… The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is a revolutionary scientific project for a 40m-class telescope that will allow us to address many of the most pressing unsolved questions about our Universe. These telescopes can operate individually or together as an interferometer that functions like a telescope with a mirror 200 metres (600 feet) in diameter. When completed, it is planned to be the world's largest optical/near-infrared extremely large telescope.Part of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) agency, it is located on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.The design consists of a reflecting telescope … They will vastly advance astrophysical knowledge, allowing detailed studies of subjects … The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is an astronomical observatory currently under construction. The large telescopes are named Antu, Kueyen, Melipal, and Yepun, which are the names for the Sun, the Moon, the Southern Cross, and Venus in the language of the Mapuche people. Black Friday Sale! Very Large Telescope (VLT), observatory located on the mountain Cerro Paranal (2,635 metres [8,645 feet]) in Chile and consisting of four telescopes with mirrors 8.2 metres (27 feet) in diameter and four others with mirrors 1.8 metres (5.9 feet) in diameter. Premium Membership is now 50% off! Artist’s conception of Thirty Meter Telescope | Image Courtesy: TMT.org. Among the VLT’s notable discoveries are the first direct spectrum of an extrasolar planet, HR 8799c, and the first direct measurement of the mass of an extrasolar planet, HD 209458b. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The VLT is operated by the European Southern Observatory, an astrophysical research organization supported by 16 European countries. Updates? Omissions? Erik Gregersen is a senior editor at Encyclopaedia Britannica, specializing in the physical sciences and technology. When it opens its powerful and sensitive eye, it’ll be the world’s largest optical/infrared extremely large telescope. It will be able to gather 13 times more light than any other optical telescope existing today, and the resulting images would be 16 times sharper than those captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Very Large Telescope (VLT), observatory located on the mountain Cerro Paranal (2,635 metres [8,645 feet]) in Chile and consisting of four telescopes with mirrors 8.2 metres (27 feet) in diameter and four others with mirrors 1.8 metres (5.9 feet) in diameter. When operational in the year 2025, it will be the largest optical/near-infrared telescope … Corrections? If all goes as planned, the European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) will be the largest telescope in the world by 2024. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Very-Large-Telescope, European Southern Observatory - Very Large Telescope, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. The VLT also discovered the most massive star known, R136a1, which has a mass 320 times that of the Sun. Interior view of Antu, one of four 8.2-metre telescopes at the European Southern Observatory's (ESO's) Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Paranal, Chile. These telescopes can operate individually or together as an interferometer that functions like a telescope … Yepun telescope, part of the European Southern Observatory's (ESO's) Very Large Telescope (VLT), observing the centre of the Milky Way, using the laser guide star facility. Thirty Meter Telescope. Extremely large telescopes are considered worldwide to be one of the highest priorities in ground-based astronomy. Very Large Telescope (VLT), observatory located on the mountain Cerro Paranal (2,635 metres [8,645 feet]) in Chile and consisting of four telescopes with mirrors 8.2 metres (27 feet) in diameter and four others with mirrors 1.8 metres (5.9 feet) in diameter. Its primary mirror will be a whopping 39.3-metres (130 ft) in diameter. Before joining Britannica in 2007, he worked at the University of Chicago Press on the... Aerial view of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) observatory, Chile. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Construction of the VLT began in 1991, and its first observations were made in 1998.

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