ann1036 — Announcement

E-ELT opens for business - in virtual reality

30 June 2010

A breathtaking 3D light show in Linz, Austria gives audiences a virtual tour of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), before construction work has even begun in Chile.

Lucky viewers can gain a sneak preview of what astronomers can hope to see once the planned observatory is up and running in 2018. The E-ELT will be the world’s biggest optical telescope and will peer deeper into the depths of space than any before it.

Audience members at Ars Electronica, a “museum of the future” that focuses on the interplay of technology and art, are even suspended just above the telescope’s colossal 42-metre primary mirror. In reality, this viewpoint will be impossible without risking grave damage to the fragile reflective surface.

They are also told of the amazing power of the E-ELT to see smaller and fainter objects than ever before, and how its revolutionary potential could be as great as the telescope Galileo first looked through four centuries ago.

The show is created and presented by Dietmar Hager, a keen amateur astronomer, astrophotographer and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The 3D models of the telescope are built using ESO’s CAD (computer aided design) files of the planned observatory, and the show is presented using cutting edge equipment in Ars Electronica’s “Deep Space” room, which is equipped with eight 1080p high definition digital projectors.

Dietmar Hager will next present his show on the E-ELT at Ars Electronica’s Deep Space room on 8 July and 5 August 2010.

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Images

An audience overwhelmed by a 3D E-ELT
An audience overwhelmed by a 3D E-ELT
Floating in space
Floating in space