently undergoing testing close to the European Southern Observatory's headquarters in Garching, Germany. This picture shows an engineer adjusting the complex support mechanisms that control the shape and positioning of just one of the 798 segments that will form the complete primary mirror of the telescope. Two other segments appear in the picture.

World's Largest Telescope Beams

ESO/L. Calçada

Artist's impression of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in its enclosure on Cerro Armazones during night-time observations. The four beams shooting skywards are lasers that create artificial stars high in the Earth’s atmosphere. These form part of a sophisticated system to correct for turbulence and create much sharper images.

World's Largest Telescope Heavens

Swinburne Astronomy Productions/ESO

This architectural concept drawing of ESO’s planned European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) shows the world’s largest planned optical telescope gazing heavenwards.

World's Largest Telescope Armazones

ESO / S.Brunier

Panoramic view of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert, near ESO's Paranal Observatory, at sunset. Cerro Armazones is the selected site for the planned European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), which, with its 40-metre-class diameter mirror, will be the world’s biggest eye on the sky.

World's Largest Telescope E-ELT

ESO

Artist's impression of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).

European Extremely Large Telescope Replica

ESO

This full-size replica of the European Extremely Large Telescope mirror was built by participants at the European Southern Observatory's Open House Day 2011 in Germany. The full-size mock-up was made of 798 cardboard hexagons. The E-ELT will be the largest optical/infrared telescope in the world.

European Extremely Large Telescope Design

ESO

June 2009 version of the design of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in its enclosure, currently being planned by ESO.

European Extremely Large Telescope Mirror

ESO

Close-up view of the novel 5-mirror approach of the 40-metre-class European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in its enclosure, currently being planned by ESO.

European Extremely Large Telescope Top

ESO

Top view of the 3-dimensional model of the European Extremely Large Telescope and its enclosure.

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