Space Telescope

The European Extremely Large Telescope Will (Unsurprisingly) Have A Huge Mirror

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The European Extremely Large Telescope is slated to catch first light in 2024, at which time it will be the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world. It will stand on Cerro Armazones, a mountain in Chile, and hopefully provide scientists with clear images of exoplanets and distant galaxies. It will be capable of gathering 100,000,000 times more light than the naked human eye. (However, it's technically a step back in ambition from the Overwhelmingly Large Telescope, a project that aimed to have a 100-meter mirror before it was cancelled.)

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Reflecting telescopes have curved mirrors that collect light from the sky. 00:23

  2. The E-ELT will have 798 hexagonal mirror segments that make up its huge primary mirror. 01:15

  3. Using the E-ELT, astronomers hope to obtain direct images of exoplanets and look for biomarkers. 01:53