Mountain Blasted to Make Way for Extremely Large Telescope
Peter Donnell / 6 years ago
When humans set their mind to a task, there isn’t much that can stand in our way, and that includes the Cerro Armazones mountain in Chile. Yesterday a huge section of the mountain was blasted to rubble to clear the way for the European Southern Observatory’s “Extremely Large Telescope”.
“This telescope will be so powerful that it will collect enough light to look to the observable limit of the Universe — soon after the Big Bang, when the first stars and galaxies formed,” a project scientist tells the BBC. “We’ll be able to see when the universe switched on.”
This new telescope will be the world’s biggest, its main mirror alone will measure 128 feet in diameter! To make way for it, a million tons of rock has to be blasted, creating a new plateau for the new installation, which is expected to be operational within the next decade.
- It will be four times bigger than any other telescope
- Collect light 15 times faster than any other telescope
- Imaging capabilities that are 16x sharper than Hubble
- Mirror formed from 789 interlocking hexagonal slabs
- Mirror will measure 128 feet in diameter
This telescope will be so powerful, it will be able to see objects formed at the beginning of the universe, help with dark matter research and even give scientists a look at extrasolar planets.
Thank you USAToday for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of USAToday.