Europe will have the largest telescope ever built and it will be 39 meters wide (128 feet), and it will be placed atop Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The European Southern Observatory announced the construction of E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope) on Thursday, December 4.
The decision by the European Southern Observatory has finally come through and the telescope is ready to be built. ESO has declared that the funding for this major project is available and they are very excited to see it done by 2024.
The construction of the telescope was approved in 2012, and it costs 2 million euros. ESO officials say that 90 percent of the funding required is available, with the exception made for the construction site, which includes leveling and roads up to Cerro Armazones.
The European Southern Observatory has stated that the funds are available since Poland decided to join the project in October and the construction will take place in two steps. Step one will get E-ELT up and running with 90 percent of the funds available, and step two consists in the development of nonessential elements with 10 percent of the funds.
The essential elements will include the 798 mirror segments that will form the main mirror of the telescope and part of the optical system, which will enhance the telescope’s clarity by cancelling the blurring from the Earth’s atmosphere.
The funds available at the moment are directed especially for the first step in the construction of the world’s largest telescope, while ESO is waiting for more funds to be designated to finish the project.
It is said that the largest telescope ever built will be the most powerful telescope on the planet, allowing scientists to explore and study nearby planets of our galaxy and even the planets in the deep universe. E-ELT will not be the only powerful telescope that will be available for scientists.
Officials have reported the construction of another telescope that will be built in Chile, the Giant Magellan Telescope, also called GMT.
This telescope will be smaller than E-ELT, with 8.4 meters wide lenses that will occupy a surface of 24 meters (80 feet) and will be available in 2021.
Another telescope will be constructed in 2022, in Hawaii. This device will have a light-collective surface of 30 meters, its primary lens being constructed from hundreds of small segments and it will be named Thirty Meter Telescope or TMT.
Each of these devices will help astronomers unravel the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy from which most of our universe in made of.