April 2010 — The E-ELT (artist's rendering)
An architectural concept drawing for ESO’s planned European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). With the start of operations planned for 2018, the E-ELT will tackle the biggest scientific challenges of our time, and aim for a number of notable firsts, including tracking down Earth-like planets around other stars in the “habitable zones” where life could exist — one of the Holy Grails of modern observational astronomy. It will also perform “stellar archaeology” in nearby galaxies, as well as make fundamental contributions to cosmology by measuring the properties of the first stars and galaxies, and probing the nature of dark matter and dark energy. On top of this astronomers are also planning for the unexpected — new and unforeseeable questions will surely arise from the new discoveries made with the E-ELT. With a primary mirror measuring an astounding 42 metres across, the E-ELT will collect 25 times more light than one 8.2-metre VLT telescope.
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Swinburne Astronomy Productions/ESO