The world’s largest telescope is half built

The European Southern Observatory continues to build the world’s largest telescope, the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Construction of the telescope began in 2014 with the flattening of a peak called Cerro Armazones in Chile’s Atacama desert.

ESO has just announced that construction progress has passed the 50% mark. The remaining work will take another 5 years. When fully operational in 2028, the telescope will have a 39-meter (98-ft) main mirror consisting of 798 hexagonal segments, making it the world’s largest telescope in visible and infrared light. foreign. The new telescope will help answer some striking questions about our Universe, such as how the first stars and galaxies form, and could even take direct images of extrasolar planets. sun.

“ELT is the largest next-generation terrestrial optical and near-infrared telescope and the most advanced in its construction,” said ESO General Manager Xavier Barcons in a press release. of ESO. “Completing 50% is no small feat, given the inherent challenges to large, complex projects, and that has only been possible thanks to the commitment of everyone at ESO, the support the continued support of the ESO Member States and the involvement of our industry and musical instrument consortium partners. I am extremely proud that ELT has reached this important milestone.”

Remove all ads on Universe today

Join our Patreon for only $3!

Get a lifetime ad-free experience

This image, taken in late June 2023, shows drone footage of the construction site of ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope at Cerro Armazones, in Chile’s Atacama Desert. There, engineers and construction workers are now assembling the structure of the telescopic dome with incredible speed. Changing markedly every day, the steel structure will soon take on the familiar round shape characteristic of telescopic domes. Those visible at the bottom of the frame give the image a sense of scale, showing how large the dome of the ELT will be. Behind the telescope, we see the shadow of Cerro Armazones, projected onto the desert landscape. Credit: ESO

The observatory aims to collect 100 million times more light than the human eye, 13 times more light than the largest optical telescopes, and can correct for atmospheric distortion with adaptive optics and eight laser-guided star units, and most notably an adaptive, flexible mirror that will adjust its shape thousands of times a second to correct for distortions caused by turbulence. The telescope also has an auxiliary mirror 4.2 m (14 ft) in diameter and four scientific instruments.

Telescope mirrors and other components are being built by companies in Europe. ESO says all other systems needed to complete the ELT, including the control systems and equipment needed to assemble and operate the telescope, are also progressing well in development or production. .

In addition, all of the first four scientific instruments are in the final design stages with some nearing the start of production, and most of the infrastructure supporting the ELT is now located at or near Cerro Armazones.

ESO expects that completing the remaining 50% of the project will take much less time than building the first half of the ELT. The design is still being finalized as construction begins and other parts of the telescope need to be tested. In addition, construction has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the site closing for several months and production delays for many of the telescope’s parts.

#worlds #largest #telescope #built

Deja un comentario