In Chile began to build the largest telescope
The construction of the world's largest telescope was launched on Friday in Chile by President Michelle Bachelet. The apparatus for the study of exoplanets (located outside the solar system), called the European Extremely Large Telescope (EELT) will be built by 2024 in the Chilean high mountains of Atacama.
“Not just a telescope will be erected here, but one of the largest evidence of the possibilities of science and technology, as well as international cooperation, ” said Bachelet, quoted by her press service.
The device worth € 1 billion will be equipped with five segment mirrors. The diameter of the largest of them will be 39 meters, it will consist of almost 800 hexagonal mirrors with a diameter of 1.4 meters.
According to the project-sponsoring European Southern Observatory (ESO), an international research organization that includes 13 countries in Europe, Brazil and Chile, the area of the rotating dome of the telescope will be approximately comparable to a football field (86 meters in diameter). The total mass of the structure will be five thousand tons, of which three thousand are the moving part.
Today, the Atakama Large Radio Telescope (ALMA) operates in the Atacama Desert. In total, the La Silla astronomical observatory, located here at an altitude of 2.4 thousand meters above sea level, contains 18 telescopes, half of which were built with funds from the European Southern Observatory.