March 2009 — E-ELT—the world's biggest eye on the sky
Since the end of 2005, ESO has been working with its user community of European astronomers and astrophysicists to define the new giant telescope needed by the middle of the next decade, the European Extremely Large Telescope (or E-ELT). The telescope’s “eye” will be 42 metres in diameter, or almost half the length of a soccer pitch, and has an innovative five-mirror design. This includes advanced adaptive optics to correct for the turbulent atmosphere, giving exceptional image quality. The E-ELT may, eventually, revolutionise our perception of the Universe, much as Galileo’s telescope did by heralding in a new worldview. This artist’s impression shows the E-ELT in its enclosure.
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