The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is set to build the world’s largest optical/infrared telescope, with hopes that it will be up and operating by the early 2020s, according to a press release by the ESO.
According to preliminary plans, the mirror inside the telescope would be 39.3 meters wide, collecting 12 times more light and making it four times larger than its nearest competitor. With such size and strength, the telescope would be capable of observing planets OUTSIDE of our own solar system.
To avoid light pollution, it is to be built in northern Chile, atop the Cerro Armazones mountain.
However, the most entertaining part of the telescope may not be its dimensions or capabilities but instead, its name—the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). This isn’t the first time the ESO has come up with such a catchy name either. The world’s most advanced visible light observatory, also created by ESO and situated in Chile, is named the Very Large Telescope.
Here’s a picture of what the telescope is due to look like:
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