Chile selected for giant telescope
Posted: Wed, Apr 28, 2010, 7:53 AM ET (1153 GMT)
European astronomers have picked a Chilean mountaintop as the future site of what will become the world's largest optical telescope. The European Southern Observatory announced Monday that Cerro Armazones, a 3,060-meter mountain in the central Atacama Desert, will host the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The telescope, scheduled to begin observations in 2018, will be the largest optical telescope in the world, with a diameter of 42 meters, more than four times that of the twin Keck Observatory telescopes. ESO selected Cerro Armazones over three other sites in Chile and one in Spain based on having the "best balance of sky quality" and the ability for it to operate and its location just 20 kilometers from the existing Very Large Telescope, an array of four 8-meter telescopes also operated by ESO.
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