A Mountain Top Just Got Leveled To Make Way For A Giant Telescope

Eso1225cESO/L. Cal├žadaArtist’s rendering of the future telescope which will be the ‘largest eye on the sky.’

On June 19, the top of Cerro Armazones, a 10,000-foot mountain in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, was blown up to make way for the European Extremely Large Telescope, or E-ELT.

Video of the event is available below. You can also watch a video of preparations for the blast.

The telescope’s main mirror will measure almost 130 feet, making it the biggest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world, according to the European Space Agency (ESO). In a statement, officials called it the “world’s biggest eye on the sky.”

Screen Shot 2014 06 19 at 11.08.38 AMGoogle MapsThe location of Cerro Armazones, where the European Extremely Large Telescope will be built.

The mission of the telescope will be to “tackle some of the biggest scientific challenges of our time,” ESO said. It will do this by “allowing detailed studies of subjects including planets around other stars, the first objects in the Universe, super-massive black holes, and the nature and distribution of the dark matter and dark energy which dominate the Universe.”

The first use of the telescope is set to take place in the early 2020s.

Watch the ground breaking below:

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