What is the largest telescope in the world?  The Very Large Telescope is under construction in Chile

Construction of the world’s largest infrared optical telescope began in Chile on June 19, 2014. The Very Large Telescope is scheduled to begin surveying the sky in just two years.

Building the world’s largest telescope was not an easy task from the start. First, part of the summit of Cerro Armazones, 3060 meters above sea level, in the Atacama Desert in Chile, had to be blown up. Later, 220,000 were removed. M3 of rocks to make room for the telescope platform (150 x 300 metres).

A very large telescope (ELT for Extremely Large Telescope) is the “world’s largest eye in the sky”. In total, the surface area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe mirror is approximately one square kilometer. Match: 978 m2.

The size of the telescope is important. First, it affects the amount of light it can collect. Second, the level of detail he can see. The Very Large Telescope will collect more light than all the telescopes in the world. 15 times more light than the largest optical telescopes operating today. It will provide images 15 times sharper than images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Very Large Telescope is scheduled to be launched in 2025. Photo. ESO

There are 4 adaptive mirrors built into the ELT optics, which reduce image blur caused by the passage of light through the Earth’s atmosphere. A single mirror is driven by more than 6,000 actuators, vibrating more than a thousand times per second.

The Very Large Telescope will search for planets that might harbor life. The results of the observations will also be used to study the early stages of the evolution of the universe and the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

The Very Large Telescope is scheduled to be launched in 2025. The design of the telescope is the work of ESO (European Southern Observatory), an intergovernmental astronomical organization in Europe. It is supported by 16 countries, including Poland. ESO administers programs for the design, construction and operation of ground-based astronomical observatories in the Southern Hemisphere.

The ELT is planned to be in use for at least 30 years. This is the typical life expectancy for such a large body. With careful maintenance, this time can be greatly extended.

The land on which the Very Large Telescope is built was donated by the government of Chile. The area around the observatory has been given special protection so that nothing interferes with the operation of the telescope. Chile wants to maintain the status of the astronomical capital of the worldThe launch of the world’s largest telescope in this country confirms this prestige.

Prior to the official opening of the Very Large Telescope, there are several telescopes in operation around the world. Here are the 5 largest optical telescopes with a lens diameter of at least 3 meters.

  1. Big eyed telescope In the United States (lens diameter 11.9 m)
  2. Gran Telescope Canary Islands In Spain (lens diameter 10.4 meters)
  3. Hobby Eberle Telescope Made in the USA (lens diameter 10 meters)
  4. Keck-1 in the United States (lens diameter 10m)
  5. Keck-2 in the United States (lens diameter 10m)

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