ESO plans construction of giant telescope

July 19, 2006

The European Southern Observatory says it is creating an office dedicated to building a giant telescope for Europe's astronomers.

The ESO's Extremely Large Telescope Project Office is to be headed by Jason Spyromilio, formerly the director of La Silla Paranal Observatory.

"We believe that the European Extremely Large Telescope is essential if we are to ensure the continued competitiveness of the astronomical community in ESO's member-states," said Catherine Cesarsky, ESO's director general.

The ESO said a baseline design is to be presented by the end of this year for a telescope with a primary mirror between about 100 feet to 200 feet in diameter and estimated to cost approximately $944 million.

The telescope is expected to have a 10-fold performance advantage over the ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Faint dwarf galaxies in Fornax shed light on a cosmological mystery

Related Stories

VISTA pinpoints earliest giant galaxies

November 18, 2015

Just counting the number of galaxies in a patch of sky provides a way to test astronomers' theories of galaxy formation and evolution. However, such a simple task becomes increasingly hard as astronomers attempt to count ...

Swift spacecraft spots its thousandth gamma-ray burst

November 6, 2015

NASA's Swift spacecraft has detected its 1,000th gamma-ray burst (GRB). GRBs are the most powerful explosions in the universe, typically associated with the collapse of a massive star and the birth of a black hole.

VISTA discovers new component of Milky Way

October 28, 2015

Astronomers using the VISTA telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory have discovered a previously unknown component of the Milky Way. By mapping out the locations of a class of stars that vary in brightness called Cepheids, ...

Final kiss of two stars heading for catastrophe

October 21, 2015

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers have found the hottest and most massive double star with components so close that they touch each other. The two stars in the extreme system VFTS 352 ...

Recommended for you

NASA's space-station resupply missions to relaunch

November 29, 2015

NASA's commercial space program returns to flight this week as one of its private cargo haulers, Orbital ATK, is to launch its first supply shipment to the International Space Station in more than 13 months.

The hottest white dwarf in the Galaxy

November 25, 2015

Astronomers at the Universities of Tübingen and Potsdam have identified the hottest white dwarf ever discovered in our Galaxy. With a temperature of 250,000 degrees Celsius, this dying star at the outskirts of the Milky ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.