Began the construction of the telescope to study exoplanets
The start of the construction of the largest telescope in the world was given on Friday in Chile by President Michelle Bachelet. Device for the study of exoplanets (outside the Solar system), named “European extremely large telescope” (European Extremely Large Telescope, the EELT) will be built by 2024 in Chile’s mountainous Atacama desert.
“Here will be built not just a telescope, and one of the biggest evidence of the power of science and technology and international cooperation,” said Bachelet, quoted by her press service. Device worth €1 billion will be equipped with five-segment mirrors. The diameter of the largest of them will be 39 metres, it will consist of almost 800 hexagonal mirrors with a diameter of 1.4 meters.
According funding the project of the European southern Observatory (ESO) is an international research organization, which includes 13 European countries, Brazil and Chile, the area of the rotating dome of the telescope will be roughly comparable to a football field (86 meters in diameter). Total mass of the structure will be five thousand tons, three thousand – movable part.
Today in the Atacama desert Atomski operates a large radio telescope (ALMA). Just the astronomical Observatory of La Silla, located here at a height of 2.4 thousand meters above sea level, there are 18 telescopes, half of which was built with funds of the European southern Observatory.