This simple animation shows you just how immense the European Extremely Large Telescope is going to be compared to the Pyramids of Giza, the Colosseum in Rome, and the Statue of Liberty. It’s going to be Extremely Large.
The 100-meter high hemispherical dome of the E-ELT is under construction on the top of Cerro Armazones mountain at 3,060 meters altitude, in the Sierra Vicuña Mackenna of the Chilean Coast Range. According to the European Southern Observatory, this revolutionary new ground-based telescope is going to be ‘Earth’s biggest eye on the sky’: it will have a 39-meter main mirror and will gather 13 times more light than the largest optical telescopes existing today. Moreover, the E-ELT will gather 100 million times more light than the human eye, 8 million times more than Galileo’s telescope, and 26 times more than a single Very Large Telescope Unit. The E-ELT will gather more light than all of the existing 8–10-metre class telescopes on the planet combined.
The E-ELT will be able to correct for the atmospheric distortions, providing images 16 times sharper than those from the Hubble Space Telescope, thus allowing detailed studies of planets around other stars, super-massive black holes, and the dark matter and dark energy which dominate the Universe. The E-ELT program was approved in 2012 and the construction was started at the end of 2014. As an integrated part of the Paranal Observatory, first E-ELT light is targeted for 2024. [The European Extremely Large Telescope/ESO]