Scientists are building something incredible in the middle of nowhere in the South American nation of Chile, and it could change our understanding of the universe.
Somewhere deep in the South American nation of Chile, an incredible event is unfolding that could completely alter our understanding of the universe. Scientists have just taken one step closer to exploring the depths of space like never before, beginning work on the Extremely Large Telescope, a massive structure that will include a 39-meter main mirror and will be the world’s largest optical and infrared telescope when it is finished.
ELT will feature an adaptive telescope that can correct for atmospheric turbulence, which would make it an amazing tool to stare deep into the universe and unravel its secrets. A ceremony was held at the European Space Observatory’s Paranal residencia, which is located in northern Chile, near where the huge telescope will eventually be construction at the top of a mountain.
The ELT is being built by the European Space Observatory in collaboration with the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) as well as scientists at the University of Oxford, who are designing and building the spectrograph called HARMONI, which can take thousands of images at a slightly different color.
“The ELT is being built by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), an international collaboration supported by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC),” the University of Oxford statement reads. “Oxford University scientists are playing a key role in the project, and are responsible for the design and construction of its spectrograph; ‘HARMONI’, an instrument designed to simultaneously take 4000 images, each in a slightly different colour. The visible and near-infrared instrument will harness the telescope’s adaptive optics to provide extremely sharp images.”