The Road to the Future

This new image shows the construction progress of the road, platform, and service trench at the site of the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) on Cerro Armazones. The basecamp can be seen to the lower right and the new road is seen curving around the base of the mountain.

The Chilean company ICAFAL Ingeniería y Construcción S.A. started the civil works for the E-ELT in March 2014 when they began construction of a road to the summit of the mountain. The construction is expected to take 16 months to complete. The road will provide access for the future construction of the giant telescope, and will be 11 metres wide, with an asphalt paved driveway 7 metres wide.

Construction worker for the company, Sebastián Rivera Aguila, caught this sight on Thursday 12 June 2014 from a commercial airplane flying over the mountain. He expressed his excitement: "It is really hard work to build in the desert, but I am really proud and very happy to be part of this very important project. Thank you to ICAFAL and ESO for letting us be part of history in the making."

On Thursday 19 June, ICAFAL will blast the area on the top of Cerro Armazones, loosening about 5000 tonnes of rock. This is part a large-scale levelling process which will help landscape the mountain so that it can accommodate the 39-metre telescope and the associated buildings at the observatory. A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at Paranal Observatory, 20 kilometres away from the blasting, to mark this milestone towards the construction of the E-ELT. The event will be streamed live via webcast on Livestream from 16:30 UTC until around 18:30 UTC (18:30-20:30 CEST) (subject to change). Participants can also follow the live tweeting from @ESO under the hashtag #EELTblast and ask questions, in English, which we will try as far as possible to answer in real time.


ESO/Sebastián R. Aguila

About the Image

Release date:16 June 2014, 10:00
Size:3264 x 1836 px

About the Object

Name:Cerro Armazones, European Extremely Large Telescope
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.3 MB
Screensize JPEG
154.1 KB



252.4 KB
413.7 KB
620.9 KB
741.5 KB
1.1 MB


Also see our