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RAS welcomes new UK investment in European Extremely Large Telescope

Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2011 13:57
Published on Sunday, 02 October 2011 23:01
The Royal Astronomical Society welcomes the announcement of £3.5 million of new investment for instruments for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

With 'first light' planned for 2022, the fifteen member states of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) are set to take the decision to commence its construction this coming December.

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An artist's impression of the E-ELT in its enclosure. Credit: ESO
The proposed E-ELT will have a main mirror 39 m in diameter and be by far the largest telescope in the world. It will be sited close to the Paranal Observatory in Chile, one of the best astronomical sites on Earth. Science goals for E-ELT include obtaining direct images of Earth-like planets around other stars and studying some of the earliest objects to form after the Big Bang.

RAS President Professor Roger Davies commented, "I strongly support the STFC decision to invest in E-ELT. UK scientists are world leaders in building astronomical instruments and this investment will ensure that UK astronomers are amongst the first to exploit such a visionary telescope."

 

See also:

Science and Technology Facilities Council

European Southern Observatory: E-ELT