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The E-ELT at the end of the road

13 December 2013
Artist's impression of the E-ELT. Image Credit: ESO
Artist's impression of the E-ELT. Image Credit: ESO

At the beginning of December, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) made a step forward towards the construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) which will become the largest optical/near infrared telescope in the world. On December 9th, the general director of ESO, Tim de Zeeuw, signed a contract with a major construction company in Santiago, Chile for the planning and building of the road to the summit of Cerro Amazones where the telescope will be placed. Cerro Amazones is located at an elevetion of 3000 meters in Chile's Atacama Dessert just 20 km from ESO's largest observatory at Paranal. The laying of a paved road to the peak is the first major step in the E-ELT construction process which will provide the necessary infrastructure for the delivery of the telescope parts to the site.

Astronomers will open their biggest eye towards the skies at the beginning of the coming decade. The E-ELT will have superior resolution and sensitivity compared with any other telescope and it will help push further the boundaries of our knowledge in diverse areas from solar physics and planetary science to galaxy evolution and cosmology. The telescope will be equipped with two instruments: a high-resolution optical imaging camera called MICADO and an intergal field spectrograph called HARMONI. Target partner OmegaCEN is a leading partner in the data management for MICADO in terms of design and implementation. The ESO and Target already successfully collaborate on projects such as the KiDS/VIKING public survey, where the astronomy group within Target handles the data calibration, quality control and the delivery of the final survey to the ESO and the astronomical community at large. Target has also designed and implemented the data management system for MUSE, a new spectrograph going on-line at ESO's VLT early next year.


ESO news on the E-ELT

More about the E-ELT


Iva Kostadinova (Target Communications Officer)
Tel: +31 (0)50 363 4036
Email: or

Gijs Verdoes Kleijn (MICADO data handling)
Tel: +31 (0)50 363 8326

Last modified:15 June 2016 12.04 p.m.

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