What is it: The Extremely Large Telescope, which will be the largest telescope in the world when it begins operations in 2028
When it was taken: August 28, 2023, published September 4, 2023
where is she: At the summit of Cerro Armazones, at 9,850 feet (3,000 metres), in the Atacama Desert in Chile
Why is it so special: this an amazing picture The sight of a sunrise behind a construction site not only highlights one of humanity’s next great ground-based telescopes, it also reveals just how active… the sun It is now.
In front of the sun’s disk is the frame of the 262-foot-tall (80-meter) steel dome worth $1.56 billion (1.45 billion euros) The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), currently being built by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
The telescope will be positioned atop Cerro Armazons, a mountain in Chile’s Atacama Desert, well above the thickest part of Earth’s atmosphere, where it will get a clearer view of the night sky. The Atacama is also one of the driest places on Earth, with some parts seeing less than 0.2 inch (5 mm) of annual precipitation, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. According to Cerro Armazones, the area has about 320 clear nights per year and virtually no light pollution that.
When you’re done, you can use ELT Watch it being built – It will have a mirror 127 feet (39 meters) in diameter; For comparison, Qatar James Webb Space TelescopeMirror 21.7 ft (6.6 m). The powerful ELT mirror will eventually rotate 360 degrees on 36 fixed carriages and weigh approximately 6,700 tons (6,100 metric tons). The giant telescope will allow astronomers to find Earth-like planets orbiting other stars in the habitable zones where life could exist, explore dark matter and dark energy, study black holes, and see the first galaxies dating back just 380,000 years after the Earth appeared. the great explosion.
In July, ESO Announce That ELT was half built. “First light” is scheduled to occur in 2028, according to the American “space” website. that.
If you look carefully at the Sun in the image, you’ll see small (but actually Earth-sized) sunspots on its surface. Sunspots are dark clumps of intense magnetic field that stream from deep within the Sun and produce often violent solar flares. It is believed that sunspots will continue to increase as the Sun approaches solar maximum, which could arrive as soon as the end of this year.
The image and accompanying time-lapse of the sunrise were taken by ESO instrument engineer Eduardo Garcés from 14 miles (23 kilometers) atop Cerro Paranal, where the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope has been scanning the night sky since 1998.