Piece by piece, the ELT is coming together
In Chile’s Atacama desert, ESO’s very own colosseum — the Extremely Large Telescope, or ELT –– is being assembled. As this image taken in early June 2023 shows, progress is moving quickly on the construction site, as the steel frame of the telescope’s dome is pieced together.
Parts of the steel backbone running around the edge of the building are fitted together at the ELT base camp before being transported to the platform atop Cerro Armazones using specialised transporters. Not an easy feat given that these pre-assembled steel blocks weigh some 70 tonnes! Once they’re on location, the giant steel Lego-like blocks are hoisted up using the gigantic cranes you see here, and mounted on a rail inserted into trolleys. The entire dome, which will weigh 6,100 tonnes, will rotate on these trolleys when the ELT enters operation.
If you peer into the distance, to the right of the yellow crane coming up from behind the structure, you might just be able to make out another of ESO’s telescopes: the Very Large Telescope, watching from afar how its new sibling takes shape.
G. Hüdepohl (atacamaphoto.com)/ESO
About the Image
|19 June 2023, 06:00
|5265 x 3507 px