The World's Largest Telescope Is Being Built So We Can Finally Find Aliens

A video touting the ELT says it's the biggest telescope currently under construction and could be the first to spot aliens.

by Beckett Mufson
May 31 2017, 6:59pm

ESO/L. Calçada

The hype in this video touting The European Southern Observatory's under-construction Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is literally out of this world. The five-mirrored, 6.5 million-pound apparatus is encased in an 11 million-pound dome on top of the 10,000-foot-tall Cerro Amazons mountain in Chile. According to this pumped-as-hell 4K trailer from the Coconut Science Lab, it take photos 15 times sharper than the Hubble Telescope, can gather as much light as all existing ground-based research telescopes combined, and has a stated goal of searching out extra-terrestrial life.

That goal is the domain of science fiction for now, but the laser guidance system and gargantuan mirrors—one is made from 798 smaller hexagonal mirrors, and another that distorts its shape 1,000 times a second to correct atmospheric blurring—are going to be science fact. The tech behind this souped up camera is worth the booming cello track laid under the trailer's video's CGI rendering.

The aptly-named ELT has been in the works since 2005, was approved in 2014, and broke ground on construction last week. If all goes according to plan, it will be pumping out crystal-clear space photos by 2024. Check out the interstellar hype-fest in the video above, and the official trailer from the European Southern Observatory on which it is based below.

ESO/L. Calçada

ESO/L. Calçada

ESO/L. Calçada

ESO/B. Tafreshi

ESO/L. Calçada

Learn more about the European Southern Observatory here and the Extremely Large Telescope here.


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