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December 15, 2014 AT 1:00 pm

How the World’s Largest Telescope Will Hunt for Alien Life

Screen Shot 2014 12 11 at 3 28 37 PM

Motherboard reports on the new mega-big telescope build about to start in the EU:

​Over the next decade, a new class of super-giant ground telescopes will emerge onto the astronomical scene. By far the most most gargantuan of these projects is the aptly named European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), which just secured its first phase of funding—a whopping 1.24 billion Euros (1.54 billion USD).

Currently scheduled to receive its first light in 2024, the E-ELT’s primary mirror will be an unprecedented 39.3 meters (130 feet) wide, several meters larger than competitors like the Giant Magellan Telescope and the Thirty Meter Telescope.

From its perch in Chile’s Atacama Desert, it will be able to detect the atmospheric composition of terrestrial planets and glimpse the first objects ever to shine in the universe, which have never been directly observed before.

Read more.


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