EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Computer artwork of the proposed E-ELT, a giant optical telescope scheduled to be built by 2017. Its design is unusual because it incorporates a 42-metre diameter mirror, far larger than the current largest optical telescopes with mirrors only 11 metres in diameter. The primary mirror will be constructed of 906 hexagonal segments, each 1.45 metres across. Four additional mirrors will compensate for atmospheric distortion. E-ELT's location is under discussion, but South Africa, Tibet, Morocco, Greenland and Antarctica have been proposed. The telescope, which will cost in the region of 800 million euros, was conceived following studies carried out by the European Southern Observatory Council.
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