January 2011 — ESO's planned European Extremely Large Telescope
A new architectural concept drawing of ESO's planned European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) shows the telescope at work, with its dome open and its recordsetting 42-metre primary mirror pointed to the sky. In this illustration, clouds float over the valley overlooked by the E-ELT's summit. The comparatively tiny pickup truck parked at the base of the E-ELT helps to give a sense of the scale of this massive telescope. The E-ELT dome will be similar in size to a football stadium, with a diameter at its base of over 100 m and a height of over 80 m.
Scheduled to begin operations early in the next decade, the E-ELT will help track down Earth-like planets around other stars in the habitable zones where life could exist — one of the Holy Grails of modern observational astronomy. The E-ELT will also 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.
This product is only available in electronic form.Credit:
Swinburne Astronomy Productions/ESO