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European observatory to spend a record $446 mn on new telescope in Chile

EFEFUTURO.- The European Southern Observatory on Wednesday signed the largest contract in the history of ground-based astronomy: an investment of 400 million euros ($446.4 million) to build the world’s biggest telescope in the desert of northern Chile.

Fotografía facilitada por el Observatorio Europeo Austral (ESO) que muestra una imagen renderizada del European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).

The deal between the ESO and the ACe Consortium, consisting of Astaldi, Cimolai and the EIE Group, was sealed at a ceremony in Garching bei München, Germany.


The European Extremely Large Telescope, or E-ELT, will be the world’s largest optical and infrared telescope with a primary mirror 39 meters (128 feet) wide.


“The E-ELT will produce discoveries that we simply cannot imagine today,” ESO Director-General Tim de Zeeuw said.


The new telescope’s “adaptive optics system will provide images about 15 times sharper than those from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope at the same wavelength,” according to the ESO. EFEfuturo

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