[41] The deformable mirror will be the largest adaptive mirror ever made,[42] and consists of six component petals, control systems, and voice-coil actuators. [10] Actual construction officially began in early 2017. Both current fabrication technology and road transportation constraints limit single mirrors to being roughly 8 m (26 ft) per piece. [1] It has the aim of observing the Universe in greater detail than the Hubble Space Telescope by taking images 15 times sharper, although it is designed to be complementary to space telescopes, which typically have very limited observing time available. Such a measurement would have a major impact on our understanding of the Universe. Scientists are building a super telescope In Chile to find alien planets It's being called "the world's biggest eye on the sky. [62][63] Each design is much larger than previous telescopes. Extremely Large Telescope's First Mirrors Are Cast, The World's Largest Telescope Is Almost Under Way, $120 million Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) Makes Its Debut, Behold This Massive New Map of the Milky Way, The Very Large Telescope Is Getting an Upgrade, The World's Largest Telescope Breaks Ground Today. These drone visuals from Gerhard Hüdepohl show the future location of the ELT against the tranquil backdrop of the barren Chilean desert, as of September 2016. [39][40] The mirror will be shaped and polished to a precision of 15 nanometres (15 millionths of a millimetre) over the optical surface. [21], ESO focused on the current design after a feasibility study concluded the proposed 100 m (328 ft) diameter, Overwhelmingly Large Telescope, would cost €1.5 billion (£1 billion), and be too complex. The road extends from the public Route B-710 to the top of the mountain where the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) will sit. This page was last edited on 21 November 2020, at 17:57. The pre-formed glass-ceramic blank of the secondary mirror will then be polished, and tested by Safran Reosc. Part of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) agency, it is located on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The mirror will be cast from the same low-expansion ceramic Zerodur as the existing Very Large Telescope mirrors in Chile. In these cases, a small, flat tertiary mirror is sometimes introduced to divert the light to a convenient focus. The telescope and dome will also be able to change positions on the sky and start a new observation in a very short time. From the variety of instrument concepts studied, three instruments are under construction; MICADO, HARMONI and METIS, along with the adaptive optics system MAORY. Additionally, they include the development of the procedures required to integrate the supports with the ELT glass segments; to handle and transport the segment assemblies; and to operate and maintain them.[36]. America's Aircraft Are Barely Ready for War, Intelligent Life Can't Exist Anywhere Else, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. [19][20] As of 2014, the start of operations was planned for 2024. With up to 8000 actuators, the surface can be readjusted at very high time frequencies. [68]. [2] The project was originally called the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), but the name was shortened in 2017. Making the secondary mirror is a major challenge as it is highly convex, and aspheric. At 0.03 arcseconds, the contrast is expected to be 108, sufficient to search for exoplanets. On 19 June 2014, a major milestone towards construction of the ELT was reached. Computational fluid dynamic simulations and wind tunnel work are being carried out to study the airflow in and around the dome, as well as the effectiveness of the dome and windscreen in protecting the telescope. [66] The unaided human eye has an angular resolution of 1 arcminute which corresponds to separating two light sources 30 cm apart from 1 km distance. This is the second largest contract for the ELT construction and the third-largest contract ESO has ever signed. High up in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile is a complex of some of the largest telescopes in the world at the cutting edge of optical technology. In January 2017,[30] ESO awarded the contract for the fabrication of the 4608 edge sensors to the FAMES consortium, which is composed of Fogale[31] and Micro-Epsilon. The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is an astronomical observatory currently under construction. The images below show artistic renderings of the ELT and were produced by ESO. Other planned extremely large telescopes include the 25 m/368 m2 Giant Magellan Telescope and 30 m/655 m2 Thirty Meter Telescope, which are also targeting the beginning of the 2020 decade for completion. Additionally, two further instruments are currently being studied: One of the largest optical telescopes operating today is the Gran Telescopio Canarias, with a 10.4 m aperture and a light-collecting area of 74 m2. [23] The ELT's 4.2-metre secondary mirror is the same size as the primary mirror on the William Herschel Telescope, the second largest optical telescope in Europe. [1] It reduced projected costs from 1.275 billion to 1.055 billion euros and should allow the telescope to be finished sooner. Drone shots of the worksite released by ESO show the outline of what will become the Extremely Large Telescope. This video provides a closer look at the event. Now, workers with the ACe Consortium, consisting of Astaldi and Cimolai, have begun to build the mountaintop foundation for the world's biggest telescope, which is slated for first light in 2024. An 80-meter-tall dome (262 feet) will house the observatory, covering the entire site. [6] ESO approved the start of construction in December 2014, with over 90% funding of the nominal budget secured. In addition, the ELT will be a unique tool for making an inventory of the changing content of the various elements in the Universe with time, and to understand star formation history in galaxies. Popular Mechanics participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. [1] Even with the reduction in size to 39.3 m, the ELT is significantly larger than both other planned extremely large telescopes. While discussing the work of future large telescopes with NASA's Director of Astrophysics, Paul Hertz, just before the TESS launch, he had a simple way of putting it: "size matters.". For the observing slit, two main designs were under study: one with two sets of nested doors, and the current baseline design, i.e.

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