Saturday , November 27 2021

Chile: The largest optical telescope on the planet is beginning to be built



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Build telescope The world's largest optical telescope, the Great Telescope (ELT) of the South European Observatory (ESO), has already started and is expected to collect more light when it operates more than 200 space telescopes such as Hubble.

It is a telescope designed to acquire the first images in 2024. The works began in the Czech Andes, in the Atacama Desert, where the strongest eyes focus on the sky. It was not easy to find a suitable place for such a structure, ESO confirmed today. In addition to the need for dry conditions and the absence of high-altitude air pollution, it is essential for the success of astronomical observations.

When the ELT telescope is ready, it will weigh 3 tons, with a 90-meter dome, as tall as a 30-story building with a large base like a football field. So began the era of giant new generation telescopes, which promise to revolutionize the understanding of the universe. The ELT will have a diameter of 39.3 meters, compared with 8.3 meters of the four telescopes, which are another giant of astronomy: the very large telescope (VLT), always in the Atacama Desert and always managed by it.

Since it is impossible to build a mirror with a diameter of 39 meters, the main mirror of the ELT will consist of a complex structure of honeycomb of 798 hexagonal mirrors of 1.4 meters that fit perfectly between them. One of his main tasks is to look for possible doubles of the earth and see the atmosphere to analyze it in search of elements of life.

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