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Worlds largest optical telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

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MeteorWayne

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The world's largest optical telescope – to be called, appropriately, the European Extremely Large Telescope – will be built on a mountain in Chile, the observatory's planners announced Monday.

The telescope's newly chosen home is the Cerro Armazones mountain in the central part of Chile's Atacama Desert. This location was picked for its optimal weather conditions – the skies are clear overhead about 320 nights a year, according to its European Southern Observatory (ESO) builders.

Chile's Cerro Amazones beat out a bid by Spain to build the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in that country's La Palma region. But the Chilean location won in the end because of its balance between consistent clear night skies and the ability to work in conjunction with other nearby observatories run by ESO, which is an astronomy collaboration by 14 European countries.

The new mega-observatory will have a primary mirror 138 feet (42 meters) wide and is reportedly expected to cost more than 1 billion Euros (US$1.3 billion).

In comparison, other famous optical telescopes, like the Keck Observatory in Hawaii (with a mirror 33 feet, or 10 meters, wide) and the 27-foot (8.2-meter) Subaru telescope, also in Hawaii, will be dwarfed by its size. The Hubble Space Telescope, with a mirror almost 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide, sounds tiny, but it can achieve higher resolutions than many larger Earth-based telescopes by being outside of Earth's atmosphere...

Construction on the European Extremely Large Telescope is expected to receive a final go-ahead at the end of 2010, and the observatory could begin operations in 2018

http://www.space.com/news/worlds-larges ... 00427.html
 
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neuvik

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

Oh wow, didn't they just get done building the VLT a few years ago? More the marrier I say.

I wonder why did they decided on a single 42 meter telescope instead of multiple smaller, but computer integrated ones like that of the VLT?
 
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aphh

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

neuvik":3twk1lex said:
Oh wow, didn't they just get done building the VLT a few years ago? More the marrier I say.

I wonder why did they decided on a single 42 meter telescope instead of multiple smaller, but computer integrated ones like that of the VLT?
The intention is to build a telescope whose grandeur and supremacy will never be challenged.
 
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Testing

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

The Thirty Meter Telescope in Mauna Kea will come on line about the same time.
We will see how 492 continuously active primary segments compare.

www.tmt.org
 
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Fomalhautian

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

This might be a dumb question..... but shouldn't the telescope be called the South American Extremely Large Telescope?
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

Money talks :)
 
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crazyeddie

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

The original concept of this scope was for a 100-meter monster called, appropriately, the Overwhelmingly Large Telescope, or OWL. Practical considerations pared it down to 42 meters, which is still pretty honking huge! But we'll need at least an 80 meter telescope in order to spectroscopically image any possible Earth-like planets around nearby stars, according to a 2006 article in Scientific American magazine.
 
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alpha_centauri

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

neuvik":1aldrm8z said:
Oh wow, didn't they just get done building the VLT a few years ago? More the marrier I say.

I wonder why did they decided on a single 42 meter telescope instead of multiple smaller, but computer integrated ones like that of the VLT?
Light collecting area. Interferometers like the VLT are a "cheat", they can produce a resolution of larger telescopes but what they can see is limited by the actual amount of photons they can collect. Two of the primary science goals in astronomy at the moment are looking at the faint early universe and characterising faint exoplanets. In the end for these goals an interferometer is not a true substitute for a monolithic telescope.


crazyeddie":1aldrm8z said:
The original concept of this scope was for a 100-meter monster called, appropriately, the Overwhelmingly Large Telescope, or OWL. Practical considerations pared it down to 42 meters, which is still pretty honking huge! But we'll need at least an 80 meter telescope in order to spectroscopically image any possible Earth-like planets around nearby stars, according to a 2006 article in Scientific American magazine.
The reasons it was pared down seem to differ depending on the source, some claim money was the main problem. Even then the OWL telescope would be just £1.5 bn compared to EELT's £1 bn, and yet the added science return on the larger telescope would have no doubt been very much worth the extra cost to build as the larger telescope will still have to be built eventually.

Still as you say, 42 meters is not to be sniffed at!
 
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EarthlingX

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

It is about a length of a Proton rocket :
SDC : Proton-M - SES 1, Launched April 24, 2010

I had to put somewhere this cute image :



from Large Binocular Telescope Observatory
The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is a collaboration between the Italian astronomical community (represented by the Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)), The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, the LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft in Germany (Max-Planck-Institutfür Astronomie in Heidelberg, Landessternwarte in Heidelberg, Astrophysikalisches Institut in Potsdam, Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik in Munich, and Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie in Bonn), The Ohio State University, Research Corporation in Tucson, and the University of Notre Dame.
and


from
Large Binocular Telescope Achieves First Binocular Ligh

There are many more images :
http://medusa.as.arizona.edu/lbto/observatory_images.htm

Wiki : Large Binocular Telescope
 
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EarthlingX

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

Yea, ok, Proton-M is 52 m .. I forgot one stage .. :roll:

Anyway, this is what you get with puny 1.5 m :

http://www.eso.org :
 
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Couerl

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

crazyeddie":36hlamjm said:
The original concept of this scope was for a 100-meter monster called, appropriately, the Overwhelmingly Large Telescope, or OWL. Practical considerations pared it down to 42 meters, which is still pretty honking huge! But we'll need at least an 80 meter telescope in order to spectroscopically image any possible Earth-like planets around nearby stars, according to a 2006 article in Scientific American magazine.
Dammit Eddie, get on the horn to those dummies you voted in and have em spot an extra 2 bln to get us a 300 meter mega-honker and forget the stupid trip to the tumbling rock out in the middle of nowhere. I want to be able to read the lips on those little bastards 100 ly's out! :ugeek:
 
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EarthlingX

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

HD video :

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gljBFSW3srw[/youtube]
 
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EarthlingX

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

Yes, that big image is cloudy. I had similar thoughts, but then i checked
http://medusa.as.arizona.edu/lbto/astronomical_images.htm

and (second image link is very big)



i think, they still see something, even with more clouds than in Chile. I think they just properly started, but you can check weather statistics too ;)
 
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aphh

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

EarthlingX":mhytfqt5 said:
i think, they still see something, even with more clouds than in Chile. I think they just properly started, but you can check weather statistics too ;)
I wish they used LBT to snap photos of Moon and Copernicus crater and turn them into a 3D display. That would be awesome.

Does the binocular in LBT mean anything when observing really distant objects, other than double the light gathering ability, of course? Normally two viewing angles are used to create stereoscopic images, but I am sure the effect is negligible when the objects are light-years away and practically in the same line of sight without much angle between the images.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

No...
 
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Astro_Robert

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

I had thought that at the time the OWL was announced a few years ago there was technical criticism as well as cost issues. Some had said that traditionally telescopes increase at a certain 'rate' (such as doubling every so many years or something Palomar - Keck, etc) and that this was too big a leap over current generation telescopes. Also, that the structure to support and move a 100-meter instrument was itself incredibly massive and overly complex. I thought that these were some of the considerations that resulted in it being downconverted into the 42-meter version.

As far as schedule of this vs the 30-meter scope, well I never hold my breath when it comes to development timeframes. Telescopes are no different than anybody else, and most optical telescopes run into issues, some legal, some fabrication, and some assembly. I am certain they will see this through, but I expect it will slip out a bit.
 
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aphh

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

It is possible that after the 42-meter scope the next leap in telescopes will be a giant liquid mirror on the moon. The basic idea is to use a slowly rotating vessel filled with reflective liquid. Centrifugal forces then create the mirror, which is as close to perfect as the vibrations in the platform and the rotating mechanism allow.

Liquid mirror can not be steered to different directions, it will always point straight up and the changes in the planet's or moon's relative position and attitude allow looking at different parts of the sky.

I would think 42-meter will be the last behemoth of it's kind and bigger ones will be constructed on the moon:

http://www.astro.ubc.ca/LMT/
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... uidmirror/
 
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mithridates

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

aphh":23nc7pz3 said:
It is possible that after the 42-meter scope the next leap in telescopes will be a giant liquid mirror on the moon. The basic idea is to use a slowly rotating vessel filled with reflective liquid. Centrifugal forces then create the mirror, which is as close to perfect as the vibrations in the platform and the rotating mechanism allow.

Liquid mirror can not be steered to different directions, it will always point straight up and the changes in the planet's or moon's relative position and attitude allow looking at different parts of the sky.

I would think 42-meter will be the last behemoth of it's kind and bigger ones will be constructed on the moon:

http://www.astro.ubc.ca/LMT/
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... uidmirror/
I'm glad you brought this up because I was thinking about the same subject the other day after seeing the news, as we already have a 6-metre liquid telescope that was constructed for next to nothing (less than $1 million) compared to a solid telescope of the same size. The location is pretty bad (Vancouver) but it was built more as a test concept than anything else. Apparently there is also the possibility of using more viscous liquids and certain other methods (that I didn't read about in too great detail) to enable these telescopes to turn slightly, which would be a big improvement over simply looking up at the zenith all the time.

But back to the idea of huge telescopes: since liquid telescopes are only about 1-5% the cost of solid ones and even a 6-metre telescope was constructed successfully by a team of university researchers, why not an Overwhelmingly Large Liquid Telescope here on Earth?
 
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crazyeddie

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

Couerl":1k69gzfj said:
crazyeddie":1k69gzfj said:
The original concept of this scope was for a 100-meter monster called, appropriately, the Overwhelmingly Large Telescope, or OWL. Practical considerations pared it down to 42 meters, which is still pretty honking huge! But we'll need at least an 80 meter telescope in order to spectroscopically image any possible Earth-like planets around nearby stars, according to a 2006 article in Scientific American magazine.
Dammit Eddie, get on the horn to those dummies you voted in and have em spot an extra 2 bln to get us a 300 meter mega-honker and forget the stupid trip to the tumbling rock out in the middle of nowhere. I want to be able to read the lips on those little bastards 100 ly's out! :ugeek:
The OWL is a project of the European Southern Observatory, not a United States consortium, so I doubt if "the dummies I voted in" will give a hoot about building something even bigger.
 
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aphh

Guest
Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

mithridates":hj847bhh said:
and certain other methods (that I didn't read about in too great detail) to enable these telescopes to turn slightly, which would be a big improvement over simply looking up at the zenith all the time.
The other methods include changing the position of the imaging sensor away from the center. Since the mirror is a segment of a spherical shape, moving the light gatherer slightly to the side changes the viewing angle. But, of course, at the cost of less light collecting area.

I'm not sure why very large liquid mirror is not considered to be used on earth, but one thing that comes to mind is that the attitude of earth's axis does not change very much so the viewing sector might be too limited. Having said that, Arecibo radio telescope (300 m) works on this same positioning principle for radio astronomy.

If the viewing sector is too limited for astronomers' tastes with the fixed position of a liquid mirror, would it be possible to have three very large liquid mirror telescopes, two near the poles and one somewhere near the equator? Even two might be enough, if they were located near the 45th latitudes.

Edit: earth's rotation might cause problems to extremely large liquid mirror. Near the equator there is about 1/1000th G of constant sideways acceleration, that might make the mirror unworkable. This doesn't happen near the poles, of course.
 
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BurgerB75

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

I wonder if by using a metallic liquid you could not only stabalize but tilt the "mirror" using magnets?
 
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aphh

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

BurgerB75":2sn48e4p said:
I wonder if by using a metallic liquid you could not only stabalize but tilt the "mirror" using magnets?
I believe that's exactly what is being considered. Of course, you'd need rather strong fields to have anything but marginal impact on the shape.
 
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EarthlingX

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zPt-VIpejs[/youtube]
 
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Captain_Salty

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

wouldn't exposure times be prohibitively short for a non-tracking liquid telescope?
 
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