Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Friday inaugurated the construction of the Extremely Large Telescope, which scientists say will be the world’s largest optical and infrared telescope once it is complete. The ELT is being built by the European Southern Observatory and will have a main mirror that is 39 metres in diameter, reported PTI.
The ELT is expected to start operations in 2024 and will be built on top of Cerro Armazones, a 3,046-metre high mountain in Chile. The telescope is also designed to be adaptive, in that it can correct atmospheric turbulence.
The ELT’s spectrograph is being designed and constructed by scientists from Oxford University. The instrument will be able to take 4,000 photos at a time, with minute differences in each. It will help scientists study the formation and evolution of objects in the universe in great detail.