World's Largest Optical, Infrared Telescope Is Now Being Constructed

First Posted: May 29, 2017 05:00 AM EDT

The world's largest optical and infrared telescope called Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is now being built in Chile. It aims to explore unknown objects in the universe to augment the development of science and technology.

The enormous telescope is now being constructed by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is supported by the U.K.'s Science and Technology Facilities Council (SFTC). Meanwhile, the scientists from Oxford University is in charge of the design and building of its spectrograph known as "HARMONI." This is a tool that is conceptualized to instantaneously capture about 4,000 images with various colors, according to

The Extremely Large Telescope has a main mirror that is about 39 meters in diameter. It is conceptualized to be an adaptive telescope and could correct the atmospheric turbulence.

Niranjan Thatte, the professor of Astrophysics at Oxford's Department of Physics and the Principal Investigator for "HARMONI," said that ELT could be a big leap forward in capability. This means that they will utilize this extremely huge telescope to look for many interesting things about the universe that they have no knowledge of today. He further said that it is the element of exploring the unknown, which makes him excited about the ELT, as noted by Live Mint.

A ceremony was enfolded to celebrate its construction milestone at ESOS' Paranal Residencia in northern Chile. It was highlighted with the attendance the President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet Jeria, and the Director General of ESO, Tim DE Zeeuw.

Director General Tim DE Zeeuw said that the ELT will create discoveries that they simply cannot imagine as of this time. He further said that it will surely inspire numerous people around the globe to think about science, technology and the universe. He added that this will bring great benefit to the ESO member states, to Chile and to the rest of the world. 

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