The building of the world’s largest optical and infrared telescope has begun – on top of a 3,000 metre-high (10,000ft) mountain in Cerro Armazones, Chile.
To create a level surface on top of the mountain, 1m tonnes of rock were blasted to build the European – Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).
Using a mirror half the size of a football pitch, the telescope will allow astronomers to look further into space and in more detail than ever before.
The explosion was streamed live by the European Southern Observatory as it happened on Thursday evening.
Talking to the BBC, Dr Aprajita Verma, deputy project scientist for the E-ELT’s UK team at the University of Oxford, said “The telescope is a really huge step in terms of its scale – it’s so much bigger than anything else.
“It will give us a deeper and finer view of the universe.”
The location for the telescope – in the middle of the Atacama Desert – was chosen for its almost perfect observatory conditions, with cloudless skies nearly all year round.
The project is expected to take around 10 years, and will allow astronomers to see the birth and forming of new galaxies in incredible detail.
The possibility of being able to see life on other planets is also of key interest.
A challenging aspect for the build is the construction of the telescopes 39 metre-wide (130ft) primary mirror – which will be made of 798 smaller hexagonal mirrors, each 1.4 metres (4.6ft) in size.
The technology will allow the telescope to capture 15 times more light than any other ground based telescope and will create images that are 16 times sharper than the Hubbell telescope – which orbits high above the Earth.
The E-ELT will lead new firsts in science, like the tracking down of Earth-like planets around other stars in the ‘habitable zones’ – where life could exist. It will also perform ‘stellar archaeology’ in nearby galaxies, as well as make fundamental contributions to cosmology by probing the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
“This telescope will be so powerful that it will collect enough light to look to the observable limit of the universe – soon after the Big Bang when the first stars and galaxies formed”, said Verma.
She added, “We’ll be able to see when the universe switched on. We’ll be able to look at the planets directly, look at their atmosphere and potentially look for signs of life.”
Photo source: E-ELT blasting via Flickr
Like our Facebook Page
How to Find an Eco-Friendly Termite Control Service Provider in Malaysia
Eco-Friendly Vegans Win Most Battles Not the War
3 Iconic Chicago Billboards Eco-Friendly Advertisers Can Learn from
EnviroSolar’s Abe Issa Discusses Success in Green Entrepreneurship
How Sports Could Be Impacted by Climate Change
What Eco-Friendly Patients Should Know about Online Therapy
6 Reasons Why Meal Delivery Services are Eco-Friendly
The Path for Retail’s Sustainable Future
4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Treat a Sinus Infection
4 Strategies for Eco-Friendly Real Estate Investors to Find Properties
How Managed Print Services Helps to Reduce Paper Waste
Why Scientists Are Concerned About ‘Forever Chemicals’ In Drinking Water
Meat Farming Is Only Getting Smarter, Easier & Eco-Friendlier
What is Eco-Friendly Homesteading and How Does it Affect Your Insurance?
Importance of Using a Water Purifier in an Area with High Pollution
Alternative Financing Ideas for Green Businesses that Shun Banks
Tencel Material Demand Shows Britain Is More Eco-Friendlier Than Ireland
How To Invest in Clean Energy Stocks in Only Five Easy Steps!
How To Secure Funding As An Eco-Entrepreneur?
4 Amazing Eco-Friendly Businesses Worth Starting in 2021
- Features8 months ago
Seven Health and Safety Tips for Eco-Friendly Products in a Green Home
- Energy9 months ago
Eco-Friendly Homeowners Lower Carbon Footprints through Greater Air Conditioner Efficiency
- Features8 months ago
Essential Guidelines for Eco-friendly Moving into new Home
- Invest10 months ago
The Eco-Friendly Evolution of Bitcoin Over the Years