E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope)
The E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope) project aims to provide European astronomers with the largest optical-infrared telescope in the world. With a diameter of 40m and incorporating a large deformable mirror, the E-ELT is expected to tackle the biggest scientific challenges of our time, and aim for a number of notable firsts, including tracking down Earth-like planets around other stars in the “habitable zones” where life could exist. It will also perform “stellar archaeology” in nearby galaxies, as well as make fundamental contributions to cosmology by measuring the properties of the first stars and galaxies and probing the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
The telescope will gather 15 times more light than the largest optical telescopes operating today. The telescope has an innovative five-mirror design that includes advanced adaptive optics to correct for the turbulent atmosphere, giving exceptional image quality. The main mirror will be made up from almost 1000 hexagonal segments.