The Europeans weren't kidding when they named it the Extremely Large Telescope. It's, indeed, extremely large, obliterating previous records. The adaptive optics mirror on the ELT is 138 feet in diameter, compared to the 98 feet of comparable space eyes.

Its extraordinary size will give it a unique look into planets from other solar systems, providing with actual images and atmospheric analysis of large planet and giving astronomers the power needed to detect planets similar to Earth.

Ironically, the European Extremely Large Telescope will be located in the mountains of Chile, where the air is clean and clear, the birds are happy, and the water is wet. []