Edition: Global Global Select Region
Email: Passwd: or sign up free
One News Page
> >
Open news article

Mountain blasted to make room for world's largest telescope

One News Page Staff

Mountain blasted to make room for world's largest telescopeby

The peak of a 10,000-ft-high mountain has been blasted in Chile to make room for a gigantic telescope

The top of a Chilean mountain was blown up in an almost ceremonial fashion this week - marking the beginning of the construction of the world's largest optical telescope. Situated in the Atacama Desert deep in the Chilean Andes, the location is perfect for star-gazing as the sky is clear all year round.

On Thursday afternoon, the top of the 10,000-ft-high Cerro Armazones mountain was blown off in a controlled explosion which blasted away nearly a million tons of rock. It made way to a flat base which is set to be the home of the European-Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The telescope is designed to be much larger in size than any optical telescope built to date. It will be equipped with a 128-foot-wide mirror - four times larger than any optical mirror ever built and capable of capturing 15 times more light than any other telescope currently in existence.

Professor Niranjan Thatte at Oxford University, who heads up the construction of the spectrograph instrument for the new telescope, put the E-ELT's unprecedented ability to collect the faint light of far-away worlds into context: "The E-ELT will have almost as much light collecting area as all the telescopes previously built, put together," Prof Thatte explained.

Funded by the European Southern Observatory at a cost of $1.1 billion, the E-ELT will take eight years to build, and will facilitate the research of alien Earth-like planets orbiting neighbouring stars.

"One of the most exciting programs will be to study the atmospheres of Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, and to search for signs of biological activity," Tim de Zeeuw, ESO's director general, said during a ceremony before the blast. "Finding evidence of life elsewhere in the universe would be a transformational development in the history of our species. It is actually quite ironic that this could happen right here in the Atacama Desert, one of the most beautiful, but certainly very lifeless, locations on our own planet."

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comment
Source: wochit - on June 20, 2014

News video: Mountain Blasted To Build 'Extremely Large Telescope'

Mountain Blasted To Build 'Extremely Large Telescope' 00:40

The Christian Science Monitor reports, the top of Chile's Cerro Armazones mountain was blasted to rubble yesterday to clear the way for the European Southern Observatory's Extremely Large Telescope, which will be the world's biggest, with a main mirror nearly 128 feet in diameter.

You Might Like

Other recent news in Science

Controversial mouse study could help kill CANCERDroughts in the Amazon are speeding up CLIMATE CHANGE
Pebble Time WATCH becomes best-selling Kickstarter project of all time after raising £9.7 million in just seven daysDo YOU pass as a human? FACEBOOK develops quiz to sort robots from people - and it's surprisingly hard
Why AUSTRALIA Is Killing KoalasJohnson & Johnson Is Said to Win a Bid for the Cancer Drug Maker PHARMACYCLICS
Tale of two droughts: What CALIFORNIA, Syria can teach about adaptation gap (+video)TWITTER chatter predicts health insurance marketplace enrollment
NASA's CURIOSITY ROVER on Mars sidelined by 'short circuit' glitchBack to SCHOOL, Though Not Back to Normal, in a Liberia Still Fearful of Ebola



•More original news reports from One News Page
Environmentally friendly: One News Page is hosted on servers powered solely by renewable energy
© 2015 One News Page Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  |  About us  |  Disclaimer  |  Press Room  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Content Accreditation
One News Page - Top Headlines RSS Feed RSS  |  News for my Website  |  Free news search widget  |  Advertise  |  Help  |  Contact us  |  DMCA / Content Removal
How are we doing? Send us your feedback  |  One News Page on Facebook LIKE us on Facebook  One News Page on Twitter FOLLOW us on Twitter  One News Page on Google+ FIND us on Google+