Construction for the largest optical and infrared telescope, known as the Extremely Large Telescope, has started in Chile this Friday to mark the milestone in construction. A ceremony was held at the European Southern Observatory Paranal residencia in northern Chile which is close to Cerro Armazones, the location of the telescope.

The Extremely Large Telescope will help scientists take a further step in understanding more the inner-workings of the universe. The telescope will be designed as an adaptive telescope and have the ability to correct the atmospheric turbulence.

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) which is an international collaboration supported by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is building the telescope. In charge of the construction and design of the spectrograph, HARMONI, is Oxford University scientists.

HARMONI is an instrument that takes 4 thousand images each in a slightly different color simultaneously. The telescope’s adaptive feature will help provide sharp images. Images enabling scientists to form detailed pictures of the formation and evolution of objects in the universe.

It will aid researchers to view everything within our own solar system, such as the planets and the stars, and galaxies nearby with a precision and depth. This will further the research of scientists into observing and exploring the formation and evolution of other galaxies that have never been observed.

Building the Extremely Large Telescope will mark one of the possibilities that can be done with science and be a stepping stone to understanding if life is present in other planets.

The Extremely Large Telescope is set to be complete by 2024 and be a telescope that is “out of this world.” The location of where the telescope is to be built is in the Atacama Desert. The Atacama Desert has a dry atmosphere which is good for observing conditions on Earth.

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